Project Brief

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
The 2024 Emerging Professionals Design Competition, sponsored by Dunn-Edwards, is open to all student designers nationwide and is the ideal platform to test and enhance your unique design skills and work towards your dream job! Review the information below and submit your digital entry. All skill levels are encouraged to apply. The competition officially closes on August 18, 2024 at 11:59 PM PDT.


The theme of this year’s competition is influenced by the Dunn-Edwards Corporation’s Color of the Year, Skipping Stones (DET567). As one of the key colors in our 2024 color + design trends story, New Dawn, Skipping Stones (DET567) highlights our search for soothing, introspective moments inspired by nature. This connects to biophilic design principles to bring natural elements indoors. And this is why the color, Skipping Stones (DE567), will anchor your design.
Using the specifics found in the project brief, create a design concept for your client. You have been approached to design the lobby, not to exceed 10,000 square feet, of a new chain of hotels that will be in San Diego, CA, Chicago, IL and Atlanta, GA. Each hotel will be identical and consist of 130 hotel rooms in the heart of each downtown.

The hypothetical budget is undefined and the client wants to see your creative design. The sky is the limit!
In order to complete the cover sheet, click here for the Word version or here for the PDF.


Karen Billman
Billman Designs

A person wearing a blue shirt and smiling at the camera
A woman smiling for the camera

Lauren Hoferkamp
Dunn-Edwards Paints
Manager, Trends & Color Marketing
Member of ASID, IIDA & CMG

Danielle Kinahan
Dunn-Edwards Paints
Manager, Marketing Segments
Allied Member ASID
ARC_ID UCLA Ext. Graduate

Danielle Kinahan Dunn-Edwards Paints


There will be one round of judging based on the below evaluation criteria. Judges will select one grand prize winner.

  • 25% Originality
  • 25% Design Aesthetic
  • 20% Color Palette
  • 30% Concept Statement

Winner’s announcement will be made no later than September 30, 2024


A man smiling for the camera
Calvin Ma

UCLA Extension/Cal Poly Pomona
Ma’s Grand Prize submission of a casita paid homage to the people who helped build Palm Springs. Ma honored the Mexican people and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians by placing handcrafts, ceramics, and woven objects throughout.

A man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera
Christopher Fill

Scottsdale Community College
Fill’s First Runner-Up submission melded mid-century modern with tropical ambiance. The styles of South Beach, Miami, and Palm Springs influenced the project. Fill created an indoor/outdoor space with an expansive glass door that folded open to a courtyard.


Calvin Ma Dunn-Edwards Paints

Calvin Ma
UCLA Extension/Cal Poly Pomona
Calvin designed the winning submission for the commercial category: a tradeshow booth with touches of multiple cultural sources, including Japanese indigo patchwork, as well as Mexican and Brazilian culture and design. He incorporated a warm color palette, representing sustainability and resilience.

Aleksandra Tolovikova Dunn-Edwards Paints

Aleksandra Tolovikova
UC Berkeley Extension
Tolovikova created an inviting kitchen design, landing her as the grand prize winner in the residential category. She used a muted, mature color palette full of browns and blues.


A woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera

Helen Hoang
University of Cincinnati
Hoang’s winning submission, “Eco”, reimaged a mid-century modern family home in Las Vegas to be more functional and contemporary without losing the fashionable appeal of the era. She innovatively wove in a palette of warm, inviting colors honoring the past and present.

A person standing in front of a body of water

Callie Welsh
Savannah College of Art & Design
Welsh created an experiential space in a San Francisco Dunn-Edwards Paints store weaving virtual reality into the traditional buying process. She mixed a palette of soothing darker tones with pops of lighter shades to guide customers within the store.



When is the submission due?

Submissions are due electronically by Sunday, August 18, 2024 at 11:59 PM PDT.

How do I submit?

All entries must be submitted electronically in PDF format via the online submission form. Follow the instructions in the project brief PDF download and then submit.

