08.06.2010 - UNESCO

CODE international poster competition, first joint UNESCO Cities of Design project

CODE POSTER: International Poster Competition

The cities of Berlin, Buenos Aires, Kobe, Montréal, Nagoya, Shanghai and Shenzhen invite designers to enter a poster competition to promote and raise awareness of the significance of designation as a UNESCO City of Design.

Organized in the framework of UNESCO Creative Cities Network, this competition will be the first joint project carried out by the seven UNESCO Cities of Design.

Competition Background
The idea for this competition originated with the Montréal-based agency Sid Lee, which organized an in-house poster competition in 2006 to celebrate Montréal's appointment as a UNESCO City of Design. Sid Lee then followed up by proposing a similar contest to Create Berlin, with the goal of bringing the results of the two competitions to both cities.

The success of the Montréal (2006) and Berlin (2009) initiatives prompted all of the UNESCO Cities of Design to run the same competition simultaneously and showcase the winning pieces in joint exhibitions in each city.

What CODE defines each city?
Every metropolis has its own visual identity, an individual code. The purpose of this competition is to produce images that illustrate what makes a city unique. It aims to depict symbols, forms, colours and stories in the urban landscapes that shape the identities of the seven UNESCO Cities of Design: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Kobe, Montréal, Nagoya, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Entry Qualifications
The competition is open to graphic designers, illustrators and photographers - professionals and students - based (i.e., living or working) in one of the seven UNESCO Cities of Design. Since Berlin has already held its own competition in 2009, and has selected winning posters, Berlin is not participating in this call for entries. However, Berlin designers are invited to submit their poster proposals to the other cities.

Registration is free but mandatory. Each entrant must complete the form available on the participating cities’ websites by June 28, 2010, at 5 p.m. (local time). Proposals must be received electronically by July 29, 2010, at noon (local time).

Judging criteria
In each participating city, a jury of five design experts (including one international expert from another UNESCO City of Design) will select 10 finalist designs, including a Grand Prize winner, among the submitted works. Entries will be judged based on whether the designs:

  • meet the competition requirements;
  • demonstrate originality and creativity in describing, representing or suggesting the competition theme;
  • demonstrate good design through its concept and the actual design, layout and expressiveness;
  • show adaptability in whole or in part to other applications, formats or merchandise products.

Worldwide recognition
The 70 selected entries from all cities will be included in an exhibition displayed during a minimum of two weeks in each UNESCO City of Design, creating widespread international visibility. The winning posters and designers will also be showcased on each participating city’s website from September 2010 until the end of 2011.

In addition, each of the seven Grand Prize winners will receive a cash award of US$2,000 and a UNESCO medal.

Registration and further information

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