Formatting Your Submission for Design Challenges

Building Your Submission

Your entire contest submission will include three elements:

  • Your display submission file(s): The file(s) you include in this Zip file will be displayed on the TopCoder site. The client will see everything within this Zip file and will base their winner choices on what they see here.
  • Your final source file(s): The file(s) you include in this Zip file will never be displayed on the Topcoder site. This Zip file is only transferred to the client if your submission receives a prize placement.
  • Your preview image: The file you choose here represents your entire submission and is the first thing a client sees when evaluating your submission. It is turned into a thumbnail and displayed on the Topcoder site and in Topcoder Direct.

You will find specific instructions on the challenge page about what files to submit. If you have questions, ask in the challenge forum. upload_screen

The Preview Image

Your preview image can be one of your JPG/PNG files from your submission files if the challenge is graphical, or if it is a wireframe, idea generation challenge or any content-related challenge, you can download and use the sample preview file below (be sure to download the full size).

Next Step: Declarations

This tab allows you to declare three things:

  1. Comments about your design
  2. Fonts that are not on the standard list
  3. Stock photos (if allowed in your contest)

Comments: This is the place to declare some information about your submission. If you need to explain a lot of stuff, you are probably better off using a text file, but this section is great for simple statements. Examples:

  • Example 1: "The logo represents movement and “taking action” rather than being stagnant. The colors I chose signify power and give the brand a strong feel."
  • Example 2: "This is a revised version of my previous submission. Changes include a new header graphic, new font choices for the pop-up box and new icons for the widget on the fourth page."
  • Example 3: "This is my Round 2 submission. I have implemented all of the feedback you gave me after Round 1 and I hope you like the changes."

Elements with a License

Fonts: You will declare ALL of the fonts you use in your design (even common fonts). If your font is not on the Standard Font List, you will enter the font information from an approved fonts site showing where the client can purchase/download the font. You must follow the rules regarding fonts or your submission will fail Screening. Stock Photos (for approved contests): Enter a description of the photo, the URL and the istockphoto number for each photo you have used. You MUST follow the stock art rules listed on the challenge details page or your submission will fail Screening.

Submission Limits and Ranking Your Submissions

Each challenge will outline how many of each member’s submissions will be eligible to be considered for prizes. Most challenges will limit the number of submissions that will be considered from each member. However, a few challenges will have no such limit. You may upload as many submissions as you like. You have the opportunity to rank your submissions when you upload them. You can change the rank of your submissions at any time before the submission phase ends. Please delete previous versions.

Final Step

Before your files are uploaded, you’ll see a pop-up screen asking you to check a box to affirm the Assignment Document. This is a great time to review the terms of the AD and verify that you have not used elements you have not created yourself and are otherwise in compliance with the AD. You should also be sure you have followed the policies regarding fonts.


Because some internet connections are slow, and some source files are very large, we recommend uploading a “test” submission 24 hours before the challenge ends. This will allow you to understand how long it will take your submission to be accepted. Once you've finalized your design, you can replace your test submission with your final one. If you ever have problems submitting, please try using a different browser. If that doesn’t work, email your submission (,, preview.png AND all declaration information) to before the challenge deadline.

Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.