GAERF 2010 National Student Design Competition
Frequently Asked Questions

Contest Poster

Q.    What is the purpose of the competition?
A.    To create a theme and marketing product used to promote attendance at GRAPH EXPO 2011.

Q.    What are the entry qualifications?
A.    The GAERF 2010 Student Design Competition invites students to be creative by taking their original design from concept to finished product as they:
  • Create a theme for GRAPH EXPO 2011
  • Design artwork to support the theme, incorporating the GRAPH EXPO logo, show dates and location, and
  • Use the artwork to produce a marketing product incorporating the theme and logo (i.e., advertisement, website page, postcard, game, brochure, etc.).

Q.    What is a trade show?
A.    A trade show is an exhibition of vendors in a specific industry in which they showcase and demonstrate their latest products and services. Click here to see a trade show in action on YouTube.

Q.    How do trade shows attract attendees?
A.    Trade shows attract attendees by promoting the show via a variety of methods and media—with printed materials, online marketing techniques and social networking tools—crafted around a theme. A trade show theme is an essential element of the show’s marketing campaign that ties together the various marketing pieces.

Q.    What is a trade show theme?
A.    A trade show theme is a unique message that attendees will identify with the show, and around which all of the event’s communications are crafted.

Q.    What is a trade show marketing product?
A.    A trade show marketing product is a communication piece incorporating the logo and theme, designed to generate interest and highlight the benefits of attending the trade show.Click here to view some examples.

Q.    What is the GRAPH EXPO logo?
A.    A logo is a graphic symbol used by companies and organizations to promote instant public recognition. A trade show logo is used to identify all marketing materials that promote the event.

Download GRAPH EXPO Logo:

Q.    What is GRAPH EXPO 2011?
A.    GRAPH EXPO 2011 is the year’s largest and most comprehensive commercial printing, publishing, mailing and transactional exposition for the graphic communications industry in the Americas and will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, September 11–14, 2011.

Q.    Where can I learn more about GRAPH EXPO?
A.    Visit to learn about this year’s show—GRAPH EXPO 2010. Here you will see how the show’s theme, logo and design are incorporated for a coordinated visual campaign.

Q.    What are the entry specifications (e.g., size limitations, type of entry, materials used)?
A.    The entry has no size limitations or restrictions – only that it be easily mass-produced. It can be printed (illustration, brochure cover, poster, T-shirt, mug, etc.) or multimedia (video, interactive flash, website, etc.), or a combination of both. If the entry is multi-faceted, all the pieces must interrelate so that together they comprise one marketing product. Students are encouraged to be creative in their ideas and use of materials.

Entry requirements:

  • All entries submitted to GAERF must include a printed piece.
  • All entries must include a CD or DVD with a digital version of the entry.
  • This disc must include all source materials necessary to reproduce the entry.
  • This disc must also include a PDF, JPG or TIF version of the entry.
  • Resolution should be 300 dpi.

Q.    Can students submit a website or other online media?
A.    Yes. Online websites or online entries must remain active online through August 3, 2010 to ensure viewing for judging. Students must submit one or more screen captures with their entry submission. Online entries may not be altered after submission.

Q.    Will the entry be returned?
A.    No. All entries become the property of the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation and may be reproduced and distributed.

Q.    Are there different entry categories?
A.    Yes. There is a separate category for Secondary and Post-Secondary students.

Q.    May instructors submit more than one entry?
A.    Yes. Instructors may submit up to three entries.

Q.    May a student submit an entry directly?
A.    No. All entries must be submitted by the student’s instructor.

Q.    Are team submissions acceptable?
A.    No. Students must work independently and submit individual entries.

Q.    Is it possible to enter a 3-D piece?
A.    Yes, if it can be easily mass-produced, and does not require assembly.