Skype for Mac design competition announced

Skype for Mac

Designers, start your creative engines! Today, on its official blog, Skype announced a chat styling competition to find the world's best theme for Skype for Mac.

"We want you to create the chat style for an upcoming version of Skype for Mac that will be enjoyed by millions of people around the world," states the official website for the competition.

"When we first launched our new Mac app, we were delighted to see so many custom styles emerge from the design community, so we thought we'd make it official," Krishna Panicker wrote on Skype's Big Blog. "We're inviting you to design your own chat style for Skype for Mac."

Skype officially begins accepting entries for the first stage of its three-stage competition on Friday, April 8. Each stage of the contest will last three weeks and result in a people's choice winner selected by users of the site and a judges' choice winner anointed by Skype's panel of experts. The six winners, two from each stage, will continue to compete for the grand prize: Skype will include the winning design in a future version of Skype for Mac.

The grand prize also includes an 11-inch MacBook Air, iPad 2 and a one year subscription to Skype's Unlimited World Extra calling service.

In addition, the five runners-up will receive some useful trophies that include an iPad 2, an AppleTV and a copy of CSS3 for Web Designers.

Skype's software allows users to connect with other Skype users using instant messaging, voice and video conferencing. The company's telephony services also enable customers to place and receive voice calls between a device or computer running Skype and nearly any traditional landline or mobile phone. According to an SEC filing from 2010, Skype has approximately 560 million total registered users worldwide.

Full details about the design contest, including prize lists, judging criteria, key dates and terms and conditions, are available on Skype's official competition page. Good luck to everyone who enters. We can't wait to see the winning design.