A Futuristic 1984 + Screaming to Get Back on Stage: Poster 2023 Winners & Poster 2024 New Entries

It may seem far away now, but the deadline for our Poster 2024 competition will be here before you know it. If you have a design, enter now, and if you need inspiration, check out some of this year’s Gold winners.

Jazz is a much-beloved music genre for many, and Berlin is a great spot to live if you’re a jazz musician. Earlier this year, the city threw the 1984 Jazz Festival, a four-month music celebration featuring music projects centered around four jazz personalities born in 1984. The festival paratextualizes George Orwell’s science fiction novel of the same name with its overall theme of freedom, and you can see the science fiction influence in “JAZZFESTIVAL 1984” (above, left). Created by Japanese designer Aya Kawabata, the poster features blocky stylized numbers for the year 1984 stacked on top of each other. While the background gradient is muted, the colors of the numbers shine, representing, as Kawabata puts it, “the energy of music and the freedom and hope that shines in the dark.” This poster was a success and was visually adapted to a variety of formats, such as part of the local music concert booth and online advertising.

The saying goes, “the show must go on,” but the acting world was one of many that closed its doors during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. With freelance theater staff like directors, writers, and actors scrambling to find another source of income, one Berlin theater, the Berliner Ensemble, held a charity auction to help support these freelancers. German designer Ariane Spanier contributed to the auction with “Warten auf den Live Scream (Waiting for the Live Scream)” (above, right). The work features Spanier’s trademark blocks of bold colors and manipulated type in a variety of fonts. Its titular phrase, “waiting for the live scream,” expresses the longing to get back on stage and perform live, and the white spray “escaping” its block plays off of it as a visual expression of wanting to leave pandemic restrictions behind. Along with posters contributed by other designers, the auction raised a healthy amount of money that helped theater freelancers.

Israeli poster designer Yossi Lemel is mostly known for his social and political posters and color block style, but he shows his softer side with “Bom Spring” (above, left). This work was designed and dedicated to an exhibition hosted by the Visual Information Design Association of Korea, or VIDAK. The organization, founded in 1994, focuses on promoting designers’ rights and interests, as well as being a source for domestic and foreign design-related information. Their exhibition was a celebration of spring, and Lemel touches on the season with shades of pink, yellow, and green. Interestingly, he rejects more traditional springtime flowers for a blooming cactus, which takes on the shape of a heart.

You may have heard of a zine before, but if you don’t know exactly what it is, a zine is a self-published booklet of original or appropriated texts and images, usually produced via a copy machine by a single person or a very small group. Zilong Su, an artist originally from Changsha, Hunan, China, decided a zine would help his hometown promote their efforts in cultural preservation. Submitted into our 2024 Poster Awards competition, “A Weekend Touring Guide of Changsha City” (above, right) starts out as an accordion booklet that folds out into a map and poster, utilizing a combination of comics, character and map illustrations, and infographics to showcase both tourist and local perspectives for a carefully assembled guide for a complete and authentic Changsha experience. Su made careful considerations for the dimensions of the folded page and how each interacted with the other. The final product is a collectible map for tourists that shows the unique side of Changsha while being convenient for carrying around the city.

To see other Poster 2023 winners, click here. And if you want to enter our Poster 2024 competition, click here.

Author: Graphis