Virtual Reality for Industrial Designers - Out Now

The BARK Challenge | Challenge 2

We've teamed up with BARK to bring you our second official Almond challenge! With the months of October, November and December in mind - whether that be Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, or anything in between - you’re challenged to design a toy for our furry friends!

Our Finalists!

September 10th 2021

Adison Niemi (Trick or Treat Dispenser)
Alexus Heath (Pup's Brew)
Amelia Bullins (Wuffsbane Freezie)
Ashley Marie Woods (It's a Dog Eat Cookie Kind of World)
Claire Fontanella (We Wish You a Tear-y Christmas)
Gabriel Newton (Paranormal Pal)
Kayla McLean (Mothman)
Megan Hegg (Jack-the-Ripper)
Oliver Dunkin (Arachni-Chewer)
Paige Ryan (What's Your Fur-tune)

The Brief

Open to those based in the US or the UK, BARK has challenged you, the budding designer, to design a unique toy for our furry friends! With the months of October, November and December in mind - whether that be Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, or anything in between - you’re challenged to design a durable dog toy with engaging play features for BARK’s Super Chewer brand. The design should be thoughtful towards this time of year, incorporating clever thematic and/or character details. This needs to be a toy that both humans and our little doggos can understand and respond to. Pay close attention to durability, materials, and safety when designing your concept. For those that are keen to go the extra mile, market research and brand research of BARK's Super Chewer is recommended. The winner will receive $2000 USD (amongst other goodies) with their design being licensed by BARK and put into production. We’re looking for unique and playful designs, so loosen the collar and have fun with it!

About BARK

BARK is the world’s most dog-centric company, devoted to making dogs happy with the best products, services and content. BARK’s dog-obsessed team applies its unique, data-driven understanding of what makes each dog special to design playstyle-specific toys, wildly satisfying treats and wellness supplements, and dog-first experiences that foster the health and happiness of dogs everywhere. Founded in 2012, BARK loyally serves dogs nationwide with monthly subscription services, BarkBox and Super Chewer; a curated e-commerce experience on BarkShop.com; and custom collections via its retail partner network, including Target and Amazon; wellness products that meet your dogs’ needs with BARK Bright; and a personalized meal delivery service for dogs with BARK Eats. At BARK, we want to be the people our dogs think we are, and promise to be their voice until every dog reaches its full tail-wagging potential. Pro tip: BARK avoids paws and bones in any design and branding elements! 

Challenge Structure

  • Participants are presented with the challenge of designing a dog toy for BARK’s Super Chewer brand.
  • All entries will be submitted before Friday 3rd September at 12pm EST/5pm BST using the instructions outlined in the ‘How to Submit’ section.
  • Participants are encouraged to seek feedback from peers and show work-in-progress through the Almond Discord server, for which you can join here, as well as on Instagram by tagging @almond.school and @bark and using the hashtag #barkchallenge
  • 10 finalists will be selected and announced on Friday 10th September at 11am EST/4pm BST.
  • The finalists will then virtually present to a panel of judges on Friday 17th September between 11am-1:30pm EST/4pm-6:30pm BST. Exact times will be communicated to each finalist prior to the presentations.
  • The winner will be announced on Monday 20th September at 11am EST/4pm BST.

Awards and Prizes

1st Place

  • The winner will receive $2000 USD from BARK.
  • The winning design will be licensed by BARK and produced in 2022.
  • The winner will be updated on the processes involved in preparing their concept for manufacture, before eventually bringing that design to market. 
  • The 1st place winner will also receive a 100% and 50% voucher for an Almond class of their choice (valid for 2 years).
  • 1st place virtual trophy and certificate of commendation.

2nd Place

  • The 2nd place winner will receive a 100% voucher for an Almond class of their choice (valid for 2 years).
  • 2nd place virtual trophy and certificate of commendation.

3rd Place

  • The 3rd place winner will receive a 50% voucher for an Almond class of their choice (valid for 2 years).
  • 3rd place virtual trophy and certificate of commendation.

Honourable Mention

  • Honourable mention virtual trophy and certificate of commendation.

Finalists

  • All finalists (including those listed above) will receive a gift bundle from BARK, as well as online recognition from both BARK and Almond School of Design. The BARK design team will also provide in-depth constructive feedback for each concept selected as a finalist.

Judging Criteria

Designs will be judged on (in no particular order, and not limited to):

  • How closely the design aligns with BARK’s Super Chewer brand in terms of aesthetics, play engagement, and durability considerations (so be sure you do your research!)
  • Play themes or seasonality captured in the design that relates to the months of October, November, and/or December in the US. 
  • Originality and innovation that makes sense for dogs and their parents. 
  • The overall quality of the concept and how well the design is communicated. 
  • A good understanding of the market, demonstrated in the design concept.