If I just graduated, can I still apply?

Entrants are required to be enrolled as full-time or part-time students during the 2024 calendar year. Winners may be required to submit proof of current enrollment.

Do you accept group submissions?

Yes. You may submit as a group of two people maximum. Or you can submit individually. Any awarded prizes for a group submission will be divided accordingly.

What is the project brief?

The project brief is a concept statement. It is the written guidance outlining the hypothetical client’s design expectations. Learn more in the project brief section.

How will I be notified if I win?

Winners will be notified individually. An email from Dunn-Edwards will be sent to the submission email used by the Entrant on or by September 30, 2024.

What are the prizes?

Grand Prize
$3,000 & publicity, including specs+spaces feature. Winners may also be featured on the Dunn-Edwards website, other social media and internet platforms and/or digital and print collateral. The Grand Prize winner will automatically gain acceptance into the AYDA Awards!


First runner-up

Read the Official Rules for more details.

I have previously entered the competition. Can I submit again?

Each entrant can submit up to two times, in two separate years, as long as the entrant is still a student.

I am having issues. Who can I contact?

About Dunn-Edwards Corporation®

Dunn-Edwards Corporation® is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers and distributors of premium architectural, industrial and high-performance paints, coatings and paint supplies. It operates nearly 150 company stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas, and 90+ authorized dealers throughout the West. Dunn-Edwards is a wholly owned subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd. (TYO 4612), one of the world’s largest paint companies. For more information, visit

Official Rules


The 2024 Emerging Professionals Design Competition (“Competition” or “Contest”), hosted and sponsored by Dunn-Edwards Corporation (“Dunn-Edwards), is intended to encourage, recognize and reward students who are training for careers as design professionals. By entering the Competition, each individual (“Entrant”) agrees unconditionally to be bound by these Official Rules and represents and warrants that such Entrant meets the eligibility requirements.  In addition, each Entrant agrees to accept the decisions of Dunn-Edwards as final and binding as they relate to the Competition.

No purchase or monetary payment is necessary to enter or win. A purchase does not increase the chances of winning. The Competition is void where prohibited by law, and is otherwise subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. Entrants agree and acknowledge that no compensation will be paid to them for any reason whatsoever for entering the Competition. Only eligible winners will receive compensation. Entrants shall not defame, misrepresent or make disparaging remarks about any persons, products or companies, including but not limited to Dunn-Edwards, nor violate any laws.

1. COMPETITION DATES: The Competition opens to the eligible public on April 2, 2024 at 12:00 AM California time and closes on August 18, 2024 at 11:59 PM California time (“Entry Period”). California time at all times refers to Pacific Time or Pacific Daylight Time, as applicable. The official time keeping device is the computer of Dunn-Edwards.  All submissions must be received by the close of the Entry Period. Late submissions will not be considered for any reason whatsoever.

2. ELIGIBILITY: To enter and to be eligible to win, Entrants must be 18 years of age or older by the end of the Competition’s Entry Period, and not otherwise ineligible to participate in the Competition as provided herein. Entrants are required to be enrolled as full-time or part-time students at a post-secondary educational institution during the 2024 calendar year. See Notification section for information related to proof of eligibility documentation.

The Competition is only open to legal residents of the United States and its territories and possessions, including residents of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (collectively “U.S.”). All international students legally residing in the U.S. on a valid student visa are eligible to enter. See the Notification section for information related to proof of eligibility documentation.

Employees of Dunn-Edwards, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies or suppliers (“Employees”); parents, siblings and children of Employees; and persons domiciled with Employees, are ineligible to enter, and the Competition is not open to Entrants currently employed as professional architects or interior designers or in any related professional field. Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, any Dunn-Edwards professional color advisor who otherwise meets this section’s eligibility requirements and the other provisions of these Official Rules shall be eligible to enter the Competition.

