poster competition

I have just received an email from the Oxford Brookes University annual poster competition, calling for entries. Entrants can put in any poster they have designed themselves, for consideration within the competition. The guidelines concerning the nature of the poster are somewhat vague:

PLEASE ATTACH A SHORT (APPROX 250 WORDS) ABSTRACT OUTLINING THE WORK TO BE PRESENTED IN YOUR POSTER. YOU CAN SUBMIT A POSTER THAT YOU HAVE MADE FOR ANOTHER EVENT, eg A CONFERENCE.

I am wondering whether to submit an already existing poster I have designed (would save time…) or to create an entirely new poster; perhaps one outlining a future event? Work can then grow into the poster design, allowing my practise to fulfil the promises of the poster. This would be the opposite way of making a poster than my usual trick of scrabbling around at the last minute, looking for an effective way to advertise something I’ve already made.

The questions provoked by the annual poster competition have caused me to consider my existing poster designs:

The Missability Radio Show original screenprint poster.

The Electroacoustic Oxford Brookes Symposium poster.

The ‘Listen’ fantastical reality radio show poster. (The spaghetti didn’t taste good by the time I had finished photographing it)

The Knitted Vegetable Workshop poster.

It is good to line up my existing designs and have a bit of a critique of my poster-designing ideas. I seem to go for high-contrast designs, sans-serif typefaces and bold colourways. I also am very fussy about the references contained within typefaces. The rustic hippy font employed, for instance, in the design of the Knitted Vegetables poster just wouldn’t communicate the FRRS idea at all well, whilst the 1950s kitsch of the Missability Radio Show would be out of place (to my eyes at least) if applied to the Electroacoustic Symposium poster design.

Because my work is often participatory and often involves The Public in some way, the use of posters and DIY forms of advertising is essential for involving people. It is also another format for a project to ‘explain’ itself with, and if the design is too wierd or too abstract, it fails in fulfilling its informative and imaginative purpose. These are some of my philosophies about poster design. I aim for my posters to be clear in what they communicate and appealing in their design. I love that it is possible to make quite a personal appeal in a poster; to put feelings and thoughts out there as a welcome or invitation to others. I did only ever get one telephone call relating to The Missability Radio Show poster which made me question how inviting that poster actually is, but then I wonder how many times I call up the numbers of random strangers on the basis of a poster. What makes you call a number, read a poster or enjoy the presence of posters in your neighbourhood?

I would appreciate feedback and comments. If selecting from these existing posters, which one would you pick and why? And if I am to develop a New Poster, what would the event be and how could I take my poster-designing ideas to a new level?

7 Responses to poster competition

  1. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » LOVE IS AWESOME

  2. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » Poster Competition update

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