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Can Designers Submit Animations or Mockups Of Designs To Contests?

by Anne Carton Tweet - in Graphic Design


Last updated on February 6th, 2023

Mockups are part of the design industry to demonstrate a design’s impression and worth. Knowing that clients will imagine placing a design work such as a logo on their business cards, brochures, signage, packaging levels, and websites, designers send their design work with mockups of products. But that is not always the case. So, here we will see whether designers submit animations or mockups of designs to contests or not.

Clients generally want to see a design in its totality to know how it will look on products to the customers. They want to ensure that a design catches the attention of potential customers in real-life situations as well.

So, a graphic design such as a logo design, packaging, or label design itself may look professional. But a client still doubts if it will look equally impressive on different products as well.

Remember that viewers or customers notice a design printed on a product in the background of that product’s shape and design. Therefore, a design in itself may be unique and impressive in isolation, while it may look different when printed on a product. Clients wish for an impressive design that looks great when seen against different backgrounds.

That is why mockups are so important from clients’ perspectives. However, mockups and animations are not welcome everywhere, with some restrictions and conditions stated. So, the question is :

Can a designer send mockups and animations of designs to clients?

Well, that depends on the policy of the design marketplace where design contests are held. If you are working on a design project on a one-to-one basis, then it is between the client and you.

If the client requests animations and mockups of the design, you may be sending them along with the flat or static designs such as logo, brochure, business cards, etc.

Conversely, most graphic design marketplaces do not allow sending additional creative pieces with the main design when submitting it to a client in response to a design contest.

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What is Desighill’s policy about mockups in contests?

Designhill, the leading creative marketplace, has mentioned in its design submission policy that the designers can send mockups of their designs. So, designers can show clients how the logo will look on a product.

But the designers cannot send additional creative pieces to the client with the main design such as a logo, responding to a contest. This means while designers can send designs in routine mockups, they cannot submit designs in specially created mockups. So, a designer cannot send fully-designed mockups with the main design.

For example, you are not allowed to create a fully-designed business card as a mockup for a logo created under a logo design contest. In that case, the business card is treated as a separate creative design.

As per Designhill’s code of conduct, such a mockup is considered as a designer offering free additional work while the contest is about another design. The marketplace takes that as an unfair advantage.

To discourage this unfair practice, Designhill may suspend or put on hold such an account offering extra work to a client that falls outside of the realm of a contest. Furthermore, Designhill does not allow submitting animated GIFs with the main design in Contests.

However, designers can send animated GIFs in banner ad contests. You can also send the animation to clients with whom you are working on 1-to-1 Projects. The designers can also include animations in their Portfolios.

So, we can conclude that Designhill does not permit designers to submit their designs under contests in creative mockups. Animation GIFs also are not allowed.

However, in some design contests, such as Banner Ad contests, you can send your banner ads in creative mockups. In that case, ensure that your mockups are impressive designs.

Some Considerations To Make When Creating Your Mockups:

  • Create Your Mockup In The Proper Format – Make sure that you send the mockup to the client in the required format. You should prefer a raster format which is usually the one for most graphic designs. But first, learn about the file requirements for a design contest before creating a mockup.
  • Avoid Cluttered Backgrounds – Try to have a simple presentation of mockups so that clients can view the design even when working on 1-to-1 projects.
  • Show It Against A Branding Image – It would be good to create a mockup that speaks for the client’s brand. Then, set your main design at the front of the image.
  • Show It On and Off A Mockup – Ensure that while using mockups, you show the design without mockups as well. That helps clients to evaluate the design from both perspectives.

If a design contest allows you to send the main design with creative mockups, the first thing to note is a disadvantage. A designer may rely on a creative mockup that will sell a substandard design.

Conversely, a poorly designed mockup can ruin the impact of an otherwise impressive design, which may mislead the clients.

Overall, mockups are there just to give the client an indication of how that design will look from different perspectives on multiple products. So, a stock mockup with a design marketplace can also serve the purpose well. It means that even if a design contest does not allow mockups and animation, your submitted unique designs will make an impact on clients.

If you are a graphic designer, search for multiple design contests at Designhill. Find out whether or not a contest allows you to submit designs with creative mockups. Go ahead and create designs to win a contest even if it allows only simple and routine mockups

Wrapping Up

Designers use mockups to let a client have a different perspective of a design and imagine how it will look in reality on multiple products. But most design contests do not allow designers to submit designs with creative mockups as that becomes another piece of creative work. This leads to an unfair advantage as the designer is offering extra creative work to the client besides the main design under the contest. Animations also are not permissible for the same reason.

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Anne Carton is a small business consultant, designer and an enthusiast blogger working with Designhill, one of the fastest-growing custom design marketplace. She has authored several blogs, articles and editorials on various topics related to interactive content, concerning design, social media strategies, growth hack strategies, digital marketing and e-commerce. Facebook | Twitter

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