Entrants who do not meet the aforementioned eligibility requirements will be disqualified before judging.

3. JOINT ENTRIES: Joint Entries will be accepted for the Competition, provided that the joint Entrant includes only two people. Each person forming part of a joint Entrant must individually meet all of the eligibility requirements of the Competition, and shall otherwise be subject to all of the provisions of these Official Rules on an individual basis, except that (i) any Submission by a joint Entrant must list the names and email addresses of both persons who form the joint Entrant, but specify a single email address for communications with Dunn-Edwards that relate to the Competition; (ii) any prize won by a joint Entrant shall be divided 50%/50% between the individuals who make up the joint Entrant; and (iii) no individual who forms part of a joint Entrant shall be eligible to make more than one additional Submission to the Competition, whether individually or as part of a joint Entrant.

4. SUBMISSION MATERIALS:  Submission materials shall include a mood board expressing an original design idea of the Entrant, a written description of the idea and a rendering giving more concrete expression to the idea. Further details regarding the required submission materials are set forth on the Website.

5. SUBMISSIONS/HOW TO ENTER: To enter the Competition, each Entrant must follow the detailed instructions that are found on the Competition website, (“Website”). Entrants are limited to a maximum of two submissions (each, a “Submission”) to the Competition for the entire life of the Competition. Each Submission must consist of an uploaded document in a PDF format specified on the Website. By participating in the Competition and submitting contact information, all Entrants agree to receive email communications from Dunn-Edwards. Entrants may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time but will become ineligible if they unsubscribe before prizes are awarded.

Submissions will not be returned and become the property of Dunn-Edwards. Submissions may not be deleted, canceled or modified for any reason after receipt by Dunn-Edwards. Any Entrant found to have more than one Submission will be immediately disqualified. Likewise, any incomplete or illegible Submission may be disqualified.

It is presumed that each Entrant is the registered and authorized email account holder of the email address associated with such Entrant’s Submission. In the event of a dispute arising from multiple Submissions made by separate Entrants using the same email address, the authorized subscriber of the email account, as affirmed by the associated service provider, will be the sole Entrant eligible.

Entries made by any individual other than the named Entrant and/or originating at any other internet source, including, but not limited to, commercial giveaway subscription notification and/or entering service sites, are void.

Submissions must be received during the Entry Period, and in no event later than 11:59:59 PM California time on August 18, 2024. Entrant proof of an uploaded Submission does not constitute proof that it was received, or that it was received during the Entry Period. Dunn-Edwards shall have no liability for any Submission that is lost, intercepted or not received by Dunn-Edwards.

Dunn-Edwards reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to reject, disqualify and/or remove any Submission that violates these Official Rules without any notification or warning. Any and all communications or information transmitted to Dunn-Edwards and/or the Website by email or otherwise is and will be treated as nonconfidential and nonproprietary.

6. JUDGING: Judging will commence approximately one week after the close of the Entry Period.  Judging will be performed by a committee of individuals (“Judges”) appointed by Dunn-Edwards in its sole discretion.  Judges will be selected from the design community and may include one or more employees of Dunn-Edwards.

The Judges’ qualifications will stem from their industry engagement, professionalism, and proven track record of assessing design and material quality. There will be one round of judging. Judges will select one grand prize winner and one 1st runner-up prize winner based on the applied evaluation criteria. All determinations of the Judges shall be final and binding.

Judging will be based on the Judges’ personal and subjective evaluation of the following criteria:

– 25% originality
– 25% design aesthetic
– 20% color palette
– 30% concept statement

In the event of a tie, a winner will be determined based on which Entrant had the earlier date and time submission during the Entry Period. The Judges, at their sole discretion, may disqualify any submission deemed to be obscene, pornographic, libelous or otherwise objectionable. An Entrant may win the Competition no more than two times.

7. COMPETITION PRIZES: Dunn-Edwards will award the following prizes to the Competition winners:

Grand Prize Winner: One grand prize in the amount of $3,000 cash will be awarded.

