The heart of the SA Publication Forum – our judges.

We called our judges from hibernation, and they are ready for this year’s Judges’ duty (much more enjoyable than Jury Duty!). Entrants can rest assured; your publications will be in good hands. Our panel consists of people still active in our industry, most are still practicing publication practitioners who know how much effort and endurance our job requires from us. They respect your effort and your bravery to display your work publicly for assessment by piers.

What happens now?

After receiving your entry, it is captured in an automated system where links to the publication, the entry form, and all relevant information on the entrant and publication are kept and categorised. When entries close, each publication is allocated to a specific judge. The judges then have one month to scrutinise and assess each publication according to a set of pre-set criteria for writing, communication, design, and visual impact.

Although the judging process happens on-line, in some cases judges are sent a hard copy of the publication should the actual look and feel of the publication require that a judge have a hard copy in hand.

Judges received guidelines to maintain our high standards for excellence in this competition. They know how important their feedback is to you – excellent feedback makes the competition relevant and improves the standard of corporate publications.

Judges are expected to make a solid assessment of every aspect of the publication, mention every detail that impressed them and give clear guidelines where improvement is possible. They will also assess whether the publication adheres to the goals set out by the editorial team in the entry form. If the publication hits the mark, it fulfills the strategy and vision as set out by the publisher. This is invaluable objective feedback for any editorial team!

Judges are required to be positive in their response to entrants and inspire you to do better. They must be objective and impartial – criticism must always add value and never be negative. We realise that it is a learning experience for some entrants, and we strive to create a community of practice in this very competitive industry.

To show you the heart of our judges, here are some of the responses we received when they were invited to the panel this year:

Greig Stewart:  “I would be privileged to be a judge again. Thank you for inviting me.”

Sophia Dower: “Yes – very happy to be on the panel again this year. I am always interested in the technology and audio-visual entries, and happy to access them again this year.”

Niki Moore: “Yes, you can count me in again. Last year I assessed  the Annual Reports, and I will be happy to do so again – I focus on the content.”

Christine Breet: “I would love to participate as a judge. My strength is communication but I can also judge writing.”

Johann van Zyl: “Dankie vir die voorreg om weer deel van die beoordelingspaneel te wees.”

Chantal Smuts: “Being invited again made me feel good about going into what I thought was maybe too much detail last year. My strength is writing, and design if needed. I’m old school and we had typographical best practices drilled into our brains for clarity, accessibility, and readability. I truly understand the difference between ‘gee-wow’, where loads of white space is possible, and the more complex requirements of elegant publication layout.”

Remember, although our judges have high standards and are not easy to please,

we’re on your page, especially a well-designed, well-written one!