The design challenges are pretty self-explanatory – they’re design challenges. You may not have heard of them before, but there are plenty of them.
Typically, design challenges will be routinely defined tasks and often, but not always, based on a particular topic. Some are daily challenges for a set amount of time, often a month. You can find weekly, monthly or yearly challenges. And sometimes the challenges are one-time and can be done entirely at your own pace.
Why should you participate in design challenges?
The main reason to participate in design challenges is to get better at your craft. But there can also be many other benefits. Since many design challenges aren’t limited to a specific media type, it gives you the opportunity to experiment with new techniques, tools, and other things you don’t typically try for more serious work.
With Procreate supporting the illustration hemisphere, it even lets you go digital with some typically traditional challenges. This allows you to quickly step out of your old comfort zones and expand your creative abilities.
Design challenges don’t always have to be about trying something new or stepping out of your comfort zone – they’re also great for practicing something you’re already good at. After a month-long design challenge, you should have around 30 new coins to add to your portfolio. So get into a new creative habit and add a challenge to your weekly schedule.
Let’s discuss some of the best places you can start participating in design challenges.
1. Canva Weekly Design Challenge
Canva’s design studio is great for creating designs for social media, posters, presentations, and more. But they also offer a weekly design challenge to expand your work into new areas.
Go to the Canva homepage, find the learn and play section, then click Weekly Challenge. This takes you to the design challenge page, a pre-designed canvas. As this is a weekly challenge, this web changes every Wednesday with something new.
The challenge could be designing an Easter egg hunt or using a banana as a design element. All challenges must be completed using Canva only; other than that, the rules are minimal.
Is there a price? Yes. While most design challenges offer the prize of complacency, Canva also offers a real prize. A handful of entrants will have their creations featured on Canva’s Instagram feed, and one weekly winner will receive a one-year subscription to Canva Pro for free as well as a $50 Canva Print voucher.
Once your design is complete, it’s easy to get in. Simply upload your final design to Instagram with the hashtag #Canvadesignchallenge to be considered.
2. Adobe XD Creative Challenge
Behance is the portfolio website provided by Adobe for creators to showcase their work. Behance has a lot to offer, but it’s also the home of the Adobe XD Creative Challenge. These are challenges in UX/UI design using Adobe XD.
Once registered or signed in using your Adobe credentials, you will receive a daily challenge for five days via a Creative Cloud notification. To join the community conversation, chat with other creators, or share comments, you need to sign up for Discord.
Each week brings a new set of five challenges, along with a live video for each challenge to help you figure it out and ask questions. It’s a great idea to get inspiration from web design before starting UX/UI projects. You can submit your challenge attempt via Discord to receive feedback or upload your final design to your Behance portfolio to share your work.
Unlike the Canva Design Challenge, the Adobe XD Creative Challenge does not offer prizes. Its purpose is to push your UX/UI design skills and add thoughtful designs to your portfolio. You will increase your skills with things like modern website designs, loading animations or mobile ordering app.
Briefbox offers design and artwork prompts that you can download and create at your own pace. It’s less of an institutionalized challenge and instead provides one-on-one prompts to inspire or build confidence in your wallet.
Mailbox design prompts are encouraged for new grads who need to build their portfolio, but anyone can participate in these design ideas. There’s also no reason you should keep the ideas numerical or follow the instructions to the letter. They are for inspiration.
Some of Briefbox’s prompts are only available at premium prices; however, to increase your skills and confidence, the price is worth it.
4. 36 days type
36 Days of Type is a long-running creative challenge involving many artists, illustrators, and designers. 36DoT is an annual challenge that lasts for – you guessed it – 36 days. One day for each letter of the Latin alphabet, plus an additional 10 days for the numbers 0-9. The schedule changes every year, so submission dates do not stay the same.
Submission is done via an Instagram post with two hashtags: one for the project (#36Daysofty) and one for the letter or submission number of the day depending on the schedule. Submissions can be in any medium, including video, and should ideally be 1080×1080 to fit Instagram’s square size.
Although this is not a formal contest and many designers enter simply for themselves, 36DoT posts their top picks on the 36DoT Instagram feed and other project accounts. It’s a great challenge to share your name with other creatives. And you can even turn your handmade typeface into a font when the 36 days are up.
Similar to 36 Days of Type, Inktober is another annual challenge with a hint in the name. Inktober was born from a daily invitation to create an inked drawing throughout the month of October. Each daily one-word prompt can be something like “Spark”, “Fuzzy”, “Pressure”, or “Pick”.
While its premise remains the same, which is to encourage illustration, its medium has changed over time. Today, many artists, illustrators, and designers use both digital media and traditional techniques to create their Inktober submissions.
This challenge focuses on improving and sharing art. There is no prize and no official body. Although the real Inktober challenge is to complete all 31 prompts for 31 days of October, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it once every other day or even once a week, as long as it helps you develop a creative habit and to improve your job. .
Build your skills with design challenges
While we haven’t provided a complete list of all the creative challenges available, these five are some of the most popular and easily accessible. With each challenge, you will practice and learn new skills. It’s worth trying each at least once, especially if you’re in a creative rut or a bit lacking in practice.
A creative challenge is a great way to stay in the right frame of mind, and you can also pair it with wellness challenges to stay on track.
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