Graphic design has the power to tell a story and stir reactions without the need for a single word. In this week’s round-up of Poster Annual 2023 submissions, the designers incorporate dynamic shapes and colors to convey a message and evoke emotion in their viewers.
“Life of Forms” is an abstract promotional poster from Russian designer Pavel Pisklakovfor the international poster contest “UNOVIS. XXI Century”. Established at the Vitebsk Art School in 1919, the poster contest was hosted by an influential group of artists called the UNOVIS, led by the avant-garde painter and art theorist Kazimir Malevich. In his design, Pisklakovpaid homage to Malevich’s creation of “suprematism” which is a branch of abstract art that is based upon the belief in the supremacy of pure artistic feeling. Taking visual cues from the radical art movement, Pisklakov’s poster features a plethora of geometric forms like circles, squares, lines, and rectangles. Hidden behind the shapes, an abstract portrait of Kazimir Malevich is made up of black, gray, and white squares, with a red cross and black X covering his eyes. “Human life is life among forms; forms surround us, penetrate us, cover our eyes,” Pisklakov explains. “We are inhabitants of the world of forms; we see them and exist with them in our symbiotic space.” This concept aligns with the very basis of Malevich’s suprematism, and his belief that artists “must give forms life and the right to individual existence.”
From Switzerland is a dynamic poster created by WePlayDesign for the “Festival Archipel,” which features contemporary music, performances, and sound installations. The festival’s theme for 2020 was a celebration of the process of transformation. Keeping in tune with that, designers Sophie Rubin and Cedric Rossel illustrated the transition from one state to another as three-dimensional liquid forms in perpetual motion, using stripe and marble patterns to emphasize the form’s everchanging shape. With its vivid colors and trippy design aesthetic, the poster along with its animated counterparts received great public reaction and visibility, while the client was very enthusiastic and used the design for the festival’s teaser videos and programs. The project also won numerous awards and has been exhibited in several countries around the world.
Plastic Palm Tree is a design firm based in Canada that designs custom campaigns from the roots up, and their process of hand-crafting unique creativity has led to award-winning work since its start in 2009. For one of their most recent projects, the firm was tasked with creating a key art campaign for the series “As We See It,” a coming-of-age dramedy created by Jason Katims about young adults on the autism spectrum. For their approach, the firm wanted to embody the theme of sensory overload that is a fixture in the lives of autistic people, asking themselves the questions, “What is life like on the autism spectrum? What if we saw the world through the eyes of our characters? How would it feel?”
From sketch to final execution, this concept came to life with the help of incredible collaborators and many moving parts. A custom set was built to mimic a living room where the cast would be photographed by Danielle Levitt. With the intention to transport the viewer into a different mindset, prominent artist Alex Proba was commissioned to paint the entire set with her signature pattern style. The pattern is meant to be all-consuming and overwhelming to the viewer, mirroring sensory overland, but with its warm color pallete, the poster is also approachable and hopeful. The unique opportunity to feature an artist collaboration took the campaign to the next level, and was well received by the show’s creators and the internal team at Amazon Studios.
Submit your own poster, and see it alongside other entries at graphis.com.