Eastside Educational Trust

Competition application forms

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Project notes

Project type

Shark Attack was asked to design an competition application form for a charity. The competition gave young aspiring writers the chance to win time with an established writer from their chosen genre, who would provide mentoring.


Design competition forms that could be printed cheaply, posted cheaply, and would engage the target audience.


The forms needed to include a lot of information, including ten short biogs of the prospective mentors, with photos. The forms also needed to be small & light so that they could be posted easily, and have a form factor that would permit them to be racked in locations such as cafés or bookshops without any problems.

All of the above factors presented a challenge of the “how do you get a quart into a pint pot?” type. Nevertheless, it had to be done. Eastside Educational Trust is a charity without much spare cash, and so aspects such as keeping the printing costs to a minimuml and making the forms light so that they would not cost too much to mail out became key.


A DL shape is an easy one to use for mail-outs; since the Royal Mail here in the UK started varying the cost of postage according to the size of the item (seriously, it is so much harder to calculate correct postage now than it use to be) it is also one of the cheapest.

Another way to cut the long-term cost of the form was to design it as a 2-colour job; if you’ve never tried it, the combination of black plus a pantone ink gives a surprisingly wide range of tones, and at the same time means that you only have to print 2 plates.

Paper stock was uncoated to give a nice textural feel and kept to a reasonable compromise of 120 gsm, again to reduce costs both in the paper itself and in postal expenditure.

Maps of London in the background played on the Write Up Your Street theme, as did the street sign-style headings. Rounded corners kept everything feeling nicely informal, and chunking the information into obvious boxes stopped the reader from getting info-overload.

Client reaction

This client has kindly submitted a testimonial. See what Rakhee Jasani has to say about Shark Attack on the testimonials page



Click an image to open a larger version in its own window.

Front cover

Entry form, front cover The front cover of the application form.

The DL size of the form was chosen for several reasons, including reduced printing cost, ease of postage (they fit into a regular letter envelope and you can buy pre-paid DL envelopes from the royal mail which simplifies a mailout) and convenient racking in shops and suchlike.

Folded out

Entry form, opened flat, front Entry form, opened flat, reverse Here you can see both sides of the competition application form folder out flat, as it was printed. In the first of the two images the 2nd and 3rd panels are the back and from cover respectively.

With any form the challenge is to fit a density of information into a realistic space and still manage to pick out and highlight that which is most important.

We managed to fit an explanation, rules, instructions, a large deadline message, a final checklist, 2 sponsor logos, 10 mentors’ biogs and contact details for the charity — not to mention the entry form itself — into 6 thin panels. And we still managed to keep one of the (the back cover) relatively empty to give the eyes some visual relief.

Not bad.

Yearly variants

Entry form, opened flat, front, with an alternate colour scheme The competition ran for several successive years, and we updated the form for each one. Mostly it was a case of simply updating the information (fresh biogs, photos, etc) but be did refine and teak the design with each reissue.

There are a few subtle differences between the blue and orange editions that mostly escape notice but which improve the design in small ways.

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