Top 10 Tips For FESPA Award 2016 Success


There is a real art to crafting a successful award submission. Here are the top 10 tips for success to help you when writing your FESPA Award submission this new year. FESPA is calling on printers from Africa to enter. 

Winning a FESPA Award lets you build your firm’s reputation and show your best work. Here is a guide to how you should prepare and submit your work and boost your chances of winning.

The FESPA Awards programme is more than a pinnacle of recognition for the best in visual print communication products of any given year. It represents a culture of excellence aimed at meeting and exceeding the needs of the customer.

This year’s FESPA Awards have evolved and updated categories to reflect an ever-changing industry, highlighting the phenomenal work being produced by printers globally.
Each sector of the industry is covered, with expert panels of judges analysing every entry. The end result is that print buyers and consumers have the chance to see what innovative techniques are being tried and who is producing the best of the best each year.

Here are the FESPA's top 10 tips on how to write a winning submission and maximise your chances of being shortlisted.

1. Be in it to win it

The FESPA Awards are a great way to raise your business profile and showcase your portfolio, acknowledging your team's efforts, engaging your staff and obtaining international recognition! Make sure that your application is the best it can be.

2. Choose wisely

Think about your strengths, as well as what projects you're most proud of. Then match it  with the most suitable category. If you're not sure whether you meet the category criteria, there's plenty of help available,  you can read the guidance document, or ask the Awards team directly here.

3. Time management

Make sure that you send in your application form in plenty of time. Check out the deadlines and get the dates in your diaries now.

4. Do your research. Learn from the best

Take a look at previous winners and highly commended entries. They have a selection of FESPA interviews,  presentations, master class presentations and videos from FESPA and highly commended entries. Take your time to go through them to see what they did and what they recommend for award success. Click here for inspiration.

5. Show something new

If you are showing the judges something they’ve seen before, think about it, it’s going to have to be one of the best examples of that image they’ve ever seen to get across the line, right?

If you bring them something different, whether it’s subject matter, compositional, a different approach using different equipment, just something that makes them stop for a second, your score will likely go up. Some of the best printers are the ones that take subjects we see every day and show them to the judges in a completely new way.

6. Trust the judges

It may feel you are supplying confidential information. Don’t. The FESPA Awards is a reputable award programme whose  judges will not disclose any details of entries to third parties.

7. Put people in it

Customers can say why you’re great in a single sentence. Use your own people, and your customers to tell your story through testimonials.

8. Shout loud and clear about your achievements

Don’t be a wallflower, make sure that your entry highlights the sense of pride you have in the things you have achieved. Prove you're the best!

Always back up your claims with evidence, especially proof of innovation, positive impact on customers, return on investment, strategic success, outperforming the sector, customer focus, leadership and social responsibility.

9. We are here to help

If you still need some guidance or are unsure about your application or where to begin, then please contact us. They are here to help and want to encourage as many of you as possible to apply for a FESPA Award – contact the FESPA team.

10. Don't forget entries close on 29th January 2016

And of course, keep your fingers crossed. Good luck!

We wish the very best of luck to all of our shortlisted companies for the big Gala dinner night on 9 March, and they look forward to seeing you and your teams at what will be a night to remember and the perfect backdrop to celebrate the power of print.

Entrants have until the 29th January 2016 to submit their work, which will be judged by an independent panel of global industry experts.

South African printing companies can drop off their entries at the Printing SA (member of FESPA) and Practical Publishing offices by 29 January 2016 and they will courier your entry.

Addresses for entries:

Johannesburg entries: 
– Practical Publishing: 19 Kloof Road, Shop 5, The Kloof Mall, Bedfordview, 2008. Contact Charnia (+27 11) 025 9890.
– Printing SA Central Chamber: 575 Lupton Drive, Midrand, 1682.

Cape Town entries: 
Printing SA Cape Chamber: Block A, Unit 8, N1 City Mews, Goodwood, Cape Town. Contact Zama Zulu at Printing SA on (+27 11) 287 1160.

Durban entries: 
Printing SA KZN Chamber, Unit 2, Afriscan Park, 21 Qashana Khuzwayo Road, New Germany, KwaZulu–Natal. Contact Zama Zulu at Printing SA on (+27 11) 287 1160.

Nigeria entries

DCS Integrated Media Limited (Publishers of Printers Digest)

44 Abeokuta Street, Anifowoshe-Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. Contact Norah on +234 09096135149 or email

WHERE To Print magazine published by NUMBERS CMYK LIMITED (RC 728214)

3 Olowologbon Street (1st Story Building on the left – upstairs), Akowonjo, Lagos, Nigeria 2341. Please contact Joju on

Start thinking about what categories you can enter today. Download the entry form below or click here.

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