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SPD, D&AD, MagPile Awards
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SPD, D&AD, MagPile Awards


Design competitions always divide people. You’re either someone who think them worth entering or not, you know which you are. But if you are interested, deadlines for two of the larger competitions are coming up. Plus there’s the second MagPile indendent mag awards too.

First, entries to the annual SPD Awards in the US close this Friday, 17 January. This is the largest magazine design competition in the world. It’s pretty US-centric but retains a desire to a) spread globally and b) account for the rise in independent publishing (see above). They tend to flip flop between wanting to support indies and being less keen to do so, depending who’s on the committee, but right now they’re avidly pro.

Aside from any glory or feelgood factor induced by a win – and it is a hard competition for non-US publications to win – the appeal here is to get a mention in the SPD’s annual book of the competition. This hardback volume acts as a de facto record of our industry, with plenty of varied merit mentions alongside the regular winners (the book is a great resource whether or not you enter). Why should it only be about mainstream US magazines? Aside from postage to the US, the entry fees are relatively cheap.

Then on 29 January the D&AD Awards close for entries. This is a far broader creative competition, and is more expensive to enter than SPD. Design entries tend to be overwelmed by those from the advertising industry, and the Magazines and Newspapers category is just one small part of design, but each year a different jury of editorial experts come together to judge the magazines and this year’s is a particularly interesting one. I’d love to be a fly on the wall as Mike Meiré (032c et al), Suzanne Sykes (UK Elle), Alex Breuer (The Guardian), Violetta Boxill (ex-chair EDO), Jaap Biemanns (Coverjunkie) and Vanessa Wyse (The Grid) discuss the entries. Why not have your magazine on the table?

I’ve worked hard in the past to encourage people to enter, and for judges to be generous (D&AD is unique in having no allocated winners – the judges can select as many or as few winners as they decide. Even none). Like SPD, D&AD also publish an annual book of winners and I think it’s important that editorial design is well represented in that book.

And finally the MagPile Awards are back. Organised by the online resource/shop of the same name, founder Dan Rowden pulls together an impressive list of judges and invites MagPile users to nominate their favourite magazines in three categories: Best Independent, Best Magazine and Best Design. Judges include magCulture friends Kati Krause, Steve Watson and Steven Gregor and there’s a £1000 cash prize for the winning indie mag.

Over to you…

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