Friday, November 4, 2011

Annual Holiday Card Contest: How to Keep Yourself in the Running for the iPad

It’s getting to be that time of year again and I can’t wait to see all the entries we receive for our annual Holiday Card Contest. Last year, we received over 100 great entries, and boy, was it hard to choose -luckily, picking the winner wasn’t up to me! Judy (one of my awesome OASECT teammates) and I sifted through the entries and gave the doctors about 15 of the best ones to choose from so THEY could decide who won the iPad.

However, amongst those 100+ entries, there were some that we couldn’t even consider because they weren’t reproducible, were not original work, or did not meet the digital file size specifications. So here’s a brief rundown of things NOT to do to keep you in the running for that iPad:

  • Make sure your card design is reproducible. We got some really, REALLY cool designs last year, which we unfortunately couldn’t consider because they were three-dimensional. We loved, loved, LOVED these designs but there was no way that we could replicate hundreds of them. Keep that creativity flowing, just channel it into a one-dimensional (flat) masterpiece. These cards were AWESOME, but there was just no way we could make it work.

  • Please do NOT submit anything to us that you haven’t designed yourselves! This basically means, if you googled “holiday cards” and save a cool image design you find and send it in, you WILL NOT be considered for the prize. It’s one thing to use images you find online to help create or inspire your design, but something completely different to just submit something that’s not your own work – and legally, we can't use it for our holiday card. Somebody turned this card in to us last year – it’s one of the first images that comes up when you google “holiday dove,” and unfortunately we couldn’t even consider their entry because of this.

  • Pay close attention to the digital file size requirements. We got quite a few digitally designed cards last year that we had to pass on because they did not meet the specifications we gave. In order to reproduce a digital file, it needs to be a MINIMUM of 200 dpi (dots per inch) or else it will start to get blurry and pixilated. You may not realize this just looking at a file on screen, but it makes a big difference on printed materials.

If you have questions about these guidelines, please feel free to email me (Brenda) at – I’m responsible for a lot of the designs you see in our office and online and am glad to help.

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