Do you get excited about comparing your idea with hundreds of others from designers from different countries? Do you want to win a financial rewards and possibilities of remunerated internships? Do you want to find out how design works in practice? Let’s look at how to win an international competition - as an exmaple, the packaging design competition ‘Young Package’, in which hundreds of young designers compete each year from around the world.
1/ understand the task perfectly
It has been proven that rising generations read less, and in general, when reading texts online jump mainly to headlines and bullets. However, in terms of a design competition, you should read really carefully. Misunderstanding the task is what causes the most failures in design competitions.
Read closely to the end. And then once again.
For example the topic of this year Young Package is Open & Play. Designers mistakenly assume that it is a package for a toy. The design could be for a toy, but the theme focuses on any packaging which would be fun and besides its function, have a playful character, for example, fun graphics or turn into a game.
2nd place, Young Package 2015, Richard Janešík, HAPPY BIRTHDAY from Slovakia Technical University of Košice, Faculty of Arts, Slovakia
2/ meet the terms and conditions
Almost every design competition has some competitive conditions and rules. This could be, for example, a limitation of the choice of the material, or the way of submitting the entry. Some competitions require only electronic submission. The more difficult, usually prestigious competitions, require a prototype or printed draft to be mailed to the organiser.
Use the right material and don’t forget anything.
For instance, for the Young Package competition, a prototype must be made from paper-based materials, marked with the code generated after online registration, and then the entry should be mailed to the organiser.
3/ be one step ahead
Contestants, who think about the task in a deep way and enrich their entry with that “something extra”, increase their chances of success; whether it is a short accompanying text that helps the jury understand the real meaning of the work, or a creative way with the competition conditions.
Play with the terms, and the task.
In 2016, Matěj Peca won the Young Package competition with his multipurpose package for pizza. The competition registration code, which was assigned to him was submitted as part of the prototype - he used it as the receipt for the pizza. During the moments when the jury was deciding if this was indeed the best package, this little detail helped convince them.
1st place, Young Package 2016, Matěj Peca, Pizza Box <–> Pizza Bin from University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art, Czech Republic
4/ design responsibly
It may not be clear at first glance, but every design competition aims to solve a problem. And that problem is always related to something. Competition entries which not only fulfill the conditions, but also solve some global problem are usually the ones that the jury finds interesting and that’s why they often win.
Look around and reflect the trends.
For Young Package there have been plenty of responsible packages. From Michal Marek’s 2014 biodegradable food packaging, which blooms after use, to Matuš Mitas’ 2012 easy to open milk package for seniors, or Veronika Janečková’s paper package for water from last year - sustainability is always an underlying theme.
3rd place, Young Package 2016, Veronika Janečková, Drink Water - Play with a Bottle, Czech Republic
5/ the deadline
This word which is dreaded by all designers is, in the end, the most important competition detail. There is nothing worse than thinking a long time about your idea, discussing it with your friends, spending hours in the studio, and then eventually missing the deadline. Write the date down in a visible place and, for example, set a reminder on your phone.
Simply, just do not forget.
The deadline for submission of entries to the Young Package competition this year is 24th March 2017. This is the last day when the package can be sent by the entrant, the organiser will accept entries postmarked up to this day.
Try it right now and join the Young Package this year.