Peaceful Warriors: New Poster 2023 Entries

Our Poster 2023 competition is receiving all kinds of entries, and we’re happy to show them off!

From our 2023 Poster competition, “PEACE WAR. WAR PEACE.” (above, left) was submitted by American designer Marlena Buczek Smith. A personal work of hers, it depicts two doves laid out over each other with photo manipulation. One face upwards, like it’s about to take off into the air, while the other faces downward as if it’s falling. Together they depict the dichotomy between war and peace, especially with how the dove facing down is ghostly and see-through. That is symbolic of the death war causes, and reminds us that to have peace is to live.

At first glance, American designer Ron Taft‘s poster looks like an advertisement for the next big fantasy TV series. But upon closer inspection, the sword blade in “Women Warriors” (above, right) is actually a violin bow! The poster is for Women Warriors: The Voices of Change, a live-to-picture symphony and film production written, directed, and conducted by Amy Andersson, with the orchestral soundtrack composed by a team of eight renowned female composers. It’s a compelling documentary that highlights the lives of more than sixty-five human rights activists and debuted at Lincoln Center. Taft’s assignment was to create key art and taglines for a Grammy consideration campaign that captured the impetus of the film and its musical heartbeat, and could later be used for ongoing fundraising and promotion initiatives.

Taft wanted to produce something iconic and powerful while celebrating the idea that women and music are the heart and soul of the production, and he was thrilled to discover how perfectly a violin bow served as the blade of the sword to symbolize the significant role orchestral music plays in inspiring and touching audiences. The tattoo “Together We Soar” on the wrist of the woman bearing the sword memorializes an unwavering commitment to unity and cause. Currently, the film has gone on to win over twenty international awards, including a Grammy Nomination for Best Classical Compendium.

Sometimes, self-assignments can make the best work. Derwyn Goodall, a graphic designer from Canada, asked himself, what the future, post-Covid, will hold for everyone. So much has changed; online and virtual offices are the new normal, sanitation is a high priority, our daily commute has disappeared, global economic growth is in flux, social media has evolved, leadership is being redefined, and the future of work is being reconsidered as intimacy takes on a whole new meaning. With all that in mind, Goodall made “Different Now” (above left), a semi prediction of what Goodall hoped 2021 would be like. Whether his predictions were right or wrong doesn’t diminish the bright neon green of the background our the futuristic black, white, and gray text. Most notable are the red and blue bubbles containing a secret text that hasn’t been explained, but perhaps hold more guesses about the future. That’s something only Goodall knows, but but clients and colleagues alike know this is a good poster, and it has led to solid results.

Our diversity in color and race is united by our passion for music, and that is what American designer Carmit Makler Haller strove to depict in her poster “What Unites Us” (above, right). The piece was created as an entry for What Unites Us 2, an international poster exhibition hosted on World Design Day. Given the state of the world with Covid-19 and social distancing, it made sense to make the theme, “What unites us?”. Music is one such thing because while everyone has different tastes and songs they prefer, it’s something we can identify with and share with others. Haller depicts three violins, one of the most easily recognized musical instruments out there, with their strings connecting them to each other as a blatant display of what music does to people. Adding to this metaphor are the colors of the violins, each representing the diversity of the human race. In the end, we are united by the strings we carry, and Haller certainly has gotten her point across.

To see more winning posters, or to submit your work into our Poster 2023 competition, visit us at

Author: Graphis