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Online graphic design competitions that international students can take part in

Taking part in student design competitions can boost your portfolio. Here, US-Canadian designer Karim Rashid looks at the work of a Rome University of Fine Arts (RUFA) student during a preview to present the Rufa Contest entitled "How deep are your roots? Represent the courage to change" in Rome on November 18, 2016. Source: Andreas Solaro/AFP

If you’re a graphic student living through this pandemic, you probably have a lot of concerns. When will classes resume? Will I have a job in this recession? How is my family back home?

As graphic designers can work remotely using online tools and businesses still need creative visuals for online marketing purposes more than ever, the future is actually sunnier than it seems.

But you’ll still need to stand out from the competition.

student design competitions

Graphic designers disseminate important information to the public using visual elements. Source: Joaquin Sarmiento /AFP

Taking part in student design competitions can boost your CV and portfolio immensely.

Plus, it’s a good way to practise your skills, challenge yourself and stay productive while your university is shut down. Even if you don’t win, you can boost your confidence and learn something new by taking part in student graphic design competitions.

So why not try your luck at these competitions open to international student?

Applied Arts Awards

This annual competition in the US is open to high school and post-secondary students who are studying in creative arts programmes in the following fields: creative advertising, graphic design, digital and gaming, photography and illustration.

Not only do winners get bragging rights, they will also have their work published in the Student Awards Annual, and online in the Applied Arts Winners Gallery which is viewed by over 50,000 influential creative professionals working in the visual communications arena.

Pro Carton Young Designers Award 2020

Organised by European Carton Makers Association (ECMA), here’s your chance for graphic design students to showcase their talents in one of Europe’s leading student competitions for sustainable packaging design.

According to Student Competition, “The Award plays a pioneering role in promoting sustainability, as it is the only design competition focusing exclusively on cartonboard design.”

The competition is open to both undergraduate and graduate students and you have until May 14 to submit your entry.

All winners, finalists and each of their lecturers will be invited to the Gala Awards dinner at the European Carton Makers Association (ECMA) Congress in September 2020 in Krakow, Poland.

Bolu International Poster Design Competition

Organised by Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal University in Turkey, you could win up to US$500 (first prize) for designing a poster focusing on anything “About Turkey”.

Participants may submit up to two posters, focusing on Turkish culture or your expressions about the country. You’ll be expected to use minimal designs, pattern designs, illustration works, and typography artworks.

Joseph Binder Award 2020

This international competition held every two years focuses on graphic design and illustration, attracting graphic designers, illustrators, advertising agencies and students from all over the world to enter.

According to the website, there are Joseph Binder Awards in gold, silver, and bronze assigned to worthy projects in the form of trophies. Plus, the jury may give away up to three merit awards in each of the graphic design and illustration categories.

Cash prizes worth a total of 10,000 euros will be awarded to five outstanding projects in the Design Fiction category and the Henry Steiner Prize will be awarded to honour a particularly deserving project.

All of the entries selected by the jury will also be published in a catalogue and an exhibition.

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