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Post Cards

Comissário FEBRAF - James Piton (

Special Regulations for the Evaluation of Picture Postcard Exhibits at FIP Exhibitions


1. Competition Exhibitions

The Picture Postcard exhibits are accepted as a competitive class at FIP exhibitions.

2. Definition of a Picture Postcard

A Picture Postcard must have an illustration. Furthermore ...

  1. Used Picture Postcards (circulated through the postal service or in any other manner treated postally) must show that they have been through a postal service.

  2. Unused (non-postally treated) Picture Postcards must have printed text or printed address lines, for example, a postage area, which shows that the card is meant to be posted without an envelope.

  3. Only original contemporary Picture Postcards are allowed, i.e. reprints produced at a later time should only be shown exceptionally.

  4. Picture Postcard may be produced by different kinds of material (hand-drawn or painted, embroidered, etc.).

  5. The exhibit must be able to be displayed in exhibition frames of the standard international format (refer to Article 3.4 for sheet sizes).


3. Principles for the Development of the Exhibit

   3.1 Idea, Plan, and Treatment

A Picture Postcard exhibit is treated according to a geographical (topographical) topic, a thematic topic, or according to a special aspect (an artist, the printing, the material), completely according to the exhibitor’s own choice.

The title and plan must be presented on the introductory page and must be written in one of the official FIP languages.

The plan must show the intention and the structure of the exhibit. The title, as well as the main and subsections of the exhibit, must show the structure and logical development through the exhibit and demonstrate personal creativity, knowledge, and research.

The title must mirror the content of the exhibit in the best possible way. The treatment of the exhibit must be according to the title and plan. Each Picture Postcard must have a connection with the chosen topic.

The variety (diversity) of the material is of particular importance.



   3.2 Knowledge and Research

Research is a prerequisite for knowledge of the topic and the Picture Postcards, and this is demonstrated in a brief text in connection with each Picture Postcard.

   3.3 Condition and Rarity

Items selected should show the best possible quality available for the chosen subject. Rarity is directly related to the difficulty in finding such postcards, the difficulty of acquisition.

   3.4 Presentation

The recommended exhibit sheet sizes are:

  1. 21cm x 29,7cm (A4 size) or 23cm x 29cm - 4 sheets in one row

  2. 42cm x 29,7cm (A3 size) or 46cm x 29cm - 2 sheets in one row

  3. 31cm x 29cm - 3 sheets in one row.


4.Judging the Exhibit

A Picture Postcard exhibit must be judged by a FIP jury composed of experts of this material.



The exhibits will be evaluated according to the following criteria:


Idea, plan (10), and treatment (20)    =    30

Knowledge and research                  =    35

Condition (10) and rarity (20)            =    30

Presentation                                       =    5

TOTAL                                                 =    100



Medals will be awarded as per follows:


Large Gold - 95-100

Gold - 90-94

Large Vermeil - 85-89

Vermeil - 80-84

Large Silver - 75-79

Silver - 70-74

Silver Bronze - 65-69

Bronze - 60-64

A certificate of participation will be given to exhibits attaining less than 60 points.



Picture Postcard exhibits may be awarded special prizes and/or the jury’s felicitations, for those exhibits demonstrating outstanding research or originality.

7.Concluding Provision

7.1 In the event of any discrepancies in the text, arising from translation, the English text shall prevail.

Guidelines for Judging Picture Postcard Exhibits


1. Introduction

  1. The aim of these guidelines is to support the jury as well as the exhibitor and provide practical advice as to how the special regulations for Picture Postcard exhibits should be used.

  2. The special regulations for Picture Postcard exhibits include the general principles on what the Picture Postcard exhibit may contain, and how it should be treated and presented.

  3. These guidelines are not comprehensive. Every exhibit is judged on its own merit.

  4. The exhibitor may take advantage of presenting the exhibit more thoroughly in a synopsis to be sent to the Organising Committee before the exhibition. A synopsis does not replace the introductory page or plan but complements it by presenting in more detail the treatment, choice, research, knowledge, and presentation of the exhibit. It is recommended that a synopsis contains a maximum of two single-sided A4 pages.

