You’ve Won a Design Award. What Next?
Congratulations! You’ve received the mail saying that your project has won the award you applied for! Let’s spend a few minutes celebrating the fact that your work has been chosen by a grand jury as worthy of praise. It’s an achievement, not just for your work, but for you too. Now that you’ve finished having that internal moment of celebration, what do you do next? Let’s plan the next steps forward, shall we?
WEAR THE AWARD LIKE A BADGE
You’ve won an award. Don’t be afraid to show it! Make sure you highlight that project in your portfolio, and make a note at either the beginning or the end of the project that it secured a prize. Oh, and don’t forget to list the award in your CV/Résumé too, and make sure you convey the news on your social platforms too! Do whatever you can to show the world you’ve won an award, and the world will definitely notice!
SHOWCASE SHOWCASE SHOWCASE
Award programs will also showcase your project on their own website in their winner’s gallery, and most websites allow the winner to make a profile on them. Make sure you link your profile back to your personal website, so people who view your awarded work can also view the project in detail (and even the design process) on your website along with your other works. Awards like the A’ Design Award and Competition offer a whole variety of perks not just for winners but for participants too. Winning an award puts you on display on their website as well as puts you in their yearbook plus their business network, getting your work out to as many people as possible. Make sure these people have a website they can go to, to view your work.
Publications also tend to gravitate towards awards because that’s the one-stop destination for great content. Prepare a press kit and send your work to your favorite publications, thus developing an international fan-base and an online brand for yourself. If the award is an international one, chances are that the awards program has a media partnership with design blogs and magazines. The A’ Design Award actively reaches out to multiple websites with winning designs as a part of their winner PR Campaign. Being published online means having a permanently present article on your work online. It’s perfectly healthy to google yourself every now and then to see where you’ve been published. These people will gravitate to your website and portfolio too.
DREAM IT, DO IT
If your project is a personal one or conceptual design, an award is validation that it works, or it’s appreciated. Consider pitching it! A lot of projects from the A’ Design Award went on to become rather successful products and even led some pretty remarkable crowdfunding campaigns. If winning an award is step 1, leveraging that validation to launch your product should definitely be step 2! Having your work rewarded and then published online not only boosts your confidence, but also gets your work noticed by potential investors. Do the leg-work and have a pitch ready when you do meet people who are interested. Award functions like the A’ Design Award also tend to hold international galas for their winners, which is a perfect place to meet like-minded people who could turn into collaborators and even business-oriented people who could likely turn into investors.
If your winning product isn’t conceptual, winning an A’ Design Award also opens up avenues for selling your products on platforms like Salone Del Designer, DesignMegaStore, and BuySellDesign. Either way, an award is proof that your product is worth existing and uplifting the lives of consumers, so go ahead and put in some work and let that award-winning product work for you.
EAT, SLEEP, WIN, REPEAT
The only thing better than one award is multiple awards. Most awards have different jury panels, different audiences, and different perks. Applying for different awards not only help validate your work further, they also mean more people are seeing your work, increasing your chances of being taken more seriously in the international circuit. Different awards also offer different perks. Some legacy awards offer trophies or certificates, but also give you immense amounts of credibility, while others offer cash prizes. The idea is being able to pick an award that benefits you with perks that not only help your product grow to its full potential but help you as a designer flourish too. The A’ Design Award has multiple perks that benefit the design as well as the designer. You aren’t just entitled to the trophy, certificate, and international gala, but your design receives a Good Design Mark, and you as a designer receive a Proof of Creation document that helps you establish ownership of your work. You also end up contributing to your country’s ranking on the World Design Ranking roster that gets updated every year! So make sure you review the perks that a particular design award gives you before applying for them… and when you do win the award, make sure you follow the aforementioned steps so that you extract every bit of benefit from the experience. All the best!