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Home » How Long Should a Writing Sample Be for a Creative Capital Award?

How Long Should a Writing Sample Be for a Creative Capital Award?

The Creative Capital Awards recognise the very best of contemporary British and Irish art, architecture and design. One of the biggest prizes of the awards is a large cash prize and a year’s placement in the London Studio, London’s leading design institution.

To be considered for the prestigious award, creatives need to apply with a project they are most proud of. The judges will look at how the design developed, the business plan, and how the design process changed throughout the life of the project.

For those who have created a brand, they must demonstrate the passion and expertise that went into its creation. In the case of a business, the judges will be looking at how a well-executed business plan can help them understand the strength of the company’s vision and how they intend to implement it.

Four Stages Of A Design Project

To take home the gold Creative Capital Award, designers need to not only be recognised for the end product, but also for the whole process that went into making it.

To help guide your work, we’ve mapped out four distinct but complementary stages that a design project can follow.

This is a living document and will be updated as we learn more about the process, so please feel free to add an observation or two if you’ve been through a similar experience.


At this stage, you’re developing a concept for a product or service and gathering ideas and materials to make it a real thing.

It’s an exciting and busy time, and you’ll be using your creative and business skills to scope out the idea, develop a business case and secure funding.

This is the stage where you’re building a prototype or’mock-up’, usually made using CAD software like AutoCAD, to explore the shape and size of the product, and whether it will work in practice.

You should be able to conduct this stage of the project using only the tools and resources available to you within your professional network. You should also be aiming to secure some initial feedback from potential customers about the innovation you’re researching.


Once you’ve got your prototype, you’re shifting into production mode. This is where you’ll be manufacturing your product, testing it and integrating any necessary improvements to satisfy customer demand.

You’ll be using your design and manufacturing skills to source materials, work out supply chains and prepare accurate plans for the manufacture of your product.

You can take your time over this stage, ensuring that you’ve got the right tools and machines to carry out the process to the desired quality. You’ll need to work with a professional manufacturing company for this phase of the project if you’re not equipped to carry out the process yourself. This is also the stage where you can introduce any needed changes to the design as a result of prototyping and production testing.


When you’ve got your production-ready product, you’ll need to conduct post-production to finalise the design and make it spectacular. This is where you’ll be applying your finishing touches with the aim of creating a stunning piece that can be enjoyed by anyone.

If you’re designing a product that people will see on a daily basis, this is the stage where you can make it more functional, appealing and, most importantly, comfortable to use. At this stage, you can also decide whether you’ll need to alter the design slightly to accommodate different user behaviours or needs.

Sometimes this can be as simple as tweaking the layout of the product to make it fit more comfortably into people’s hands or changing the way it looks from a three-dimensional model to a two-dimensional picture to make it more appealing to the eye. Designing for different screen resolutions and designing for a child’s eye-level can also help at this stage.


Distribution is a stage where you’ll be preparing your product for sale to the public. You’ll be doing this through traditional and non-traditional means, so take your pick from the following:

  • Traditional – Physical stores such as supermarkets and department stores.
  • Non-Traditional – Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
  • Digital marketplaces – Social Media sites like Facebook and Instagram where consumers can learn about your product, connect with your brand and, in some cases, make purchases directly from the page.
  • Blogs – Online spaces where creators can write about and promote your product with the aim of driving traffic to their websites and social media channels.

This is a crucial stage because, once again, it’s all about getting your product in front of as many people as possible. The more people who know about your product, the more likely they are to use it or buy it. This is also the stage where you can make last-minute changes to the design and get it ready for print or for digital use.

Remember, design is not just about the product; it’s about the whole process from idea to creation to testing to manufacturing to posting to marketing.

Above all, make sure that you’ve got a clear and concise overview of how each individual stage of the process will contribute to the final design. This way, when you’re applying for the Creative Capital Award, you can provide a comprehensive project description that includes all the key stages of your design project. It’s also the perfect place to outline the major challenges you and your team overcame throughout the process.