Special Regulations for the Evaluation of Postcard Exhibits at New Zealand National Exhibitions

Note: The Postcard class is not a recognised FIP class. A medal won for a postcard exhibit judged under the following national regulations will not qualify for entry in an FIP exhibition.

Article 1 Definition of a postcard

A postcard must have an illustration. The size, shape and material of a postcard may vary, including hand-drawn, painted, embroidered etc. Cards may also be used or unused. A used card should obviously be in tidy condition, and should show evidence that it has been through a postal service, or has a message that shows it was intended to go through the post, possibly in an envelope.An unused card should have evidence that it is a postcard. This may include, for instance, printed evidence on the back that the item is intended for post, or a written description on the front to show that it was produced as a postcard. If neither of these aspects are present, as may often be the case with private cards, then being printed on postcard stock (as opposed to thinner photographic paper) is sufficient to deem the item is a postcard.Original contemporary postcards should be used in an exhibit; reprints may be shown only in exceptional circumstances.

Photographs subsequently used to produce postcards, or original photographic archive material used as a basis for essay and proofs in the production of postcards will be rewarded.

Material other than postcards can be used sparingly in a postcard exhibit, unless it is an Open class exhibit, in which case up to 40% of the material may be non-postcards, but such material must have direct relevance to the chosen topic or development of a postcard.

Article 2 Criteria for evaluating exhibits

2.1 Plan and Treatment
2.1.1 Introductory page – title and plan
All exhibits must have an introductory page which includes a title and a plan which explain the intention and structure of the exhibit. The title, as well as the plan, must mirror the content of the exhibit.
2.1.2 Treatment
Treatment consists of the logical flow of the exhibit involving the plan, the title and the exhibitor’s development of the plan within the exhibit. This may be chronological or by nature of the story line or any other logical approach.The variety (diversity) of the material is of particular importance with each card having a connection with the exhibit topic.
2.2 Knowledge and Research
Research is a pre-requisite for knowledge of the topic, and this must be documented through the choice and variety of the material, as well as in a brief text in connection with the cards.
2.3 Condition and Rarity
Items selected should show the best possible quality available for the chosen subject. Rarity is directly related to the difficulty in finding such postcards, the difficulty of acquisition.

Article 3 Judging the exhibit

3.1 Jury
A postcard exhibit will be judged by a jury composed of persons knowledgeable in this material.
3.2 Evaluation
The exhibits will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Title Page & Plan (10) and Treatment (20) 30
Knowledge and Research
Subject Knowledge (15)
Card Knowledge (20)
Condition (10) and Rarity (20) 30
Presentation 5

Article 4 Awards

 Normal medal awards will be made.

Guidelines for Judging Postcard Exhibits

Article 1 Introduction

1.1 The aim of these guidelines is to support the jury as well as the exhibitor and provide practical advice as to how the special regulations for postcard exhibits should be used.
1.2 The special regulations for postcard exhibits include the general principles on what the postcard exhibit may contain, and how it should be treated and presented.
1.3 These guidelines are not comprehensive. Every exhibit is judged on its own merit.

Article 2 Postcard exhibit classifications

The following classifications apply to all countries and may also cover a wider time period than just those specified.

  1. Topographical
    An exhibit depicting the features and history of a town, city or geographical region. There may also be a time aspect, whereby variations through the years is shown.
  2. Photographer/Publisher Photographer(s), Photographic Partnership(s), or Publisher(s) that produced or published cards.
    These may be of a particular category such as documentary, social, industrial, pictorial, fantasy or scientific.
  3. Thematic
    An exhibit illustrating a theme, subject or concept, such as transport, farming, sport or occupations. Cards from any period/country may be used to illustrate the theme.
  4. Artistic / Including Comic
    An exhibit where the majority of the cards are either drawn or painted images by individual artists or commercial agencies.
  5. Modern
    An exhibit in which all of the cards were published after 1945.
    All of the above classifications MAY include a small number of additional contemporary related items.
  6. Open
    An exhibit mainly about the affairs of people and human resources. It should develop around a theme or statement, such as poverty, politics, or services. Cards from any period/country may be used to illustrate the theme.Particularly in this class, it may be relevant to mention, and perhaps illustrate, aspects of the message, postal markings, cachets, etc. which add to the development of the story line. Other material may include photographs, newspaper clippings, menus, maps, drawings etc.A maximum of 40% of related peripheral contemporary material, as measured by the number of items, or percentage of space occupied, as long as the material does not dominate the exhibit.

Article 3 Judging Criteria

3.1 Plan and Treatment
There must be a clear connection between the title and plan and the subsequent treatment. This will include information on how the exhibitor has chosen to develop the topic (i.e. the choice of postcards to illustrate the topic) and how the exhibitor has used the material.
The introductory page should have a title and a relevant plan or outline of the exhibit which explains the logical progression of the exhibit with a concise and easy to read write-up.
The idea or concept portrayed will be evaluated according to the correspondence between the title, the plan, and the development of the story through the whole exhibit.
Originality, imagination, and creative ideas will be specially awarded.
The treatment will be evaluated by considering the choice of the items, and where they are placed within the storyline, as well as the positioning of the appropriate text in relation to the item.
The variety (diversity) of the material is important and will be rewarded. Original photographic archive material used as a basis for essays and proofs in the production of a postcard will be rewarded.
3.2 Knowledge and Research
Research is a pre-requisite for knowledge of the topic, and this must be documented through the choice and variety of the material, as well as in a brief text in connection with the cards. This is in two parts.
3.2.1 Knowledge and Research of the Subject
The exhibitor is expected to show a comprehensive coverage of the chosen subject or theme in the space available. The Judges will look for evidence that the exhibit covers as many aspects of the topic as possible. Evidence of original research will be well regarded. Exhibitors should assist the viewer by providing appropriate background information, but care must be taken to avoid too much writing – the exhibit is a picture book, not a book with pictures.
3.2.2 Knowledge and Research of the Cards
The exhibitor is expected to show a technical knowledge of the production of the cards and evidence of original research will be well regarded. This knowledge and research may include information about the printer, photographer, time of issue, number in the set, reprints, method of production, plate size, distribution methods, marketing etc. Note that it is not necessary for this information to be provided for every card or even each page of the exhibit, and it should certainly not dominate the cards or the storyline. The narrative should not overpower the exhibit but enhance it. It is recommended the exhibitor use a different font style, size or colour for the technical information.
3.3 Condition
Marks will be awarded for the collection of cards on display. Normally cards should be free from stains, creases, trimmings, bent corners, fading or holes. This especially applies if the cards are modern, which should be pristine in all respects. Judges will make allowances for physical defects if cards displayed are particularly scarce.
Modern cards should not be downgraded under this heading simply because they are modern cards. Cards should not be penalised if postally used or encroached upon by a written message, unless it seriously detracts from the card itself.
3.4 Rarity
Judges will look for the inclusion of appropriate rare examples within the theme of the Exhibit. They will assess the relative rarity of cards, giving consideration to original supply, popularity, collector demand and anticipated survival rates. It is not expected that all of the cards in any exhibit will be rare. Note that the current market value of a card does not necessarily mean it is rare.
3.5 Presentation
The display should be designed to encourage the viewer to look at the exhibit, and to enhance the cards displayed. Framing or matting of the cards may increase the visual impression. Annotation in the form of descriptive text should be neat and legible (either handwritten or typed) and should not visually dominate the page. The cards should tell the story.

Judging worksheet

To assist judges in assessing an exhibit a judging worksheet can be found at Judging worksheet – Postcards