How to Compete

New to Studio? Let’s get you started!


Studio holds competitions for many areas of graphic design and web and app UI/UX design. From mobile and tablet app design to logo contests, web design, and print, you’re sure to find an outlet for your creativity. Big name clients seek fresh ideas and unique concepts through Studio competitions and you’ll see contest prizes averaging over one thousand dollars. In addition to regular contest prizes, every Studio member has a chance to earn more through our tournaments and bonuses:

TCO13 – our yearly tournament offering more than $23,000 total cash prizes. You could become a finalist and win an all-expenses paid trip to the onsite Championship Finals just by competing in contests marked “TCO13” on Studio!

Studio Cup – our monthly tournament offering more than $5,000 total cash prizes to the designers who earn the most points just by competing in any Studio contest!

Referral Bonus – if you refer a friend to Studio, you could win a bonus based on that friend’s prize earnings for an entire 12 months!

How to Compete

Where do I register?

Studio is part of TopCoder, Inc. All registrations for TopCoder and Studio go through the same portal, so when you get to the registration screen, it’s important to check the Studio box as the type of registration you want when you become a TopCoder member.

OK, I am registered. How do I compete?

  1. Register for the contest you wish to enter. In order to view and download any supporting documentation for a contest, you must register for that contest. Registering does not mean you are obligated to compete.
  2. Sign and return your Assignment Document. All members must complete and return a standard assignment document before collecting prize money. You only need to do this once and you don’t have to do it before competing (but it’s a good idea). More information about the assignment can be found here.
  3. Learn about the two most common reasons a submission fails screening (copyright issues and font declaration problems) so that you can create a design that passes screening and gets into the hands of the client.

What is a “multi-round contest” and what do I need to know about checkpoints?

Most Studio contests have two rounds: Round 1 (checkpoint) and Round 2 (final round). This is to allow a client to interact with submitters and reward designers who are meeting the requirements half-way through the contest. You will submit your first design concept during the checkpoint round (Round 1) and the client will give feedback and prize placements to winners of that round. You then submit your revised and finalized design in Round 2 (you don’t have to win a placement in Round 1 to submit to Round 2, you just have to pass screening in Round 1). Read more about this contest structure here.

What if I have questions while I am creating my design?

Each contest has detailed information within the contest details that you should follow. If you can’t find your answers there, you can visit that contest’s forum and ask questions. Your fellow members, Studio admins and the client will do their best to help clarify anything you need. It’s great to ask questions!

I’m ready to submit! How do I do that?

Studio competitions require all members to upload both their submission files (the files we display on the Studio site and present to the client) and their source files (the files that are transferred to the client only if you win a prize). The current system requires you to submit three files (preview image, submission files and source files) so that our system can make galleries and place the files in the appropriate areas. You can find more information about how to format your submission here.

I submitted my design. Now what happens?

All designs go through an initial screening phase. Submissions are screened for correct file types, copyright infringement or cheating. You will receive an email notification about your submission’s status once it’s been screened. Learn more about screening here. Once final screening is completed, the client can review the eligible submissions and make their winner selection(s).

Hey, I won! How do I get paid?

In order to get paid, you must submit an IRS tax form. You will also choose how you would like to get paid. All contest payments are scheduled and posted to your Payments page on TopCoder within 7 days of winning a contest. Your payment is then sent the following month. See more about payments here.

More Information

There are many new features coming up within Studio and more information about the Studio process that can help you succeed. We recommend:

We’re glad you’re here and we look forward to seeing your designs! Feel free to contact us at


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