You are here

Koos Breen knows how to design a typographic poster for the win


rom June to August the jury of Glasgow’s International Poster Competition 2016 had a hard task. After all, picking out the best design posters from 3443 entries and more than 70 countries could prove to be quite tricky. Nevertheless that was not the case for the judges for the best of the best in contemporary design, Unfun, Lamm & Kirch, Warriors Studio and Étienne Hervy. Selectively, 200 of the submissions will be exhibited during the 2016 Graphic Design Festival Scotland, at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, Scotland’s National Centre for Design and Architecture. “In order to tackle the thousands of submissions the team received, they chose three categories to question and consider the work: concept, content and delivery. In this sense they judged the work on the originality of it’s content but most importantly, “What message is the designer trying to communicate?”

Secondly, whether this message communicated is worth telling, “Have they managed to simplify or successfully communicate a complex issue or topic?” Lastly, the poster in question was judged on it’s final delivery, taking into consideration the tone that the poster emulates, “Does the medium(s) they use support the message they’re trying to convey?” reports ItsNiceThat.

After some debate and deliberation, Graphic Design Festival Scotland announced this year’s winners.

Koos Breen received first place with The Royal Academy of Art The Hague x Offprint Paris.

“The Photography Department of the Royal Academy of Art The Hague presents itself on many book fairs around Europe, with (photo) books by their students and graduates. They asked me to design a tablecloth to present their books on. And to make a poster for each of the events. I made a series of posters (5). The posters represent the way the books are presented on the tablecloth. The tablecloth has a coloured blocked grid. And the books are presented open on the cloth. (don’t judge a book by its cover). The posters only show a glimpse of a photo. The posters are flexible in the way you can hang them, horizontal, vertical or upside down. And work very well next to each other. Additionally I made one poster in the same series that doesn’t represent a particular event but the department and academy itself” says Breen.

“The academy is very international (about 60 nationalities) but is still a mainly white school. So I wanted to represent the academy by a black artist to hopefully change that a bit. The photo is made by Gilleam Trapenberg. Both Gilleam and the model grew up in Curacau, (island of the former Netherlands Antilles), and live and study in NL. The body of the model is a canvas as well, his tattoos are by Trobbies, a tattoo artist and another graduate of the Royal Academy.”

Nedelka & Báchor are second, with triptych of posters created for Measure and Scale.

All the posters (A2 size) are double sided and are folded (to A4). The front side represents the event/academy and the backside shows information about the department and curriculum. The posters belong together as a series, which after some discussion we accepted as one single entry.

Lamm & Kirch say that: “the background with the pattern and the photographed book give a classic appearance while the graphic, photographic and typographic elements are working well together. The posters have a friendly timeless touch through the colours.”

“The series is a strong combination of an interesting concept with an original, engaging and practical resolve. It also works particularly well as a functional and practical piece of design which we value highly”, added Warriors Studio.

Knoth & Renner are in the 3rd place with .move ON!

Graphic Design Festival Scotland is an international organization promoting creativity, innovation, and collaboration whilst challenging ways of thinking through a program of workshops, talks, panel discussions, exhibitions, competitions, music and urban murals.

The festival promotes the best of international graphic design and visual communication and aims to inspire and educate through active engagement. Networking and socializing play a key role in the festival and we aim to build relationships and networks across the world.

Posters are on display at The Lighthouse in Glasgow until November 25. More info here.

Biba Košmerl and Nejc Prah


Braulio Amado

Marcel Mrejen

Nedelka & Báchor

Nejc Prah and Klemen Ilovar

Richard Niessen

Sara Risvåg & Sepus Noordmans

Sascia Relbel

Tereza Ruller

Timm Henger