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MAPDA entry open 1 Feb closes 11 Mar 2019

The Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication design awards

The Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication design awards are all about design and communication. (For project-based programs (exhibitions, public programs, etc) you probably want the MAGNAs),

The awards began in 1994 and are still going strong. The structure hasn’t changed much, however we have fiddled with the categories to reflect the changes made in the last two decades in how our institutions are communicating with the public.


  • Call for entries: 1 February 2019
  • Entries close: 11 March 2019
  • Judging: Late March
  • Finalists notified: April
  • Awards ceremony: National Conference 15 May 2019, Alice Springs


  3. BOOK
  13. APP

Entry Levels

MAPDA Entry Levels are based on your organisations operating budget. The corresponding MGA membership categories are reflected below.

  • Level A – Annual operating budget up to $8million. AMaGA membership levels A-D
  • Level B – Annual operating budget over $8million. AMaGA membership levels E-F


Note: MAPDA charges a fee for entry. The fee applies for each entry submitted. Members of Australian Museums and Galleries Association or Museums Aotearoa receive a discount. 

Inclusive of GST the fees are:

  • Level A – Member: $55
  • Level A – Non-member: $71.50
  • Level B – Member: $71.50
  • Level B – Non-member: $99

Enter more than 5 items and receive a discount of 10% 
Enter more than 10 items and receive a discount of 20%
(this will automatically be calculated in the checkout)

Entry Criteria & Conditions

  • The MAPDAs are open to all non-commercial museums, galleries, zoos, botanical gardens, historical societies, libraries, keeping places, science centres and other cultural organisations.
  • Commercial galleries, auction houses and publishing interests are not eligible.
  • Members and non-members of Australian Museums and Galleries Association are eligible (note the differentiation in entry fee).
  • Entries must come from organisations, associations and non-profit companies, not individuals or designers.
  • An entry is defined as printed or electronically designed graphic material intended for public distribution.
  • Entries must have been produced between 1 January and 31 December the year prior to the awards.
  • Entries should be posted with the registration form, payment and entry form attached to each entry to arrive at MA before the closing date.
  • All publications will be credited as indicated on the registration and entry forms. Please ensure names are listed correctly and legibly.
  • Entries will not be processed until payment is received.
  • Museums may submit multiple entries in any category, but these can only be entered in one category.
  • A series of publications may be submitted as one entry (e.g. newsletters, magazines, posters, online).
  • One copy only of any publication must be supplied in its intended form – printed materials as hard copy. Multimedia and website entries to note the URL address for viewing or upload a file.
  • An impartial judging panel drawn from the museum and graphic design sectors will judge entries.
  • The judging panel reserves the right not to make an award in a category if it considers no award is merited; or to make a joint award. Decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Ensuring an entry’s timely arrival, good condition and correct information is the responsibility of each entrant.
  • Publications will not be returned. Entries become the property of AMaGA. Entries may be used for exhibition purposes. Publications may be sold to raise funds for Museums Australia Fund – AMaGA’s charity.
  • By submitting an entry, the entrant grants permission to AMaGA for the reproduction of winning entries for the purposes of publicity and promotion at no charge; entrants must warrant they have the right to allow such use by AMaGA.

How do I enter?

  1. Enter MAPDA
  2. Pay the fee

Package your physical entries and post them to us
Please print your invoice and attach it to your physical entries and post to MAPDA as soon as possible. You do not need to post anything for electronic entries.

Send to:

Australian Museums and Galleries Association
PO Box 24

For a physical address for courier deliveries or drop-offs, please give us a call on 02 6230 0346.

  1. Wait – judging is in April

Judging Criteria

  • Original creative idea, innovative concept
  • Design skills in the expression and extension of the idea through suitable typography, photography, illustration, form structure and material use
  • Sensitive use of images and photography
  • The publication’s ability to communicate effectively and meaningfully – is it fit for purpose?
  • Production and technical values, suitable stock, production process, colour quality and consistency, embellishments or incorporating ecological concerns.



  1. What constitutes a series of publications?
  2. How should we attach the entry form to the entry?
  3. Who can enter?
  4. I’m an individual with a self-published book. Can I enter?

What constitutes a series of publications?
A series of publications is considered ‘as having the same design element ’ – a series of materials (e.g., a multi-volume set of books), where each individual component has clear and recognisable graphic similarities to the others and cannot be accurately judged alone.

Otherwise, you must either enter just one component of the series or enter multiple components as separate entries. For example, you cannot enter a book, poster and invitation for the same exhibition as a series, or catalogues that have been produced by one institution that have no design connection. However, you can enter three brochures with the same design but different information as a series.

To put it simply, same design, different exhibitions, OK.
Different design, different exhibitions, not OK.

How should we attach the entry form to the entry?
The entry should be attached using removable tape or removable sticky dots.  Please do not use ordinary sticky tape, paper clips, masking tape or staples(!!) as the judges may need to remove the entry form to accurately judge the entry.

Who can enter?
The MAPDA awards are open to all non-commercial museums, galleries, zoos, botanical gardens, historical societies, libraries, keeping places, science centres and other cultural organisations.

I’m an individual with a self-published book. Can I enter?
Individual entrants are taken on a case-by-case basis. Please call or email us and we can give you an answer based on your circumstances. Remember that you will be up against institutional entrants, some with very large budgets.