12th Annual Student Design Competition Adapts to COVID-19

Reston, VA, May 20, 2020­–The 12th Annual Student Design Competition presented by the Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech) in partnership with Konica Minolta has adapted its submission guidelines to allow students to submit pre-press ready files rather than printed pieces for this year’s challenge. Typically, the competition requires students to design and print their entry pieces. With most education buildings currently off limits, the process was simplified to understand the unique challenges that students are facing right now. The competition’s deadline has also been modified to Friday, June 19, 2020 to allow more time for student entries to be submitted.

“Students have had their lives significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. Rather than cancel this year’s competition, we wanted to find a way to keep them engaged with the print community,” said Thayer Long, president, APTech. “We would like to thank our partner, Konica Minolta, for coming up with a solution to ensure the continuation of this competition by generously offering to print entries for judging”.

“It is certainly unfortunate for students who are used to having a hands-on print education experience to be suddenly thrust into the world of online, distance learning,” said Dawn Nye, Manager for Solutions and Service Marketing with Konica Minolta Business Solutions. “We wanted to find a way to keep their creative juices flowing and thinking about print despite not having access to technology.”

This year’s competition theme is “MAIL MATTERS”. Recent studies show that 60% of Americans say they like receiving printed mail and those numbers jump even higher for Millennials with their $1.4 trillion in spending power. Personalization is a driving force in direct mail. With the advanced print and finishing technology of today, the competition has tasked students with the challenge to create innovative, personalized direct mail pieces.

The aim of the Student Design Competition is to expand awareness and interest in the print industry and expose the future workforce to print beyond theory.  Award-winning pieces will be selected by a panel of industry judges who will evaluate the mailers based on the following judging criteria:

  • Innovation (out-of-the-box thinking)
  • Inspiration (creative and original)
  • Cohesiveness (design matches the personalized messaging)
  • Audience engagement (strong call-to-action)
  • Correct use of optional printing enhancements

First-place winners will receive $2,000 along with a travel stipend to attend the next Brand Print Americas show. Second-place winners will be awarded $1,500, and the third-place winners will receive $1,000.

The competition is open to all students studying in a graphic communications, printing, advertising, graphic design and/or interactive media program at a recognized secondary or post-secondary institution in the continental United States. For more information about the 12th Annual Student Design Competition please visit: https://PRINTtechnologies.org/SDC

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