Frequently Asked Questions
General / How it works
- What is Creative Allies?
- I'm an artist/designer/illustrator. How do I use Creative Allies?
- I'm a fan but not a designer. How can I use Creative Allies?
- I have a band/brand/festival/film/non-profit. How do I use Creative Allies?
- Is this one of those "spec" websites?
- Is Creative Allies only for US residents?
- How do I get invited to INVITE ONLY contests?
- How strict are the creative briefs for each design contest?
- What are the technical requirements for submissions?
- Can I submit multiple entries?
- Why does my upload take so long to appear on the site?
- Should I upload in RGB or CMYK? (When I upload a creation, why do the colors come out weird?)
- Can I use stock images or photographs?
- I downloaded a free font from a website. Can I use it in my design?
- Does a logo count as copyrighted material?
- Do I have to use the Support Files provided for a design contest?
- Can I rotate my submission once it has uploaded?
- What do I do if my upload did not meet the specs?
- What Time Zone are design contest deadlines written in?
- Can I remove one of my creations from Creative Allies?
- How do I add the source files for one of my creations?
- Submitting a Merchandise Graphic
General / How it works
I'm an artist/designer/illustrator. How do I use Creative Allies?
I'm a fan but not a designer. How can I use Creative Allies?
Anyone can participate in Creative Allies by voting for your favorite submission. Every contest entry is accompanied by its own Vote button. Anyone registered with Creative Allies can vote. Votes help consider the winning design, as well as highlighting popular items that could potentially be sold in the store.
Is Creative Allies only for US residents?
Unless otherwise specified in some instances, all participation in Creative Allies is open to everyone, worldwide.
How do I sign up for an account?
Click on the sign up link in the upper-right of any page on Creative Allies. Your profile can be accessed through either your name or clicking on your profile picture in the upper right corner of the page. Once you've done this, you can any time to edit your account information and add a profile picture, bio information and links to your website, portfolio and social network profiles. Please fill out as much information as possible.
How do I change my email address or password?
Some of my creations and account information are spread across more than one account. Can I merge accounts?
For help with merging accounts, please contact email@example.com.
Payment and Prizing
How/when will I get paid for winning a design contest?
Creative Allies sends out cash prizes using PayPal. We recommend including your PayPal address in your profile so we can get your cash prizes to you in a timely manner. For US residents, you may be asked to complete and return a W9 prior to receiving your payment. Cash prizes are typically paid within 60 days after winners are activated, provided the contest sponsor has made payment in full to Creative Allies. Any questions on payments or status of cash payments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How/when will I get paid for selling my work in the Creative Allies Store?
If you are entitled to a royalty from the sale of merchandise in the Creative Allies Store, we send payment via PayPal within 20 days after the end of each calendar quarter for royalties earned during the preceding quarter. If you have not received a payment on time, please contact us at email@example.com immediately. PayPal is required for all members of Creative Allies in order to receive payments. Please note that royalty payments will not be made until the royalty amount is equal to or greater than ten US dollars.
How do I get my work in the Creative Allies store?
After a design contest closes and an Overall Winner is selected, either the contest holder or the Creative Allies Editor chooses which, if any, submissions (winners and/or non-winners) will be sold in the Creative Allies Store.
What royalty do I receive when my design is sold?
If your design is selected to be sold, you'll receive a 15% royalty on net profits for each item sold through Creative Allies.
How strict are the creative briefs for each design contest?
Think of creative briefs as guidelines rather than strict rules. Sometimes winning designs break some of the rules or expand on the written brief in a creative way that the contest holder didn't originally imagine. As long as you stick to the specified print or digital format, you should feel free to follow your original idea outside of the aesthetic guidelines to a reasonable extent. The most important objective should be to create a striking image that captures the essence of that band, film, festival, etc. and catches the attention of the contest holder.
What are the technical requirements for submissions?
Complete technical specifications are listed on every design contest page. Only files that meet the listed technical requirements for that contest will be eligible to win. If you submit a file that doesn't meet those requirements, it will be uploaded and viewable on Creative Allies, however, it won't be eligible to win a prize or be sold in the Creative Allies Store until it is replaced with a file that conforms to specs.
Please note: we only need you to upload a flattened hi-res image with initial entry. Please do not upload the larger layered source files until you are contacted to do so. We will make other arrangements at that time.
Also, we are unable to accept entries from mobile devices. The "Enter this Contest" tab is not available unless you are on a computer.
Can I submit multiple entries?
There is no maximum number of entries per design contest or per entrant. In other words, you can upload as many different entries or distinct variations of an entry as you would like.
Why does my upload take so long to appear on the site?
We have the most blazing fast servers available and efficient software to get files onto Creative Allies fast. However, when dealing with large graphics files, it may take some time to process the images, add in our watermark and create thumbnail/preview files. You will receive an email when your upload is complete.
Do I have to use the Support Files provided for a design contest?
You are not required to incorporate the Support Files provided for a design contest unless explicitly required in the design brief. In cases in which Support Files are provided but not required, winning submissions are often those that don't use the Support Files but opt for an all-original illustration or design instead.
Can I rotate my submission once it has uploaded?
Nope, sorry. If you wish to submit a different orientation that does not fit within the required specifications, try sizing your image down to fit within the maximum width or height accepted.
What do I do if my upload did not meet the specs?
If you submit a file that doesn't meet the specs for that design contest, it will be uploaded and viewable on Creative Allies; however, it won't be eligible to win a prize or be sold in the Creative Allies Store. You will receive a notification asking you to upload a file with the correct minimum specs before the contest deadline.
What Time Zone are design contest deadlines written in?
All deadlines on Creative Allies are written in Pacific Standard Time Zone, or PST (GMT -8). Most design contests close to new entries at midnight PST at the end of the posted date.
Can I remove one of my creations from Creative Allies?
Yes, you may deactivate a submission at any time before the contest to which it was uploaded has closed. Use the "x" button in the top right corner on the creations page in order to deactivate the submission. If you have a special case and need to remove a submission after a contest deadline, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines and Policies
Someone is making rude or overly critical comments on my submission.
We welcome constructive criticism between designers. However, users who engage in rudeness and personal attacks will be warned and then suspended from Creative Allies. Please review the Community Policy here.
What should I do if I think my creation has been plagiarized?
We take claims of copyright infringement very seriously. All claims are reviewed by our creative team and resolved as soon as possible. Any site member who is found guilty of copyright infringement will be suspended indefinitely from Creative Allies.
Copyright and Legal
Who owns my submission after it wins a contest?
Once you win a design contest, your design immediately becomes property of the contest holder and you will be awarded a licensing prize for use of the design.
What are galleries?
Galleries are curated collections of art submitted to Creative Allies. You can create unlimited galleries containing submissions by you or other users. Galleries can be shared with your social networks and embedded on your website and Creative Allies profile. Your galleries could even be featured on the Creative Allies homepage or in our Featured Galleries. Get started creating your first gallery.
How can I add a gallery to my Facebook page?
Creative Allies offers the unique ability for users to add galleries to Facebook pages they administer. Get started by following the tutorial Adding a Gallery to your Facebook Page.
Please share your galleries freely throughout social media. This is a great platform for exposure of your work. Often times, contests allow you to win additional prizes by tagging Creative Allies in your posts.