BSCO staff noticed that this spring, the trend in design competition deadlines seems to be to extend the deadline. That might be a good sign, that the design community is busy with work and too busy to pay attention to competition deadlines, or too frugal to pay for entry fees.
Exactly what is a design competition anyway? With our tongues firmly planted in our cheek, BSCOdm has these observations and predictions:
Design competitions come in two flavors: exploitative and ego-boosting. Or maybe that's the same flavor.
- It's to feed your ego: C'mon, you know that deep down inside, it's true.
- Competitions exploit the designer: WIRED magazine and Beefeater are looking for free creative development, with a token prize for the winner.
- Again, it feeds your ego: When was the last time you gained a client from being published in an annual?
- A design competition isn't to compete, it's a fund raiser: Without a doubt, competitions are a revenue stream. And sell magazines. Admit it, how many articles do you actually read? But it's fun to look at all those pictures, isn't it?
- It's a way to archive the best work in the industry: At the AIGA, work submitted is entered into the Design Archives, to chronicle the best in design. That is, the best in design that was submitted (and accepted) into the competition.
- It benefits the designer: We predict that the AIGA competition annual (a benefit of AIGA membership), currently sized at approximately 5 x 6 inches, will continue to shrink until it is the size of a matchbook.
- These archives support R&D: That's right, we mean rip off & duplicate. If the pictures are big enough.
- We predict: Next year, all of the competitions will simply publish work from previous years. Nobody will notice.
Our final prediction: Many will enter, few will win. You're all winners in our book.