Why You Should Enter Print’s RDA

So: Should you enter Print’s Regional Design Annual?

You’ve already heard us talk about the benefits the competition can have on a designer’s career. So we reached out to a few of last year’s winners to see what they have to say about the RDA and its impact.

Tad Carpenter
2014 RDA: Toro y Moi Poster — Tad Carpenter Creative, Kansas City, MO

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Why did you enter the RDA?
We enter the RDA every year. And each year we are lucky enough to be accepted into the annual we are honored. But, there is more to it. It’s an honor to be part of this club, an honor to be part of this community of people making things better. Print showcases these things and these people making our experience better. Each annual it is an honor to be a member of that group.

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
The benefits of winning the PRDA for us is an internal victory. So much great work is done everyday in our country. And if a single piece can be highlighted as a winner, that gives a designer great pride to keep making what they love to make.

Has appearing in the RDA had an impact on your business or career?
Yes. Being a part of the RDA adds validity to what you are doing. As designers and artists, self doubt is natural. Being accepted into the RDA reminds you to push on, keep making what you know you should be making.


Miche Ratto
2014 RDA: “Who the F#%K is Charlie Crist?” Miami New Times, Miami: Miche Ratto (art director/designer); Miami New Times (client)

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Why did you enter the RDA?
I’ve been reading Print magazine since I began studying graphic design more than 15 years ago. I remember waiting for the RDA issue to come out every year and see what was going on around the country with regards to design. It was always something that I strived to be a part of.

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
Aside from being featured among some of the most amazing designers in the country, I see it as a far-fetched goal I somehow managed to achieve.


Ben Seal
2014 RDA: 2013 LaCrosse Boots “Hunt” Campaign — Seal Ideas, Indianapolis

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Why did you enter the RDA?
When you think you’ve done great work, you enter it in the Print RDA. It’s just—you know—what you do.

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
For us, it’s not about bragging rights or ego. It’s about the sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing people out there—people you really respect—appreciate your work.

Has appearing in the RDA had an impact on your business or career?
Yes. Our work appeared in an online article called “10 Inspiring Advertising Designs.” That article alone was probably our greatest new business driver of the year.


Tyler Gross
2014 RDA: The Feed LP Packaging — Tyler Gross Illustration, Denver

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Why did you enter the RDA?
I entered the RDA so that my work could be judged against the nation’s best designers and illustrators. Since college I have used the RDA as a model for what’s good in the industry and it has been a goal of mine to be featured in it.

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
Bragging rights, exposure and a sense of accomplishment knowing that my work stands up with the best in the country.


Irasema Rivera
2014 RDA: Inspiration Collected, Brochure and Identity | Irasema Design, New York City 

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Why did you enter the RDA?
I entered the Print Regional Design awards because this award is seen as a high achievement within the design community and externally gives you something to promote. Personally, it is acknowledgement from the industry of design excellence.

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
The visibility of my work on a large scale is something that is hard to achieve when you are a small operation; with this award that is possible. Also it gives credibility that can be seen by future clients as well as other design firms. In one word-PRESTIGE!

Has appearing in the RDA had an impact on your business or career?
Yes, it has caught the attention of prospective clients as well as vendors.


Amanda Acevedo
2014 RDA: MLK Day Awareness Posters Self-Promotion — Amanda Acevedo, Niles, IL

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Why did you enter the RDA?
I had been working on my self-promotion posters as a task to challenge myself, stay fresh and add new work to my portfolio outside of freelance. I chose to design posters about MLK Day because I have always been inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. and also strongly believe in equality—I wanted to do a project that was personal to me, expressed an important issue (very much still relevant today), and would encourage others to keep moving toward civil rights. I entered Print’s RDA because I was happy with how my project evolved into a campaign with a clear concept and design that showcased the words—the message. It was my first time entering, and I thought I really had nothing to lose, so I went for it as a solopreneur. And, I’m thrilled that I did!

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
Since Print has been around for decades (just about 75 years, right?) and is respected in its industry, as a Regional Design Annual winner you gain NATIONAL recognition, exposure and validation. Their recognition gives me credibility and the opportunity to show my work on a bigger landscape as a freelancer—to designers, art directors, creative directors, agencies and clients. On a personal level, I have more confidence to pursue work opportunities, as well as gratefully putting a feather in my professional hat.

Has appearing in the RDA had an impact on your business or career?
Yes. More exposure and career recognition so far. On Twitter through a Print tweet about my posters, I received the most Twitter action ever—favoriting of my work, compliments, and around a dozen new followers. A fellow graphic designer expressed interest in purchasing my posters and we took our conversation offline. Someone wanting to buy my work—the highlight of my career (aside from winning)! He now owns a letterpress set of my campaign and I’ve become sort of a mentor giving career advice and solicited feedback on his work. I believe this will be ongoing for a time to come and am happy to help someone early in their career.


Geoff German
2014 RDA: Concho Resources 2012 Annual Report — Squires & Company, Dallas

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Why did you enter the RDA?
The Print Regional Design Annual provides, for those selected, exposure at a national level and gives you the opportunity to have your company’s work featured beside top-tier design agencies and branding firms. It also provides a creative benchmark for all design companies to aim for.

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
The major benefit is having the creative work you do validated and recognized by a group of the most respected professionals in the business. The credibility that recognition establishes goes a long way to forging a lasting trust with our clients.

Has appearing in the RDA had an impact on your business or career?
Absolutely. It gives a small agency in Dallas, Texas, the ability to be recognized at a national level and call ourselves peers of larger agencies. That makes the act of selling our design services to prospective clients much easier.


Amy Pastre
2014 RDA: Garnish & Gather Identity | Stitch Design Co., Charleston, SC

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Why did you enter the RDA?
Entering the Print Regional Design Annual is something we make sure to do every year at Stitch. We love seeing the work that is happening in different areas of the country and want to be a part of that conversation.

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
It’s important as a designer to see your work recognized. Having our work included in Print’s RDA Annual is one of the highest forms of recognition.


Craig Welsh
2014 RDA appearance: Kieran Timberlake Poster | Go Welsh, Lancaster, PA

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Why did you enter the RDA?
RDA is the most widely representative body of graphic design work produced in the USA each year. Additionally, we’re working to keep the streak alive; nine years in a row that Go Welsh has had work included in the RDA.

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
RDA exposure helps to bolster industry credibility of the work produced at the studio.

Has appearing in the RDA had an impact on your business or career?
Yes. Recruiting. We’ve had a regular flow of interest in our work over the years after designers have seen pieces in the RDA. There have been several instances of designers having reacted to our work in the RDA and then having been hired as interns or full-time staff members.


Christopher Simmons
2014 RDA: SFMOMA Modern Ball — Save-the-Date | MINE™, San Francisco 

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Why did you enter the RDA?
Entering work in competitions is one of the ways designers share ideas, establish benchmarks of excellence and inspire one another.

What do you see as the benefits of appearing in the RDA?
Having one’s work recognized by influential organizations and publications is an opportunity to influence where design is headed—aesthetically, culturally and philosophically.

Has appearing in the RDA had an impact on your business or career?
Yes. Whenever our work appears in a competition we see a spike in inquiries and applications from young and aspiring designers; it helps us connect with some exceptional new talent.


Print’s Regional Design Annual 2015: Enter Today!
The 2015 Regional Design Annual is open. Don’t miss your chance to have your work reviewed by the best minds in design today and to be spotlighted in our most popular issue of the year—the industry’s most prestigious and well-respected annual.

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