FAQ

SDA Award

Japan Sign Design Association Award (as known as SDA Award) was established in 1966 for the purpose of promoting and educating the public about the sign design through presentation of signature design works to the wide society. It continues to be the only award program for sign design in Japan.

Log in

There are cases of log in failure when using Internet Explorer. In that case, please use another browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox to log in.

When you complete the applicant registration, the system automatically sends a confirmation email (see sample below). However, we have seen the cases of undelivered mail due to incoming mail servers refusing to accept the mail. The registered ID (email address) and the password will allow you to complete the entry, however you may fail to receive emails, such as the information for paying application fee by bank transfer (if you have selected bank transfer as the method of payment.)
If you do not receive the confirmation email, please contact the secretariat at info@sda-award.org.

===== Sample =====
Title: Completion of Applicant Registration: 51 SDA Award
XX XXX sama
Thank you very much for making an applicant registration for the SDA Award.
Please log in from the link below to proceed with your entry.
http://member.sda-award.org/
Secretariat, Japan Sign Design Association
===== End of Sample =====

If you’ve forgotten your password you can enter your e-mail at Reset password form on If you forget your password tab.

Examination Method

Primary Selection is conducted on web-based screening, so the screen size depends on the examiner’s environment.
In the Secondary Screening, examiners will have two 65V type monitors (plan.) In addition, two 40 V type monitors will be provided for the observers. Examiners will also use tablets (9.7″ iPads) for scoring and they will be viewing the images on these screens as well.

Application Fee

You can select bank transfer or credit card (PayPal,Stripe) as method payment

Application fee is \5,000 per work.
Application fee includes examination fee of design statement (concept) and one image file.
If you are submitting two images or more, additional examination fee of \1,500 per additional image will be charged.
An examination fee of \8,000 per video will be charged for video file submission.

Example
If you are submitting 2 images and 1 video, the fee will be: 5,000+1,500+8,000=14,500
If you are submitting 3 images, the fee will be: 5,000+1,500×2=8,000

Application fee will be automatically calculated and you will be able to check the fee at [Payment]
Until the payment is complete, you can add, delete or edit image or video files.

When you select the bank transfer as the payment method, the system automatically sends a Notice of Application Fee (see sample below). However, we have seen the cases of undelivered mail due to mail servers refusing to accept the mail. When secretariat confirms the undelivered mail, the notice is resent manually. If the notice mail is not received within 24 hours (except for during holidays) of completing application, please contact the secretariat at info@sda-award.org.

===== Sample =====

Title: Notice of Application Fee: 51 SDA Award
XX XXX sama
We have confirmed your payment process as shown below.
Please proceed to complete the payment before May 22, 2017.
[Date of Payment Process] 2017-00-00 00:00:00
[Application Number] SDA510000000###
[Name of Applicant] Tadashi Yuasa
[Payment Method] Bank Transfer
[Title of Work Submitted] Shiga Prefectural Biwako Museum \##,000 —
Total Due: \##,000
[Account Information]
Resona Bank
Hongo Branch
Current Account 575825
Japan Sign Design Association
[Payment Due]
Month XX, 2017
*When making the remittance, please add the last three digits of the Application Number (SDA510000000###) before the name of transferee
For example,
Application Number: SDA510000000###
Applicant Name: Hanako Sign
Transferee’s name should be “### Hanako Sign”
Japan Sign Design Association

===== End of Sample =====

We will send an invoice or receipt if needed. When the payment is processed, you will receive an email for “Notice of Receipt of Application Fee” (when paid in PayPal) or “Notice of Application Fee” (when bank transfer is selected). Please write in reply to these emails to info@sda-award.org, and request for an invoice or a receipt.
When requesting an invoice or a receipt, please provide:
Mailing address and name of person (name of company, department, contact person)
The name the invoice or the receipt should be addressed to. (If there is no request, the invoice or the receipt will be addressed to the Applicant.)
Receipt will be issued once the payment is confirmed. Administrative processing may require about 10 days before receipt is sent. We appreciate your patience.