Winners of Competition prizes may be featured in the Dunn-Edwards specs+spaces, website, other social media and internet platforms and/or digital and print collateral as determined by Dunn-Edwards. The grand prize winner automatically pre-qualifies for the international AYDA Awards competition and agrees to proceed in the competition as a Dunn-Edwards candidate.

1st Runner-up Prize Winner: One second place prize in the amount of $800 cash will be awarded.

Dunn-Edwards will pay each prize (or any part of a prize) as a check or ACH transfer directly to the individual winner. Prizes are non-transferable, unless otherwise agreed by Dunn-Edwards. The receipt of any prize is conditioned upon the winner’s compliance with all of the requirements (including the execution of documentation) described in the Notification section below.

The total value of all prizes is $3,800.

9. NOTIFICATION:  Dunn-Edwards will notify all winners by email no later than September 30, 2024 (“Winner Notification”). Winner Notifications will be sent to the email address provided by the winner Entrant and associated with the Entrant’s Submission (see Submissions/How to Enter section for more details). Winners must acknowledge receipt of the Winner Notification, via an email, sent as a response to Dunn-Edwards within the stated timeframe after delivery of the Winner Notification. A winner then must complete and return the required documentation as outlined below. A winner may, at the sole discretion of Dunn-Edwards, forfeit all rights to a prize should (1) the winner fail to acknowledge receipt of the aforementioned Winner Notification, (2) the Winner Notification be returned as undeliverable after two attempts, (3) the winner fail to return the required documentation as outlined below within five business days after acknowledging receipt of the Winner Notification email, or (4) the winner otherwise fails to comply with any provision of these Official Rules.

As a condition of receiving any prize, a winner agrees to participate in reasonable publicity and public relations activity at Dunn-Edwards’ request, including but not limited to conducting in-person, virtual, phone or written interviews and delivering public statements along with consenting to Dunn-Edwards’ use of the winner’s name, photo and likeness (see Publicity section for more information).

Before being awarded a prize, each winner will be required to (1) sign and return a Release of Rights in the form sent by Dunn-Edwards, plus a W-9 form, which will require that the winner provide a Social Security Number (SSN) or a Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); and (2) provide to Dunn-Edwards such proof of eligibility as Dunn-Edwards may reasonably require, which could include, without limitation, proof of student enrollment, proof of age, identity and/or residency, and/or proof of a student visa. If a winner does not have an SSN or ITIN at the time the winner receives the Winner Notification, that winner will be automatically disqualified, thereby forfeiting all rights to and expectations of the prize.

Should any winner be disqualified or forfeit such winner’s prize for any reason, an alternate winner shall be selected using such procedures as Dunn-Edwards deems appropriate.

For further information on SSN and ITIN, visit the IRS website

9. ODDS: The odds of winning depend on the numbers of eligible Submissions received.

10. TAXES AND OTHER EXPENSES:  Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of each prize winner. Each winner shall be issued an IRS Form 1099 by Dunn-Edwards reflecting the value of the prize received, which value will also be reported to the IRS.

11. DISPUTES: This Competition, and any disputes or claims arising out of or in connection with these Official Rules, shall be governed by the laws of the state of California, U.S.A. By entering into the Competition, Entrants agree to resolve any dispute individually, without resort to class action, exclusively before a court located in the State of California. The remedy for any claim shall be limited to actual damages, and in no event shall any party be entitled to recover punitive, exemplary, consequential or incidental damages, or to rescind these Official Rules or seek injunctive or any other equitable relief.

12. PUBLICITY/LICENSE: As a condition of Submission, each Entrant agrees that Dunn-Edwards, anyone acting on behalf of Dunn-Edwards, and Dunn-Edwards’ licensees, successors and assigns, shall have the right, where permitted by law, to print, publish, broadcast, distribute and use, in any media now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity and throughout the world, without limitation, Entrant’s Submission, name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image, statements about the Competition and biographical information for news, publicity, information, trade, advertising, public relations and promotional purposes, without any further compensation, notice, review or consent.

