Why should I enter the 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show?

Our show is considered to be one of the top three international shows for illustration. Unlike other major shows we look beyond our borders to invite illustrators from all over the world. Our international panel of judges are some of the top design directors, art directors, graphic designers, editors and illustrators working today. Not only is your work being seen by those who commission illustration, as a winner your exposure in our printed Annual, online site and digital edition is invaluable.

What areas of illustration are covered in the 3x3 Show?

Unlike any other show we have a multitude of categories. Our Professional Show includes animation, advertising, books, picture books, comics, corporate communication, covers, six categories of editorial illustration, ephemera, gallery, murals, packaging, posters, sci-fi, self-promotion, surface design, three-dimensional and unpublished. Our Student Show categories include animation, books, picture books, illustration and sci-fi.

Why so many categories for the 3x3 Show?

We feel it is more beneficial for illustrators to enter their work in specific categories as opposed to general categories. For example, instead of the broad Editorial category, we break ours down into specific uses i.e. portraits, sports, food & beverage, lifestyle and conceptual. This offers illustrators more chances to win. See our complete list of categories.

Who can enter the 3x3 Show?

Our show is open to all illustrators at all levels in all countries. In addition art directors, graphic designers, educators, editors and publishers may enter work they have commissioned. Work must have been produced, not necessarily published, prior to the show deadline.

Can I enter more than one show?

Yes. As an example, many times students enter not only the Student Show but also the unpublished category in our Professional Show.

Can I enter a piece in multiple categories?

Yes, however a separate entry form and entry fee must be submitted for each category.

Can I enter more than one category?

Yes, but you’ll need a separate entry form and payment for each.

Is there a limit to how many pieces I may enter?

No, there is no limit.

What entry materials do you require?

Print images must 1024 pixels on the longest side, 72 dpi, RGB, jpg. We will request hires files from all winners for reproduction. Animation entries may be entered as an URL, or uploaded as a mp4 or in QuickTime format (.mov). Animated gifs are also accepted. For books, comics or graphic novels enter the front cover with title and three to four representative spreads digitally.

How are the shows judged?

All judging is done digitally and independently over the span of two weeks. A second round will determine our ultimate winners and medalists, judges are given seven days to complete the final judging. Judges do not communicate with other judges. We’ve found there is undue influence when judging is done as a group. Each entry is judged either in or out and it takes a majority of judges’ votes to be accepted into any 3x3 Show. Honorable Mentions must receive at least half our judges’ votes.

All entries are anonymous; the judges only see an entry number, not a name.

Are there art directors on your jury?

Yes, the majority of our judges are art directors. And since we’re an international show a majority of our judges are from outside the United States.

What are the judges looking for?

The judges are looking for fresh ideas that enlarge the scope of illustration, further the cause of making illustration relevant among a much larger group of art directors and art buyers. They’re looking for images that engage, that make us think, that make us appreciate more fully the craft of illustration.

Do the judges have a quota for this show?

There is no quota; we let the judges decide how many or how few pieces are accepted in each show.

Who are this year’s judges?

Each year we name a show chair who is responsible for selecting our jury panel for each of our two shows. This year’s show chair is our own Design Director and Founder of 3x3, Charles Hively. View this year’s jury. You’ll note that we include an art director judge for our student show as well.

What are the awards?

Best of Show winners receive $1,500 and all Gold medal winners a $1,000 cash-value award. Prizes will total over $9,000.

All winners receive a complimentary eBook edition of the Annual.

All medalists receive a one-year subscription to 3x3 Magazine.

The Gary Powell Student Winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Best of Show and Gold medal winners receive our distinctive 3x3x3-inch cube, all other medalists, distinctive merit and merit winners are offered free embossed certificates. Honorable Mentions will receive a printable PDF certificate.

Awards are presented to the entrant unless otherwise specified. Additional medals and certificates are available for purchase.

How are the shows promoted?

All Winners will be featured in our printed Annual, digital edition and online gallery; our Honorable Mentions, online as well as listed in the Annual.

All awards will be promoted on our site and on all social media. A press release will be submitted to leading art and design publication worldwide for further exposure.

If I’m a student, can I enter my senior thesis as a Series?

Yes, as long as it is a cohesive theme.

Can you explain what a series is?

A series entry must have a central consistent theme, i.e. editorial article, sequential comic, book. Series are most often from a single article or book. All series will be judged as a whole.

When is the deadline?

March 25, 2022, midnight EST.

Is there an extended deadline?

Yes. If you miss our March 25th deadline we will add a $10 late fee (total) to each entry (Single or Series). Final deadline is April 1st; no entries will be accepted after midnight New York time on that date.

What are the entry fees?

  • Professional Show Fees
  • Single Entry: $35
  • Series Entry (2–5 images with same theme): $65($5 per each additional image, up to 10 images)
  • Student Show Fees
  • Single Entry: $15
  • Series Entry (2–5 images with same theme): $35($5 per each additional image, up to 10 images)

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and PayPal. We also accept checks and money orders in US Funds.

I’m having difficulty paying for or uploading my entries, who do I contact?

Please contact coordinator@3x3mag.com, we will respond as quickly as possible. Your work will be accepted without penalties.

If I’m a winner what will you use for reproduction?

We will request hires RGB files for each winning entry. We will then convert those images given our printer’s CMYK specifications.

When will the winners be announced?

Ninety-days following the deadline of the show. All entrants will receive an email announcement listing the winners, winners will be posted on our web site and announced on social media.

Will I have a chance to update the credits for my winning pieces?

Yes, we will request hires files and final credits for all winning pieces.

Is there a publication fee?

Yes, there is a publication fee of $85/entry—whether it’s a Single or a Series winner—to help offset the design, production, printing, distribution of the annual and eBook. By entering our show you agree to have your winning entries displayed in our Annual.

Student winners will not pay a publication fee.

Will I receive a copy of the Annual?

Yes, winners in our professional and student shows will receive a free digital edition of the Annual. Winners also receive a 33% discount on purchasing a print copy of the Annual.

When will the annual be produced?

The Annual will be produced and distributed in late 2022.

How is the annual distributed?

The Annual is distributed worldwide through our US, Canadian and European distributors at leading newsstands and bookstores. Digital editions are offered free of charge to art directors.

Will my winning pieces be shown online?

Yes, we will upload thumbnails of all winning images as soon as the Annual is distributed. There will be direct links to your site.

How will you promote my work to art directors?

We offer a complimentary eBook of the Annual to all art directors which has direct links to your site. We also offer art directors a substantial discount on the purchase of the print edition. There will be an online gallery of winners and announcements on social media and our site as well as press releases to industry media.

All Best of Show, medalists and distinctive merit winners will be exhibited in a pop-up gallery during the annual New York City Illustration Week in early November. Our cubes and certificates will be presented to those who attend. Light refreshments will be served.

Are there any other benefits to entering your show?

Winners will be invited to participate in our yearly 3x3 Illustration Directory, which is sent free to art directors and art buyers in the United States who commission illustration. Along with an online gallery with links to your site and an eBook, this advertising vehicle goes a long way towards fulfilling our mission of attracting more attention to illustration. As a winner you receive a substantial discount for advertising in our Directory.

What’s the difference between the Annual and the Directory?

The Annual is a juried competition while the Directory is a curated book. The Directory is offered free to art directors in both print and eBook formats. The Annual eBook is free to art directors and they receive a discount on the print edition.

If you have further questions, please contact us at coordinator@3x3mag.com