Application

  • Addition of a representative for the work
    1. We have added an entry form for representative for the work. The representative for the work refers to the representative person who was involved in the design and production of the work. In the past, we assumed that the applicant was the representative for the work, but since there were cases where applicant was not necessarily the representative for the work, such as in the case of a staff member making the application, we decided to have the representative for the work registered for each work.
  • Multiple selections can be made for “Category selection-1: By spatial setting.
    1. In the past, you were asked to select one of the options for selecting the space settings, but we have changed it to allow multiple selections. For example, in the case of a complex facility that combines a civic hall and a shopping mall, please check the Public space and Commercial space checkboxes.

[Applicant] Those who are actually in charge of submitting works at the application site.
Please register your name (kanji, kana, or alphabetical characters), SDA member or not, affiliation (company name, corporate name, trade name, etc.in kanji, alphabetical characters, department), contact address, phone number, cell phone number, e-mail address, and optional password in [Applicant Registration]. Once you have registered, you will be able to use your ID (e-mail address) and password to log in for the next and subsequent years, but if your information changes (e.g., your department changes), please update your information.
All correspondence from SDA will be sent to the “applicant”. Please make sure that we can contact you by e-mail, phone, or mail.

[Representative for the work] One representative who was involved in the design and production of the work
This is the name that will appear with the name of the work in the yearbook or book of works.
When you register your work information, the applicant’s name and affiliation will be displayed as pre-entered data.
If the name of the applicant is different from that of the representative for the work, please edit as necessary. Also, please make sure that you have not left out the information about corporate title.
As a rule, personal name and affiliation (company name, corporate name, trade name, etc.) should be used, however, if you wish to register the work under a corporate name, you may enter the corporate name in the name field and leave the affiliation field blank.

[The people involved] People involved in the production of this work
All names will appear in the credit section of the yearbook or book of works.
Please select function served from the options and fill in the affiliation and name (in Chinese characters and English letters, respectively). There is no limit to the number of entries, but please be sure to fill in the four names for “Director, Designer, Client, and Contractors” that will appear in the yearbook, unless there are no applicable names.
No changes or additions can be made after the application has been completed, so please make sure there are no errors or omissions.

When uploading multiple photographs, 1 file should contain 1 photograph.
Multiple photographs on a single page as group of photos is not allowed.
However, in the first file only, applicant may submit a concept sheet combining multiple images.
For more information on concept sheet, please check the answer to the question “Can we apply with a page composed of photographs and concept statement?”

The applicant is allowed to submit one image file combining charts, figures, text and multiple photographs (group of photographs) as a concept chart.
All other image files should contain one photograph (with short caption text).

One entry per work is the general rule, however, multiple applications in different perspectives (for example: “Architectural Environment” and “Sign System”) are acceptable.
However, the applicant should be aware that:

  • The entries should have different titles and concepts.
  • The photographs depicting different motifs and different angles to express the difference in perspective, are preferred when uploading for application.
  • In the event the two entries both win the awards, the editor may select photographs for publication (to avoid duplication of photographs).

There is no rule to the format for concept sheet. However, the entries will be examined using PC or tablet screens (primary selection) and monitor screens (secondary selection, with regular HD aspect ratio), we recommend landscape mode.

When you select the bank transfer as the payment method, the system automatically sends a Notice of Application Fee (see sample below). However, we have seen the cases of undelivered mail due to mail servers refusing to accept the mail. When secretariat confirms the undelivered mail, the notice is resent manually. If the notice mail is not received within 24 hours (except for during holidays) of completing application, please contact the secretariat at info@sda-award.org.