Each Entrant irrevocably waives any and all so-called moral rights such Entrant may have in the Submission submitted by such Entrant.

13. PRIVACY/DATA PROTECTION: Personal information collected through the Competition is subject to Dunn-Edwards’ Privacy Policy found here. All Submissions or other materials and personal information submitted as part of the Competition may be shared by Dunn-Edwards with third parties for marketing purposes (including, without limitation, through emails, social media and/or links to third-party websites), and the use of Entrant’s personal information by such third parties may be governed by their respective independent privacy policies.

It may be necessary for Dunn-Edwards to share proprietary information, including trade secrets, industry knowledge and other confidential information, with Entrants during the normal course of the Competition. Entrants will not share any proprietary information at any time or use such information for their own benefit, even after the completion of the Competition. Entrants will not act, directly or indirectly, in any way likely to damage or disparage the goodwill or reputation of Dunn-Edwards.

14. TECHNICAL GLITCHES; BAD ACTIONS: Dunn-Edwards reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Competition should virus, bug, technical failure of any kind, unavailability or inaccessibility of transmissions or internet service, non-authorized human intervention, fraud or other cause beyond Dunn-Edwards’ control (“Technical Glitches or Bad Actions”) corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Competition.  In such case, Dunn-Edwards may select the winners from all eligible Submissions received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Dunn-Edwards.  Dunn-Edwards reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or the Website or violates these Official Rules.  Dunn-Edwards has the right, in its sole discretion in an effort to maintain the integrity of the Competition, to void Submissions for any reason, including, but not limited to, multiple Submissions from the same Entrant from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer; or the use of bots, macros, scripts or other technical means for entering.  Any attempt by an Entrant to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil laws.  Should such an attempt be made, Dunn-Edwards reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.

By submitting a Submission, each Entrant releases Dunn-Edwards from any and all liability or claims that may arise out of Technical Glitches or Bad Actions.

16. REPRESENTATIONS AND INDEMNIFICATION: Submissions are required to be original work product by the Entrant, not previously published, may not have won previous awards, and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity. If a Submission contains any material or elements that are not owned by the Entrant and/or that are subject to the rights of third parties, the Entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submitting the Submission, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the Submission in the manner set forth in these Official Rules, including, without limitation, name and likeness permissions for any person who appears in or is identifiable in the Submission. If any identifiable person appearing in the Submission is under the age of majority in his/her state of residence, the parent or legal guardian is required to provide permission. Dunn-Edwards reserves the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to Dunn-Edwards from any Entrant at any time. By submitting a Submission, an Entrant warrants and represents that he/she and any persons appearing or who are identifiable in the Submission consent(s) to the submission and use and exhibition of the Submission in the manner set forth in these Official Rules.

By submitting a Submission, each Entrant agrees to defend, indemnify, release and hold harmless Dunn-Edwards (and its agents, employees, affiliates, and promoter entities) from and against any and all losses, demands, damages, rights, claims, actions and liabilities of any kind arising out of or related to (1) any actual or alleged infringement of intellectual property rights of others that arises out of or relates to the Entrant’s Submission or other participation in the Competition; (2) any breach by the Entrant of any of his or her representations or warranties set forth in these Official Rules, or other violation of the Official Rules; or (3) any other matter that arises out of or relates to the Entrant’s participation in the Competition or in any prize-related activities. Each Entrant assumes all liability for any injury, death or damage caused, or allegedly caused, by his or her participating in the Competition.

17. WINNERS LIST: To obtain a copy of the winners list, email Requests must be received no later than two years after all prizes are awarded.

18. SPONSOR: Dunn-Edwards Corporation, 6119 East Washington Blvd, Commerce, CA 90040, 1-888-DE PAINT,