We’re seeing a lot of creative pieces in our Designers for Peace competition. With so many different styles and approaches, one thing remains the same; these and other designers’ drive for peace.
“Road to Freedom” (above, left) is a symbolic piece created by Katherine Lorenzetti and is inspired by a passage by writer Willa Cather from her 1918 novel, My Antonia, which reads: “sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom.” Over the past century, the sunflower has been hailed as a symbol of Ukrainian national identity. However, as Russia continues to attack the country, the sunflower has taken on new layers of meaning as a symbol of resistance, unity, and hope amongst Ukrainian citizens. In her clean, modernist design, Lorenzetti pays testament to the flower’s history through her stylized depiction of the sunflower as a cascade of rings, which gradually fade from blue to yellow with petals in a clever use of Ukraine’s national colors.
Designer Ben Dolezal created his poster “Hope for Peace” (above, right) to deliver a message of peace during times of unrest in Ukraine and around the world. His intention in designing the poster was to express his vision for peace and inspire the world through creativity. With a collage/patchwork design, Dolezal’s poster includes a combination of recognizable iconography that is important to Ukraine: the colors of its flag, the coat of arms trident, and the sunflower. Snippets of these icons are connected with a geometric pattern and layered under a dove and olive branch. The tears of the bird flow down into text that reads “Hope for Peace” in both English and Ukrainian, resulting in a moving call for change.
Anne M. Giangiulio created “Fuck Putin” (above, left) as a homage to Maria Prymachenko, a Ukrainian folk artist. 25 of her paintings were lost on February 28, 2022, when Russian forces burned the Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum, about 50 miles northwest of Kyiv. Revered as an icon of Ukrainian national identity, Prymachenko’s paintings have appeared on stamps and even on the country’s coinage. Her work is rich with imaginative and colorful scenes of both people and animals decorated with intricate patterns reminiscent of the traditional Ukrainian decoration practice, pysanka. Giangiulio emulates Prymachenko’s unique art style by drawing characters in beautiful floral patterned clothing similar to those depicted in Prymachenko’s artwork, but this time, the characters raise their middle fingers with the statement “Fuck Putin” written out in stylized letter art above them. Giangiulio’spiece is a bold and provocative declaration of solidarity with Ukraine, as well as a celebration of the country’s arts.
“Peace Now” (above, right) is a poster concept created by Ryan Slone, a graphic designer, and professor at the University of Arkansas. For his approach, Slone decided to take a more “simple and visceral route”, focusing on translating his emotions into a straightforward design. Using handwriting-like calligraphy, Slone expressed his hope for a peaceful Ukraine, writing “Ukraine” in blue script across a yellow background to match the country’s national colors and using the letter “k” as part of a peace sign. Even though it’s sp simple, Slone’s message is clear and encapsulates many of our feelings as the war continues.
If you are interested in submitting your work to our Designers for Peace competition, visit graphis.com to learn more!