An Insider’s Look at the Judging of our Annual Create-A-Greeting-Card $10,000 Scholarship Contest

by Henry L. on March 19, 2010

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Well it didn’t take too long after we announced this year’s winner of our 3rd Annual Create-A-Greeting Card $10,000 Scholarship Contest to start hearing from some folks who found our choice a bit perplexing or found some other little nuance in the design that they took issue with.

That’s ok. We get it. We realized when we pick this year’s winner that there might be a few lifted eye brows given some of the other excellent finalists also in the running. In the infamous words of Ricky Ricardo do we have some “splainin’ to do?”

Well, yes and no. :-) You see, ultimately it is up to our judging panel, and believe us, they spend many hours behind closed doors, drinking way too much coffee and Diet Coke trying to whittle down the choices while taking many different things into consideration during the process.

So just what are those factors that lurk in the minds of our astute judges? Well…it turns out there are some obvious things that are considered and perhaps some not so obvious things. So if you are one of the people thinking of entering our next scholarship contest and you are smart enough to be reading this, you just might learn something that will be of value to you.

The Judging Criteria (not limited to the following):

1)  Does the design concept seem to “fit” in our existing line of Christmas, Birthday or other All-Occasion designs?

2)  We look for a spark of creativity, something fresh in the card design.

3)  We don’t judge a greeting card design by its cover. Kind of ironic isn’t it? Meaning, we don’t just look at what was submitted to us “as is”. We look at it to see what a design is capable of becoming once in the hands of our expert team who will apply the techniques and treatments we are renowned for such as embossing, bright colored or refractory foils, and maybe a dash of glitter.

4)  The genre in which design is made whether it be a painting, a hand drawn sketch, a photograph…how ever it was created does not play a big factor in the decision making process as proven by this year’s pick. Yes, a simple yet appealing doodle can actually win because we believe we can turn it into a top selling card.

5)  Now, here is the one thing virtually no one might think of that we absolutely must consider! How will this design look in the media in which we advertise? You see, our cards are not sold in stores, so we must rely on our print catalogs and web pages to illustrate the beauty of our greeting cards designs. Even if we think a design is breathtaking, if we don’t think it will translate well into that media then it is likely ruled out.

6)  Last but not least, and this should come as no surprise folks, the design must be original. Not only must it be original but the winner needs to be able to provide us with the final art. So if we find out that a design was a gift from the clip art fairy or somehow created out of some other less than original means, well please understand we simply cannot use it!

Hopefully this will shed some light on how we go about picking the winner of our Create-A-Greeting Card $10,000 Scholarship Contest. So take out a paintbrush, a pencil, a pen or your favorite digital camera and get busy on your chance to design the next top selling Christmas card or All-Occasion design. Good luck to all and thank you to everyone who put the time and effort into our past contests.

*Disclaimer: This blog post is a reflection of the writer’s interpretation of the judging process and in no way changes or amends the scholarship rules. Furthermore, the writer is not a part of the judging panel.

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