It’s the beginning of a New Year and its time to look back at the year gone by for some inspiration and give due credit to those path breakers and adventurers who have defined new boundaries in their respective fields. Its award time.

And like many other creative fields, Magazine Design, has come to be recognized as a force to reckon with and hence deserving of an award category of its own by many creative communities.

In this post we take a quick look at which of the award announcements to look forward to in the coming months and hopefully find some of our favorite indie magazines bag a few of them.

D&AD Professional Awards


If yours is a creative endeavor, this professional award is your holy grail. D&AD Professional Awards, is an annual celebration of brilliance in creative communication, digital as well as print, organized by D&AD (Design & Art Direction), a London based creative community of designers and advertisers. At the end of what is often regarded as the most grueling judging process by some of the most brilliant minds in the field, for jurists; pencils (black, yellow and white) are handed out to the most deserving and genre defining works. And yes, as they rightly claim, these pencils, are indeed the pinnacle of many a career.

After seeing the line up of the jurists for the Professional Awards 2015 and this video (a sneak peak behind the scene at Black Pencil Judging 2014), we are in no doubt that this is serious business indeed.

Only a few indie magazines, Fantastic Man and Carl*s Car in 2008 and Apartamento in 2010 have won the yellow pencil (category Magazine & Newspaper Design) so far. However, we really do hope that we see some new indie entrants at the awards this year and perhaps even see them carry home that pencil. The deadline to have the entries in for the awards is February 18th and the awards will be announced on the 20th of April later this year.

Society of Publication Designers

The Society of Publication Designers (SPD) is dedicated to promoting and encouraging excellence in editorial design. Every year, SPD recognizes and awards the growing talent pool of editorial design work. While rooted in America, SPD welcomes brands from all over the world to enter its competition.

However, this year is special. This year SPD turns 50. Celebrating their golden anniversary, SPD has introduced new rules and structure to their annual publication competition – PUB 50; and PUB 50 is promising to provide a more level playing field for the competitors. With plenty of genres and categories under each genre to ensure no work in the field of publication design, print or digital, goes unrecognized - opportunities abound!

The panel of judges at the competition boasts of illustrious careers in magazine design and allied fields.

But for us, what makes PUB awards particularly special is that not only are magazines competing under the general category, there is a separate category of awards just for indie magazines. This is where we see indie magazines lock horns and the proud survivors are awarded.

While last year (2014), The Magazine of the Year award(s) was swept away by mainstream magazines, independent magazine Eight by Eight, a zine about football and its place in our culture, was one of the winners under the general category of Design (Entire Issue as well as Single Issue).

Under the category of independent magazines, Cat People Magazine, Eight by Eight, Gather Journal, Howler, Lollipop, Fool Magazine, amongst others took away medals for their work.

The entries for PUB 50 close in less than a week and the awards will be announced later this year.

Magpile Awards

Magazine lovers, you may want to bookmark the Magpile website. This is a wikipedia/e-bay equivalent for magazines, mainstream & independent alike, and seeks to build a community of magazine readers.

With a growing number of followers each year, Dan Rowden, founder of Magpile, decided to initiate Magpile Magazine annual awards in 2013, which recognizes the opinion of the readers giving them an opportunity to nominate their choices of Best Magazine and Best New Magazine, each year. Awards are based on Magpile member nominations, Judge nominations plus usage data from The judges’ panel for the third Magpile Awards 2015, has some familiar faces from the independent publishing world, Steven Gregor (founder of Gym Class), Jeremy Leslie (founder of magCulture) and Steven Watson (founder of Stack).

We are hoping to see tons of indie magazines being amongst the popular choices. Don’t forget to sign up and vote for your favorite.

Creative Review Annual

Creative Review, which started its journey in 1980 as a monthly magazine focused on creative fields of advertising, design and visual culture has come to be recognized today for building a community of highly regarded and respected creative professionals and for its sterling contribution to encouraging and nurturing talents in the field of creative communication.

One of the many ways in which, Creative Review has sought to encourage talent, is through the Creative Review Annual. Each year, for the last ten years, Creative Review, has put together this annual publication ‘The Annual’ which celebrates the best visual communication work across advertising, design, and digital of the past year.

The entries judged as best gets selected to be published in The Annual issue. While the work selected for The Annual is not published by category, categories are provided during the entry process, as a guide to help identify the area that best fits the work.

And for obvious reasons, we are keen to know of entries which have made it under the category of Print Design, that may find its way into The Annual. Fingers crossed for indies!

Submissions are open till 23rd Jan and selected entries will be published in the May 2015 issue of Creative Review (on stands in April 2015).

Needless to add, we are going to mark our calenders for the above dates and update you on the winners. We really do hope that this year begins on a good note for our indies and we are rooting for them all the way!

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