When it comes to designing posters, symbolism can go a long way. Drawn from what the poster’s for, it can be subtle or overt, but either way it helps draw viewers in and keep their attention. This week’s batch of new and award-winning posters will have you staring at them for a long time!
Gregory Paone, the creative director of Paone Design Associates, LTD., challenged himself to achieve his bachelor’s in fine arts, with a concentration in graphic design, from The University of Arts in the United States. Known for his colorful poster designs, one of his most frequent clients is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, who like to hire him to create promotional posters for their concert series. His “Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Winter Concert” poster (above, left) from our 2024 competition combines various elements such as size, hue, and balance, all of which was inspired by Saint Saëns’ “Symphonie No. 3 Avec Orgue”, which was included in the concert. As Paone puts it, “This masterpiece, originally written in two movements, provided inspiration for the poster’s artwork, where chromatic patterns play a pivotal role in both movements. Each singularly powerful voice of the organ is presented as color moments in the poster — a subtle, darker role in the first movement, and a noble and powerful role at the end of the second.” The curve of the circles offset the thin san-serif font Paone developed for the posters and program books. All together, the poster is both infomative and artistic, catching your attention with its shapes and colors.
The Qaidam, a basin in China filled with forests and wetlands, is home to many beautiful animals such as the scaly-sided merganser bird. However, thanks to an increase in pollution and hunting, the bird became an endangered species, according to The International Union of Conservation of Nature. To combat this, the Haixi Government of Qinghai, China, reached out to designer Mengxi Cui and asked her to design a series of posters to bring awareness to the animals of the region. “Save Animals in the Qaidam” (above, right), which won Gold in our 2023 Poster competition, depicts five different animals, such as the aformentioned scaly-sided merganser and the snow leopard, with simple lines and little detail. Parts of the animals seem to fade into the soft pastel backgounds as if walking into a fog, a visual metaphor for how the animals are disappearing as they become endangered. Thankfully, Cui says that the project was a success and attracted a lot of viewers, bringing this issue to their attention.
Paul Rogers became an illustrator and designer after he graduated from the ArtCenter College of Design in 1980. As a professional, he has created many works ranging from postal stamps, book covers, festival advertisements, and posters. His Silver-winning work, “Wynton at 60” (above, left), was made for a concert celebrating jazz musician Wynton Marsalis’ 60th birthday at the Jazz at Lincoln Center program. Told that the final image needed to reflect the idea of “milestones” and “retrospection” in Wynton’s career, Rogers used white hand-drawn lettering to list some of his many awards and acheivements, from the name of the funk band he played in as a teenager in New Orleans to his Pulitzer Prize for music, on a yellow background. Front and center is an iconic drawing of Marsalis playing his trumpet, with touches of a rich blue and reddish brown for details. The print was so popular, print run of the poster sold out in one day!
The last poster featured today is another Silver winner, this time from Swiss designer Stephan Bundi. With a love for the stage and music, Bundi is known for his promotional posters for concerts and shows; one fine example is “Eiger” (above, right), which was made forthe Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn. It is named after the opera of the same name, which tells the story of an ascent of the Eiger in 1936, a 13,015 foot mountain that is considered one of the most emblematic sights of the Swiss Alps. Using various textures, Bundi constructed a jagged mountaintop upon which a yellow dotted line traces the path to be taken by the show’s climbers. Simple in its visuals yet striking in its style, it’s no surprise that the final image was also for advertisements and the program brochure, and was also nominated for the Swiss Poster Award.
Click here to check out our Poster 2023 winners. Or, if you like to submit work to our 2024 Poster competition, click here.