2020 Illustration Competition Deadline: January 10, 2020
Introduce your work to the world. Enter the most prestigious competition for creativity in illustration, the Communication Arts Illustration Competition. Any illustration first published or produced from January 2019 through January 2020 is eligible. Selected by a nationally representative jury of distinguished designers, art directors and illustrators, the winning entries will be distributed worldwide in the Communication Arts Illustration Annual, in print and digital editions, and on commarts.com, assuring important exposure to the creators of this outstanding work. As a service to art directors, designers and art buyers, a comprehensive index will carry contact information of the illustrators represented.
Each winning entrant will receive a personalized Award of Excellence, milled from solid aluminum, and award certificates issued for firms, individuals and clients.
CA’s Award of Excellence is one of the most-coveted awards in the industry. If chosen, winning places you in the highest ranks of your profession.
Read a behind-the-scenes look at how our competitions are judged.
What to Enter: Information on eligibility, categories and fees.
How to Enter: Information on preparation of entries and forms.
Illustration Competition FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about applications and file formats.
Student Category FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about submitting student entries.
Tips for Success: Seven things you should remember when entering our competitions.View Previous WinnersDownload Category PDF
What To Enter
Any illustration first published or produced from January 2019 through January 2020 is eligible. Entries may originate from any country. Descriptions in English are very important to the judges. Submission of entries acknowledges the right of Communication Arts to use them for publication and exhibition.
Illustration Competition Categories:
These categories are judged by the Illustration jury and will appear in the Illustration Annual. For a list of fees, please download the category PDF:
Advertising: ads, posters, music and product packaging, etc.
Books: covers, jackets, interiors, etc.
Editorial: consumer or trade magazines, newspapers, etc.
For Sale: posters, prints, greeting cards, licensing/stock, gallery sale, online store, etc.
Institutional: company/association publications, annual reports, catalogs, client websites, blogs, etc.
Motion/Animation: time-based media for film, television, video or web, etc.
Self-Promotion: promotion for illustrators, design firms, ad agencies, art schools, printers, paper companies, etc.
Unpublished: experimental/personal work not published.
Student Work: illustration or animation created for school assignments.
Entries must be registered no later than Midnight (Pacific Standard Time), January 10, 2020. Entries registered after that date require a late fee of $10 per entry. No entries can be registered after January 24, 2020.
Each illustration is a single entry. A printed piece with several illustrations must have a dot or some other mark indicating which specific single illustration is to be judged. If a single illustration isn’t indicated, the entry will be disqualified.
Campaigns or series are limited to five illustrations. If the entry has more than five illustrations, indicate which five are to be judged. If this isn’t indicated, the entry will be disqualified.Enter Now
How to Enter
All competition entries are processed through our online competition system.
Before you begin the process of entering a competition, please have the following information and materials ready. This will make the process go quickly:
• Your contact information for registration and notification.
• Title and basic credits for each project.
• Printed copies or digital files of work you want to submit. See below for file specs.
Please submit only one version of each entry (i.e.: do not send printed copies if you already uploaded digital files of the same entry). Entries can be submitted in the following formats:
Print Entries: Must be unmounted and sent to our office by mail/courier. Each illustration is a single entry. A printed piece with several illustrations must have a dot or some other mark indicating which specific single illustration is to be judged. If a single illustration isn’t indicated, the entry will be disqualified. Campaigns or series are limited to five illustrations. If the entry has more than five illustrations, indicate which five are to be judged. If this isn’t indicated, the entry will be disqualified. Do not tape series together. Any project over 18″ x 24″ must be submitted as digital images.
Digital Images: Must be RGB in JPG format with a maximum width of 1024 pixels and a maximum height of 768 pixels at 72 dpi. NO EXCEPTIONS. Digital images will be projected for the judges using an HD projector on a 6′ x 4′ screen.
Motion/Animation Entries: Must be in MOV, MP4 or MPG format, with a maximum file size of 1 GB. Include 4 seconds of black, no slates or bars, at the beginning of each video and 2 seconds at the end.
No entries will be returned. NO EXCEPTIONS. CA is not responsible for damage or loss of any entry. All entrants grant Communication Arts the right to reproduce work selected in the Illustration Competition on the Communication Arts website and in materials used to promote the magazine, the competition and/or future related promotions.
Preparation of Packages
All pieces sent in physical form must have an entry form taped to the back of the work. Do not send work in poster tubes as they are frequently damaged in transit. Non-United States contestants should mark each package “Materials for Contest Entry. No Commercial Value.” No provision will be made by Communication Arts for U.S. Customs or airport pickup. International entries should be sent by post or international courier. All entries must be received by the final deadline date.
Forms and Entry Fees
Once you have completed the registration process, a PDF with a receipt or invoice and entry forms for physical submissions will be generated. You must print, trim and attach the entry forms to the back of your physical entries. If the entry is a print-based campaign, you will tape an entry form to each piece included in the campaign. Entries on disk require an entry form taped to the outside of each disk case. Multiple digital files may be placed on a single disk. Please tape all applicable entry forms one on top of the other so we can flip through them to verify the contents of the disk. Do not send any entries without entry forms attached.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and PayPal through our online competition system. Charges for your entry fees will appear on your statement as (“Commarts”). We also accept checks, international money orders and wire transfers. Make checks payable to Communication Arts. Non-United States contestants wishing to pay by check must send a check in U.S. funds drafted on a U.S. bank. Please include the check or money order with your entries if you are delivering them via mail/courier. If your payment is being sent under a separate cover, please include a note with your entries indicating that the check or money order is coming under separate cover. If you submit all of your entries online, please send a copy of the invoice you print out at the end of the entry process with the check or money order. Please note on wire transfers: We require an additional fee of $25 (U.S.) to cover fees charged by the banks to process the transfer.
All entry submissions are final and entry fees are nonrefundable.
Mail entries to:
Communication Arts Illustration Competition
110 Constitution Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025-1107
(Via United States Mail, FedEx, UPS, etc. Entrants submitting from outside the U.S., please use an international courier.)
Notification of Acceptance
Only accepted entrants will be notified within two months after the final deadline date due to the number of entries we receive. Complete credits and any necessary material for the best possible reproduction in the Annual will be requested at that time.
If you have any other questions, you can reach us by: