Who doesn’t love being recognized for a job well done? When you go beyond the call of duty, and create something that surprises and delights your client, it shouldn’t just end at the post-mortem. Instead, it should be celebrated! 🎉
Awards and competitions recognize the cream of the crop in the community, and are possibly one of the most under acknowledged ways to gain industry recognition. They’re also a great community to join for inspiration, and a solid way to discover new trends in web development and branding.
"Awards and competitions recognize the cream of the crop in the community, and are possibly one of the most under acknowledged ways to gain industry recognition."
Whether they’ve been around for decades or are just in their infancy, we’ve rounded up seven awards competitions we think are worth filling out an application. From the best social media campaigns to flawless CSS design, keep an eye on these competitions for the freshest and finest in the biz.
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1. CSS Design Awards
The competition: The CSS Design Awards showcases and honors freelancers, designers, studios, and agencies for work that pushes the boundaries of UI, UX, and innovative development around the world. Founded in 2009, CSSDA provides a level playing field to ensure solo freelancers, studios, and agencies have a chance to be recognized. All work is reviewed by a panel of industry experts and upvoted by public members.
The cost: $39 USD per site submission.
The deadline: ‘Website of the Day’ and ‘Website of the Month’ are always open. Submit before the end of 2017 to be eligible for ‘Website of the Year’ and ‘Designer of the Year’ awards.
Do you work in Visual Studio Code for development? Check out our article on the best Visual Studio Code extensions. Or, if you need some inspiration for your own portfolio, check out our list of great examples of a web design portfolio.
The competition: Similar to CSS Design Awards, Awwwards recognizes the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers, and agencies in the world. Awwards also relies on a jury of esteemed industry professionals and their active user-base to rank work submitted.
In addition to handing out awards, the organization runs a series of conferences in iconic cities all over the world, from New York to LA, Barcelona to London. You can learn from the industry’s best at any Awwwards star-studded speaker event.
The cost: $55 USD per site submission, or $165 USD for yearly membership with one free submission.
The deadline: Year round, applications always open.
3. D&AD Professional Awards
The competition: Starting as a group celebrating creative communication and design, the D&AD Awards have grown to a global community recognizing the best in design and advertising.
They are a non-profit organization, meaning that all of their surplus revenues are invested back into the creative industry. Check out their archive of previous winners.
The cost: 2018 pricing not yet announced. The 2016/2017 Awards cost £85 to enter, also, freelancers and sole traders who are members of the D&AD were eligible to receive a 20% discount.
The deadline: The 2017 awards are now closed, but stay tuned for 2018 award entry windows to be announced.
You might also like: Why Hack Days Are Great For Designers.
4. The Shorty Awards
The competition: Celebrating the best in social media, The Shorty Awards recognizes the high-impact and creative social branding of influencers and brands on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, SnapChat, and more. The Shorty Awards were the first awards to honor social media, and are constantly evolving with the mediums they honour. And while the audience and honourees for these awards are typically viral campaigns or notable public figures, there are many categories for influencers, brands, and organizations that produce industry leading client work. Take a look at their archive of previous winners.
The cost: $299-$599 USD depending on time of submission.
The deadline: Closed for this year.
Ready to build an award-winning design? Learn how to reduce bounce rate, or how prototyping and rapid prototyping will help the design process, and take a look at some great prototyping tools. Or, learn how to write an effective design brief to keep your future award-winning project on track.
5. The Shopify Commerce Awards
The competition: An iteration of what was once called the Shopify Design Awards, The Shopify Commerce Awards has widened its search in order to recognize the visionaries who are taking commerce to new heights and redefining the way people sell online. This year, the star-studded panel of judges will review submissions from the worlds of design, UX/UI, app development, and marketing/branding. If you want some inspiration, take a look through the 2016 Ecommerce Design Awards winners.
The cost: Free.
The deadline: Submissions closed.
Announcing the winners of the 2017 Shopify Commerce Awards 🎉
Our esteemed panel of judges sorted through thousands of exceptional submissions to name the winners of the 2017 Shopify Commerce Awards. Read on to see who won in the categories of Design, UX and UI, Apps and Development, as well as Marketing and Branding.Take me to the winners
6. CSS Winner
The competition: CSS Winner awards and showcases the best web designers, developers, and agencies innovating on the web today. What’s unique about CSS Winners is that scoring is based on a combination of peer voting and panel scoring, with 80 percent based on the judges score, and the final 20 percent coming from viewer votes. After being reviewed, high scoring submissions are displayed on the nominees page, and are eligible for a featured award, such as Site of the Day, Site of the Month, or Stars.
The cost: Submissions are $9 USD, and rejected submissions are refunded.
The deadline: Applications are accepted year round.
7. Apple Design Awards
The competition: The Apple Design Awards recognize cutting edge apps on the Apple platform that reflect the best in design, innovation, and technology — Apple also shares the stories of the people and companies behind their apps. Unlike other awards competitions listed here, you actually can’t apply for these awards — eligible apps listed in the Apple App Store are selected based on their design, state of the art integration, and innovation.
The cost: Becauseapplications aren’t accepted for these awards, there is no associated cost.
The deadline: The 2017 Apple Design Awards are now closed, but keep an eye out for 2018’s awards.