Student Design Competition Categories Announced!

So it's Thanksgiving on Thursday, meaning 2 whole days or more without classes. What to do with all that free time? Why not get started on your SPD Student Design Competition entries! The official rules and entry form will be available for download in the next week or two, but for now, all the info you need to get started is below.


1.  You get your work in front of an awesome panel of judges (to be announced next week), comprised of some of the top talent in the magazine design world.

2.  You could win an internship, prizes, and fame and glory on our blog and in our SPD Annual (Pub 45).


1.  CHOOSE:  Select a project from one of the five categories listed below (entertainment, city/regional, how-to, business/money and green). 


2.  DESIGN:  Create the first 4 pages of a story (two spreads) on the project you choose. Each page measures 8"w x 10"h, so a spread is 16"w x 10"h. Original photography or illustration is not required, but welcome if appropriate. You may enter more than one design in the same or different categories. SPD Student Members get their first 3 entries for free. 


3.  SUBMIT:  Either printed material or electronic files as follows.

Printed Material: Full-size spreads, not reduced copies. DO NOT MOUNT THE WORK TO ANY TYPE OF BOARD. Tape a copy of your completed entry form (entry forms will be available soon) to the BACK of each submission. Staple the spreads together in the upper left-hand corner. (Slides will NOT be accepted).

Electronic PDF: Burn all submissions to a CD. Entries should be full size, press quality, 300 dpi, PDF files (all fonts embedded). It is ok to put multiple entries on one CD. Place your name somewhere on each spread in 4 pt type. Include a printed copy of the entry form for each entry. Mark clearly the name of the school and student(s)'s last name(s) on CD.


4.  SEND all entries with completed entry and payment forms (available soon) to: 
The Society of Publication Designers  
27 Union Square West, Suite 207 
New York, NY 10003
Entries must be received before or on Monday, March 8, 2010. Anything later will not be eligible as the judging process begins Tuesday.

Please read this over carefully and stay within the guidelines. SPD reserves the right to disqualify any miscategorized or incomplete entries.  


This culture magazine targets the college student and the young professional interested in art, music and film. It features in-depth interviews, trends, as well as historical components.

Design a 2-spread story for this magazine that evokes a transition in time for your subject's evolution through the use of a time line or imagery. Your subject doesn't have to be an actual person or famous group, but you should treat them as if they are famous and everyone is aware of them. As such, you can produce original photography or illustration for your design.

• Headline text:  (Use the Name of the Person(s) or Topic you are showcasing) 
• Subhead text:  created a visionary new (sound/look/movement). An in-depth look at how (he/she/they/it began.)
• Byline text:  By Janet Marion 


This magazine is an established city/regional publication for the young and independent city-dweller or traveler. It covers food, nightlife, and where to stay. If you need to know about a city/area, this magazine is your source. 

Design a two-spread feature for this magazine. This story should be a round-up of ideas and things to do. Think about ways to incorporate sidebars and tips to make this a fun design, easily-accessible to the audience. Consider producing your own photography to give your design a fresh and creative approach to your city or region.

• Headline text:  Bored of (choose a subject or activity) in (city/region of your choice)?
• Subhead text:  We've found the the best alternatives to cure your doldrums.
• Byline text:  By the Editors


This new hip and fun magazine for the young post-graduate has a broad topic reach on how to improve your home, life and career.

Design a two-spread feature in this magazine that gives step-by-step instruction on how to master the topic of your choice. You might want to include original illustrations, schematics and sidebars to make it easier to follow. Think of an innovative and fun way to approach your topic.

• Headline text:  (Your Chosen Topic/Activity) like a pro. 
• Subhead text:  Follow these few simple steps to become a master.
• Byline text:  By F.C. Williams


This respected financial publication geared toward the young business person and business owner is known for its bold typography and modern design. It contains hard-hitting interviews, financial forecasts, behind-the-scenes looks at companies and cultural trends.

Design a two-spread feature that will appear in this magazine ten years from now. It could be a financial outlook, interview with a business person or a review of an innovative product or commodity. Think of creative ways to illustrate and design for your topic that will grab the attention of the reader.

• Headline text:  Will It Work?
• Subhead text:  The new (your person/topic) has promised to improve (fill in accordingly).
• Byline text:  By James Rodgers


This publication is aimed at readers who are interested in environmentally-sound industrial, product, interior and architectural design. The content is broad and showcases leading and cutting-edge solutions to the problem of living a more earth-friendly lifestyle while still focusing on aesthetics. Examples of topics covered might be furniture produced with minimal impact on the environment, buildings that are certified to be environmentally-friendly, or solar-powered electronics. The readers are professionals who develop and produce such designs, and consumers who use them.

Design a two-spread feature on a review of 3-10 design solutions that will inspire the work of other designers going forward.

• Headline text:  Green Acts to Follow
• Subhead text:  These (number of ) innovative (products/buildings/ideas) will set the standard for the next wave of environmentally-sound design.
• Byline text:  By Jane Johnson


We'll post some Frequently Asked Questions in the coming months as well as some tips and suggestions for your desing, so keep an eye out for that.

And if you've got any questions, let us know at
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