2017 Print Quality Competition

Enter now!


Newspapers may be moving, at various paces, towards a digital-first future, but that emphatically does not mean their commitment to quality print reproduction has weakened in any way.

Southern Lithoplate Inc. understands and encourages progress in print advancement with its sponsorship of the annual Print Quality Competition.

The Contest

All Inland member newspapers are eligible to participate in this contest administered by Inland Press Association. The contest has two divisions: Color Division, and Black and White Division. A newspaper may enter one or both divisions.

Black and White: Entrants in the Black and White Division will be sent a black-and-white proof and a CD/DVD containing a digital photo. The object of the contest is to reproduce the best match on newsprint to the black and white proof sent with the kit.

Color: Entrants in the Color Division will be sent a color proof and a CD/DVD containing a digital photo. The object is the same as in the Black and White division: to reproduce the best match on newsprint to the color proof sent with the kit.

Download the black-and-white photo here.

Download the color digital photo here.

Circulation Categories

Entries will be divided into four circulation categories for each division:

  • Under 10,000
  • 10,000 to 49,999
  • 50,000 to 99,999
  • More than 100,000. 

Entry fees

$80 for either the Black and White or Color categories, and $140 for both.

Reproduction requirements

All entries in either contest must appear on conventional newsprint in any regular published edition of the newspaper. The picture must appear as part of the normal press run. The photo may be resized but must have a 4 1/2 inch minimum width. There is no maximum width. The back of the page on which it appears must be printed as part of the regular edition.

Entrants are encouraged to use the photographic image in ways best suited to their editorial and business content. No mention of Inland is required. Photos must not have typed overlays. Black-and-white entries must be produced by traditional black-and-white processes, not run as color to yield a black-and-white result.

Competition is limited to newspapers printed on standard grades of newsprint. Specialty papers are not eligible.

Tearsheets should be included for each entry. Return the tearsheets and required information form to Inland. If entering both the Black and White and Color divisions, both entries may be submitted in the same envelope.


There will be one winner and one runner-up selected for each circulation category in both the Black and White and Color divisions. Winners and runners-up will receive recognition awards from Inland.

In addition, there will be a "Best-in-Show" winner selected from both the Black and White and Color divisions. One representative from each of the "Best-in-Show" winning newspapers will win a $500 cash prize.


A panel of independent judges will select winners based on how close the reproduced photo matches the proof.

The judges will be selected and administered by Inland.

Judging criteria include registration accuracy and pressmanship (cleanliness of print and general appearance). Photos will be judged against the proofs sent with the digital files.

Decisions of the judges will be final. Proofs are produced with every effort made to ensure their consistent quality for the competition.

How to enter

To receive your photo kit, register at our contest site,

You'll be asked what type of contestant you are. It is highly recommended to click on "Contest Manager," unless several people from the organization are submitting entries.

From the "Select a Contest" dropdown menu, select "2017 Inland Print Quality Contest." From the "Select Media Organization" menu, find your publication or company in the alphabetically organized list.

If this is your first time entering the contest, use the password bnc (all lower case) when prompted. You'll later be prompted to change that password. If your organization has entered the contest in the past, use that password. If you've forgotten it, contact contest administrator, Karla Zander at or Mark Fitzgerald, at

One idiosyncrasy of the digital contest system is that it will ask-and require an answer-for how many pages are in the entry and for a headline. Whatever you enter will not affect judging in any way. Most newspapers simply answer "1" page and write the headline as "(Newspaper name) print quality entry."

Payment can be made online through credit card or Pay Pal at the BNC platform.

When your photo kit arrives, in addition to the digital file and proof, it will contain a form asking you to describe the types of equipment used in the reproduction process. This information is required and will be used when the photo entries are judged and publicized.


Entries with payment should be submitted online by July 17, 2017.

Photo kits will be sent to all participants postmarked by July 18, 2017.

The photo or photos must be printed between July 26, 2017 and August 11, 2017.

Printed copies must be sent to Inland and received by August 21, 2017.

Questions or assistance

For any Print Quality Competition questions or registration/payment assistance, contact contest administrator, Mark Fitzgerald, at or Karla Zander at or by calling 847. 795.0380.