All Categories Are Not Equal

An in-depth look at the Frēsh creative categories; examining the scores of winning entries in a quantitative analysis session that reveals that both scale and quality play a role.

Frēsh was set up to be as inclusive and as transparent as possible. So, in keeping with this ideology we wanted to lift the lid on the scoring structure of the 28 creative categories that comprised the Frēsh 18 entry pool. Let's recap on scoring first.

Scoring and Awarding Entries
All approved entries will score between 55 and 275 points. An entry needs to reach a score higher than 225 to be eligible for gold, 200 to be eligible for silver and 175 to be eligible for a bronze or carbon award. Each category can only have one gold, silver and bronze winner, unless two entries carry exactly the same score; in which case they’ll both carry the highest award their score allows.

Eligibility tiers mean that sometimes a category may not have a gold winner or silver. This helps ensure a level standard of quality across the entire showcase. Including the carbon awards, a category can hold up to 8 winning entries - but if the entries don't meet the eligibility limits, a category will have less winners.

The Averages

If all entries can be scored between 55 and 275 then it's pretty easy to call the middle point; 165. But how does that actually work out? By taking all of the approved entries from the entry pool and averaging their scores we can find the average entry score. For this year it comes out at 163.7

So it seems we had some harsh judges! But comforting to know they weren't straying too far away from the median. Let's present those numbers more clearly so we can see them at a glance.

  Thoretical Median Score 165.0  

  Actual Median Score 163.7  

We can get more granular. We can express the six creative genres in terms of their median scores. This gives us a very rough quality metric against which we can score the kind of work that was being entered into the Frēsh 18 call for entries.

  Genre Median Score  

  Motion & 3D 190.3  

  Art 162.5  

  Photography 154.6  

  Fashion 154.5  

  Film 146.2  

  Design 142.1  

We can see a marked difference between the median score for the Motion & 3D categories (comprising Animation, CGI & Character, Motion Graphics and VFX), and all the rest. This genre of creativity either resonates particularly well with the judging panel, or the work submitted into those categories is significant.

To investigate this we can build an entry quality table for all the categories from the averaged scores of just the winning entries. Expressed as an average score within each category, this gives us a snapshot of how the winners stack up in each category. We can also use our gold, silver and bronze score tiers to represent the average score for each category.

  Category Winners Of Approved Avg. Score

gold Retouching & Post 8 15% 248.6

gold CGI & Character 8 19% 240.8

gold Commercial & Branded Content 8 15% 239.3

gold Fine Art 8 7% 237.5

gold Narrative 8 22% 230.6

gold Motion Graphics 8 17% 229.5

gold VFX 8 31% 228.6

gold Music Video 8 21% 226.6

gold Cinematography 8 19% 225.5

silver Animation 8 19% 223.5

silver Illustration 8 5% 222.0

silver Portraiture 8 4% 219.8

silver Documentary 8 22% 216.5

silver Landscape & Natural 8 12% 214.4

silver Graphic 8 6% 214.0

silver Make-Up Arts 4 11% 211.3

silver Information & UI 4 15% 210.8

silver Product & Industrial 8 22% 208.0

silver Fashion 8 12% 207.4

silver Reportage 7 8% 207.1

silver Styling & Jewellery 7 17% 203.9

silver Architecture 3 19% 201.7

bronze Editorial 6 20% 197.3

bronze Advertising & Commercial 6 20% 194.8

bronze Packaging 5 19% 193.2

bronze Branding 7 23% 188.1

bronze Sculpture 7 30% 186.1

bronze Installation 8 30% 177.1

The Learnings

All categories are not equal, but within the categories themselves there aren't any clearly-defined quality gaps - 64% of categories hold the full 8 winning entries, which means 19 categories have gold winners. All categories carry silver winners, so we know all categories have entries scoring more than 200. 

Categories that have less approved entries are slightly more prone to lower scores in their winners - an indicator that the call for entries was better received by creatives in the photography, film and 3D sectors. 

Design and Art are well represented, but the marking is lower which indicates that our judges are more critical in marking established creative disciplines. This can be viewed in four ways; that the majority of the submitted work in those categories is more prone to misrepresentation, isn't breaking new ground, that the judging panel have higher expectations here than in other categories, or (related to the second point) that there is a jury fatigue within these categories.

Categories that are gaining higher medians tend to have a higher digital, or computer-generated image content. Current aesthetic trends may be leaning more towards this, although whether it's down to style and subject, quality of execution, or whether the entries are viewed with a more optimistic eye we can't yet tell. Those questions may well be answered as our curators lift the lid on the trends and insights from the entry pool over the next few months.