Poster 2023 winners and new entries from Poster 2024 In the face of threats from war and artificial intelligence, it’s refreshing to see designers call for peace and unity in the face of adversity. This week, we are taking a look at four bold posters that are raising awareness about these issues and hoping to spark a dialogue. Let’s take a look…
A Bold Call For Peace In Ukraine from João Machado
In an effort to raise awareness about the situation in Ukraine, designers around the world have been creating posters that call for peace and an end to the violence.
One such entry, “NO WAR FOR UKRAINE” (above, left) by Portuguese Graphis Master João Machado, is a bold piece calling for the end of violence between Russia and Ukraine and was created for the Ogaki Poster Museum in Japan. The image is a large military jet pointed downwards that aims itself off the page as it drops letters like bombs spelling out “NO WAR.”
The differently-angled and gradually growing size of the characters creates an illusion that the viewer themselves are staring up at the fleeting jet and its projectiles. This view is a reality for many living in the country and forms a line of empathy between the viewer and those directly affected by the conflict.
Shuichi Nogami’s Expression of Hope and Human Resilience
Another new entry, “Save Ukraine” (above, right) by Japanese designer Shuichi Nogami was created as an expression of his desire to help save Ukraine. The two variations create a division between the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag. This symbolism is especially poignant as the country struggles to maintain its unity in the face of violence and political upheaval.
Looking at the triangular peaks in the image, it’s easy to think they just make an irregular separation between the colors. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that the stacked block letters are balanced at different angles, spelling out the word “HELP.” The tower of letters creates a sense of uncertainty about the future, while the 3D characters express the desperation and strength of those affected by the conflict.
This poster was designed for the Japan Typography Association and won the Jury Prize at the Japan Typography Annual 2023. Nogami’s work is a reminder that the people of Ukraine aren’t alone in this struggle, and that we all have a responsibility to hope for peace in this troubled region.
Treading Through Ukraine’s Sunflower-Laden Landscape
In the face of Russia’s recent military aggression in Ukraine, Swedish designer Carina Länk‘s Silver-winning poster “Stop War” (above, left) depicting Vladimir Putin’s domineering army is a sobering reminder of the effects of his regime.
As Ukraine’s national flower, sunflowers play a significant role in the country’s culture and economy. In this poster, a sea of soldier’s legs in black combat boots tramples over the flowers, representing the violence and destruction currently taking place in the country. Some sunflower petals grow past the edges of the poster, alluding to a rich and historic culture. These flowers populate Ukrainian villages and are often used in decorations and clothes. Sunflowers are key to the Ukrainian and Russian economy, which in this context combines to deliver a powerful message.
As Russian troops invade the Ukrainian region the symbol of “Z” has taken on new meaning. This letter, usually associated with the Russian word for “west” or “zapad“, is seen on the boots of soldiers in the region. Some experts believe that the letter Z is used to represent the Russian troops that are usually stationed in the Western region of the country. Others believe that the letter is meant to symbolize the dark times that the region is entering.
This piece was also included in the “No War/Stop War” exhibition in the Ogaki Poster Museum in Japan in response to the current events in Ukraine, but the message is just as relevant for the rest of the world. The poster is a reminder of the effects of Putin’s regime on the people of Ukraine and the danger it poses to the rest of the world.
WARNING: Artificial Intelligence
The age of artificial intelligence is upon us, and we’re at the dawn of a new era in which machines will be able to think, reason, and learn like humans. While this may sound like science fiction, it’s already happening today.
On a different note than other posters discussed in this post, this Silver-winning poster is from a series created by Islam Hassan, titled “Ai Danger” (above, right), which has several renditions that warn viewers of the same thing: the threats of artificial intelligence.
As the world becomes increasingly digitized, the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) to disrupt industries and everyday life grows. The astute design has several arrangements with white, yellow, and red backgrounds and hollow or filled variations of the popularly-used triangular yield icon. The text at the top of the poster varies between “CAUTION: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE” and “ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE DANGER.” Overall, the jarring colors used in this context create a powerful message that is easy to understand yet packs an emotional punch transcending culture and language. Observing the piece closer, the exclamation mark that’s usually in the triangle is flipped to make an “i”, alluding to “intelligence”, and the negative space creates an “A” for “artificial.”
This piece serves to remind us that, even with the increasing advances in Artificial Intelligence, there will always be a need for experienced humans to create intelligent pieces of work. Though Ai has its uses, it cannot replace the thoughtful and meaningful approach taken by creatives who have their own experiences and expertise. This is why we must continue to embrace this unique form of intelligence and use it as an asset to bridge the gap between artificial and human understanding.
Ultimately, these four designers have shown the power of design to raise awareness and spark dialogue on global issues. They are a reminder of the power of visual communication and the potential for creatives to use their skills to influence change. Although we may not have control over external events like war or AI development, we can still work together to make our world better by starting conversations around topics like this one. By taking action today, we can build a brighter tomorrow.
Let’s use our voices to spark meaningful conversations on all levels. Poster 2024 provides us with a platform to do just that. Enter today at Graphis.com.