Submittal Instructions
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2023 Design Awards Entries
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2021 Design Awards Committee
Frequently Asked Questions
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PayPal Account
I don't have a PayPal Account. Do I have to set up a PayPal Account to be able to register? No - you don't need a PayPal Account.
After registering, you will be forwarded on a page with a button to submit your payment with PayPal. After you click on that button you gett to the login page at PayPal where you can log into your PayPal account if you have one.

On the lower left on that page it says:
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Use your credit card or bank account (where available)." Click on the "Continue" link to make your payment with any of the major Credit Cards.

"Test" Submittal
Can we submit a "test" submittal to see how our project is uploaded and seen in the virtual gallery? This would then be followed by "final" submittal before the deadline. Once you submitted your entry form and received the password you can start uploading your project(s) and see what they will look like to the general public and the jury. As long as you didn't "submit" them to the Awards Committee, they will only be visible by you and you can change the images and their sequence and any text that you uploaded for display. Once you "submit" your upload to the committee it cannot be changed anymore. It only becomes visible to the general user of the Website once the Committee has approved its display.
Submittal Dates and Registration
We submitted our registration before the early submittal date and paid the reduced entry fee. Do we have to upload the files before the early submittal date or is it ok to upload them before the final deadline? The reduced rate for early submittal is intended for entries that are fully submitted by the early submittal date. After uploading all image files and editing all the text information, there is a link to "Submit" your entry for the committee to review. Only clicking on that link constitutes a "submittal". If an entry is paid for as an "Early Submittal" but isn't submitted before the early submittal date, AIAPF will send you a notice asking you to pay the difference before your entry can be accepted.
Project Descriptive Information
What is the type of Information that should be included in the Project Description? In general, we encourage precise and short text. One should be aware that the jury is reviewing many projects within a limited time.
Some projects might need some more explanatory text and some less.

NOTE: Do not include any credits (author's name, firm, location, etc.) in the project descriptions.

Multiple Entries
Are multiple entries in all regular AIA-level categories permitted? Yes (except students who are limited to one entry)
72 dpi or 92 dpi?
When submitting the images should they be 72 dpi? It doesn't matter what DPI settings you are using - DPI is only for printing. Monitors are only interested in the pixel size of an image - that's why we specify the maximum size of images in pixels:
Max. Height: 792
Max. Width: 1408
In case you are interested, there is a very good (and long) explanation about all this here:
Maximum Pixel Dimensions
Does it matter which direction of the image is 1408 pixel and which is 792 pixels? Yes - the maximum HEIGHT is 792 pixels and the maximum WIDTH is 1408 pixels. They are NOT reversible. The reason for this size is so that viewers with smaller screens or projectors (the jury) can see the complete images without the need to scroll.
The max. File Size of 500kb results in low Resolution
Can we upload PDFs instead of JPGs or GIFs?
The drawings resolutions for JPGs under 500kb with max 1408 x 792 pixels is really low.
PDFs are ideal for printing purposes but not usable for the display of images in web galleries. A correctly saved JPG image with the maximum size allowed for the Awards is actually very crisp and not low in quality at all.

The file size will be below 500kb by using Photoshop to optimize images and saving complex, maximum sized images (1408 by 792 pixels) with "Save for Web.." at a preset of "High Quality".

Other software is able to compress images even smaller with the same high quality (no visible pixelation on a computer monitor).

Some images don't show up on the "TEST" page.
Although the images are listed in my Submittal Work Area, some don't show up on the "test" page. Images have to be saved in RGB 'color space' and not in CMYK (color space used for printing) because Internet Explorer on Windows can't display JPG files that are saved from CMYK 'Mode'.
In Photoshop, sekect Image > Mode > RGB Color to convert them before saving the images optimized for "Web and Devices".
Slides versus Digital Images
How can a digital image that is 640 x 480 illustrate the details of a drawing?

In previous years the AIA PF awards accepted 35mm slides. There is a difference now that we are accepting digital images. Digital images are graphic representations of the projects. The goal of the submittal is to clearly and succinctly illustrate the project in a way that the jury can understand. The fact that it is a digital image versus a slide should not be a factor in the submittal process. It boils down to a graphical exercise and a communication exercise. The same issues of how to communicate the design intent of a project on a 35mm slide applies.

We would suggest that the submittals take into account that all the judging will take place on a computer screen or a projector connected to a computer. A typical computer screen or projector can show 1024 pixels wide x 768 pixels. There are variations in computer screen sizes from 800x600 on up to 1600 wide and above. It is good to keep this in mind when submitting. For photographs of buildings and renderings it is not as much of an issue. Hardline drawings and CAD work on the other hand have limitations when reduced down to a smaller format. This is the case if it is reduced from 24x36 drawing to a letter size sheet or from a 24x36 drawing to a 1024x768 pixel image. You must keep the intent of the graphic in mind and reduce or zoom in accordingly. Text on a 24x36 drawing dropped down to a smaller size will not be legible. In many cases the text on a floor plan will not be as important as the overall graphic presentation and the accompanying text to explain the project. Keep in mind that the judges will spend about 15 minute per submittal. Dividing this among the total images and text and you only have one minute per image to communicate the intent of the project.

What is a pixel?
What is a pixel and how does this relate to my 24 x 36 wide sheet? Think of pixels as a grid paper. A typical computer screen has 1024 pixels wide by 768 pixels high. Computer screens vary, so this may range from below that number to a higher number. Considering a grid paper of 1024 pixels wide on a computer screen, each point in the grid will be used to represent a graphic image. If an image is submitted that is 1200 pixels wide only about 75% of it will show.

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