Adobe-full-color Adobe-white Adobe-black logo-white Adobe-full Adobe Behance arrow-down arrow-right LineCreated with Sketch. close-tablet-03 close-tablet-05 comment dropdown-close dropdown-open facebook instagram linkedin rss search share twitter
illustration by eron hare design awards

Dealing With Failure

Have We Got a Design Award For You

I think we can all agree that you are uniquely talented. And yet, how often does anyone acknowledge it?


I think we can all agree that you are uniquely talented. And yet, how often does anyone acknowledge it? Let’s face it—since you took home that blue ribbon for a pencil sketch of Black Beauty in 4th grade, you’ve been on the other end of a lot more no’s than yes’s. But hey, rejection is a painful yet necessary part of the creative process, isn’t it?

Not anymore.

For a nominal fee of $250 per entry (or $1,000 for five) you’ll have the rare opportunity to be considered for a gleaming trophy indicating that you possess talent. We’ve assembled a fine panel of judges from among the select few who have already won these very same trophies, not to mention our framed certificates, crystal flames, and various other objects, all engraved at enormous cost. (Winners will be eligible to purchase additional copies of said awards for their regional offices, their mothers, and their kindergarten art instructors.)  

Sure, we all know that clients are more focused on “results” and “sales” and other things that could be measured by any number cruncher in accounting. But they’re just clients—they have no idea of the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into every word of copy, every perfectly aligned pixel, every vector illustration. They don’t even know what a vector is, so how can they be trusted to assess your work? The truth is, they can’t. But they’re sure to be impressed with the phrase “award-winning designer” on your About page.

Yes, there are plenty of awards out there already, and once the season of giving begins, you’ll see the same logos, illustrations, and websites honored in exactly ALL of them. That’s why we’ve gone out of our way to offer dozens of unique opportunities to garner silverware, from Most Engaging Call-to-Action Button to Best Weather App for Infants, and new this year, due to popular demand, Best Pro Bono Campaign Promoting Pretty Much Anything. Of course, each of these categories will be subdivided into five tiers based on the size of your agency, because big agencies with big budgets and big-time clients always produce the most revolutionary ideas, and we’re committed to leveling the playing field.

As always, this year’s competition includes a category for projects killed by ignorant clients and bumbling coworkers. Just because your work never saw the light of day due to a shortsighted CMO or an account director who couldn’t sell a gym membership in January, that’s no reason you shouldn’t be acknowledged for your brilliant execution, which may or may not have been “on brief” or “under budget.”

All finalists will be invited to attend our award gala held in the ballroom of a downtown hotel on either a Monday afternoon or a Tuesday evening (depending on the number of entries received). There, you will be able to dress like an adult for the first time since last year’s event and sit at a table with your coworkers pretending that you truly enjoy each other’s company—a task made more palatable thanks to a lavish cash bar underwritten by a new brand of liquor or an old brand of beer.

We know you’re busy working 60-70 hour weeks, because creativity cannot be planned, and because a client’s preposterous last-minute demands simply must be satisfied. That’s why we’ll announce a deadline in early July, but extend it well into October, to ensure we receive the highest quality of work—and for no other conceivable reason.

So look through all the amazing work that you created this year, and pick only the best—or better yet, select the “Enter It All” menu option (sponsored by Dropbox) and submit everything on your hard drive for only $10,000. You’re sure to win something. We guarantee it.

Scott Kirkwood

Scott Kirkwood is a freelance copywriter and creative director in Denver, with a focus on nonprofits and “do gooder” brands. His editorial work has appeared in Communication Arts, Eye on Design, HOW, and Modern in Denver.


More articles on Dealing With Failure

illustration by eron hare design awards
Debbie Millman