Take a look at our 10 categories – you can interpret them as broadly as you like, but always remember to think about how you want your work to be seen.

If you need some help deciding, read our guide to choosing your category!


Illustration sells…

Illustration created for traditional commercial advertising campaigns for products or services including:

• magazine print ads
• billboards
• TV commercials
• broadcast
• social media
• websites
• flyers
• entire campaigns

Image: Peter Phobia, WIA2020 New Talent Advertising Category Winner

Alternative Publishing

Beyond the book…

Celebrating exciting new forms of publishing for readers of any age. Illustration in any book format can be entered into this category, including:

  • zines
  • graphic novels
  • comics
  • artist books
  • poetry and anthologies
  • handmade books
  • limited edition books

Image: Aysha Tengiz, WIA2020 New Talent Alternative Publishing Category Winner

Book Covers

Judging a book by its cover

Any cover artwork for books for readers of any age. This category includes whole cover artwork made for:

• children’s books
• self-published books
• books for a general readership

Image: Jack Smyth, WIA2020 shortlisted in the Book Covers Category

Children’s Publishing, sponsored by Walker Books

Inspiring the next generation of readers

Illustration created for use in publications for readers under 16 years old including inside illustrations, whole book design or entire publications for:

• fiction
• non-fiction
• educational books
• picture books
• interactive books
• reference books
• pop-up books
• e-books

Image: Victoria Semykina, WIA2020 Shortlisted in the Children’s Publishing Category

Commercial Publishing

Engaging readers

Commissioned or prospective illustration for use in commercially published books for readers 16+ years old. This category includes inside illustrations or whole book design for:

  • works of fiction
  • non-fiction
  • text books
  • e-books
  • interactive books
  • reference books
  • poetry and anthologies
  • graphic novels
  • picture books and humour

Image: Frances Vallejo, WIA2020 Professional Commercial Publishing Category Winner

Design, Product & Packaging

Shaping our visual world

Including illustration for branding, products, logos, packaging for:

• fashion
• graphic design
• product design
• stationery, greetings cards and calendars
• record sleeves
• stamps
• pattern, surface, textile and wallpaper design
• typography and lettering
• icons and logos
• games
• annual reports
• poster design

Image: Amber Vittoria, WIA2020 Professional Overall Winner, and Design, Product & Packaging Category Winner

Editorial, sponsored by Procreate

Beyond words

Illustration for journalism and comment in digital or print format for example:

• feature articles
• news items
• cartoons
• political satire
• reportage
• documentary
• current affairs

Image: Jianan Liu, WIA2020 Shortlisted in the Editorial Category


Show ambition and vision

Testing personal practice ideas that do not necessarily sit within any other category.

This category recognises the importance of personal work to the practicing illustrator.

This category is for work made to establish a style, work through ideas, and develop a portfolio.

Image: Joshua Donkor, WIA2020 Highly Commended in the New Talent Exploration Category, and winner of the AOI Members’ Award

Science & Technology

Illuminating complex ideas

Illustration that represents or explains scientific, medical or technological concepts.

This category includes illustration in the following areas:

• medical
• botanical
• architectural
• forensic
• scientific
• archaeological
• data visualisation
• information visualisation

Image: NewsAri, WIA2020 Shortlisted in the Science & Technology Category

Site Specific

Enhancing public spaces

Illustration made for a particular place or space, for example:

• murals
• street art
• wall drawings
• graffiti
• wayfinding systems
• building wraps
• window decals
• hoardings

Image: Jonny Glover, WIA2020 Shortlisted in the Site Specific Category