Student Competition Q&A: Digital Entry vs. Printouts?

Q.jpgI want to enter your SPD-U Student Design Competition, but I'm having a hard time finding access to a CD burner since all the laptops no longer seem to come with them. Is there another way I can submit my file digitally? Or is there a benefit to submitting it as a printout instead?

Great question, and yeah, kinda crazy how CD burners are no longer part of the computer package these days! A few options:

If you have fellow classmates who are also entering the competition and your professor or a fellow student has access to a burner, you can burn ALL your entries on the same CD and submit them together (just be sure to include all your entry forms and payment receipts). 

OR you can simply submit them on a cheap thumb drive instead ... we've seen them as cheap as $5, and again you can put all your classmates' entries on the same drive. And if you include a pre-addressed stamped envelope for it, we'll even mail it back to you.

HOWEVER ... even with those options, we actually would encourage you to submit physical printouts. It might seem antiquated, but since magazines (and especially this competition's assignment) are usually print products, it's only natural that to fully judge its success as a printed page, you gotta see it in print! And so our judging takes place with ONLY physical printouts.

In order to make this happen, every entry submitted digitally is printed out by our volunteer team on various printers and papers. What that means for YOU is that your colors may vary from what you intend, things may print darker or lighter, the entry won't be cropped to size if you prefer it that way, the paper may not be so nice, etc. 

Of course our judges are instructed to overlook those types of things as they make their selections, and since they deal with similar challenges everyday in their own work, they're quite used to seeing the merits of the design beyond the physical limitations of the printout. That said ... seeing a nicely-printed, cropped entry definitely lets the design speak loud and clear and gives YOU the reassurance that what our judges see is what you WANT them to see. 

That said, there's no penalty for NOT submitting physical printouts and many of our past winners have indeed been digital entries, so if your design is good enough, it really won't matter. But it IS something to consider, especially if your design relies on specific coloring and darks/lights.

Have more questions or want more details on how to enter our Student Design Competition? Get all the info here.

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