Great Designs In Different Forms: Poster 2023 Award-Winning Works and New Entries

Our Poster 2024 competition is open, and we’re already receiving plenty of interesting entries. We’re happy to share some of the most interesting with you, as well as some of our favorite winners from this year’s competition.

Our first new design is from designer Lynda Decker of Decker Design and was created as a collaboration between her and director John Madere for Ditch Plains Productions and their movie, “Rocco Up” (above, left). This documentary is about an autistic boy whose father taught him how to surf as a way to nonverbally and more naturally connect to his son. The poster itself shows a yellow surfboard being ridden by a person in a black wetsuit as it traverses through the water and over the waves. Madere himself captured the image with a drone camera, and Decker curated and worked with the photograph, placing the movie title on top and making the poster reminiscent of a National Geographic magazine cover. The technical and aesthetic aspects of the design capture an intense, emotional state of mind that clings to the viewers the same way a surfer clings to their surfboard.

Another new entry from designer Meaghan A. Dee educates its viewers about the protests currently happening throughout Iran. “Women Life Freedom” (above, right) was created after Dee asked a friend if there was anything she could do to personally contribute to the demonstrations; this friend told Dee to make a poster to usher in more international awareness. In a bold move, the designer spells out the protesters’ rallying cry with her own hair, an ode to the brave women throughout Iran who are exposing or cutting off their hair in public spaces as an act of defiance against the unjust laws and expectations of their country. While the hair spells out the poster’s title in English, the message is written in Persian, the language of Iran, in the bottom right corner, implying that the cause for women’s rights is universal and should be for everyone.

Looking back at some winning work from our last Poster competition, we have the gold-winning work of Viktor Koen from Attic Child Press. Each year, undergraduate and graduate students attending the School of Visual Arts participate in the SVA Poster Project, where they make posters that will be exhibited at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference in Athens, Greece. The theme Koen had to work with for his poster was humanity and artificial intelligence, and the design guidelines said a quote needed to be included in the final image. Koen’s poster, “SNF/SVA Humanity and Artificial Intelligence” (above, left) is a colorful combination of a human face with an abstract representation the network of information that an AI receives. Text is presented vertically across the right side in both English and Greek; like with Dee’s poster, the multiple languages emphasize how knowledge and technology are for everyone. As the bright reds, yellows, and blues take over the seemingly human figure, the viewer is struck by these different themes and the ways they can either disconnect or connect. 

Another winning piece of work is from Fidel Peña of Underline Studio, entitled “Prohibido Olvidar Poster” (above, right). At an event at the El Mozote, El Salvador, which is known as the site of the worst civilian massacre in Latin America during the 20th century, President Bukele claimed that the peace accords and civil war were a farce. This poster was designed to support a social media campaign against such claims. Via Twitter, people shared their personal memories of the war, and Peña selected some of the most touching and personal tweets to make this collage poster that resembles newsprint. The size of the fonts varies throughout the design, but every message selected remains readable. Across the poster’s middle in bold, red lettering is “#Prohibido Olvidar SV,” which translates to “Never Forget El Salvador.” This poster sends a strong political message, designed in a way that is nearly impossible for a viewer to ignore. 

To see more of our Poster 2023 winners, click here. For more information on our Poster 2024 competition, click here.

Author: Graphis