how to use design contests

How To Use Design Contests To Find Freelance Jobs

If you’re having a tough time finding design jobs, you should consider joining a few design contests.

Graphic design is one of the most popular skills in freelancing. As a result of its high demand, the competition for graphic design jobs is quite extreme.

There are millions of graphic designers on marketplaces like UpWork and competing for design jobs all the time. And others who offer to design logos for $5 on sites like Fiverr only make this problem worse.

It’s no wonder why most graphic designers have a hard time landing jobs.

Of course, there are many other ways graphic designers can make money online. And one of the lesser-known ways is to join design contests.

But are these design contests effective? How do they work? Let’s find out.

What Is A Design Contest?

what is design contest

A design contest is like a competition that you can participate in to compete with other designers to win a monetary prize. A client creates a contest, set a specific amount of money as the prize, and chooses a winner at the end of the contest.

I know it sounds just like trying to land a job from a freelance marketplace but design contests are different. When you join a contest, you have a higher chance of winning the prize. Because clients award you based on your skills, not your proposal.

How It Works

When you join a design contest, you submit a design as your entry. For example, if you want to join a logo design contest, you can design a logo using the provided specifications and submit it. If the client likes your work, they will award you the prize.

It’s not easy as it sounds though. There will be dozens of other designers competing for the same job. But, if you pick your contests carefully, understand the client’s needs, and have the skills to create killer designs, you’ll have a much higher chance of winning.

You might be wondering what happens to your designs if you don’t win. Well, the client can only pick one winner and they can use only one design. So if you don’t win, you can still use your design however you want.

How To Find Design Contests

There are a few different ways you can find design contests. Some brands often use social media to host contests and some use job boards. But the most reliable way to find design contests is to use a website that hosts them.


For example, Hatchwise is a creative agency that hosts design contests on its website. Using a website like Hatchwise is much safer and more beneficial. Because they have years of experience hosting contests.

These sites also have sets of rules to protect both the freelancer and the client. This way, clients can’t take all the designs and disappear. They have to pick a winner and award the prize.

Pros and Cons of Joining Design Contests

pros and cons of deisgn contests

Much like using most other methods to find freelance work, design contests also have benefits and downsides.

The biggest downside to joining design contests is having to compete for the job. You will be competing against dozens of other skilled freelancers so you’ll have to work hard to win.

As a result, your chances of winning will be very low. You will often have to deal with the anxiety and depression that comes after a contest ends.

But, on the bright side, you won’t have to lower yourself to a bidding war to land the job, which is common practice on freelance marketplaces.

You get to win the client by showing your skills.

And even if you didn’t win a contest, you get to keep the design. You can show it off on your personal portfolio. Or even submit it to a different contest to try your luck

Should You Join Design Contests?

Needless to say, design contests are not the best way to land freelance jobs.

But, if you’re new to graphic design, they are perfect for practicing your skills. Design contests will train you on how to craft different types of designs. And you’ll have a chance at winning a prize while you’re at it.

I often encourage freelancers to do free work if they have to when starting out. Because it helps to build a reputation and practice your skills. Design contests are perfect for this task as well.


Images via