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Judging Feedback

The results for this competition are in. We received 1055 entries from 81 countries and UNESCO and DESIGN 21's judges have picked their winner. DESIGN 21 and UNESCO thank all those who entered this competition and congratulate the winners and honorable mentions.

Overall comment from UNESCO

The submissions do an excellent job of depicting the intimate connection between cultural diversity and the common threads that link us all, regardless of our own particular cultural heritage. They demonstrate the concept of unity in diversity with originality and creativity. Several of the submissions blend the concepts of diversity and unity quite harmoniously through colour and form and lend themselves well to being easily adapted for different uses. Several entries however seem more appropriate for a Festival poster than for a Festival logo.

Overall Winner

Joining UNESCO in their selection of the Overall Winner were Gérard Laizé (France), Executive Director of VIA, and Ruben Alterio (Argentina), artist and illustrator.

Cultural Diversity by Yael Alkalay from Israel is the Overall Winner and will receive $3000.

In picking this entry as their winner, UNESCO said, "The selected design perfectly reflects the spirit and objectives of the Festival and could be particularly appealing to youth. The diversity of the colours in the design also creates the festive mood that the Festival is trying to capture. Moreover, the logo lends itself well to being adapted to various media and communication applications.

DESIGN 21 Judge's Picks

Judging for DESIGN 21 were advisory board members Laetitia Wolff (France/US), founding director of the creative consultancy futureflair, and Jacques Lange (South Africa), creative director and partner of Bluprint Design, editor of DESIGN> and past president of ICOGRADA.

Involving Space by Rui Magalhães from Portugal was selected by Laetitia Wolff to win $1000.

Laetitia Wolff had this to say about her choice: This logo is open to interpretation by the very symbolic nature of its mark (i.e. the brackets, which are implying both a parenthetical nuance and a possible word forgotten or quoted), it's non visually literal and connoted to notions of dialog, words, speech, exchange. It's trying to address typographically and in a more abstract manner the complex issue of cultural diversity, open dialogue and communication without falling into cliché graphics and imagery. The alignment of the type title with the mark is elegant and simple and can potentially be used as a strong label on other imagery (whether posters, brochures, or whatnot).

What most of the logos did was use cliché imagery of embracing figures and people with arms up. One of the signs of a successful logo is the harmonious integration of the type with the mark and few demonstrated a professional understanding of this balance (I realize that the actual wording was very long). One of the most difficult nuances that needed to be conveyed in this logo was the distinction between cultural diversity vs. cultural identity, and one of the most frequent misunderstandings was for people to talk about ethnic belongings, turning the whole conversation into a politically correct debate, which I think, this UNESCO festival is way beyond.

Shades of Unity by Deja Engel from USA was selected by Jacques Lange to receive $1,000.

Jacques Lange had this to say about his selection: My personal judge’s pick is Shades of Unity which I chose to be the benchmark by which I evaluated all other entries from the first moment that I saw it. It is a timeless, culturally sensitive, beautifully crafted and an intelligent solution. It is not a new idea, but it is executed in a very intelligent manner because of its flexible ability to work as a corporate identity system over many media applications instead of just being a static identity/brandmark. It is symbolically powerful and contains multiple levels of narratives, which represents and transcends many complex aspects of culture and diversity internationally. It also has an ethereal quality, which few other entries achieved to encapsulate – cultural diversity is a spiritual and emotive concept and this entry personifies it. The most impressive aspect for me is that it is one of the few solutions entered into this competition that functions as well in a monochromatic version as it does in the full-colour configuration without altering the core message. In addition, I believe that this entry was one of the few that paid attention to the delicate balance of selecting, crafting and balancing the typography and graphic elements. For me, it is an undisputed winner and no other entry answers the brief as intelligently and comprehensively as this entry.

Most Popular

Here we meet by Diego Pinilla Amaya of Columbia

Honorable Mentions

Colorful by Jürgen Köffel of Austria


Speech Bubble by Manuel Toscano & Julia Bessler, Zago LLC of USA


colourful by Ieva Dautartaite of Lithuania

celebrate diversity by Shahidullah Faruq of Bangladesh

patchwork by Tabea Glahs of Germany

Gravity rings by Verena Tam & Oliver Meskawi of The Netherlands

About Competitions

The DESIGN 21 series challenges designers of all disciplines to find solutions to social and global issues. It’s guided by UNESCO’s premise that education, science, technology, culture and communication are tools to spread knowledge and information, build awareness and foster dialogue.

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