March 10, 2011 13:07 ET

Ning Searches for Top Social Designers in $10,000 Competition

Designers Can Now Develop Custom Themes for Ning Communities Using Real Fonts From Typekit

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) -   Ning, the world's largest platform for creating custom social websites, has just opened the Ning Design Studio, enabling Ning Creators to style up their social experience with gorgeous layouts and advanced customization options -- breaking the mold for social websites. To celebrate the launch, Ning is calling for designers to show off their skills in the Ning Design Studio Competition where designers are eligible to win more than $10,000 in cash and prizes, while also submitting their work for sale in the upcoming Ning Theme Marketplace. People that enter will have the opportunity to get their work in front of a judging panel of world-renowned designers including Khoi Vinh, Dan Cederholm, Ethan Marcotte, Luke Wroblewski, Brian Hoff, and Elliot Jay Stocks.  

The Ning Design Studio provides designers with the power and resources to take social website design to the next level. Thanks to Typekit's sponsorship of the design competition, designers will also be able to choose from a large library of real fonts for use in their entries.

"Social is becoming more and more mainstream and users are looking for new ways to customize the look and feel of their communities," said Jonathan Shambroom, Chief Product Officer at Ning. "We created the Ning Design Studio to weave together powerful design features and a marketplace of 90,000 Ning subscribers."

To coincide with the launch of the Design Studio, designers are encouraged to submit their work to the Ning Design Competition. After submitting an entry, designers are eligible for a chance to win more than $10,000 in cash and prizes, as well as a chance to display their work to the panel of industry expert judges. In addition, all entries will be automatically be entered into the Ning Theme Marketplace review process, and be eligible for sale by the designer once Premium Themes become available (slated for mid-2011). Designers will also have access to showcase their work if they want to take on custom projects for Ning Creators.

"The Design Competition is a great opportunity for designers to re-imagine how we look at social media platforms. By offering some of our favorite fonts, entrants will be able to create far more sophisticated designs than ever before," said Jeffrey Veen, Founder and CEO at Typekit.

Competition Details:

Designers can submit their entries by visiting from now until April 15th. Twelve finalists will be chosen on April 25, and then the panel of judges will make their final selections for the top prizewinners. The community will also be given the opportunity to vote for their favorite, resulting in an additional winner. Winners will be announced on May 10 and will receive:

  • Grand Prize: $10,000 and a one-year Ning Pro subscription
  • 2nd and 3rd Place: $1,000, a 27" Apple Cinema Display and a one-year Ning Pro subscription
  • The top three winners and an additional winner selected by the Ning Design Community will receive a trip to New York City for a celebration dinner event with Ning and the judges on June 8th, 2011
  • All entries will be automatically entered into the Ning Theme Marketplace review process and be eligible for sale once the Premium Themes product becomes available
  • Full rules and requirements can be viewed here:

The Ning Design Studio is only the beginning of what is coming from Ning this year. For additional information on these features and to learn more about Ning, please visit

About Ning

Ning is the leading online platform for the world's organizers, activists and influencers to create social experiences that inspire action. For brands of all shapes and sizes, Ning makes it easy to build custom and powerful social websites. Ning Networks span categories like politics, entertainment, small business, non-profits, education and more, connecting millions of people every day around the topics they are passionate about. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Ning was co-founded in October 2004 by Chairman Marc Andreessen and is privately held. For more information, visit

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