There are many places on the internet where you can find different design contests. For young and aspiring designers, such places usually appear alluring with the thought of getting a paid and exposing your skills to the design community. However, this can be just for the short term since there are no guarantees that taking part in a design contest will be beneficial to you in the long run. This, in essence, implies that entering the design contests is a pure waste of time, though many people will find this radical stand hard to believe.
Other than the prizes offered in the design contests, the possibility of landing clients is another reason people enter such contests. This is also why the contests are always swarmed with lots of new designers or the less experienced ones because they hope to win and attract new clients to jump start their design careers.
If you think of contests as a marketing platform, then you are very wrong and you will be disappointed at the end of each design contest. Especially if you are not among the winners, and this will be the case most of the times. To illustrate to you why it is not worth it entering the design contests, consider the following.
You risk not being paid
A typical graphics design contest will attract participants in their hundreds if not thousands. Most of the time, every participant will be required to submit more than one design, with ten being the average number for most of them. It implies that you will have to spend your time working on all the designs and submit them within the deadline. With the large number of participants, your chances of becoming the winner or even the first or second runners up are very slim.
Since these are the people who will be rewarded in the graphic design contests, there are no guarantees that you will make it to the final list. And if you are lucky enough to be among the winners, still there are no guarantees that you will be paid or get the designated prize for the winner. Therefore, there is no need to spend your precious time doing some great work, and ultimately get nothing for your sweat.
No other industry holds contests like the design industry
I know you think of the graphics design contests positively, but have you taken time to think if the same is happening in other industries? Would you go to five different dentists to fill your tooth then decide the one you will be paying? Or would you invite ten different plumbers to clear your kitchen sink then decide to pay the one whom you think did a great job in clearing the clog. Or, would you walk into a restaurant and order ten different dishes, try each one to find the one you enjoy the most then request to pay only for the one which you think satisfy you the most?
This is exactly what is going in with the design contests. Taking part in such contests is allowing yourself to get exploited by some ruthless people who probably don’t even care how your face looks like. It is only in this industry that it happens, and it should be stopped.
Design Contest makes the industry cheaper and also compromises quality
With the lack of guarantee of payment and the fact that not everyone’s design will be picked, there is a tendency for the participating designers to relax and not give their best in the design works. If you want clients to value your work, time, and skills in graphics design so that they can pay good money for your services, then you must stop thinking of contests as the best places to find such people.
Design Contests can be addicting – bad for the psychology
When you enter too many contests and you don’t win, you will get discouraged and disheartened and doubt your skills and abilities as a graphics designer. For many people, this is always the norm until they win one. When this happens, you feel very happy and elated so that you enter more contents, hoping to win again.
This creates a cycle of highs and lows in your psychology such that all your emotions and inspirations will be pegged around the design contests. Eventually, you will lose the focus needed to concentrate on your professions and develop your skills to become a better designer.
Finally, the design contest is nothing but a lazy and time costly shortcut to getting clients. This is because nothing is required to enter the contests other than the click of a mouse, which you can do while sugaring your coffee at home. It comes with no obligations whatsoever, and you don’t have to do the designs if you don’t want.
Get yourself out of those contests and work on proper approaches to enhancing your skills so that you can get high paying clients. Simply say goodbye to the contests.