Terms & Conditions

Please make sure that you have read and understood the following terms and conditions of registering, and entering student work into the ISTD Assessment.

By entering work each submitting institution and each student grants ISTD and its sponsors the irrevocable right to use the work to promote the ISTD Assessment and the sponsors' involvement, as ISTD and the relevant sponsors see fit. Each submitting institution and each student understands and agrees that neither ISTD nor its sponsors shall be required to make any payment to the entrant or any third party in respect of such promotional usage. 

Intellectual property – it is the responsibility of the institution's tutor and the students involved to be fully aware of intellectual property rights. In submitting work the institution's tutor and the students involved warrant that any works entered are original and the student's own. Any supporting images used within the work submitted for the purposes of the presentation must either have permissions, or be royalty free. Any fonts used within the work submitted for the purposes of the presentation must either be licensed, or be royalty free. Work subsequently found to not be original will be disqualified and any awards revoked.

Eligibility and entry 

All full or part time students enrolled on higher education courses anywhere in the world (HND, BTEC, BA, BSc, MA, MSc, MD or equivalent) working under the supervision of a tutor, are eligible to enter. Only work from individual students can be entered. We do NOT accept collaborative projects. Each student may only enter ONE project in response to ONE brief.

You will need to read and respond to the relevant assessment briefs to enter, downloadable at www.istd.org.uk/education 

You must read, understand and agree to the Terms & Conditions, supporting information and all entry requirements.

Work submitted must fully answer all aspects of the chosen brief and must contain all items requested in the brief.

As a tutor if you have any difficulty in understanding the information provided, please email education@istd.org.uk for clarification as failure to meet requirements may result in your students' entries becoming ineligible for assessment, irrespective of any fees or work submitted. Any questions regarding briefs or submissions must be carried out through the supervising tutor only. ISTD will not respond to queries about the assessment from individual students.

Registering and paying for your submissions

Work may only be registered by the supervising tutor. Students may NOT register individually.

Registration MUST be done ONLINE at assessment.istd.org.uk and must be completed by the registration deadline, in order for ISTD to ascertain in advance how many assessors will be required for the relevant assessment.

Payment must be made in full, in advance of the assessment date. Failure to make payment by the due date may result in the work being excluded from assessment.

Payment should be made online to complete the registration process, or by requesting an invoice during registration for the total number of student projects entered. Note – the option to pay by invoice is only available for registrations of five or more students.

Invoice payment is by bank transfer, ISTD’s bank details are included in the invoice. Where an invoice is requested, payment MUST be made at least seven days in advance of the assessment date.

Institutions who are ISTD Institutional Members will receive a discounted entry fee per student (calculated online at registration).

Individual student card payments will NOT be accepted – unless as part of online registration supervised by the tutor concerned.

Entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance. 

The entry fee is VAT free – ISTD Ltd is not VAT registered.

Digital submission

We are aware that you will have been affected in many ways by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in educational institutions moving to online-only provision. In most institutions, there is no access to facilities or face-to-face tutorials.

We have a new online platform that we hope will support you in making your digital submission and we hope that by altering our usual physical assessment process this will help you continue with your academic studies in order to make your submission. The students’ best interests are at the heart of our assessment – this remains our focus during this challenging time.

Guidelines for submitting to the online assessment are available on the ISTD Assessment website:


Assessment of the work

All marks are formulated by rigorous dual assessment using the assessment criteria at two stages, and in the case of Merits and Commendations at three stages. All assessed work is fully moderated to ensure parity of marking. All students receive a personal report indicating their achievement/award, the achievement descriptors for each criterion and an individual report from the assessors.

Assessors are carefully selected by ISTD and include educators and professional designers with the relevant qualifications and expertise to carry out assessment according to the ISTD Assessment guidelines. They will be fully conversant with the guidelines. All assessment is moderated by ISTD appointees with the relevant experience, and who will have a wide overview of student work of similar standard. Moderation is carried out across international  assessments to ensure parity.

The results

Notification of the results for all submitted work is emailed directly to the tutor named on the registration form, accompanied by report forms showing each student's details. It is very important that this information is checked carefully by the tutor and each student involved as this is the information that will be published and used for the student's membership record and certificate. Note that all students who have submitted work receive a report, even if they have not been successful.

Important note for tutors – the assessment reports are not just for your information, they are also for the information and benefit of the students concerned, please check with all of your students that they have received their reports.

All assessment results are non-negotiable by either tutors or students. Our assessment process is rigorous and each portfolio is viewed, assessed and moderated by an extremely experienced team of educators and professionals. While we do not offer additional feedback, other than that provided through the student assessment reports, we welcome constructive criticism (through the appropriate channels) as we review our procedures yearly.

Assessment Awards

Three levels: Pass, Merit, Commendation. Additionally the Vincent Steer Award is available to be awarded to a project from amongst the awarded Commendations as exemplary work that stands out above all the others and captures the assessors’ imagination – this may be awarded over entries to all the Assessments in the ISTD cycle. This is not necessarily awarded every year.

These awards are honorary. No monetary awards are given. ISTD membership is offered to all successful students.

*ISTD Membership

All successful students are offered membership of ISTD – they must confirm their acceptance by providing personal contact details. They will be emailed a welcome letter and will receive an ISTD Membership Welcome pack containing a selection of ISTD publications or equivalent, together with their ISTD Membership Certificate. No subscription payment is required to retain membership until the April of the year following the assessment that they took part in. This first payment being 25% of the current full membership fee. Thereafter, to retain ISTD membership an annual subscription renewal payment is required which will rise each year by 25% of the full membership fee until it reaches the full membership fee (currently £100.00 [GBP]), ie over a period of five years from the year of assessment the student took part in.

Tutors of successful students also receive a certificate acknowledging their input for that year – one per institution involved – note, this is a certificate of acknowledgment only, it does not imply membership of ISTD. Institutions may apply for Institutional Membership of ISTD. Tutors may apply for individual membership.

Student Awards event

Under normal circumstances, there would be an Awards event held in July in London, for all successful students from the UK, Irish, North American and Middle East assessments and their tutors. However if Covid restrictions remain in place, presentation ceremonies will take place online. Students and their tutors will be notified of these events by email.

Further information

ISTD submitting tutors and institutions – to ensure your course, teaching staff, students and graduates are kept informed annually about the ISTD Assessment please make sure we have your current email contact details.

To receive the best support for taking part in the assessment with access to resources for teaching typographic communication, including links to creative practitioners and educators internationally, apply for Institutional Membership of ISTD.

Some useful points

An entry consists of one response to a brief

Projects are written and must be completed in the English language. Dual language submissions comprising English, together with another language, are also eligible for submission.

Before considering which project you will select, take time to read all aspects of the Student Briefs document. In particular, ensure that you read 'the Assessment Criteria' thoroughly as this information is central to how the work is assessed. 

The assessors want to understand students' ideas clearly. How work is presented is a vital ingredient to ensuring success – for example, if the presentation lacks clarity, is over-complicated, or the strategy is confused, the chances of success may be reduced – however good the idea. First impressions are vital – make sure that all elements of the submission (strategy; research and development; final outcome(s); specifications) are easily identifiable.

Checklist for tutors/students – have you done the following?

Read and complied with all required items by deadlines (tutors/students).

Registered and paid for all entries (tutors).

Checked and satisfied the 'Requirements' stated in the brief.

Checked and met deadlines.

Completed the online submission as per submission guidelines.