Special Regulations for the Evaluation of the new FEPA Class: THE PICTURE POSTCARD

Published on Author José Ramón Moreno


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

Many European countries have included postcards at their local and national exhibitions for many years with more accepting this class recently. The FEPA Board felt that it would be both encouraging and helpful to promote a Picture Postcard Class at European level to enable collectors to exhibit across national boundaries using the same competition criteria.

We have studied in particular the Regulations from France, Germany, Scandinavia, and Great Britain. Some of these Regulations are very comprehensive and detailed, and we have tried to condense the proposed Regulations to be more easily accessible by being brief but succinct.

A draft proposal was sent to all FEPA affiliated associations on 13 July 2015 asking for comments by 16 September 2015. Taking into account that that this period including the summer vacation, the deadline was extended until 9 October 2015.

Although the response was not as extensive as we had hoped for, the nine federations who replied, provided very thoughtful and well-argued amendments and changes. These were mainly from countries where postcard exhibits are already flourishing, and most of the suggestions were incorporated into the Regulations and sent to all the affiliated federations in advance of the FEPA Congress at NOTOS in Athens on 15 November 2015.

It should perhaps be explained why the point distribution of 30-35-30-5 was adopted (see details in the Regulations below). This is the distribution used for all the other international classes, except Thematic Philately (35-30-30-5). This is similar to the change when the Open Class was recognised as an international category as Open Philately. With a view to a future international recognition of a Picture Postcards class, it was felt that the maintenance of this distribution of points was important.

It was the aim to keep the Regulations to four pages, to keep them as simple as possible, to encourage Picture Postcard exhibitors, and not to be restrictive by having too many details. It is envisaged that the Regulations will be translated to German, French, and Spanish, and perhaps other European language as necessary. This will, of course, rely entirely on volunteers!

Nothing has been included about jurors, but as a number of countries already have experienced Postcard judges, maybe they might be relied upon to share their knowledge and experience as appropriate at future FEPA exhibitions.


These Special Regulations for the Evaluation of Picture Postcard Exhibits at FEPA Exhibitions were approved by the FEPA Congress in Athens, on 15 November 2015.

They are subject to review by the 2018 FEPA Congress. These Regulations apply to all those exhibitions granted FEPA patronage, support or recognition at, or following, the 2015 FEPA Congress.

Birthe King
FEPA Director, responsible for the Picture Postcard Class


FEPA Regulations for the Picture Postcard Class
Special Regulations for Picture Postcard Exhibits at FEPA Exhibitions


1 Competition Exhibitions

The Picture Postcard class is accepted as a competion class for National, Regional, and FEPA exhibitions, approved by the relevant federations.

Definition of a Picture Postcard

A Picture Postcard must have an illustration. Furthermore …

  • Picture Postcards (circulated through the postal service or in any other manner treated postally) must show that they have been through a postal service.
  • Unused (non-postally treated) Picture Postcards must have printed text or printed address lines, for example a postage field, which shows that the card is meant to be posted without an envelope.
  • The exhibit must be able to be displayed in exhibition frames of the standard international format of 16 A4 pages per frame or equivalent.

Principles for the Development of the Exhibit

3.1 Idea, Plan and Treatment

A Picture Postcard exhibit is treated with a starting point in a geographical (topographical) topic, a thematic topic, or from a different base, 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 sub sections 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.

3.2 Knowledge and Research

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

4 Judging Criteria

When judging, the following criteria must be used:

  • Idea, plan and treatment of the topic
  • Knowledge and research
  • Condition and rarity
  • Presentation.

5 Judging the Exhibit

A Picture Postcard exhibit must be judged by a jury agreed by the relevant federation(s)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

6 Awards

Awards made according to these regulations may be determined by the exhibition organising committee in co-operation with relevant federation(s).

Picture Postcard exhibits may be awarded special prizes and the jury’s felicitations.


Guidelines for Judging Picture Postcard Exhibits

1 Introduction

1.1 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.

1.2 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.

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

1.4 The exhibitor may take advantage of presenting the exhibit more thoroughly in a synopsis to be sent to the jury 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, or the printer 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 philately (if present). Picture Postcards may be unused or used (sent through a mail system). Unused Picture Postcards should have printed address lines, stamp box, 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. 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.

3.2 Knowledge and Research

Research is a pre-requisite for knowledge of the topic, and this must be documented in a brief text in connection with the Picture Postcards. The texts must contain essential information about the topic and may contain information about photographer or artist. Information about the typography, printing method, and printer may be demonstrated in an appropriate manner. Picture Postcards must be correctly chosen with regard 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 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 a particularly bad quality with ink stains, smudging, etc.

Rarity is directly related to the difficulty in finding such postcards. Some ‘Real Photo’ postcards may be close to unique, as they were often produced only in very small numbers. Even printed Picture Postcards can be extremely difficult to find. Scarce Picture Postcards with international interest may be considered more important than a picture of a village with a few hundred inhabitants.

Golden age picture postcards were often printed by several publishers in numbers 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 coloured 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.