The D&AD Professional Awards represent the very best in design and provide a veritable goldmine of modern poster design inspiration. Here, Rebecca Fulleylove explores four award winning contemporary graphic design examples of how daring typography can bring good poster design to life.
Relying on specific typography elements in design is always a bold move, but the winners of this year’s D&AD Graphic Design 'Posters' sub-category did this to brilliant effect with eye-catching posters that were not only creative but also communicated the brand flawlessly.
Awarded a Yellow Pencil, Rotterdam-based Studio Dumbar created some fabulously loud and colourful posters for Amsterdam Sinfonietta, an independent music ensemble with a reputation for encompassing a huge range of musical styles. Studio Dumbar completely refreshed and rejuvenated the string orchestra’s visual identity by creating posters that responded graphically to selected performance’s musical themes. Words are warped and wrapped around each other in lurid shades and psychedelic patterns drip down the page, all interlinked with the studio’s use of similar fonts and imagery.
Created for a paper craft award presented by a paper company, these posters by Tokyo-based 6D are elegant, delicate and celebrate an ancient art. Wanting to achieve an understanding of the Kamiwaza Paper Craft Awards just through the poster, the agency used ‘incrustation’, a technique long-used in Japan, where contrasting materials are applied as inlay. Three types of paper were inlaid to the base paper, with beautiful earthy pastel toned hands working together to create large scale lettering. Bringing the focus to the technique and the expertise needed to produce such wonderful work is what makes these series of posters so successful.
To promote the premiere of a documentary by Igloo Films titled, "Nitsa 94/96: El giro electronico" agency Mucho designed limited edition posters that paid homage to the iconic night club NITSA in Barcelona, the focus of the documentary. Inspired by the turning dance floor in the club, the agency invented a turning wooden surface that would allow them to turn the paper in a silkscreen machine, meaning they could print on a different angle each time. The results are stunning and powerful in black and silver, but it’s the work gone into creating something completely new to achieve a unique visual that’s so impressive. A nostalgic wink to acid drugs and vinyl proportions takes the form of a fluorescent dot on each poster, a further tribute to the notorious club and its patrons.
Apeloig Design did a fantastic job in creating a poster for the Saut Hermès (Hermès Jump) held at the Grand Palais in Paris. A competition of world-class show jumping, the end poster is a sophisticated tribute to the sport. Brilliant-white letterforms are used in bold to extra light with some specific letters like A, H and N being manipulated into the shape of basic jumps it’s a playful approach to the brief. A pared-back sketch of a rider on a jumping horse is laid underneath the lettering and the whole poster is set against Hermès signature burst of orange. It’s the expert composition of all of these elements brought together that sets it apart.
The Posters sub-category was noteable because of the whole range of techniques and processes employed. This combined with fresh ideas created graphic design that was not only visually striking, but also demonstrated a real consideration and understanding of the client, which should be at the heart of any great graphic design.
If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Professional Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.