How to enter Annual 2021

AI invites illustrators, cartoonists, or artists that work in visual design and animation to take part in  Annual 2021. Also commissioners or agents may forward entries

Please read our instructions carefully




30 OCTOBER 2020 • Call for Entries open
7 DECEMBER 2020 at 3pm, competition closure and last day to upload images
JANUARY 2021 • Judging
FEBRUARY 2021 • Announcement of the shortlist of selected candidates
APRIL 2021 • Announcement of the winners and awards ceremony


The ANNUAL competition is open to:
• All Italian illustrators, cartoonists or artists, who are 18 years of age, (residing in Italy or abroad) submitting published and unpublished works.
• All illustrators, cartoonists and artists in Europe, who are 18 years of age, and have works realized (also) for the Italian market.
• All students, who are 18 years of age, regularly enrolled in the academic year 2018/19 at academies, schools and institutes of professional training art in Italy or Europe.

punto 2 • WORKS TO ENTER

You can enter Annual 2021 with SINGLE illustrations or illustrations IN SERIES.
Only works created after January 1, 2019 are accepted, with the exception of illustrations in the category Animation, which may be dated before December 31, 2018.

A series of illustrations is a maximum of 5 related illustrations, intended as part of the same product (illustrated book, advertising campaign, comics, animation, etc.) or of the same project (sketches, proofs) color, models, mock-ups, executive, photography of products such as t-shirts, mugs, skateboards, exhibition stands, packaging, posters …).
There is no limit to the number of illustrations or categories to submit.
For the printed book, please note that AI may decide to publish a maximum of 3 illustrations  by the same author per category.
Students are requested to participate in the dedicated Student category.


To participate in Annual you must register on the dedicated platform at this address
AI members must use the email that appears on their association profile, so the member’s fee will be applied automatically.
EIF members are requested to send an email to annual@autoridimmagini. it stating to which association they belong and with how many illustrations they would like to take part in Annual, in order for AI to activate the EIF discount.
To check if your association is part of EIF click here → .

REMEMBER! keep your USER and PASSWORD safe, as they will remain valid access keys for all future editions of Annual or other competitions run by AI.


To enter Annual 2021 the following entry fees apply:

SINGLE ILLUSTRATION →  AI members or member’s of associations part of EIF
 € 20  |  Other € 30 each
SERIE OF IMAGES (max 5)  AI members or member’s of associations part of EIF
 € 50
  | Other € 75

Please note there is a mandatory PayPal administration fee of €5.
Payment is requested at the time of registration.
The member’s discount is valid for those professionals who have regularly paid their membership fee for 2021. Please check.

Once you’re registered, you will be asked to indicate the total number of images you would like to enter and go directly to payment. Payments are made by credit card via PAYPAL for the total amount.
After payment, you will receive an automated email to confirm successful payment. Confirmation of registration and receipt of your images’ files are confirmed directly by the system on screen.

We therefore advise you to choose carefully in advance how many illustrations you wish to enter, to avoid submitting images and pay the administration fee a second time.
Once payment has been made you may choose to upload your images directly or in another moment. However it’s important to upload all your images before Monday, 30th November 2020 at 3pm.

Only in exceptional cases, if you have no possibility to pay by credit card via Paypal, you may postpone the payment of the fee, through the “Paga in un secondo momento” (= “Pay later”) button and agree different ways of payment by contacting the AI office at the following email-adresses:


We accept illustrations in any media (traditional or digital techniques). The jury selection will take place online, so digital files must also be sent for traditional artworks.

Images should be uploaded with the following specifications:
• One high resolution image, not less than 300 dpi
• Minimum dimensions  15 x 20 cm. (if horizontal minimum 15 cm., vertical minimum 20 cm.)
TIFF format (save on one level with JPG compression).
CMYK color method (four-color process).
• Maximum image size accepted 10 MB.
File name it is not important, because it is never displayed. Once loaded, the system assigns a progressive number to the file
anonymous work: Images with reference to the name of the artist will be excluded of the competition.
Vertical orientation  is strongly recommended, but not mandatory, to ensure an optimal view in the printed version.
• Please note that images can only be uploaded one at a time.

• For entrants in the category animation only: in addition to what has been specified,
 please send a part of a storyboard or video by sending a link to a YouTube channel to the email address stating in the subject header: the category, the name of the candidate and username and title of the work.
• For entrants in the category Advertising and Design only: the image to be uploaded must be naked, but it is recommended to add a thumbnail to the loaded table that clarifies the use that will be made of the image (image reproduced on the chosen medium, the dress made with your pattern, etc.)
• Lettering is allowed only if made by the author and if it is an integral part of the image in competition, which must be uploaded “naked”.

Illustrations that do not respect the characteristics above, except for orientation, will not be admitted to the competition.


We ask you to carefully fill in the information that describes your works before proceeding to upload them:
• TITLE OF THE WORK different for each single work
• TITLE OF THE SERIES that identifies the series as a whole
• ARTIST’S NAME details are not visible to judges
• COMMISSIONER’S and COMPANY NAME if unpublished work indicate “self promotion”
• TECHNIQUE digital or traditional
• TECHNIQUE (DETAIL) to be completed only if you want to add information to the previous point
The candidate takes full responsibility for the correctness of captions and personal data provided. Please note that the information you enter will not be verified, but directly published.

punto 6 • CATEGORIES

ANNUAL 2021 consists of 9 Categories. During the online entry process, only one of the following category options may be assigned to the illustrations you upload.

ADVERTISING and DESIGN – Illustration commissioned to advertise products, events or brands through any type of media. Illustrations for coordinated image, branding, packaging, fashion design, graphic design, product design, merchandising, greeting cards, calendars, covers (of discs, CDs, DVDs), stamps, creation of fonts, games (board games and digital platforms), patterns and textures.
ANIMATION – Includes all those animated illustration included in a project of animation: storyboard, character design, background, 2D and 3D, games.
CHILDREN’S BOOKS PUBLISHING – Illustration commissioned for publication (on paper or digital) for readers from 0 to 16 years. The work presented can be a cover, an albo, illustrations for magazines, etc.
COMIC – Works (stories or strips) made with sequential images of a realistic / grotesque / comic character, graphic novels, strips for newspapers / magazines and web comix. We STRONGLY recommend loading ILLUSTRATIONS in SERIES
EDUCATIONAL/ SCIENTIFIC – Illustration commissioned and published in the context of scholastic (educational publishing, museum, manuals) and science (encyclopaedias, specialized publishing, illustration natural science, forensic images, architectural images), illustrations related to academic research (archaeology, geology, palaeontology, natural sciences, life sciences, anatomical and medical science), infographics.
PUBLISHING – Illustration commissioned for publication (on paper or digital) for readers from aged 16 and over: covers, illustrated books, fiction, e-books …
PERSONAL PROJECTS – includes experimental work in formats not covered by the other categories, such as installations, gallery shows, experimental work and portfolio projects. Commissioned but un-published work appearing as self-promotion should be entered in the category for which the work was originally done.
STUDENT – Category reserved for the works of students only, regardless of the type and intended use.


Monday 7 December 2020 at 3pm Italian time. 
Any images arrived after this date will not be entered for selection.

punto 8 • SELECTION

The Jury of experienced professionals will decide, at its sole discretion and without prejudice, which illustrations are selected for publication in Annual 2021. From this shortlist, the jury will award 27 category prizes (gold, silver and bronze) and 1 award for craftsmanship (Lyra Award). Only 1 candidate will win the first prize, the Toppi Award for professional and artistic excellence.
Succesfull selection will be published on the AI website at and by social media.
As far as the printed book is concerned, AI reserves the right to establish the space allocated to each illustrator and to organize the reproduction of the works to the best of the publishing needs. In the online publication all the works selected by the Jury will be visible.
All selected candidates are entitled to a copy of the printed Annual 2021. You may request the shipment of a free copy to the client who commissioned the selected work, by filling in the appropriate form, which will be sent to you by email and which will record all the data necessary for shipping. For more information contact

punto 9 • JURY

The selection of all submitted images is carried out by a panel of esteemed professionals. Each member of the jury has expertise in a different category of the sector, in order to guarantee an overall judgement of the works presented in the competition. The works will be kept anonymous during the selection, to avoid influencing the choice of the Jury.

To guide it this year will be a master in the field of Italian illustration and an undisputed talent in the international field: Lorenzo Mattotti.


Roberto Recchioni, cartoonist, editorial curator and Italian writer

Massimo Verrone, Executive Creative Director for FCB Partners
Adriano Attus, Creative Director of Il Sole 24 Ore
Simone Sbarbati, director of the blog @frizzifrizzi
Maddalena Lucarelli, editor of the editorial aspects of the Fatatrac publishing brand
Marco Cattaneo, director of National Geographic, of Le Scienze and of Mente&Cervello

punto 10 • ANNUAL AWARDS

The Jury will assign the following awards:
TOPPI AWARD a Prize of €1000 assigned by the Jury to the overall best illustration in the competition.
FINE ARTS AWARD – LYRA  supported by LYRA, official pencil, for the best illustration created with traditional media.
WACOM AWARD sponsored by Wacom for the best digital illustration, consisting of a latest generation tablet.
ANNUAL AWARDS GOLD, SILVER e BRONZE – These awards go to the best illustrations selected in each category in the competition and are an acknowledgement of their outstanding level of professional creativity.

The publication includes the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, a tribute of the AI Board to professionals who have been able to leave their mark over the years, becoming a point of reference for the illustrated image.

punto 11 • LIABILITY

AI Associazione AUTORI DI IMMAGINI reserves the right to suspend the initiative and to with-hold from proceeding with the selection should insufficient entries be received or any other circumstance arise that the Board of Directors deems valid. In the event of suspension, all entry fees will be refunded with the exception of the PAYPAL handling fees. By entering the Annual competition, the candidate agrees to the terms and conditions of the competition.
In particular the candidates reserve AI the right to publish the whole or part of the
submitted and shortlisted images in the Annual 2021 publication, as well as on its
website and in any promotional or institutional material AI decides. AI is committed to always quote the name of the illustrator.
The author takes full responsibility for criminal and / or civil liability that may arise from the publication of his works and frees AI from all liability.


Any dispute between the Illustrator and the Association AUTORI DI IMMAGINI related to the selection, publication, or other reasons, will be of the competence of the court of Milan.


The Association ai AUTORI DI IMMAGINI will process the entrant’s personal data in compliance with the Data Protection Act.
The candidate’s data will be processed by AI Associazione Autori di Immagini in compliance with the data protection law. The candidate, having read the rules of participation, accepts them by sending the aforementioned works for selection in Annual 2021 and authorizes the processing of the personal data in accordance with EU Regulation 679/2016 for the selection, publication in the paper and digital book, on the Association’s website and social media, and in the context of further initiatives promoted by AI associazione Autori di Immagini.
The personal data communicated to the Association are collected only for the performance of tasks, required by law and their conferment is mandatory for participation in the selection and publication. Failure to provide the details will therefore determine the impossibility of participating. The interested party expressly authorizes the association AI to disseminate the data provided through the Internet, on the website of the association and / or on other sites, in compliance with the purposes of its statute.

punto 14 • QUESTIONS

Facebook AI page
Instagram AI @autoridimmagini
Annual Competition Manager