Whether promoting environmental safety, an exhibition, or a college class, these designers catch our attention not only with original and clever designs, but also with their eye-catching use of color.
“It Is Not a Game” (above, left) is an environmental poster entry by Goyen Chen, a designer at the Taiwan based design firm NFliGht. Reminiscent of graphic design brutalistism, a style that intentionally attempts to look raw, haphazard, or unadorned, the poster utilizes a nontraditional layout, loud neon colors, and large sans serif fonts to call attention to people’s habits in relation to the environment. At the center of the poster, the image of the earth imitates the Pop-up Pirate game (a children’s game of luck where you stick plastic swords in a spring loaded barrel, trying not to trigger a pirate figurine), with sharp swords repeatedly driving into the earth’s “slots” to represent the greenhouse gases that continue to destroy the ozone layer. The titular phrase, “It is not a game”, is printed repeatedly along the margins of the poster, warning that if we continue to gamble with earth’s health, we could lose everything.
Graphis Master Hoon-Dong Chung is a designer and professor at Dankook Univerity whose experiments in typography and 3D font projects are forward-thinking and awe-inspiring. His latest entry, “D-Revolution” (above, right), was created for the Gwangju Design Biennale, a design competition hosted in Gwangju City, South Korea that’s organized by the Gwangju Institute of Design Promotion (GIDP) Foundation. The Gwangju Design Biennale focuses on presenting the future of design and expanding the aesthetical, practical and economic values of design attributes, which resulted in the theme for their 2021 competition, “d-Revolution.” This theme is a compound composed of the letter D for design and the word revolution, which refers to the “paradigm of a new era driven by design, not a revolution propelled by industrial inventions as in the past.” Chung conveys this in his poster design, using 3D cubes to form the letter D with “revolution” at its center. Between the shapes and the text, Chung displays mastery over dimensional graphics and modeling.
“Charming Shanghai” (above, left) was designed by Leo Lin for the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts 10×10 Poster Exhibition, where 10 international design curators invited 10 top designers to design a poster dedicated to the Chinese city city of Shanghai. For his poster concept, Lin took inspiration from the Qing Dynasty, the final imperial dynasty in China that lasted from 1644 to 1912 and a period where Shanghai gradually developed into the “most prosperous economic and commercial center in the Far East, known as the Ten Mile Foreign Market” and becoming a pioneer city for Chinese society’s contact with Western culture. Lin explains that this meeting led to the induction of avant-garde art and fashion into Shanghai society: “From the advertisements of the Shanghai Monthly Cards, you can see the active business activities and women’s fashion life at that time.” A hint of that history is given with an illusion of pages being pulled back, revealing a peek of a woman’s eye from a vintage photograph. The rest of the poster is split in pastel geometric shapes, a combination of the feminine and the bold that’s telling of the growth Shanghai went through.
Jan Šabach of Code Switch created this last funky poster to promote his “Fundamentals of Graphic Design” (above, right) courseat UMass Amherst College. The poster is a modern take on psychedelic vintage illustrations, featuring a flat color palette of green, pink, and yellow, large, dark san-serif font, and a trippy illustration that the students on campus couldn’t possible ignore. Initially, the class was to be part of the continuing education program, and the students would have to pay extra for the course. However, so many students expressed interest that the school changed the course status to a regular curriculum, and the class filled up in a day.
Curious about what other kinds of posters have been submitted? Discover more at graphis.com!