Design competitions open to the public were once a popular means for corporations and government agencies to commission logos and posters in Singapore. The launch of the competition and winning results were often covered in the newspapers, drawing free publicity for both the organisers and the winning designers. There was also a high participation rate as the prizes were generous, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Some examples of logos commissioned through such competitions included:
- Keppel Shipyard (1968) ($500)
- Primary Production Department (1973) ($300)
- MRT Corporation (1983) ($10,000)
- Total Defence (1985) ($3,200 + 14-day trip to Switzerland)
- National Arts Council (1993) ($10,000)
As design in Singapore increasingly professionalised from the 1980s, such competitions gradually gave way to clients working directly with designers instead. The practice was frowned upon by many as a form of free pitching as only winning entries were rewarded.
Today, the only design competition still organised regularly in Singapore is for the logo of the annual National Day Parade.