===== Sample =====

Title: Notice of Application Fee: 51 SDA Award
XX XXX sama
We have confirmed your payment process as shown below.
Please proceed to complete the payment before May 22, 2017.
[Date of Payment Process] 2017-00-00 00:00:00
[Application Number] SDA510000000###
[Name of Applicant] Tadashi Yuasa
[Payment Method] Bank Transfer
[Title of Work Submitted] Shiga Prefectural Biwako Museum \##,000 —
Total Due: \##,000
[Account Information]
Resona Bank
Hongo Branch
Current Account 575825
Japan Sign Design Association
[Payment Due]
Month XX, 2017
*When making the remittance, please add the last three digits of the Application Number (SDA510000000###) before the name of transferee
For example,
Application Number: SDA510000000###
Applicant Name: Hanako Sign
Transferee’s name should be “### Hanako Sign”
Japan Sign Design Association

===== End of Sample =====

For administrative purposes, we request a single individual who is actually in charge of the submission of the work to be named as an applicant, and not a joint name. Please use the address of the “person in charge” as your ID (e-mail address) so that we can easily contact you.
*The name of the applicant will not be published in the yearbook or the book of works. If the applicant is involved in the creation of the work, please register as the representative for the work or as a person involved.
The name of the representative for the work should be one person representing the parties involved in the design and production of the work, and not a joint name. As a rule, personal name and affiliation (company name, corporate name, trade name, etc.) of that person should be used, however, if you wish to register the work under a corporate name, you may enter the corporate name in the name field and leave the affiliation field blank.
Please note that the names of applicants, representative for the work, and related parties will not be disclosed to the judges until the completion of the screening process.

Applicant Registration

In the past, the name of the person responsible for the application was to be named as the applicant, however, starting with the 55th SDA Award, we have decided to require the registration of a “representative for the work” for each work.
For this reason, the name of the applicant should be the person who is actually in charge of submitting the work on the application site. However, as the system will not allow duplicate registration using the same ID (mail address), if you have registered before the 54th contest, please log in with your registered ID and password, and update the information as necessary.

[Applicant] Those who are actually in charge of submitting works at the application site.
Please register your name (kanji, kana, or alphabetical characters), SDA member or not, affiliation (company name, corporate name, trade name, etc.in kanji, alphabetical characters, department), contact address, phone number, cell phone number, e-mail address, and optional password in [Applicant Registration]. Once you have registered, you will be able to use your ID (e-mail address) and password to log in for the next and subsequent years, but if your information changes (e.g., your department changes), please update your information.
All correspondence from SDA will be sent to the “applicant”. Please make sure that we can contact you by e-mail, phone, or mail.

[Representative for the work] One representative who was involved in the design and production of the work
This is the name that will appear with the name of the work in the yearbook or book of works.
When you register your work information, the applicant’s name and affiliation will be displayed as pre-entered data.
If the name of the applicant is different from that of the representative for the work, please edit as necessary. Also, please make sure that you have not left out the information about corporate title.
As a rule, personal name and affiliation (company name, corporate name, trade name, etc.) should be used, however, if you wish to register the work under a corporate name, you may enter the corporate name in the name field and leave the affiliation field blank.

[The people involved] People involved in the production of this work
All names will appear in the credit section of the yearbook or book of works.
Please select function served from the options and fill in the affiliation and name (in Chinese characters and English letters, respectively). There is no limit to the number of entries, but please be sure to fill in the four names for “Director, Designer, Client, and Contractors” that will appear in the yearbook, unless there are no applicable names.
No changes or additions can be made after the application has been completed, so please make sure there are no errors or omissions.

The name of applicant used in the application should be the name of the leading applicant. If a staff member is making the application on behalf of the leading applicant, the application should be in the name of the leading applicant and not the person who is making the application.
However, for the ID (mail address), please register the email address of the contact person that could be easily reached. The email address does not need to belong to the person registered as applicant.

For administrative purposes, we request a single individual who is actually in charge of the submission of the work to be named as an applicant, and not a joint name. Please use the address of the “person in charge” as your ID (e-mail address) so that we can easily contact you.
*The name of the applicant will not be published in the yearbook or the book of works. If the applicant is involved in the creation of the work, please register as the representative for the work or as a person involved.
The name of the representative for the work should be one person representing the parties involved in the design and production of the work, and not a joint name. As a rule, personal name and affiliation (company name, corporate name, trade name, etc.) of that person should be used, however, if you wish to register the work under a corporate name, you may enter the corporate name in the name field and leave the affiliation field blank.
Please note that the names of applicants, representative for the work, and related parties will not be disclosed to the judges until the completion of the screening process.

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