If you have a big idea, especially if you're a designer, the Industrial Designers Society of America (better known as the IDSA) annual competition is the place to show off your spark of creative genius.
IDEA® (International Design Excellence Awards) is an international design competition honoring design excellence in products, ecodesign, interaction design, packaging, strategy, research and concepts. Entries are invited from designers, students and brands worldwide.
The competition opened to submissions on December 1 and runs through February 10 (with a Feb. 17 late deadline already announced). Finalists start receiving notifications that they've made the first cut on March 20, and the final judging is from May 2-4. Winners will be announced on July 2, and the ceremony is on August 18.
At a whopping $300 per entry as an IDSA member, and $400 per entry for non-members, you may ask yourself why spend all the money? The short answer: the benefits of entering the contest and the experience gained are well worth it, not to mention the pay-off for winning.
Winners receive coverage in hundreds of print and broadcast media around the world, including lifetime coverage in IDSA's online gallery of winners with bios, pics, and links for designers and companies. Gold, Silver and Bronze winners get an inclusion in IDSA's Innovation Yearbook. The winning designs will also be featured in ISDA's international Conference, and will be licensed to display the IDEA winner logo on packaging, advertising and merchandising materials. It's more than publicity, the IDSA website notes: "IDEA winners are consistently recognized as examples of great design uniquely capable of influencing the world around us and shaping the future."
As proof of the clout that IDEA winners enjoy, witness the connection between the IDEA competition and Interbrand's Best Global Brands. Nineteen of the top 25 companies named Best Global Brands 2011 (or 76%) offer products or services that have been honored with IDEAs for the design excellence. Seven of the top 10 have an ongoing commitment to design excellence that has earned their designers a staggering 145 Gold, Silver, Bronze IDEAs.
Whether you're a creative director at a Fortune 500 company or a student, IDSA is seeking to give your big IDEA a global launchpad. Get started here! For inspiration, check out some of last year's winners: