SDA Award

Japan Sign Design Association Award (as known as SDA Award) was established in 1966 for the purpose of promoting and educating the public about the sign design through presentation of signature design works to the wide society. It continues to be the only award program for sign design in Japan.

Log in

There are cases of log in failure when using Internet Explorer. In that case, please use another browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox to log in.

When you complete the applicant registration, the system automatically sends a confirmation email (see sample below). However, we have seen the cases of undelivered mail due to incoming mail servers refusing to accept the mail. The registered ID (email address) and the password will allow you to complete the entry, however you may fail to receive emails, such as the information for paying application fee by bank transfer (if you have selected bank transfer as the method of payment.)
If you do not receive the confirmation email, please contact the secretariat at info@sda-award.org.

===== Sample =====
Title: Completion of Applicant Registration: 51 SDA Award
XX XXX sama
Thank you very much for making an applicant registration for the SDA Award.
Please log in from the link below to proceed with your entry.
Secretariat, Japan Sign Design Association
===== End of Sample =====

If you’ve forgotten your password you can enter your e-mail at Reset password form on If you forget your password tab.

Examination Method

Primary Selection is conducted on web-based screening, so the screen size depends on the examiner’s environment.
For the second round of judging, a projector (HD size) will be used at the venue. In addition, a tablet (9.7-inch iPad) will be distributed to the judges, which will allow them to view the images on the screen as well.

Application Fee

Payment is by credit card (Stripe payment system).

The application fee is ¥11,000 (¥10,000 + consumption tax of ¥1,000) per work.
The application fee includes the screening fee for the design intent (concept) and two image data.
An additional screening fee of ¥1,650 (¥1,500 + consumption tax of ¥150) will be added for each additional image data submitted.
An additional screening fee of ¥16,500 (¥15,000 + consumption tax of ¥1,500) will be added for video submitted. All application and judging fees are subject to 10% consumption tax.

If you are submitting 2 images and 1 video, the fee will be: 11,000+16,500=27,500
If you are submitting 4 images, the fee will be: 11,000+1,650×2=14,300

Application fee will be automatically calculated and you will be able to check the fee at [Payment]
Until the payment is complete, you can add, delete or edit image or video files.

Once the credit card transaction is completed, an invoice-compatible receipt will be issued by the Stripe payment system. Please make sure to download and keep the receipt.


The interpretation of when the work to be applied for “Signatures completed by 4/30″ is completed is left up to the applicant.
Completion” means “to be complete. To be completely finished.” (Kojien), so it is up to the applicant to decide whether “completion” or “opening of the facility” should be considered as completion.

In either case, please make sure that you do not submit the same work twice, one for this year and the other for the following year.

If you are at a loss to judge, we suggest that you consider the date the work was “opened to the public”.
If the opening has been extended and is not open to the public, you may consider the date of future opening as the “completion” date. On the other hand, in the case of offices, etc., there are cases where the building has been handed over to the business and the tenant is about to move in, etc. In this case, the date of completion and handover can be interpreted as “completion.

If the same building is completed on different dates in different areas, entries may be submitted for different years for different areas.

Please check the following

1. Is JavaScript enabled? (If it is disabled, please enable it)
2. Are pop-ups allowed? (Please allow it.)

When you click the payment button, you will receive a message saying that you will not be able to edit any of your entries after this time. You will not be able to edit any entries that have already been paid for. Are you sure?” The confirmation pop-up window is displayed by JavaScript. We suspect that this pop-up window is not displayed because you cannot proceed unless you click “Accept and Continue.

If you still do not see the pop-up window, please contact us.

It is possible that your computer or in-house security level is so high that pop-ups are blocked.
You can also access the site with a smartphone or tablet, etc. We would appreciate it if you could access the site from these devices and try the payment process.

When uploading multiple photographs, 1 file should contain 1 photograph.
Multiple photographs on a single page as group of photos is not allowed.
However, in the first file only, applicant may submit a concept sheet combining multiple images.
For more information on concept sheet, please check the answer to the question “Can we apply with a page composed of photographs and concept statement?”

The applicant is allowed to submit one image file combining charts, figures, text and multiple photographs (group of photographs) as a concept chart.
All other image files should contain one photograph (with short caption text).

One entry per work is the general rule, however, multiple applications in different perspectives (for example: “Architectural Environment” and “Sign System”) are acceptable.
However, the applicant should be aware that:

  • The entries should have different titles and concepts.
  • The photographs depicting different motifs and different angles to express the difference in perspective, are preferred when uploading for application.
  • In the event the two entries both win the awards, the editor may select photographs for publication (to avoid duplication of photographs).

There is no rule to the format for concept sheet. However, the entries will be examined using PC or tablet screens (primary selection) and monitor screens (secondary selection, with regular HD aspect ratio), we recommend landscape mode.

Applicant Registration

[Applicant] Those who are actually in charge of submitting works at the application site.
Please register your name (kanji, kana, or alphabetical characters), SDA member or not, affiliation (company name, corporate name, trade name, etc.in kanji, alphabetical characters, department), contact address, phone number, cell phone number, e-mail address, and optional password in [Applicant Registration]. Once you have registered, you will be able to use your ID (e-mail address) and password to log in for the next and subsequent years, but if your information changes (e.g., your department changes), please update your information.
All correspondence from SDA will be sent to the “applicant”. Please make sure that we can contact you by e-mail, phone, or mail.

[Representative for the work] The name that will appear with the name of the work in the yearbook or collection of works.
In principle, we ask that you use your personal name + affiliation (company name, corporation name, trade name, etc.), but it is possible to register only your corporate name. Please make sure that there are no omissions in the corporate name.

[The people involved] People involved in the production of this work
The work will appear in the credits section of the yearbook and portfolio.
Please select your job function from the options and enter your affiliation and name (in Kanji and English, respectively). Be sure to fill in the five categories of “Direction, Design, Construction, Client, and Photography” that will appear in the yearbook. Joint names are not acceptable. If there is more than one person in charge, please add an item and enter the information for each. The maximum number of lines that can be entered is 15 (company).
Changes or additions cannot be made after the application is completed, so please be careful not to make any errors or omissions.
Please be careful not to make any errors or omissions. Applicants will be notified individually on how to make corrections.

The applicant’s name is registered as an ID (e-mail address), and a single ID cannot be shared by multiple applicants.
If you are involved in the production of the work, please register as the representative of the work or as a related person.

The name of the representative must be the one who was involved in the design and production of the work, and multiple names cannot be registered. If more than one name is entered, the first name will be accepted as the representative. In principle, we ask that the name of the individual + affiliation (company name, corporation name, trade name, etc.) be used, but it is also possible to register only the name of the corporation.