We are very excited to launch a brand new weekly feature titled the $10,000 Create-A-Greeting-Card-Scholarship Look Back Series. This series will look back on all of our previous annual Scholarship contests with each month focusing on one contest with weekly posts full of behind the scenes information, past winner interviews, card transformation and much much more.
With our first official entry we want everyone to get a little more familiar with the Scholarship team that is responsible for going through the entries, selecting the finalists and eventually the winner. Read the interview below to get an inside look into who makes up the team, what they look for and more!
Interview with the Scholarship Contest Team
How many members are on the Scholarship team that judges the entries?
We have a total of 6 members on our panel. We have people on the team from different departments in our company such as Production, Creative and even an artist from our Art Department in order to provide a different viewpoint for each aspect of turning an entry into a card.
How often does the scholarship team meet to go over the entries?
We start meeting a month after each contest begins and go on to meet once a month moving forward until the contest ends. We like to meet once a month in order to avoid having the entries get backed up to such a large number that would be difficult for us to view. During the 2011 scholarship contest, we received over 13,000 entries so saving them all for the end wouldn’t have allowed us the ability go through each entry as thoroughly as we would have liked.
What typically goes on in these monthly meetings?
In each meeting we like to go through the entries that we have received since the last and set aside any potential finalists that we feel could be turned into cards. The first thing that we look for is Creativity and Originality. We want to see an effort was put into the entry and then we go through the remaining criteria. Many times an entry can be very good art but unfortunately does not meet 5, 6 or 7 from the below judging criteria.
- Overall aesthetic appeal
- Quality of execution
- Creativity and Originality
- Successful incorporation of design elements
- Appropriateness for use as a greeting card
- Attractiveness to The Gallery Collection’s corporate and consumer customers
- Suitability as a design in Prudent’s Gallery Collection greeting card line
When do you officially choose the finalists for the contest?
Once we start getting close to the end of the contest, we begin to look through the potential finalists that we set aside in our monthly meetings to narrow them down to around 200 entries. Then once the contest officially ends, we go through the remaining entries that we have received and choose any others that we feel meet the judging criteria and could be turned into beautiful cards. We then like to post them up on our website to let everyone see just how amazing the pool of finalists really is.
How do you eventually settle on the winning design?
Once we have the 200 finalists chosen, we begin our voting rounds which we use to narrow down the number to around 5-10 “Super Finalists”. At this point we put together affidavits which are sent to each entrant to ensure that their artwork and identity is confirmed. Once we receive the affidavits back we then go through the final voting phase which also involves some of our executive team at the company to pick our final winner.
What is your favorite part about being on the Scholarship Team?
I think each of us can easily say the absolute best feeling in the world is when we finally contact the winner to let them know they have won. A call like that is something amazing to be a part of because it makes all of the work and time that we have put into this contest worth it. Knowing that the $10,000 Create-A-Greeting-Card-Scholarship is going to help a student further their education means the world to us. We all look forward to this each year.
That brings us to the end of our inside look into our hard working Scholarship Team. We hope this interview gave you a little insight into the amount of work and thought that goes into each years contest. Without this team this scholarship contest would not be possible!
We want to let everyone know to keep a look out for next weeks post in our weekly series which will be a behind the scenes look into the transformation of our 2011 Scholarship Contest Winner, Whitney Fuertes’ entry into a card!