Best Practices for Preparing a Winning Entry

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The entry portal for the 2020 SEGD Global Design Awards is brand spanking new so it's easier than ever to enter your projects! Even still, here are some best practices to keep in mind when entering or reentering your project(s) that will separate the good from the best. Here's to helping you get started and increase your chances of winning!

DO look at examples. Past winning entries are fantastic (and inspirational) examples of what to emulate. Start looking at examples in past years' SEGD Global Design Awards galleriesor by category: Digital Experience Content| Exhibition| Interactive Experiences| Placemaking and Identity| Public Installation| Strategy - Research - Planning| Wayfinding

DON’T skimp on the description. Jurors are seeing hundreds of entries, so they need to get a concise narrative of your project in the first paragraph. The most important thing to address is how your solution addressed the client's design problem and how the success of the project was measured. What makes this project unique? Once you've met that critical objective, go into greater depth about the most interesting parts of your project, the research, concept, methodology, fabrication and use—telling the story in the most compelling way within 500 words.

DO look into each practice category. Give your work the best chance for success by carefully reviewing the seven competition categories—listed under "By Practice" in the righthand column—and use your best judgement in classifying your project. Also, if your submission qualifies for multiple categories and the jury feels it has been miscategorized, it will be recategorized for you. (Note: You can submit different parts of your project into their respective categories. Bonus! Just be sure the quantity of submissions is matched by quality of category-related images.)

DON'T mention names. MAKE SURE TO READ THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS (scroll to the last page of the Submission Guidelines).  Keep your entry anonymous by omitting names of firms, fabricators and collaborators in your images, videos and descriptions (the only parts the jury sees). There are fields for project credits and details in the online entry system that will only be used for editorial coverage after the awards selection process.

DO choose the right imagery. You can submit up to eight photos so it is imperative that you take time to select the photos, drawings or images that best represent how your design excels and what makes the solution innovative and unique. Sometimes less is best; a few standout photos are better than a lot of adequate ones. Professional photographs will showcase your work best, but if you’re taking your own, provide a mix of detail and wide shots and choose the most visually arresting photo as your “hero” shot (the first one the jury sees and, frankly, the most important).

DON'T forget about video. Sometimes a video makes the difference between winning and non-winning projects. It's not appropriate for all projects, but can be very helpful, particularly for illustrating how interactions or time-based content creates an experience. You can submit one video up to one minute in length, only if it provides additional information not found in the still images or the written description. (See submission guidelines for more video specs.)

DO make use of captions. Always caption all of the images in your entry. Captions are one of the easiest ways to ensure your project is understood by the jury—and they're often overlooked. State clearly what the image is (if necessary) and its relevance to the project and its goals in a sentence or two.

DON’T wait until the last minute. Just as before, this SEGD online entry portal allows you to start competition entries in one session and go back to them again and again until you are ready to hit submit. Front-loading the process will ensure you do your projects justice. The deadline for submissions is January 31. However, late submissions will be accepted with late fees through February 14, 2020.

Now that you are armed with eight helpful tips, it's time to get started!

P.S. DON'T forget: You can always call or email the SEGD staff with your SEGD Global Design Awards questions (202.638.5555 | [email protected]).

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