Tip Index to The Path to Gold: 175 Proven Stamp Exhibiting Tips - by Steven Zwillinger

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Chapter 1 - Creating Your Exhibit
Tip # Title Page
1Enjoy yourself2
2You can put descriptions above the stamps as well as below2
3Tell a story!2
4Plan your exhibit template and write it down3
5The most important pages of your exhibit are not mounted in the frames4
6Don't unduly limit font size for headings8
7Learn from sale auction catalogs9
8If you are considering a thematic exhibit, consult Wikipedia10
9Try to answer the question 'How much is too much?'10
10Just because you can create an exhibit, doesn't mean you should12
11Consider carefully if you want to exhibit unattractive items13
12Use "bookends" for an exhibit: start with a clear beginning and end with a strong closing14
13Distinguish between text on exhibit pages that serve different purposes15
14Don't neglect your title page16
15Consider what an exhibit can cost16
16Consider to what extent can you get help with your exhibit?18
17Make a Plan 20
18Know your Exhibiting Goals22
19Laying out Exhibits: Make the exhibit pages come out the way you want them to24
20Know when it is time to let go and stop working on an exhibit25
21Describe, don't politicize26
22Don't settle - Keep on Improving28
23Remember that 'perfect' varies by exhibit29
24Download the APS Manual of Philatelic Judging31
25There can be several possible ending points for an exhibit32

Chapter 2 - Using Techniques That Work
Tip # Title Page
26Content matters more than format36
27There is no one right way to lay out a page38
28Never cut a mount with a stamp in it38
29Don't use black mounts for stamps39
30Address all aspects of the material in your exhibit40
31Keep the emphasis on philatelic material40
32Don't artificially limit how many covers you show on a single page41
33Consider showing cancels and overprints on your pages41
34Use the appropriate number of covers on a page42
35Consider using a consistent format across exhibits43
36You can use Microsoft Word for making exhibit pages44
37Start with a small step and use a template45
38Be pragmatic in laying out out your exhibit: use page layouts to meet your needs47
39Less is more and more is less47
40Make edges look better48
41"Preservation" is more important than "Pretty"49
42Use Highlighting50
43Consider different levels of mats to showcase philatelic material51
44Start your exhibit now; your exhibit pages do not have to be the same as your collection pages52
45Don't wait - Start now53

Chapter 3 - Constructing Engaging Pages
Tip # Title Page
46Consider low tech solutions to display challenges56
47Remember there is more than one way to prepare an exhibit page56
48Don't leave half pages empty57
49Turn an exhibit sheet sideways57
50Try to make exhibit pages balanced58
52Mount coins or medals on your exhibit pages if they fit with your theme61
53Use photocopied material when it is appropriate62
54Yes, you can show the picture side of a postcard62
55Create more space63
56Use 'Negative Space' on your exhiibt page if you are displaying a large item64
57Don't emphasize imperfections64
58Don't shortchange your exhibit; use all available tools65
59The half page - not a full page - is the smallest unit of layout design66
60Learn from other's mistakes, not just their successes67
61Use legal size paper to create a neat and attractive layout within a frame if you have a series of large items68
62Use large paper for large items68
63Don't be afraid to exhibit large philatelic pieces70
64There's more to big pages than big paper71
65Learn Rates74

Chapter 4 - Building on Great Design
Tip # Title Page
66You don't always need margins78
67Don't be trapped in the horizontal; think vertically where it meets your needs79
68Don't be a victim of conventional approaches to horizontal and vertical planes79
69Include gum and paper variations in your stamp exhibits82
70Use color to your advantage82
71Don't be afraid to be bold and create a striking impression83
72Be creative in exhibiting long envelopes84
73You can mount almost anything on your exhibit pages85
74You can exhibit three-dimensional material87
75You can mount very thick material90
76Construct a display box in your exhibit page91
77Be creative in showing your material93
78Use all available resources in showcasing your material and your knowledge94
79Use the reverse of a philatelic item to enhance your presentation of philatelic information95
80Address the source of a stamp's design in your commentary96
81The necessity for clear communication in an exhibit is inversely proportional to a viewer's familiarity with the material.96
82Clarity reduces complexity97
83Do-overs are free98
84Copy Shamelessly98
85Avoid "Train Tracks" on Exhibit Pages99

