Chicago International Poster Biennial, poster design by Yann Legendre, 2008
Posters, so beloved by graphic designers everywhere, have never felt at home in the United States. The European poster tradition, from Toulouse-Lautrec to Cassandre to Muller-Brockmann to Matthies to Troxler, has given us the profession's defining icons. American posters, by contrast, have never enjoyed as confident or ubiquitous a street presence. Consider the memorable products of San Francisco's psychedelic era, for instance, or Art Chantry's output on behalf of the northwest music scene, great images but tactical moves designed for display on telephone poles or behind shop windows.
Yet even in the face of relentless competition from the even more ephemeral world of new media, posters continue to obsess us. And that obsession has a new home in the American heartland: the First Chicago International Poster Biennial. Design Observer is pleased to be an official sponsor. The deadline is May 27, so read on...
The Chicago International Poster Biennial is a not-for profit organization established to promote visual literacy, multiculturalism, and international cooperation through the poster work of artists from around the world.
Contemporary posters published within the last two years are eligible for the competition and may be submitted by any poster designer in the world with no entry fee. Physical entries must be received in Chicago no later than May 27, 2008. Entry guidelines and submission instructions are here.
A world-renowned jury of 11 poster designers will select 100 winners. Three artists will receive medals, and one will be awarded the grand prize in the form of a gold medal.
John Massey, jury chair, will be leading an impressive group of international jurors that includes Michel Bouvet of France, Shigeo Fukuda of Japan, Yossi Lemel of Israel, Alfred Halasa of Canada, German Montalvo of Mexico, Yann Legendre and Jay Ryan of Chicago, and Luba Lukova, Lanny Sommese and Martin Venezky, also of the United States. More about the jury is here.
Concurrent with judging of the competition, a gala opening of the jury exhibition will be held June 7 in Mies Van der Rohe's landmark Crown Hall at Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology . A larger exhibition of the winning entries will be mounted in Chicago in the fall of 2008.
The International Council of Graphic Design Associations (icograda) has endorsed this first Chicago poster competition. While icograda endorses many such open competitions around the world, this will be the first event of its kind held in the United States.
Official sponsors and partners include Design Observer, Society of Typographic Arts, Graphic Arts Studio, Handler Thayer & Duggan LLC, JCDecaux, Mohawk Fine Papers, STEP Inside Design Magazine, Tanagram Partners and World Business Chicago.