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Eligibility questions

Who is eligible to enter the RGD Student Awards?
Students are eligible to enter any category if they are/were enrolled at the undergraduate level in Canada between September 2023 and August 2024. Students at the post-graduate level may submit entries into the categories: Accessible Design, UX, Information Design and Motion (students must be attending an eligible Canadian institution or be Canadian citizens).

What is the eligibility criteria? Will I be able to participate if my program ended in December 2023?
If you were enrolled in a program and have proof of enrolment in a recognized program between September 2023 and the entry deadline, you are eligible to enter.

Do I have to be an RGD Student Member to enter?
Non-Members may enter, but there is a $40 entry fee. RGD Student or Junior Affiliate Members enter for free. The fee for Student RGD Membership is $50 with Membership running until the end of August. The fee for Junior Affiliate Membership is $75 running for 12 months. Find all the benefits of Membership in both categories here.

I am enrolled in an undergraduate program in Canada, but I am not a Canadian citizen. Am I eligible to enter?
Yes, students attending public and private institutions listed as a designated learning institution by the Canadian government are eligible to enter.

I am a Canadian citizen or permanent resident enrolled in an undergraduate program outside of Canada. Am I eligible to enter?
Yes, Canadian citizens and permanent residents attending public institutions outside Canada are eligible to enter.

I was a Student Award winner in 2023, can I enter this year?
Yes, you may enter again if you submit different work than the project that won previously. A project that received an Award may not win again in a future year.

Can I enter a project that I entered in a previous year?
Yes, you may enter a project that you previously entered if it was not recognized with an Award. We encourage repeat entrants to take advantage of the feedback they received, as well as to review the past winners section to improve their previous submission.

Submission questions

Does the project have to have been completed in the 2023/2024 school year?
No. There is no eligibility criteria related to the time that the project was created, provided you were enrolled at the under or post-graduate level at the time the work was created.

Can I submit a first year project to be considered for the first year award even though I’m now in my 3rd year?
No, you must be a first year student as designated by your program as of January 2024 to be eligible for the Award for First Year Students.

How do I submit entries?

  1. Go to our Judgify Awards Page.
  2. Click ‘Submit an Entry’ and create a New User account (note: an RGD Member login will not work. Create a new account to log in to Judgify).
  3. Submit entries through the online submission form.
  4. For each project you enter, define the client and/or target audience. Describe how your design solution is relevant to them.
  5. For each entry, submit no less than 1 and no more than 6 images of your project (1,000 pixels wide across recommended sizing).
  6. If you’re submitting a website or motion graphic, ensure that a URL to the project or a movie file is uploaded.
    Please note that you can start the process at any time and save your work as you go.

What are the file requirements for submissions?
Accepted file types include jpeg, png, tiff, eps, gif and pdf, with a maximum file size of 50 MB each. We recommend that images be 1000px wide.

Can I use my personal email instead of my college student email to register? Do I need to use the email on file with the RGD?
You could use any email address for your submission. Please use the name you are registered at your school with to verify your Membership.

How do I enter the First Year Award?
When completing the Entrant Profile on Judgify, there is a question to indicate if you are interested in being considered for this Award. Simply select “Yes” if you are in your first year of study in a post-secondary program. Please note: You are not eligible if you are in the first year of a post-graduate program.

Project and category questions

Can I enter the same project into more than one category?
Yes, you may enter one project into as many categories as you think are relevant. The same packaging project, for example, can be submitted in both the category packaging, the category for storytelling AND the category for typography.

When submitting the same project into multiple categories, we encourage you to think about the following:

  • Ensure that your entry has justification within that category.
  • That you submit a tailored rationale for each category entry.

Can I enter a group project?
Yes, you can enter group projects. On the submission form, there is a spot to include credits. You can credit your group members, teacher, etc. If your project is selected as a winner, the prize money will be issued to you as the person who submitted the work. It would be up to you if you want to distribute any of it to your group members.

Is there a category for environmental graphic design/wayfinding or signage?
Yes, the Entro Award for Placemaking Design is intended for environmental graphic design projects as well as other projects that help define a place. In this category, you could submit a poster for an event, a website for a tourist destination OR a wayfinding system for a university. The SLD Award for Retail Design is for the design of a physical store or a virtual store created in the digital environment, so this could include signage and/or wayfinding if it was for a retail environment. Signage and wayfinding projects could also be entered for the Social Good Design Award (if the project was in this area) or the Storytelling Award.

Can I submit a project with elements that are not my own? Or based on an existing design?
Yes, you can submit a project with elements, such as photography, illustration, logo (as part of a website/poster, for example) that is not your own if it is not the majority of the project. You must outline this on the entry form. You may also submit a project based on an existing design, but keep the judging criteria in mind. If your original design doesn't address the judging criteria, the judges may not rate it as well as a project that is completely original.

Can I submit projects that include AI-generated images and other elements?
Yes, in particular, you should submit such projects into the new category, "Augmented Creativity", which is specifically for projects that have an AI-generated component. Like in the answer above, make sure to outline on the entry form, any elements that are not entirely your own and explain how they came to be a part of your project.

Judging and preparation questions

What are the judges looking for?
Our judges are industry professionals from across Canada. While we can’t speak for them, they look at all entries through the same judging criteria. We encourage you to review the judging criteria and self-judge your work in advance to ensure you are submitting the best entries possible.

What makes a winning entry?
It's very difficult to answer this; however, some of the things to think about before you submit your entry include:

  • Do the visuals I am submitting showcase my work in the best possible way? Are they of good digital quality?
  • Do I need to consider showing additional views of my entry to ensure the story is told fully?
  • Have I clearly and concisely explained my entry's purpose and intended end use?
  • Is there anything I can include that will make my entry stand out from other entries?

What is a rationale?
With each entry, we ask you to provide valuable information for the judges that reflects your rationale for your work. The judges take this information and use it as part of their judging process.

When completing your rationale for each entry, consider the following:

  • Remember that your rationale explains the reasoning behind your work: what you did, why and who it was for. This is the purpose of your work and its reason for being.
  • Be clear, concise and to the point. There is a limited word count.
  • Don’t use big words or jargon. Don't use words unless you know what they mean.
  • Don’t waste word count on explaining the obvious. Your rationale should enhance what the judges cannot see. For example, your entry might be blue. The judges should be able to see that from the visuals you submit. They want to know why the entry is blue. How does your selection of the colour blue help achieve the project's objectives and reach the intended audience?
  • Read your rationale back to yourself, then give it to someone outside of design to read it. If you (or they) don’t understand it, then chances are, our judges won’t either. Remember, be clear, concise and to the point.