• 31 January 2023 – Formatted PDF of journal (<10MB) must be submitted to for consideration of Technical Writing scores
    • Files over 10MB please send via a cloud service.
  • 12 March 2023 – Electronic publication, eBook, Interactive PDF or Web page
  • 12 March 2023 – Submission of printed journals for final judging on the first day of the TAGA Annual Conference at the Student Meeting


The following are only a few requirements that must be followed; the rest is up to the individual chapter’s control:

  • All included research articles must be authored by the students within that institution. Students do not necessarily need to be TAGA members.
  • Chapters are encouraged to include any submissions for the Harvey Levenson Undergraduate Student Paper and/or Dusty Rhodes Graduate Student Paper in the student publication, although this will not affect the judging.
  • The publication must be produced primarily by members of the student chapter. If professional assistance is used, this should be indicated in the production notes.
  • The publication must also include each of the following:
    • Introduction or president’s message
    • Detailed Production notes and colophon
    • Accurate bibliography/references for each paper
  • Student chapters must submit a formatted PDF of the entire publication to at the posted deadline prior to the Annual Technical Conference to be considered for the Technical Writing criteria. Failure to do so will affect eligibility for the Grand Prize and Special Recognition for Technical Writing Awards.
  • Please produce a minimum of 150 publications for distribution to the judges and conference attendees.


Since the establishment of the TAGA Student Chapters in 1985, student chapters have produced technical publications to showcase their student research, and starting in 1993, the TAGA Board of Directors has awarded a Grand Prize Award to recognize their efforts in producing their TAGA Student Publications. Renamed in 2006 as the Helmut Kipphan Cup (after Dr. Helmut Kipphan—for his time, support, and advocacy of the TAGA Student Chapters), the award is now a traveling trophy that is presented to the school that has produced a Student Publication that excels in technical content, print quality, and design. In addition, several Special Recognition Awards will be presented to schools that have proven their abilities in these individual areas. An additional “Attendees’ Choice” award will be given to the school that receives the most votes from all conference attendees.

The student publication is intended to be a collection of student research in the associated areas of graphic technology. Any institution with an active TAGA student chapter is encouraged to participate.


Technical Writing (25 pts) – The award for technical writing in the student publication is based on the quality, accuracy, and relevance of the research. The research should present original ideas by the student author. However historical reviews are acceptable. Complete and accurate bibliography and references must be included for each paper.
Judged equally on:

  • Quality of Writing (5pt)
    • Standard grammar and punctuation are followed. Frequently uses specific, concrete words and phrases that noticeably add believability to the writing. Formal tone is consistently used.
    • Uses words that add specific, descriptive content. No unnecessary, generalized fillers. Uses stylistic techniques that add emphasis, sophistication, and polish.
  • Clarity of Writing (5pt)
    • Method of development implied in topic sentences is clearly and consistently followed in all paragraphs. Transitions and reinforcement of the main idea add unity and coherence to the writing.
  • Relevance of Research (5pt)
    • Exceptionally developed clear, logical, and focused paper with the content that anticipates and responds to the graphic communication’s audience’s needs and assumptions.
  • Accuracy of Research (5pt)
    • Uses ample specific and concrete facts, examples, and/or narration. Introduces valid and believable outside sources, uses correct in-text citations for summaries and quotes.
  • Reference and Scholarly Writing (5pt)
    • Evidence of successful evaluation of the quality of outside source(s) is reflected in the writing. References cited in-text and list of references/bibliography provided.
    • Source and references utilized are credible, up-to-date and accurate.

Publication Design (25 pts)This award is for the design aspects of the student publication. The overall design quality is considered. This includes choice and use of type, images and graphics. The cover and/or packaging of the publication is also considered. If a theme has been used, how well is it carried throughout the publication?
Judged equally on:

  • Quality of Overall Design / Theme (5pt)
    • Use of color, theme, image quality and fonts are consistent and professional.
  • Cover and/or Packaging (5pt)
    • Cover design and production exhibits high quality. The package, if used, is consistent, functional, and compliments the book design.
    • Bindery solutions such as foil and embossing are correctly translated by properly prepared digital files.
  • Use of Type (5pt)
    • Use of typefaces, hierarchy, and images are professional and cohesive to engage readers.
  • Functionality of Design (5pt)
    • Use of design principles such as contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity when using type, images, and graphics.
  • Level of Difficulty (5pt)
    • Infographics and other statistical data presentation in the journal are cohesive with the journal theme. Graphs and charts are not generic (e.g., from Microsoft Word or PowerPoint), but customized to be legible, esthetically cohesive with the use of color, fonts, and styles of the journal with attention to details.
    • Design decisions were wisely made for the production workflow, e.g., printing capability.
    • The design concepts and production methods match and complement each other.

