Any web designer – amateur or pro – will tell you that their work is strictly for themselves. While they have paying clients, web design is one of those rare lines of work where workers can feel truly fulfilled and satisfied after a day’s work. Sure, there are times when you want to rip your hair out because of some technical glitch and there are days that turn into weeks where you sleep very little and drink way too much coffee.
But the end result is always totally worth it. Despite the thrill of designing a site from conception to completion, it’s still nice to be recognized for a “job well done” every once in a while. It also doesn’t hurt to put your Webby Award on your resume either.
Here are some of the most prestigious web design awards to write home about…
American Design Awards
The American Design Awards receives 30,000 submissions each year and is among one of the most recognized design awards organizations in the world. In their Monthly, Semi-Annual and Student Design competitions, they strive to find the most “creative, innovative and ethical” designs.
The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences’ Webby Awards have been around since 1996. It is perhaps the most hyped web design award of the year, attracting organization members like Arianna Huffington, Matt Groening, David Bowie, Richard Branson and Harvey Weinstein.
The Webbys get a lot of press from The New York Times, Wired, Elle and The LA Times, not to mention 750 media impressions worldwide, so this is one exclusive awards ceremony you won’t want to miss. The 14th Annual Webby Awards received a good 10,000 entries competing in over 100 website, advertising, online video, mobile and app categories.
Favourite Website Awards (FWA)
Since 2000, the Favourite Website Awards (FWA) has judged websites for design, navigation, graphics, content and personality. Previous winners have called this event “The Web Oscars” and “The Holy Grail of Web Awards.”
You’ll gain exposure under the “Recent Sites of the Day” thumbnails on their homepage, which gets over 4 million visits per month. Compete to win “Site of the Year,” as determined by judges, as well as the “People’s Choice Award” decided by online public vote.
The Web Marketing Association has been running the WebAwards program since 1997. You’ll compete in 96 industry categories from advertising and architecture to travel and universities. Each entry is judged based on design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use.
Design & Ad Awards (D&AD)
The Design & Ad Awards began in 1962 and is considered an elite troupe. The judges are not at all bashful about calling themselves “picky.” Imagine a board full of Simon Cowells assessing your work.
If you are one of the 16 lucky winners (out of 2,600+), then you have made it into the true ranks of excellence. If you are really lucky, then you may win the golden pencil or the ever-so-coveted black pencil.
What’s not to love about the Clios? Not only do you receive a lovely statue, but you get the prestige of knowing you smoked the competition in one of the biggest award programs of its kind (with more than 19,000 applicants).
The Clios primarily focus on excellence in design and advertising, but the “Interactive” category covers web design. More than 100 judges from 60 different countries will judge your work, but… no pressure!
The American Advertising Federation is huge! Every year, over 40,000 people compete for this prestigious award that includes not only website design, but also TV campaigns, brochures, magazine campaigns, posters, and packaging.
Keep This In Mind…
It’s important to remember that nothing in life is free. You will need to pay a fee to enter your web design into all these competitions, so…
- You’d better have a top-notch site
- You’ll need to choose your award programs wisely
- You should be prepared to shell out even more cash should you win, at which point you may need to pay for your award or your trip to the winners’ ceremony.
It may sound like a rocket, but it’s the nature of the beast. No guts, no glory!