During this pandemic, we realize that people can fall into two categories: the ones that don’t know how to deal with free time – thus the internet challenges – and the ones that took the opportunity to develop their skills.
However silly they might look, there’s a psychological reason why we can’t resist challenges. It’s that feeling of accomplishment. Even small wins can make us appreciate all the hard work and time we invested.
Additionally, combining the idea of gratification with progression and a learning path makes the process even more exciting. That’s where design challenges come in.
As professionals in an industry that often shifts between being too relaxed and too rigid, enrolling in one of these design challenges, can feel like a fresh breath of air. It’s also how some designers showcase their diversity and land new gigs. So it can be a win situation in more ways than one.
The following list is an example of tools and resources that present design challenges in different fields of design. So if you want to dive into type, develop digital products, or exercise your design muscles, this is a list that will help you get those results.
36 days of type
It’s an annual challenge open to designers, illustrators (and pretty much everyone) that is willing to interpret the Latin alphabet.
During 36 consecutive days, contestants will create and showcase a letter or a number per day on Instagram, revealing their unique view and process.
The goal is to promote the infinite possibilities of typography as well as showcasing the artists’ work.
WTF Should I Letter
Although this isn’t a design challenge in itself, it will help you stop procrastination.
This phrase generator created by Lauren Hom will not only give you the extra boost of ideas that you might need to get started but also have a tremendous amount of fun.
Thirty-day logo challenge from Logocore
I took this challenge two years ago, and it changed my career. Previously, I had convinced myself that I couldn’t design logos. So I decided to give it a try, and during thirty consecutive days, not only did I designed them but also loved it.
Besides the challenge, it’s also worth checking their online courses on how to develop and present brands.
The Daily logo challenge
Similar to the previous challenge, you will receive daily emails with briefings to develop and design logos. In this case, the challenge occurs for fifty days, and you can share your results on Instagram or Dribbble.
goodbrief is a generator created for students looking to add work to their portfolio. However, if that’s not your case, you can still use it to develop concept projects or even to practice some particular skill.
Logo, brand identity, illustration, packaging, billboard, website, or random are the available categories at your disposal.
The only resource that presents both free and paid briefs from this list, Brief Box might be your best ally if you’re starting your career or planning to transition into another field.
There are several packages of briefs to choose from, including mixed disciplines.
Sharpen design challenges
The fastest, largest design challenge generator. This is how Sharpen is described on their website.
Used by teachers, companies, and designers alike, it’s as simple as choosing the category and pressing a button. Easy and straight to the point.
If you are not convinced by this list by now, wait until you see this generator.
It looks like a retro game where you have limited time to complete a task within three levels of difficulty: easy, medium, and hard.
It’s nostalgic, it’s quirky and colorful. It will put a smile on your face.
31 Days of Being a Ninja Writer
This one is also for those who dabble into copywriting. It’s useful to be able to write great copy across all spectrums of design. After all, designers need to be able to communicate properly.
And even if you are a good writer already, there are always new things to learn.
I might just try this one too.
Daily UI design Challenges
As you can probably tell by the name, this is one of those design challenges where you create Interfaces based on a small brief.
During 100 days you will receive an email to test your UI skills, share your results, and earn surprises. These include design resources and discount codes.
Like the previous, UpLabs focuses on User Interface challenges. Paypal, Twitter, and Zara are some of the companies that have been redesign by contestants on this platform.
Weekly Product Design Exercise
On the other side of the coin, there’s this challenge. You can subscribe to weekly product briefs that will be sent to your email.
These are inspired by real-life UX interviews from companies such as Google, Facebook, and WeWork.
Behance’s design challenges
Lastly, on this list, Behance’s live challenges. These are usually more software-based challenges, but it’s an opportunity to see how different designers develop such different outcomes from the same Live.
So far, I’ve only enrolled in the XD Challenge, but I always keep an eye out on Photoshop’s and Illustrator’s as well.