2020 Student Design Competition Presented by APTech in Partnership with Konica Minolta

Students should demonstrate the knowledge of designing for and producing a printed product; executing the steps from design concept to file preparation to printed output. This year’s challenge focuses on the tactile component of omnichannel marketing and the importance of personalization. Studies show that printed material offers a deeper level of involvement and response for a call-to-action.

Entry Must Include BOTH—a printed mail piece AND a digital copy (jpg or png).

Instructors: Complete the entry form, then mail a copy of the form with the printed, finished mail piece to:

Student Design Competition c/o APTech
1896 Preston White Drive
Reston, VA 20191

Your Challenge

Design and Print a Personalized Tangible Mail Piece

Who Can Participate?

All students who attend recognized secondary or post-secondary institutions in the continental United States, studying in a graphic communications, printing, advertising, graphic design and/or interactive media program are eligible to enter.


Entries must be submitted and postmarked by the June 5th, 2020 deadline.

Design Requirements

Mailer Creation

There is no requirement for the type of mail piece. Some examples are:

  • Postcard
  • Brochure
  • Insert
  • Promotional calendar
  • Newsletter
  • Welcome kit (for services, etc.)
  • Package with giveaway item

Personalized Mail

The mail piece should be addressed to an individual, with a message that is relevant to their preferences; interest them in your mailed offer. “Advertising by mail”.

Motivate and provide an easy way for an individual to take action. For example:

  • Promote a fictitious product, service or event
  • Solicit donation or participation in a social cause
  • Present a coupon or personalized offer
  • Connect to an opinion survey

Note: If your mailer includes a call-to-action reply that connects the physical mailer to an online, digital response, you need not create the digital experience. The digital experience can be imaginary.

Correct grammar and spelling in the text! Carefully consider use of typeface for best impact.

Production cost of the mail piece is irrelevant for the judging; especially if you incorporate an optional printing enhancement or embellishment. Just be sure the special effect can be produced by a printing or print finishing process.

Terms and Conditions

  • The entry is the work of the named student, contains no trademark or copyright material, and was completed during the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • All entries must be produced individually. Team entries are not acceptable.
  • All entries become the property of APTech and Konica Minolta. The entries may be reproduced and distributed; and will not be returned.
  • The student (and parent/guardian if student is under the age of 18) must give permission for participation in the 2020 Student Design Competition.
  • There is no fee to enter the competition.

Judging and Winner Selection

Award-winning mailers will be selected by a panel of industry judges who will evaluate the mailers based on the following judging criteria.

  • Innovative (out-of-the-box thinking)
  • Inspired (creative and original)
  • Cohesive (design matches the personalized messaging)
  • Engaging (strong call-to-action)
  • Correct use of optional printing enhancements