Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?

All designers, creative professionals, art and design students, educators, and business and/or organizations of design are eligible. Entrants need not be members of AIGA. All design work entered in the competition should focus on design and the eligible types of work accepted. We are looking for excellence in design solutions that engage and enrich our lives. This could be, for example, raising awareness about a cause or condition or celebrating an art institution or event. Even branding and advertising can enrich our communities!

What work is eligible?

Work produced or published between September 1, 2016 and September 15, 2017. Any of the following types of design work are eligible:

  • Logos
  • Identity guides
  • Brochure and magazines
  • Websites
  • In-house design work
  • User interfaces with apps
  • Digital kiosk Interfaces
  • Campaigns
  • Single advertisements
  • Interactive campaigns
  • Title sequences
  • Product or package design
  • Projects that use green style techniques for production
  • Print collateral
  • Typeface design
  • Poster design
  • Point of sale design
  • Infographics
  • Sign Package
  • Student Work (various categories or other projects related to design not mentioned)

What does a campaign consist of and how should it be displayed?

Please note that campaigns should meet most of the following criteria in order to entered in the “Advertising” category:

  • Print component
  • TV/radio spot(s)
  • Digital/web component
  • Social media component
  • Interactive/retail ­space component

In addition (regardless of any pricing), all campaigns must be visually presented in 5 boards/images or fewer. Any additional images that are part of the campaign will not be considered and your campaign may be disqualified.

What do you mean by 'made for' or 'made in' OC?

Work made for Orange County means that your piece(s) was:

  • Seen in Orange County in excess of 250 impressions
  • Made for a client in Orange County

Work made in Orange County means that your piece(s) was:

  • Produced in Orange County (at an agency, studio, or freelance job)
  • Made in Orange County (such as the printing of a job by a printing company within Orange County)

Student work is exempt from the “made in” or “made for” Orange County requirement.

Are other design catagories allowed?

Any design work that does not fit into the judging categories may be entered but is not guaranteed to win an award. Additional categories may be added at any time in the future and your submission may be moved to the new category to allow for judging; otherwise your submission will only be displayed online with no formal recognition. Sorry, there are no refunds.

What are the criteria to enter?

Printed work must be published in excess of 250 impressions with the exception of invitations, announcements and posters, which must be published in excess of 50. All work by professionals must have been published, aired or produced to be eligible and made for or in Orange County. Student work is not required to be published or have a minimum number of impressions.

Can I enter the same piece in more than one category?

Yes. A design may be submitted in multiple categories, however a separate entry form and fee will be required to enter the piece in a different category.

How do I submit work?

All entries must be paid for online between March 1, 2017 and September 15, 2017. The online form must be completed and files uploaded (using the provided templates and file size requirements) via Mailed entries will not be considered. Winning entries will be notified by mail for display at the OC Design Awards event. Click here to enter.

Please keep in mind that each entry is limited to 5 images (or less). Campaign entries are limited to 9 images (or less) per campaign — which limits up to 9 boards/pieces per campaign.

How much does it cost to enter?

Please click here to view entry pricing.

Who are the Judges?

The judging panel for the OC Design Awards are composed of highly recognized design experts who have made significant contributions to the world of design through their business practices.

How will I know if my work wins?

Notification emails will be sent the to the winners after the OCDA Awards Gala. The list of the judges’ selections will be posted on the OC Design Awards website as well.

What do I get if I win?

Online recognition of winning work on the OC Design Awards website for one year, verbal and visual recognition of winning work at the OC Design Awards Gala event in November, 2017. Recognition of winning work may also be on social media channels including but not limited to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and Instagram. You will also get a physical award.

Do I lose the copywright on my work if I submit it to the OC Design Awards?

You keep all copyright permissions of your work, however all entrants grant AIGA and the OC Design Awards the right to use accepted work for reproduction in competition-related publications, on its website, in any exhibition of the competitions’ selections, and for educational and AIGA­-related promotional purposes.

How do I submit a multiple page or document?

While we wish we could take pieces in their entirety! In the specific case of multiple page books/documents (i.e. annual reports, branding guides, editorial layouts), we advise that you layout the key spreads you wish us to judge, along with the cover. If you have had photos taken you may want to add those, otherwise creating digital spreads would work too (that part is up to you).

How do I submit a website?

You may want to show screenshots of key pages that you would like judged on your submitted image(s). If the site is live or you have a live version of it, you can also put the URL(s) in the description/statement area after your copy.

Can I purchase an entry and then submit my work at a later time?

Unfortunately our payment system does not allow you to do this. You should have your work ready to submit upon payment.


If you still have questions or need help, please contact us at