Deadline March 28: Annual design contest offers $500 prize to student or recent alumni

February 22, 2021

The Friends of VCU Libraries invite current students and alumni of the previous five years (2016 - 2020) to submit designs for a T-shirt and other uses. Deadline for submissions is March 28. The prize is $500.

The design prompt is: What is your interpretation of VCU Libraries?

Judging criteria will include:

  • Creative execution
  • Interpretation of VCU Libraries
  • Effectiveness for T-shirt design

The contest is open to all students--full- or part-time, undergraduate or graduate-level, or alumni of the last five years. The judging committee will include representatives from the Friends of the VCU Libraries board, VCU Libraries faculty and School of the Arts faculty.

The creator of the winning work will receive a $500 prize. The artwork will be printed on a T-shirt that will be sold to raise funds for VCU Libraries. 

In addition, participating artists’ designs will be shared on social media, including the image-sharing platform Flickr, and may be gathered into an exhibit for the Cabell Screen. Submitted designs also may be featured on other VCU Libraries’ digital or printed materials. Artists whose work is used by VCU Libraries on materials other than the T-shirt will receive a modest honorarium. Artists retain copyright to their designs. 

  • Deadline for submissions: Sunday, March 28 at midnight
  • Judging will take place: week of March 29
  • The winner will be announced: Friday, April 9  

T-shirts will be sold via an online campaign beginning in April. After the two- week campaign, shirt orders will be printed and fulfilled by Bonfire

How to submit your design 

Label your file with your last name and submit to this Google folder. You may enter more than one design. If you do so label the file with last name and number of the submission. Be sure to fill out the permissions form too.

Required File Format

The design must be submitted as editable “vector” files—AI, EPS, PDFs, SVG’s or a layered and editable PSD file. 

Submitted designs that are not in the requested file types will be disqualified from the contest judging. 

Technical parameters (more information about printing available on the Bonfire site)

  • Printable area: 11" wide x 14" tall
  • Flat colors only—cannot print gradients, shading or photos
  • Three (3) color maximum
  • We print in Pantone Coated colors, if there are specific Pantone colors you want to use in your design, please include those Pantone numbers
  • The smallest font we can print is 12-point
  • The smallest line/stroke we can print is 2 pt
  • The winning image will be printed on the following tee shirt styles: premium unisex tee, women’s slim fit tee, v-neck unisex tee, premium unisex tank, pullover hoodie, and premium youth tee.
  • Designer should keep in mind that the shirts will come printed in a variety of colors (including dark heather grey, black, charcoal, midnight navy, turquoise, purple rush, red, orange, espresso, white) and design an image that will convey appropriately.

Order information: Campaign will be open for at least two months, orders fulfilled and mailed on a rolling basis.


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