Deliverables

  • Design concepts can be explored through any medium the participant chooses. That could be sketches, CAD modelling, foam modelling, or whatever you like! However, your final images must be presented using the provided template, which is available for download at the bottom of this page.
  • Once you’ve completed the challenge, submit your work using the instructions in the ‘How to Submit’ section. Multiple entries are allowed!

How to Submit

  • Your final design concepts are to be submitted via the link found at the bottom of this page. Each concept (if you are submitting more than one) should be submitted individually.
  • You should submit a single PDF (which may contain multiple pages) using the naming convention: The BARK Challenge_Your Full Name_1.pdf. For example, The BARK Challenge_Suzie Smith_1.pdf. If you are submitting a 2nd design, the naming convention would be: The BARK Challenge_Your Name_2.pdf and so forth. Don't forget to use the provided template which can be downloaded from the bottom of this page!
  • Make sure you include your full name and email address in your submission (as well as your Instagram handle if you would like us to tag you in any posts that display your work!)
  • 10 finalists will then be announced, and contacted via email, on Friday 10th September at approximately 11am EST/4pm BST. Again, please ensure your email address is clearly visible in your submission PDF to avoid your entry being disregarded (which would not be cool).

Key Dates and Times

Monday 2nd August | 12am EST/5am BST: The Bark Challenge goes live and open for submissions.

Friday 3rd September | 12pm EST/5pm BST:  Submissions will be closed.

Friday 10th September | 11am EST/4pm BST: Finalists announced.

Friday 17th September | 11am-1:30pm EST/4pm-6:30pm BST: Finalist presentations.

Monday 20th September | 11am EST/4pm BST: Winner announcement.

Rules

  • Only those aged 18 years and over, who have not yet had a design produced or currently in development for production to be sold and distributed in any market category, will be eligible to participate.
  • Team entries are not permitted - however seeking the support of your peers, as well as critique and feedback, is highly encouraged. (Amended August 10th)
  • Current BARK or Almond School of Design employees, or family members of either BARK or Almond School of Design employees, are ineligible to participate.
  • The challenge is open to US and UK citizens only.
  • Entrants will have complete ownership of their designs (including those selected as finalists).
  • The 1st place winner will receive $2000 USD, with the winning design being exclusively licensed by BARK for 1 year. The winning design may be modified by BARK in order to suit the requirements of the business and the market. Royalties will not be applied or a part of the purchase agreement.
  • Participants are welcome to submit more than one design.
  • Any submissions may be posted publicly across BARK, Super Chewer and Almond School of Design social media platforms (with fair and appropriate accreditation). Please include your social media handles with your entry if you would like to be tagged directly. Alternatively, forenames and surnames will be used. 
  • Entries must be submitted before 12pm EST/5pm BST on Friday 3rd September to be considered.
  • Designs that infringe upon existing intellectual property, or products that exist on the market, will be disqualified. Judgement on this will be made by BARK and Almond School of Design. 
  • Participants should not request, nor will they receive, help or assistance from BARK or Almond School of Design employees, but are encouraged to seek feedback from peers (the Almond Discord server would be a great place to do this). The Discord server can be joined here.
  • Submissions will be judged entirely on submission materials, and not on any verbal communication (prior to the finalist presentations).
  • The ten finalist entries will be selected based on the quality and communication of their concept, as opposed to technical skills.
  • Selected finalists must be available and willing to virtually present their submissions to a panel of judges on Friday 17th September between 11am-1:30pm EST/4pm-6:30pm BST. Exact times will be communicated to each finalist prior to the presentations.
  • The winning design will be selected based on the business requirements and product strategy of BARK at the time of the presentation. Only one design will be selected to be produced, and will be announced on Monday 20th September at 11am EST/4pm BST.


The full terms and conditions can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.

Submit your Design

Once you're ready to submit your design, click the link below. You'll be sent to our submission form, where you can upload your PDF.

Submit

Submission Template

Once you've created your design, place your images on our submission template. Remember - you can submit multiple designs!

Download

Terms and Conditions

Download and read the full terms and conditions of The BARK Challenge, for both the United Kingdom and the United States.

Download

The BARK Challenge Info Pack

Want to download our information booklet to be able to easily access all of this information? Download here!

Download

BARK

BARK is the world’s most dog-centric company, devoted to making dogs happy with the best products, services and content.

Learn More

Discord Server

Get the most out of The BARK Challenge by sharing work-in-progress and seeking feedback from peers in our Discord server!

Join Now

Good luck and have fun!

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