2. Definitions of a Picture Postcard Exhibit

   2.1 The Exhibit

A Picture Postcard exhibit can have a geographical (topographical) treatment, including for example illustrations from a place or an area. It can also be developed thematically. An event may be shown as a form of reportage, or the exhibit may have the photographer, the artist, the printer, the printing process, or the material as the topic. Original thinking and creativity may also lead to different treatments of an exhibit.

   2.2 The Picture Postcard

The size, shape, and material of the Picture Postcards may vary. The emphasis is on the picture, and not on the use or philatelic peculiarities (if present). Picture Postcards may be unused or used (sent through a mail system). Unused Picture Postcards should have printed address lines, stamp boxes, or other such markings, showing that the item was intended to be sent without cover.



3. Judging Criteria

   3.1 Idea, Plan, and Treatment

There must be a clear connection between title, structure, and treatment, including information on how the exhibitor has chosen to develop the topic, i.e. the choice of Picture Postcards to illustrate the topic, and how the exhibitor has used the material. The introduction should lead to the storyline which carries the viewer through the exhibit. Originality, imagination, and creative ideas will be specially awarded.

The idea and plan will be evaluated according to the correspondence between the title, the plan, and the development of the story through the whole exhibit.

The treatment will be evaluated by considering the choice of the items, and where they are placed within the storyline, as well as the positioning of the appropriate text in relation to the item. The variety (diversity) of the material is important and will be rewarded.


The treatment and detailed description of typography, printing method, and printer/publisher is equally important. If such information is not available, the reason should be given.


Original photographic archive material used as a basis for essays and proofs in the production of a picture postcard will be rewarded.

Privately produced photo postcards, which are sent by the postal service, are not in themselves suitable for a whole exhibit, although they are allowed as part (not exceeding 10%) of an exhibit.

   3.2 Knowledge and Research

Research is a prerequisite for knowledge of the topic, and this must be documented through the choice and variety of the material as well as in a brief text in connection with the Picture Postcards. The texts must contain essential information about the topic and may contain information about the photographer or artist. Information about the typography, printing method, and printer/publisher may be demonstrated in an appropriate manner. Picture Postcards must be correctly chosen with regards to the topic, and the descriptive text must be correct.

Personal knowledge and research can also be demonstrated by the presence of material, where only a little or no research has been undertaken, for example, an unusual area of collecting. Topical knowledge may also be shown by the use of material that has a topical qualification discovered by the exhibitor.


   3.3 Condition and Rarity

The best possible quality available for the chosen subject should be shown. Missing or bent corners, scratches, and scuffs, etc. will influence condition, however, a certain tolerance will be granted for older, posted items. This will also be the case for older Picture Postcards with handwriting on the picture side, before the divided back was introduced, insofar as this writing is not of particularly bad quality with ink stains, smudging, etc.


Rarity is directly related to the difficulty in finding such postcards, the difficulty of acquisition. How difficult would it be to duplicate the exhibit. Some ‘Real Photo’ postcards may be close to unique, as they were often produced only in very small numbers. Even some printed Picture Postcards can be extremely difficult to find. Picture Postcards showing details of people, activities, transport, etc. are more important than general views.


Golden age picture postcards were often printed by several publishers in number of variations. The contemporary variations can be treated as originals, while modern reprints must be presented as such. Forged items, which are not clearly marked as such, will cause the downgrading of the exhibit by the Jury.

   3.4 Presentation

The text must be attractive and tastefully arranged. The overall impression of the exhibit is important, as is variety in the mounting. Heavily colored pages should be avoided. Framing or matting of the Picture Postcards may increase the visual impression. Illustrations (maps, drawings, etc.) or objects, which have a direct connection to the topic or development of the Picture Postcard, may be used in limited numbers, but not so that the Picture Postcards become secondary to the exhibit.

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