10 Student Design Competitions You Should Enter in 2020

Creative Conscience
The design-for-good competition that looks for creativity to make the world a better place. Creative Conscience usually provides a few specific briefs accompanied with an open brief. Winners get invited to the awards ceremony and access to multiple events, they also try to make ideas come to life through their Impact scheme.

Deadline: 18th May 2020 (Extended to 25th May)

RSA Design Awards
The Royal Society of Arts ask students and recent graduates to tackle social, environmental and economic issues through a series of briefs. It’s been running since 1924 and naturally attracts a lot of competition from it’s entrants. Briefs have generous prizes made possible by their sponsors including internships and money prizes.

Deadline: 11th March 2020

Dogs Bollocks Design Bridge
This competition comes from one of the worlds leading design agencies, Design Bridge. This years brief is centred around ‘designing the year’. Partnered with The Guardian, entrants are asked to pick an article/headline from the first issue of the newspaper of 2020, and get designing.

Deadline: 31st May 2020

International Visual Identity Awards
As the name suggests, you’ll be taking part in branding and identity projects, and theres over 20 briefs to choose from! The awards are open to anyone and winners will get the title of ‘Visual Identity of the Year’, a badge and good exposure. There is a student category for entrants in full-time education.

Deadline: 30th June 2020

Adobe Design Achievement Awards
This design award is among the most entered design competitions around. It focusses on digital design (but that includes a lot) with the only entry restrictions being: Over 18 and Adobe tools are used to create your submission. There are range of benefits and prizes for shortlists and winners, including access to Adobe-enabled conferences, jobs, internships and global exposure.

Deadline: Usually Around June*

ISTD Design Competition
The international society of typographic designers release a series of briefs every year, and unsurprisingly they’re entirely centred around typography. This is a competition that requires a lot of work but rewards you with membership into the ISTD which comes with a good few perks.

Deadline: Usually March/April*

James Dyson Award
A prestigious design award run by the James Dyson Foundation that aims to inspire the next wave of design engineers. This years brief looks for creatives to ‘design something that solves a problem’, with prizes ranging from £2000 to £30,000.

Deadline: 16th July 2020

D&AD New Blood Awards

This competition is one most designers will be aware of, being the student-version of the D&AD awards. You take your pick of a brief that suits you and your discipline, whether that be illustration, digital design, graphic design or motion. Each brief has a sponsor that offers a different range of prizes depending on the brand.

Deadline: 4th May 2020

Penguin Student Design Awards
Everyone has heard of publishing giant Penguin. This is their book design competition and is open to only those in full-time education and provides 4 categories for UK designers to enter. There are cash prizes and internships available for winners that create the book covers that Penguin feels best fulfil the brief.

Deadline: March 2020

IF Design Talent Award
This competition is open to students around the world and has around 10,000 entries a year. This years briefs surround global issues set out in partnership with the UN and students are in competition for a share of the £50,000 prize pot.

Deadline: 15th July 2020

We’ve included an extra one too:

OpenIDEO Challenges
This platform from IDEO provide entrants with a series of challenges and offers successful entrants funding and design help with their projects to help implement them into the community. The briefs are given to the entrant, and thereafter phases of the design process guide entrants on a journey to create their response. It starts with a pretty interesting problem to solve from a sponsor and over the course of a few months you develop and refine the idea until the final submission date arrives (which varies from brief to brief).

Deadline: Various

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