There are lots of design competitions out there, but Art for Planet Earth, the first of a series of bi-annual contests, has really caught our imagination, for three big reasons.
Firstly, because there's a great cause behind it. With years of alarming headlines about environmental catastrophe leading to little practical action, and the pandemic pushing the issue to the bottom of the news agenda, it's never been so important that we harness our skills and creativity to advance a positive vision for a better future.
Secondly, because the winning designs won't just be shared online and on social media; they'll actually be printed onto an eco-friendly water bottle, making a practical difference to solving the global problem of plastic pollution.
Rather than single-use plastics, Art for Planet Earth's reusable glass water bottles will be sold to fans of sustainability-conscious design and 20 per cent of all proceeds will be donated to the three non-profit bodies committed to change for planet Earth: 350.org, WWF UK and The Climate Coalition.
Thirdly and finally, not only will you be making a constructive contribution to the fight against global warming, but you'll also have the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes! These include a Wacom creative pen tablet: a Wacom Intuos Pro L Paper for first place, a Wacom Intuos M Bluetooth Pistachio for second place, and a Wacom Bamboo Slate S for third place.
First, second and third-place winners will be granted a commission of 0.5% from every bottle sold and also see their work featured on Creative Boom and, along with the winner of the Audience Award (voted for by the public), will receive a year of Communication Arts digital editions and unlimited access to the commarts.com website. Finally, every single entrant to the contest will have their work featured on the Art for Planet Earth website and across social media.
Entries will be judged by an esteemed international jury consisting of Guilherme Somensato, head of art at DDB Budapest; Montréal illustrator Hanna Barczyk; and John Ball, principal and creative director at MiresBall Brand Design, San Diego.
The judges will assess entries based on originality, emotional impact, on-shelf visibility, aesthetics, compliance with the brief, and technical feasibility. The three overall winners will be honoured from a shortlist of 20 designs, each of which will receive a professional evaluation.
Urgent action needed
An astonishing 480 billion drinking bottles were sold in 2016, but more importantly, fewer than half of those were collected for recycling. Consequently, more than 60 million bottles end up in landfills or incinerators every day, and up to 13 million tonnes each year are making their way into our oceans. With each bottle taking an estimated 450 years to break down, this is not a problem we can save for another day; urgent action is needed now.
Submitting your work to this contest is about more than winning prizes: it's a way to say "I care about the future" and make a practical difference. So do the right thing, and enter this great competition.