Communication Design Educators Awards

Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Awards is a competition. We offer recognition in 4 academic categories in the field of Communication Design:

  • Scholarship: Publication
  • Scholarship: Creative Works (design research, creative production, and/or professional practice)
  • Teaching
  • Service  (departmental, institutional, community)

The purpose of these awards is to showcase design excellence and ingenuity in the academic study of design.



Eligible candidates must hold a teaching or research position (full-time faculty or teaching adjuncts) at an accredited college or university who offers education in communication design or related fields.

Individuals or teams may apply. Applicants may not receive more than one award in a given year, nor awards for two consecutive years within the same category.

Nomination Process

We ask mentors and colleagues to identify outstanding creative work, publication, teaching, or service is done by educators in our field and to nominate these individuals for an award.

How the nomination process works

You are invited to nominate a colleague’s creative work, publication, teaching, and service. Our short online nomination form will automatically notify your colleague that their project has been recommended for an award.

We will also contact the nominee to ensure they have received your recommendation and encourage them to submit their materials. All nominees are offered early submission to the awards allowing them to begin their entries immediately.


There is no self-nomination process. Nominations are not required to enter the awards competition. Simply submit your materials using the online forms listed on this page.


Scholarship: Publication This category is for published journal articles, books, monographs, and proceedings that demonstrate originality, rigor, impact, scope. The topic must be related to communication design and contribute to communication design’s theoretical, critical, historical and/or visionary foundations.

Scholarship: Creative Works This category is for creative projects that demonstrate originality, rigor, impact, scope. This includes communication design research, creative production and/or professional practice, exhibitions, competitions, and other communication design investigations. Contributions to communication design’s theoretical, critical, historical and/or visionary foundations are considered necessary for this award. All media are available for entry.

Teaching: This category is for innovation in education, pedagogy, instruction, content delivery, and student learning outcomes. Visionary curricular development, outstanding instructional quality, novel teaching methods, successful assignments and projects, and impact on student and alumni success are germane to this distinction. Teaching is the facilitation of learning through various methods, inclusive of heuristics, apprenticeships, internships, mentoring and collaborating, whether in studios, lectures, labs, learning abroad or remotely, and in-person or via distance learning technologies.

Service: This category is intentionally expansive. Service to the discipline of design can involve many areas: from service-learning projects involving on or off-campus clients to curating exhibits, to organizing conferences, to reviewing colleagues for tenure and promotion, to institutional leadership, to faculty governance, to professional consulting, to creating pro bono work, to producing design journalism in any medium – anything that serves the discipline of communication design within an educational environment in a positive way.

Application Process

Details, deadlines, jurors list, and recent announcements can be found in the Awards section of our Publications here.

All application materials must be in English. Materials for categories other than the Published Scholarly Work category may be in another language if accompanied by supporting materials in English to allow the jury to adequately assess the work.

Proposal Submission

  1. Complete the online entry form that requires the following information:
  • Name/s of the applicant with title and institutional affiliation
    Contact information (address, phone, email)
  • Title of Project
  • Category (Scholarship: Publication, Scholarship: Creative Work, Teaching, or Service)
  • Description of project and outcomes (not to exceed 500 words)
  • Supporting Materials: limited to 5-page medium resolution pdf of artwork; web links to websites, videos, other online resources; published documents or visual documents;
  • Bio of applicant/s (150 words per applicant)
  • A current Curriculum Vitae

2. Pay the $20 entry fee.

Award Process

A committee consisting of communication design educators of national standing and Design Incubation will serve as a jury. Design Incubation reserves the right to award multiple awards and also the right to award none. The decision of the jury is final.

Award Competition FAQs