Spell it Out: Poster 2023 Silver-Winning Works

This week’s Silver winners for our 2023 poster competition all use typography as a major component of their design, showing us how a wide variety of forms and uses can be applied to create a compelling and effective poster design.

Our first poster is “Read More 2021” (above, left) created by designer Fidel Peña from the Canadian design firm Underline Studio. This poster is part of a self-initiated campaign by the studio to encourage reading amongst designers, a project the company has undertaken every year since 2018. The poster both encourages the viewer to read while also listing the Top Ten Books Read in 2021. However, the actual list itself is tiny, framing it so as not to be the focus of the design while also keeping it from cluttering the rest of the poster. The centerpiece instead is the giant word “read”, overlayed with both a reflective and a warping effect that creates the illusion of turning book pages. The turquoise background is also highly eye-catching, drawing the viewer into the core message: read!

Our second poster is “Elke Twiesselmann Preis” (above, right) from German designer Thomas Kühnen and was created for the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany to promote the first edition of the “Elke Twiesselmann Preis,” an award with the intention of supporting female actors enrolled in the university’s degree course in acting. The poster was screen printed in two single colors, yellow and dark blue, which serve to help the poster pop. In terms of typography, the award’s name is front and center, made larger and bright yellow to grab the viewer’s attention. Other details about the award ceremony, such as the prize money and the date for the ceremony, are tucked in the spaces created by the main text. The woman’s blue face also serves to embolden the yellow text even further, overall creating a striking visual effect.

Our third poster is “Resilience” (above, left) created by designer Carlos Sanchez from Creatias Estudio for Madrid Gráfica in Spain. This poster uses design to create text, by having the numerous red lines make up the letters “Re_”. According to the designer, the red lines symbolize the different paths humanity passes through while the configuration of the R and E creates a purposeful visual confusion, symbolizing the adverse situations we all face. In the end, these lines become clean, a symbol of overcoming hard and traumatic situations and becoming stronger because of them. In the beginning, it’s overwhelming, but by the end, there is clarity, and through that, we become resilient. 

Our fourth and final poster is “The Light Inside” (above, right) created by designer John Gravdahl and his firm Gravdahl Design. This poster was created for the Jiangnan Context International Poster Invitation Exhibition, and Gravdahl decided to take an experimental approach to the subject of Jiangnan, a geographic area in China referring to lands immediately to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Using a backlit alphabet adhesive signage to suggest different layers of perception on the subject, the result is a striking visual effect, highlighting the text in white from the overall black of the poster to convey its message.

You can check out the full collection of our Poster Annual 2023 winners here. To enter our 2024 Poster Annual Awards competition, click here.

Author: Graphis