bookplate design contest header image

The library invites all MSU students to participate.


What is a bookplate? A bookplate is a small, decorative label adhered to a book, usually on the inside front cover, that designates its owner.

The library bookplate acknowledges donors and family members or friends in whose name they make a donation to support book purchases. It has original artwork and displays both the name of the donor(s) and the person the donor's gift honors or remembers. Historically, the library's bookplates have featured local scenery such as the Bridger Mountains and the "M." The new design may continue this tradition or propose something entirely new. Please view our existing donor bookplate as a reference.  

Contest Rules   +   Prizes   +   Judging   +   Requirements  +  Entry Form  +  Inspiration  +   Questions

Contest Rules

  1. Eligibility Contest open to MSU students only.

  2. Contest Dates January 31 - March 31, 2017

  3. Submission Deadline March 31, 2017

  4. Winner Announcement Date April 10, 2017

  5. Communication Objective
    The new bookplate will serve the same function as previous library donor bookplates: it will communicate gratitude towards the donors and respect towards the individuals they are honoring or memorializing with their donations. The composition will include space to add the names of donors and the people in whose honor or memory the gift was made. It will also incorporate the MSU-Library logo.

  6. Submission Materials & Process
    There are 2 required submission materials and they must be submitted together. The submission materials are:
    a. A completed entry form
    b. Design work: High resolution .pdf (300 dpi or higher) showing both bookplate versions (see Design Requirements below)

  7. Submission Process
    Submit all materials to:

  8. Copyright

    By entering the contest, all contestants confirm that their bookplate design is: a. wholly original; b. does not incorporate or include any material that would require the consent of any third party; and c. does not violate any copyright, trademark, publicity right, privacy right, or any other right of any third party. Entries that do not comply with these criteria will be disqualified.

  9. Design Ownership
    By entering the contest, the winning contestant agrees to assign all ownership rights, including all intellectual property rights to the bookplate design, to the MSU Library. Additionally, the winner agrees to allow the library to revise the bookplate design to meet quality standards or technical requirements.


Contest winners will receive following prizes:

  • 1st place = $200 Amazon gift card
  • 2nd place = $150 Amazon gift card
  • 3rd place = $100 Amazon gift card


A panel of judges consisting of design professional(s), library staff, and MSU faculty will choose designs for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. They will use the following criteria to judge the entries: originality; appropriate expression of the stated communication objective; inclusion of all required design elements and conformance to production requirements; compliance with copyright rules. The contest judges reserve the right to not select winners if, in their sole discretion, they receive no suitable entries.

A contest judge will contact the winning contestants directly on April 10-13, 2017. Winners will also be announced on the contest web page and library social media.

Design & Production Requirements

Required Design Elements

  1. MSU-Library Logo
    All designs must include the MSU Library logo. The logo must conform to MSU brand standards for size, color and proportions. Read the MSU Graphic Identity and Branding Policy and guidelines for displaying the MSU mark.
  2. MSU-Library Logo:    MSU-Library_Vertical/Stacked    MSU-Library_Horizontal
  3. Original Artwork
    The design will convey the tone described in the communication objective. Artwork can be illustration and/or photographic imagery. It must reproduce well using the printing technology described below.
  4. Text
    Create 2 versions of the bookmark with the following text:
    a. "This volume was purchased with funds contributed by [space to add donor name(s)]
         "In honor of [space to add name of honoree]"
    b. "This volume was purchased with funds contributed by [space to add donor name(s)]"
         "In memory of [space to add name of person remembered]"

Production Requirements

Size 4.25 inches X 5.5 inches

Color Artwork may be color (CMYK) or black & white. Colors used for the MSU-Library logo must conform to the established MSU color palette.

Printing Material
Propose an inexpensive, easily obtainable material on which to print the bookplates. Propose an archivally sound method to adhere the bookplates to inside front book covers. Example: The current bookplate is printed on commercial adhesive-backed label paper.

Reproduction Method
Design and prepare the final artwork to print from standard office laser printer OR propose another free or very inexpensive method to print the bookplates.

Final Source Files

  • Format
    Winners must submit their final artwork and layout in files compatible with standard professional design software: InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop.
  • Convert all fonts to outline.
  • Include all graphics files with layout.
    > Vector graphics are preferred.
    > All raster artwork must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi at 100% size.

Entry Form