The Conference

Inspiration from across the nation. Energize your creative spirit with three days packed full of renowned keynote speakers, studio tours, panel discussions, and more breakout sessions and workshops than ever before. And get great feedback on your work at our portfolio review from leading industry professionals, or even land a job at our aptly named job fair.

Conference: May 1 - 3, 2014

Conference tickets will be available for $125 online until 11:59pm CST, April 18th 2014. Tickets at the door will be $200, and day passes can be purchased at the door for $100.

Venue & Hotel Info

Doubletree Dallas - Campbell Centre
8250 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75206
T: 214-691-8700

Mention "National Student Show" when booking your room for $99/night room rates. Be sure to book by April 16th to get this rate.

Schedule of Events

With events spanning from Thursday, May 1st to Friday, May 3rd, this year's National Student Show & Conference promises three days with plenty to do. Click here to view the schedule of events.

Keynote Speakers

  • Friends of Type
    Type and lettering designers Aaron Carambula, Erik Marinovich, Dennis Payongayong, & Jason Wong

    Friends of Type features original typographic design and lettering - fresh visual content - practically every day, by the four primary contributors. Posts are meant to log ideas, express ourselves, and inspire each other and our readers.

  • Limbert Fabian
    Moonbot Studios, Creative Director

    Limbert Fabian is a designer/creative director for Moonbot Studios, a place where outstanding individual talents combine to create extraordinary entertainment to an array of media platforms. His work ranges from on-screen to off-line experiences.

  • Tom Brown
    Owner/ Creative Director of TBA+D

    TBA+D is a multi-disciplinary design studio in Vancouver Canada that specializes in magazines, books and branding whose clients cover the globe. TBA+D services range from one off commissions to complete turnkey strategies and solutions. A small team handles all art direction, design, redesign, typeface design and prototype creation ensuring strong reliable relationships.

Portfolio Review & Job Fair

Get feedback from industry professionals who will also be seeking new talent at our job fair.

There are additional companies participating in the portfolio review are not shown here.

Studio Tour Tickets

Come to the conference a day early for a guided tour of Dallas design and advertising studios. Groups will get day passes on the DART line and spend the afternoon touring four studios. This is very popular and will sell out early. Studio Tours start at noon on Thursday April 11th. Tickets are non-refundable after March 15th. Note: Studio tours are during the day, May 1st prior to the conference, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Award Gala Tickets

Stay Saturday evening for a served dinner and dessert. We'll be handing out awards and over $15,000 in cash prizes to the winners of the student show. Tickets will be $35 at the door, so buy them now and save $10. All pre-purchased tickets are non-refundable.

Breakout Sessions

Join us for breakout sessions focusing on key topics lead by industry experts. Each session is geared towards acclimating you for real world skills and job preperation.

The Show

Go head to head with students from across the country as you compete for over $15,000 in scholarships and best-of-category prizes. CALLS FOR ENTRIES CLOSED

View the winner and entries list here

view winners


Each of our judges played a significant role in shaping our conference what it has become today. All were present at the inaugural conference 10 years ago.

  • Jeff Barfoot

    Principal, RBMM & Co-Founder of The National Student Show

  • Garrett Owen

    Senior Designer, RBMM

  • Jennifer Singer

    Art Director, The University of
    Texas at Austin & Co-Founder of
    The National Student Show

  • Ben Barry

    Freelance Designer,
    formerly of Facebook

  • Matt George

    Creative Director, Tractorbeam


With over $15,000 in scholarships and best-of-category prizes, there’s plenty to go around.

  • The AT&T Top Senior Portfolio Prize

    The grand prize senior portfolio winner will be awarded a whopping $3,000. Please put this money to good use beginning your new career, and don't spend it on Starbucks and skinny jeans. Students must have more than 90 credit hours to be eligible for this award.

  • 2nd Place Senior Portfolio

    The second place winner will be awarded a $2,000 prize. Students must have more than 90 credit hours to be eligible for this award.

  • 3rd Place Senior Portfolio

    The third place winner will be awarded a $1,000 prize. Students must have more than 90 credit hours to be eligible for this award.

  • Dick Sloan Award for Best
    Sophomore Portfolio

    $1,000 award for the best overall sophomore portfolio. Students must have less than 60 credit hours to be eligible.

  • Dick Sloan Award for Best
    Junior Portfolio

    $2,000 award for the best overall Junior portfolio. In addition, this Junior will receive five business cards from creative directors across the country that have seen their work and offered a personal portfolio review. Students must have more than 60 and less than 90 credit hours to be eligible.

  • Best of Category

    $125 cash award for each category

  • Judge's Choice

    Each judge will select their favorite piece from the show. $500 cash award.

  • Best Interactive Media

    COLOSSAL sponsors this scholarship. $500

  • Best Copywriting

    1400 Words sponsors this scholarship. $500

  • Best Use of Paper

    Clampitt Paper sponsors this scholarship. $500

  • Best in Show

    An additional $500 cash award for the best overall entry from the “Best of Category” winners.

  • Best School

    $1,000 awarded to the college, university, or art school whose students, as a whole, exhibit the highest level of work.

Entry Categories

    General Design

  • Logos
  • Letterhead Program
  • Packaging
  • Posters
  • Publication Design
  • Book Covers / Spreads
  • Magazine Covers / Spreads
  • Brochures & Catalogs
  • Annual Reports
  • Miscellaneous Design


  • Print Advertising‚ General
  • Print Advertising‚ Public Service Pro Bono
  • Broadcast Advertising‚ Television or Radio

    Environmental Design

  • Environmental Design

    Interactive Design

  • Website Design
  • Mobile App Design
  • Miscellaneous Interactive Design

    Industrial Design

  • Industrial Design
    (includes product design)

    Motion Design

  • Animated Short (up to 5 minutes, 2D or 3D)
  • Short Film (up to 5 minutes, live action)
  • Motion Graphics (up to 2 minutes, graphic design in motion)


  • Illustration, single and series (series must include at least 3 pieces)


  • Photography, single and series (series must include at least 3 pieces)

    Group Projects

  • Group project (each group project may be entered only once, and may not be entered in other categories)

    Graduate Work

  • Graduate Student Work (Since the Show is designed for undergraduates, all graduate student work may not be entered in other categories)

    Total Campaign

  • Total Campaign (3 or more pieces, that are part of one campaign, from three different categories above. Example: 1 poster,  1 brochure and 1 packaging piece)

For additional information regarding the category submissions, see our Official Rules