Student Printing Competition

“Celebrating over 10 years of honoring excellent student work in printing.”

As we meld services and programs from each organization, we will have a clearer structure of Awards programs and offerings moving forward as one entity. For this year, and due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Premier Print Awards, Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition Awards, and the Golden Image Awards programs have been suspended.

Show the imaging community that you have what it takes to excel in this industry with a Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition Award. Highly sought after by graphic arts students, the awards honor superior imaging work within a variety of categories. Entrants represent secondary (high school and vocational) students and post-secondary (technical school, college or university) students. 


This is a great opportunity for students to have samples of their finest work evaluated by the experts of the Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technologies. All submissions will be displayed to industry leaders from around the world at PRINTING United in Miami, October 6-8, 2021, and winners will be awarded at the show.


Students studying at PRINTING United Alliance Educational Institution Member school are invited to submit sample prints. Mail all entries to Headquarters.

  • Samples must be printed by students of the member school.
  • There are no fees associated with entering.
  • Entries can be an individual or team effort.
  • Educators are welcome to submit entries on behalf of their student.

Members:  In order to submit entries for the competition, please login with your email address and password.

Non-Members: Please visit here to learn more on becoming an educator member.

Educational Divisions

Two divisions of the competition will be judged separately: Secondary (High School and Vocational) and Post-Secondary (Technical School, College or University).

Judging Criteria

Items will be judged for their execution in utilizing the screen and digital printing technologies represented in the competition. Additional images produced with other processes are allowed, but will not be included in the judges’ scoring decision. Judges reserve the right to disqualify any entry that fails to conform to the overall contest rules or any sample that is entered in the wrong category or subgroup of a category.

Evaluation by the judging team will be based on the following criteria and point values. Individual entries can receive a maximum of 40 points. Outstanding samples would be rated high in each of the four criteria. Different judging criteria, outlined below, are used for screen printed and digitally imaged entries:

Screen Printed Entries:
  • Print Quality (Rate from 0-10 points) Sawtooth, mesh marks, smears, bleeding, missing or blocked edges, ink strings or static strings, loss of detail, ghost image, uneven ink deposit, mottling, bubbling, fisheyes, pinholes, dirt repair marks, ink trails, streaks, substrate show-through.
  • Color Appearance (Rate from 0-10 points) Bleeding, opacity, transparency, dot gain, moiré, poor tonal range in 4-color process, muted color in 4-color process, color streaks, color consistency edge to edge.
  • Registration (Rate from 0-10 points) Poor trapping, image distortion, butt-to-butt gaps, poor placement on substrate, distorted rosette in 4-color process, objectionable color overlap, excessive color overlap, registration for finishing processes, etc.
  • Job Complexity (Rate from 0-10 points) Substrate difficulties, image size, number of printing colors, line count, special inks, vignettes, close tolerance, etc. The equipment limitations of the school will be given consideration in this judging category.

Digitally Imaged Entries:

  • Image Quality (Rate from 0-10 points) Image banding, streaking, satellite dots, image sharpness, smearing, proper ink limits, resolution.
  • Color Appearance (Rate from 0-10 points) Color consistency, gamut and accuracy, print contrast, brightness.
  • Creativity (Rate from 0-10 points) General feeling about the overall appearance including color impact and visual interest.
  • Job Complexity (Rate from 0-10 points) Substrate difficulties, image challenges, finishing difficulty. The equipment limitations of the school will be given consideration in this judging category.

Award Categories

  • Award of Excellence
    First place winners within each category receive an Academy Student Achievement Award.

  • Best of Show
    Two exceptional entries, one from each division (Secondary and Post-Secondary), will be chosen from the Award of Excellence winners and honored with the Best of Show award. Best of Show winners receive a special Academy Student Achievement Award and a cash prize of $500 to use toward their graphic arts education. Instructors will also receive $500 to use toward their school’s graphic arts educational program.

  • Certificate of Merit
    An honorable mention may be awarded from each category. Additionally, each participating school will receive a plaque to showcase their students who were honored with the Award of Excellence, Certificate of Merit and/or Best in Show Award.

NOTE: Entries on display are attached using staples. SGIA is not responsible for damage to entries when they are hung for display. We encourage matting and/or framing entries to avoid any damage.

In memory of one of the strongest supporters of the screen printing industry, the Academy dedicated its Student Printing Competition to Tom Frecska, the late editor of ScreenPrinting Magazine. Tom, who passed away suddenly in 2009, recognized the importance of and supported the education of students in the screen printing process. The competition was renamed the Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition.

The Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technologies (ASDPT) was established by the SGIA Board of Directors in 1973. The Academy recognizes individuals who have contributed to the technical growth and/or advancement of the screen and digital printing industries.