24th International Poster Biennale winners: amazing poster designs from Poland

Check out these amazing poster designs from the 24th International Poster Biennale in Poland.

The prestigious graphic design competition, running since 1966, represents artworks created in 2012–2013 from all over the world.

For the first time, works were submitted online and evaluated by the International Jury as early as at the first stage of the competition. Stephan Bundi, David Crowley, Kenya Hara, Jerzy Porebski, Silvia Sfligiotti and Jakub Hakobo Stepien saw 3,814 posters in total. 349 works of professional designers (Category A) and 64 artworks from debuting artists (Category B) were selected for the competition exhibitions.

The Jury awarded prizes during a session in Warsaw on June 7: one Gold, two Silver and three Bronze Medals in Category A and the Henryk Tomaszewski Golden Debut award in Category B.

The competition has been organized by the Wilanów Poster Museum since 1994, however this year’s edition was planned in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and with the Association of Applied Graphic Designers STGU

“The International Poster Biennale was and remains the most important open competition of this sort in the world, juxtaposing the tradition of the ‘Polish poster school’ with foreign works,” said Mariusz Knorowski, curator at the Wilanów Poster Museum. “It is a one-of-a-kind artistic lexicon of knowledge of the contemporary world as interpreted by graphic designers, who care about the perception of the phenomena and facts of their reality. It is the greatest forum for exchange of artistic ideas and aesthetic experiments.”

An accompanying exhibition is open to the public until 14 September, 2014. The works of professional designers (Category A) will be shown at the Poster Museum in Wilanów and the works of debuting artists (Category B) are being displayed at the Salon Akademii gallery at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

Rosocha, by Wieslaw Rosocha, Poland

Winner: Gold Medal (Category A) (right)
poster no: 237

The Jury decided to award the Gold Medal to Wies?aw Rosocha for his poster announcing his own exhibition in the Powiatowa Galeria Sztuki Wspolczesnej in Ostrów Wielkopolski. Said the jury: "Rosocha’s design offers both a strong message about his own work and about the poster in general. The layering of silhouettes, for instance, suggests the seriality which characterises the medium, whilst the attention to the eyes emphasises the importance of sight. Rosocha plays clear homage to the modernist avant-garde but also provides new and subtle notes in his treatment of the surface texture and the rendering of the eyes. The combination of the shape of the head with the type is beautifully achieved."

Use the controls right and above to see more of the winning posters

Studnia Nadziei – 60% / The Well of Hope – 60%, by Lukasz Kowalski, Poland

Winner: Golden Debut (Category B)
poster no: 34

The winner of the Golden Debut award is Lukasz Kowalski, the designer of a series of posters about the need to improve access to and quality of water in Africa.

In the view of the jury: "his designs display an acute sensitivity to design, particularly in their attention detail. His posters combine considerable wit - for instance in the eye which is transformed into a shield by the lettering in the ‘60%’ poster - with beauty. The images, patterns and type are well balanced – no element dominates over the others."   

Theodor W. Adorno. Folkwang, University of Arts, by Andreas Golde, Germany

Winner: Silver Medal (Category A)
poster no: 73

This poster by Andreas Golde announcing a seminar on the works of Theodor W. Adorno captures the careful construction of the philosopher’s writing in the form of these quasi-structural blocks. The reduced colour range, the integrated use of type and the surface treatment - in the form of half-tone dots – produce a striking and memorable effect.

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Season Opening 2013/14 of the Municipal Theatre of Stuttgart, by Jakob Kirch, Germany

Winner: Silver Medal (Category A)
poster no: 134

"On first inspection this poster for the Schauspiel Stuttgart by Jakob Kirch challenges the prevailing view that graphic design should be based on the orderly organization of words and images.The poster ripples with energy and, in the selection of images and free-wheeling lines, hints at violence too. Yet, the design is, in fact, clear, delivering its information with both lucidity and emotional effect."

Mayakovsky 120 (1, 2 , 3), by Dmitry Mirilenko, Russia

Winner: Bronze Medal (Category A) (click image to expand)
poster no: 179

Dmitry Mirilenko’s triple poster – employing one of Alexander Rodchenko’s photographs - is a highly poetic response to the life of Vladimir Mayakovsky, a revolutionary poet whose life ended tragically.

"The three-part form captures the phases of his existence with both remarkable concision and lyricism. The typographic devices which seem to float on the surface of the designs points to Mayakovsky’ work as a writer and a poet, but the absence of letters invites the reader to fill in the work with his or her imagination," said the jury.

Symbiosis, by Freeman Lau Siu Hong, Hong Kong

Winner: Bronze Medal (Category A)
poster no: 104

Symbiosis represents a remarkably sensitive approach to the question of humanity’s relation to nature by designer Freeman Lau Siu Hong.

"The treatment of the tree – in the form of a silhouette - is strikingly beautiful. On closer inspection, the human element is revealed in these magically positioned chairs," said the jury.

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Beckett. Teatr Powszechny w Radomiu, by Lech Majewski, Poland

Winner: Bronze Medal (Category A)
poster no: 174

Announcing a series of performances of short plays by the dramatist Samuel Beckett for the Teatr Powszechny in Radom, Lech Majewski’s poster offers contrasting treatment of type.

"The contrast between the conspicuous appearance of the playwright’s name and the subtle layers of text - which perhaps suggest inner thoughts and voices - is very effective. The figure of the woman in negative also suggests the existential themes in these works," said the jury.

Truth (without text), Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, by Haiping Li Design Studio, China

Winner: The Honoured Prize Of Józef Mroszczak, awarded in the name of the Rector of Academy Of Fine Arts In Warsaw
poster no: 160

Recognising the importance of self-authored works, the jury decided to present the Mroszczak Honorary Award to Haiping Li Design Studio for a poster which comments directly and unstintingly on the commercial interests which are responsible for polluted conditions in which many people live.

"The design has the clarity which is at the heart of the poster tradition. Focusing in the first instance on China, this poster also has a global message," said the jury.