Production Quality (25 pts)The award is given to recognize the level and quality of student participation on the production of the Student Publication. It is very important to include detailed production notes in the publication that indicates the amount of student participation. Quality of the print and finishing will also be judged.
Judged equally on:

  • Print Quality of Cover (5pt)
    • Choice of substrate(s), print method, and overall print quality.
  • Print Quality of Interior (5pt):
    • Image and text quality, color consistency, and illustrations are complimentary to content. Printing free of defects.
  • Bindery/Finishing Quality (5pt)
    • Printing embellishments such as die cut(s), use of foil, embossing, debossing, specialty folding, varnishing, and perforating are free of defects and compliment substrate utilized.
    • Bindery choice compliments the journal design and end-use in terms of quality and durability.
  • Student Participation (5pt)
    • Student involvement in production.
  • Level of difficulty (5pt)
    • Complexity of submission. The offering shows consistent design and production mindfulness with forward thinking in workflow and attention to details.
    • Production decisions are made wisely to compliment the design considerations.
    • Student involvement in production process.

Digital Enhancement (15 pts) – Usage of emerging digital technologies in graphic communication such as VR/AR, motion graphics or interactive publication that elevates the journal reading experience and distribution and augments the printed journal.

  • Overall appearance (5pt)
    • The involved design elements such as layout, color, and illustrations are cohesive with the journal theme.
  • Compatibility across media and platform(s) (5pt)
    • The digital enhancement is user-friendly across various devices and operating system with easy accessibility, e.g., applications included with operating systems versus the need for downloading applications or plug-ins.
    • Digital enhancement functional across commonly used platforms, including iOS, Android, and internet browsers.
  • Content functionality (5pt)
    • Specific instructions of how to use the digital enhancement is provided in the journal or website.
    • The user experience is smooth and meaningful.
    • The digital enhancement both augments and compliments the printed offering.

Attendee’s Choice – This award allows the (non-student) attendees at the Annual Technical Conference (ATC) to voice their opinion for what they consider the “best of show” Student Publication. A separate ballot (one per attendee) will be available for attendees.
The Attendee’s Choice score is not included in the Grand Prize Award.

  • From conference attendee’s votes


Grand Prize Award (The Helmut Kipphan Cup). The Grand Prize will be awarded the “Helmut Kipphan Cup,” a traveling trophy that will be inscribed with the school names and years of all previous Grand Prize Award winners. The winning school will also receive a certificate that indicates its Grand Prize Award. The Trophy/Cup will be awarded to the winning school during the Annual Technical Conference. The student chapter representatives will be able to bring the Trophy/Cup back to their school for display and promotion for the following academic year. The security and safe return of the Trophy/Cup will be the responsibility of the school (loss or damage will be the responsibility of the TAGA chapter/school). The Trophy/Cup must be brought to the following year’s TAGA Annual Conference; if the chapter does not plan to attend, then the Trophy/Cup must be returned to the TAGA office (at Printing Industries of America) prior to the TAGA Annual Technical Conference the following year.

The Grand Prize and Special Recognition Awards for student publications are judged equally on each of the following criteria:

  • Technical Writing
  • Publication Design
  • Production Quality
  • Digital Enhancement

The Grand Prize winner is ineligible for additional Special Recognition awards, although a single school can receive more than one Special Recognition Award. The Grand Prize Winner is eligible for the Attendee’s Choice Award.

Special Recognition Awards. Five (5) additional Special Recognition Certificates will be awarded to schools who achieve high marks in each of the following areas:

  • Technical Writing
  • Publication Design
  • Production Quality
  • Digital Enhancement
  • Attendee’s Choice

Judging Bodies

*Active student membership is required for submission in the Kipphan Cup Student Competition.
If there are any questions, please contact or 412-259-1706.