Friends of VCU Libraries annual design contest offers $500 prize

February 12, 2024

The Friends of VCU Libraries invite students and recent alumni (2019 - 2023) to submit designs for use on VCU Libraries T-shirt and other promotional materials. Deadline for submission is April 21. The prize is $500.

In keeping with the recent opening of the new Reflection Room, the 2024 design prompt is: VCU Libraries: Reflection

Judging criteria will include:

  • Creative execution
  • Interpretation of the VCU Libraries as a whole – not just Cabell Library or the Health Sciences Library
  • Showcasing and celebrating the diversity of VCU Libraries
  • Effectiveness for use on a T-shirt

The contest is open to all students– full or part-time, undergraduate or graduate level–and  alumni of the last five years. Previous winners are not eligible to win. Designers  may submit more than one design.

The creator of the winning design will receive a $500 prize. Winning 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 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. Submitted artwork not selected as the winner, may be used by VCU Libraries and artists will receive a modest honorarium. Artists retain copyright to their designs. Previous winners 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019.

To submit a design

The deadline is: No later than Sunday, April 21, 2024 at midnight.

  • Submit your design using this form
  • Label the file with your last name
  • If you enter more than one design, label the file with your last name and the number of the submission.
  • Submit the design in a PDF file.
  • Submitted designs not in the requested file type will be disqualified from judging. The winner will be required to submit an editable vector file

Technical parameters from the T-shirt maker

  •     Printable area: 11" wide x 14" tall
  •     Flat colors only—cannot print gradients, shading or photos
  •     Three (3) color maximum
  •     We print in Pantone 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 and design an image that will convey appropriately.


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