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FAQ Entry #255

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This is a respond to a previously asked question about the A' Design Award and Competition. The full list of frequently asked questions can be accessed here.

#255: It is too difficult to submit entries to the design award, there are too many submission requirements and it is too bureaucratic to enter and nominate works. Is there an easy way to do join?
The embedded procedures, that you would call as bureaucracy, allows us to run a solid and fair competition, that is why we have a 40+ page document just for explaining how the presentations should be made and that is why we have FAQ pages that almost has answers to each and every question asked. While of course there are many design competitions out there that you could submit any design in any format without restrictions or requirements, we simply cannot do that, because we respect the designers and we believe designers also respect their works. Most design awards would just require you to submit images and text within a few minutes; and it is true that we require designers to spend at least several days for preparing their submission. As a designer you might think that other design awards are intuitive, smart and efficient but this is an illusion; the purpose of such awards is not to make the life easier for you; as businesses, they want to increase the number of clients; they want more entries, faster, without any worries about what happens next; as in most cases nothing happens. We also of course wish also to have faster and more nominations, but the cost would be too high for us: We cannot run a prestigious design award and competition with thousands of entries without making all the presentations uniform, it is not sustainable nor desirable to run a good design award where junk entries are highlighted or awarded. Now, especially, being one of the largest design awards in the world we simply cannot let entries to be presented without technical explanations, research data and proper presentations. On the other hand, of course we could do so (i.e. allow all entries without checking them first), but this method only makes sense if we were not to make any further services; yet however we have a significant number of requirements and responsibilities on our side that we must do and follow for award winners. For instance, you win the award with a pixellated image, would you really think that a press member would feature your works? How could a press-member discuss your design, just from the images, of course it is easier if you present some text with it. But most importantly, we require the entries to be uniform such that they could be evaluated correctly by the jury. If entries and presentation are not prepared in a unified format, the jury would vote entries affected by their presentation qualities of the entries instead of the intrinsic qualities of the designs; i.e. there would be biases in evaluation that would benefit larger companies who have access to best talent and marketing people. You cannot run a truly fair competition without making sacrifices, and here the bureaucracy as you would call, and the procedures as we would call them, is a sacrifice on our behalf, we are losing so many entries, and of course potential funding, just because people are bothered to submit their entries in a correct manner. But if the ideas are voted not based on their intrinsic qualities but how they drawn, is it fair at all? Could we call it a design competition or a beauty pageant? More importantly, it would not be possible to prepare all the things we promise to award winners on time without these procedures: If the presentations are in a unified format, we could prepare the yearbook, posters, and any other post-competition services efficiently, but most importantly on time. Otherwise if we do not require a unified presentation, we would be asking every and each participant to send further information once again, and of course we could do that as you would suggest but who would pay for the man-hours that is assigned to do this task? Most design awards and competitions have a solution; they take this money from the participants or from the government budgets which is paid by your tax money. Sad but true, indeed in most cases, other design competitions simply do not require you to prepare a common entry format, as they would rather collect as many entries and get as many nomination fees first and later ask for post-competition fees from participants for simplest of things including yearbook, trophy, even the award logo, because, as businesses, they have to cover costs. We, on the other hand, do not ask any post-competition fees, the yearbook, the certificates, posters, press releases, trophy, pr-campaign and everything else is prepared for free for you, but we need you, as a designer to invest in your own design by making a perfect presentation. For other designers and companies who cannot prepare good presentation for their design, we suggest that they get a professional help or not join the competition at all, we already receive many good entries each year and we do not want to receive money for junk entries, we want the jury to enjoy the voting process not suffer by spending time on understanding presentations. We push companies to work with visual designers, professional photographers and illustrators, we aim for perfect entries, we wish for quality not the quantity. Thus, all this being said, there is not an easy way to join A’ Design Award. We require all participants to follow the 40+ page presentation guidelines, and to respect suggestions of the jury members to improve their presentations. It can really take up to a week to make a nomination, so we always suggest that designers start earlier and take their time to complete their nominations. Of course, no other design competition or award gives you such an opportunity, because no other design awards do actually care if your presentation is okay or not as long as you hand in your entry. No other design award would check if your entry is okay or not, except a few others who would just simply disqualify you instead of letting you know what you could actually do to fix it. We do care about your presentation, and we want you to care about your design presentation as well, so as a designer, artist or architect please do the right thing and invest in your design to make the best presentation possible, or otherwise, just do not join.
Keywords: submission bureaucracy, too difficult, submission takes time, entry time, nomination time requirement, presentation quality


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