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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) please enter the MAGNAs). The awards began in 1994 and are still going strong.

There is a fee to enter MAPDA (see below).


6 March 2023: Call for entries

11 April 2023: Entries close

May 2023: Awards ceremony, Newcastle


MAPDA - Digital 

  • App - an app available to download 
  • Digital learning experience - any educational experience or program for delivery over the internet or on a mobile device(s) 
  • Multimedia - film, video, audio and interactive(s) for delivery over the internet or on a mobile device(s)
  • Institutional website - website designed for general institution promotion 
  • Program website - website designed for a specific exhibition or program 
  • Virtual tour / online exhibition -tour or exhibition for delivery over the internet or on a mobile device(s)

HYBRID - Both printed and digital

  • Branding package (physical/digital/promotional) - including street banners, citilights, hoardings, ads, interior exhibition graphics, invitations, posters, merchandise etc. 
  • Identity - corporate branding, annual reports 

MAPDA - Print 

  • Book - any print, non-periodical publication other than an exhibition catalogue 
  • Children’s book - any print book designed for children 
  • Exhibition catalogue (major) - 64 or more pages, any substantial, non-periodical publication designed to accompany a specific exhibit 
  • Exhibition catalogue (small) - under 64 pages, any non-periodical publication designed to accompany a specific exhibit
  • Magazine - any print or electronic publication issued at regular intervals, eg. primarily informational in content ​​​​​​


  • Best in show 
  • People's choice (judged in person at the National Conference, May 16-19)



MAPDA entry-level fees are based on your organisations operating budget. 

  • Level A - Annual operating budget up to $8 million. 
  • Level B - Annual operating budget over $8 million. 

Note: MAPDA charges a fee for entry. The fee applies for each entry submitted. Members of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association or Museums Aotearoa receive a discount. However, low-staff FTE organisations can submit 2 awards entries per year are free.

Inclusive of GST the fees are:

  • Level A - Member: $49.50
  • 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)

  • Categories that receive a large number of submissions (>10) from a variety of different organisational sizes can have levels added. By default, all submissions in a single category are not separated by level. As such, which categories have levels could change each year according to what the sector is producing 

  • Levels are based on the number of paid staff within the applying organisation, not the value of the specific project




Museums, galleries, libraries, archives, zoos, botanical gardens, science centres, historical societies - any non-commercial collecting institution can enter. 

Designers may enter on behalf of an organisation they have worked with, however, it must be entered under the name of the cultural organisation with their permission.

  • 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 AMaGA are eligible (note the differentiation in the 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 of 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 uploading 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.
  1. Enter MAPDA
  2. Pay the fee
  3. Package your physical entries and post them to us. Please print your invoice and attach it to your physical entries and post it to MAPDA as soon as possible. You do not need to post anything for electronic entries.

    Post to:

    Australian Museums and Galleries Association
    PO Box 24

    For courier deliveries or drop-offs please call us as access to Old Parliament House is limited at the moment


The panel of judges will be selected from staff from a variety of organisations, including museums, galleries, libraries and educational institutions. The judging system includes an easy recusal system to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Judges are asked to consider the following, where relevant when evaluating each entry:

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

The judging criteria were revised in 2021. The working group first established a set of working principles for the revision of the awards, working initially from the AMaGA National Standards

The awards, the judging criteria, their presentation and the overall process should be:

  • Innovative - Beyond ‘best practice’ - how does this project/initiative/experience/content move our sector forward and progress our industry?
  • Accessible and equitable - How does this submission communicate and deliver to audiences with a diversity of needs?
  • Empowering - How does this submission empower the community, staff, creators and/or the public over the specific needs of the institution?
  • Sustainable / Legacy building - How well does this submission deliver against the long-term goals of the organisation and the communities it is serving?
  • For our time - Why is this submission relevant right now, and how is serving community/societal, environmental and institutional needs?


To be announced 


  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?
  5. I have to submit my branding entry on an A3 board. What do you mean?

What constitutes a series of publications?
A series of publications are 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 has 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.

I have to submit my branding entry on an A3 board. What do you mean?
The easiest thing is to show you. For some examples of how you can enter your branding, click here.

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