Chapter 5 - Including Graphic Elements
Tip # Title Page
86Learn from the masters102
87Don't just describe - emphasize!103
88An illustration can't be too big or too clear; it's all in how you use it 104
89Consider using a timeline106
90Don't compare tiny things; compare big things 108
91If something important might be too small or too hard to see, use a diagram to call attention to it.109
92Tell your viewers what they are seeing110
93You can show "Invisible" tagging patterns111
94Sometimes extraordinary material outweighs traditional approaches and assumptions111
95Fill in the blanks: Provide information that would otherwise be missing112
96The more complete your presentation of appropriate data, the better113
97Graphics do not have to be limited to subordinate positions114
98You can illustrate the exhibit plan on your title page114
99Don't be afraid to defy expectations116
100You can show partial postal or fiscal markings118
101The more complex the issue, the greater the value of an explanatory graphic 118
102The more complex the issue (such as overprints and surcharges), the greater the value of an explanatory graphic 120
103Some New Yea's Resolutions as they pertain to our exhibiting world121
104CHANGE: How it affects the philatelic exhibiting world123
105See how the Champion of Champions did it126

Chapter 6 - Enjoying Stamp Shows
Tip # Title Page
106Show your exhibit at a local club132
107Consider - if your home situation allows - acquiring an exhibit frame132
108Provide clear instructions for mounting exhibits in frames133
109Provide clear instructions for mounting large pages in frames134
110Thanking volunteers134
111If you have the opportunity, mount your exhibit at a show135
112Use your cell phone or digital camera to capture information from exhibits135
113Bring an Exhibiting Repair Kit for when you mount your exhibit135
114[If you are as compulsive as I am,] Bring back-ups136
115Understand what medal levels mean136
116Yes, Stamp Exhibiting is a hobby, but it's also more137
117Don't argue with the Judges at the critique138
118Take advantage of opportunities138
119Make judges' lives easier: Use 3-hole punched paper when you submit a title page and synopsis for a show in which you will exhibit139
120Keep your budget priorities straight139
121 Enjoy the rewards of exhibiting140
122Talk to Dealers141
123Anticipate how judges will judge your exhibit141
124If you know how judges will review and assess your exhibit, make it easy for them 142
125It's not true that all 'good' exhibit subjects cost too much142

Chapter 7 - Resources and The Next Steps
Tip # Title Page
126Talk to your friends and family about your exhibit144
127Try a new exhibiting area144
128Consider broadening you collecting and exhibiting activities144
129Share a copy of your exhibit with the American Philatelic Research Library145
130Join AAPE145
131Borrow, buy or read The Philatelic Exhibitors Handbook 145
132Don't forget to visit the AAPE website145
133Go to Exponet and learn from over 500 online exhibits145
134Identify the worst looking item in your exhibit. Take it out.146
135Don't neglect the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) as a source of information about and examples of exhibits146
136Prepare for the worst147
137Experiment with exhibiting techniques in your other hobbies147
139We all need to be organized148
140More organizing techniques149
141Focus attention and guide the viewers' eye by hiding unnecessary portions of material149
142Plan for the Summer150
143Plan for the longer term150
144Don't be intimidated by information or by those who have it (or think they have it.)150
145The QR code and the Future of Philatelic Exhibiting151
146There really aren't any ugly stamps - just ugly exhibits152
147Beware the Seven Sins of Exhibiting155
148Choose your palette156
149Take 10 weeks for a better exhibit159
150Follow your muse163

Chapter 8 - More Content
Tip # Title Page
151 Don't minimize the importance of a great title165
152 An outline and introductory material don't have to be limited to your title page166
153 Help judges prepare for your exhibit with a strong reference section of your synopsis168
154 You don't have a problem when a full mounting strip is too short for a long itme169
155Some pages don't work; accept it and move on169
156Don't confuse people170
157Catch the viewers eye: Make them stop in their tracks and look at your exhibit171
158Planning starts with an outline - even if some topics appear too complicated for an outline172
159Show production-related aspects of your stamps174
160If you've never seen it before and you have a chance to acquire it, get it175
161Consider bi-lingual headings176
162When you are looking for a connection with your audience, consider their frame of reference177
163Use a checklist when you mail your exhibit to a stamp show178
164Try to have realistic expectations for your exhibits178
165Be complete in your narrative179
166You don't have to do what a judge says180
167Trying things you haven't done before may permit you to see opportunities for improving your exhibit182
168Wait to exhibit an item until you know how you want to exhibit it and have the material to tell the story you want to tell184
169Be ruthless when you prune your exhibit184
170Display stamps in groups or in sub-groups in ways that suit your needs186
171Try to avoid showing stamps on the image side of a postcard186
172You can expand your collection without everything fitting into your exhibit187
173When necessary, you can mix mint and used stamps on the same page188
174Review everything188
175You can't please everybody 189
 Appendix - Exhibit Page Production191