RGD Student Award advice from past winners

RGD's Student Awards is now open and accepting projects from students enrolled in post-secondary design-related programs in Canada or a Canadian student studying abroad. To help you decide what projects to submit and how to stand out to the judges, we asked past Student Award winners to provide some helpful advice.


Do your research early

Take time to review the categories early and keep them in mind as you're working on projects throughout the school term. Submit to categories that fit best with your skills and interests. You are more likely to succeed with your submissions if you choose project topics and submission categories that you are most passionate about.

- Jonathan Collie, Student RGD, 2018 Award winner


Past winning projects are posted on the RGD website so take a look at what other students have submitted in the past to give you an idea of what's required for project submissions. Plan out your submissions, prepare them in advance of the deadline, and leave time to proofread, refine and get feedback from your peers before you submit to ensure that you are submitting your best work.

- Jonathan Collie, Student RGD, 2018 Award winner


Presentation matters

Make sure to present your work in a professional way that is suited to the project specifically. If you are using mockups, take the effort to find the good ones, don't just settle for the first one you find. Using low quality mockups can distract and take away from your work and could potentially be the difference between a win and a runner-up. 

- Mackenzie Gooch, Provisional RGD, 2018 Award winner


Think about how you can show the work to its fullest advantage. It is sometimes hard to tell the story of the whole project in 5 images or less, so make sure those images maximize the full extent of the work. Look for visual cohesion within the images you submit, whether that be shooting printed material on a consistent coloured background or using a similar angle throughout the images, this can help elevate the work. While the projects themselves are already complete, take the time to shoot them nicely or find a nice mockup to apply your designs to.

- Paul Twa, Provisional RGD, 2018 Award winner


(Written) communication is key

Be sure to take the time to answer the questions in your submission to ensure you are fully communicating what you want to say, proofread, and don't think you can rush the writing.

- Mackenzie Gooch, Provisional RGD, 2018 Award winner


When writing about the projects, consider what is essential for the judges to know. A lot of key insights into what made your design decisions necessary can only be communicated through writing. 

- Paul Twa, Provisional RGD, 2018 Award winner


Practice makes progress

Even if you are not sure if your work will win, it's useful to apply and go through the process. I found that I learned a lot the first time around and could put that knowledge to use when I applied again.

- Paul Twa, Provisional RGD, 2018 Award winner



Enter the RGD Student Awards to win cash prizes and have your work profiled across RGD communication channels! Final deadline: May 10.