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Culture Counts: UNESCO poster competition






































Judging Feedback

Thanks to everyone who entered this competition and for those who voted we appreciate your patience with the technical issues we faced.

The jury have made their deliberations and we are pleased to announce our winners from various parts of the world. Picking them wasn't an easy task with 1187 entries from 82 countries to choose from – and the quality of the entries was generally very high. We thank all the entrants for taking part and producing a compelling array of thoughtful and beautiful responses. DESIGN 21 and UNESCO also thank designers and D21 Advisory Board members Rick Bennett (Australia) and Emiliano Godoy (Mexico) for lending their time and expertise to reviewing the entries, selecting finalists and their individual Judge's Picks.

This year, we widened the field of winners to include not only an Overall Winner, but also 50 finalist works for display in an online gallery linked to UNESCO’s website dedicated to the celebration of the International Year 2010. Of these 50, 30 posters were selected to receive Honorable Mentions to be printed and used in an exhibition for the International Year of Cultural Diversity, a festival taking place at UNESCO's Paris headquarters in May 2010. The finalists were chosen by Ms Katérina Stenou, Director of the Division of Culture Policy and Intercultural Dialogue, and the 2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures project team.

The jury said: Our decisions were informed by the combination of aesthetic considerations as well as the justifications the graphic artists provided in their texts explaining the ways in which their designs related to the ideas of “rapprochement” as articulated in the poster brief. The final 30 posters were chosen based on these two considerations as well as an effort to choose designs from different parts of the world, different age groups, and different styles so that our posters could appeal to the largest audience possible. We thank all the designers for their contributions, ideas, and art. Their creativity brings the idea of rapprochement alive in color.

Overall Winner

Smiles and Flowers by Diego Minks Rossi Fermo (Brazil) was selected by the Rapprochement of Cultures jury. Diego wins the $2000 cash prize plus an invitation from UNESCO to attend the poster exhibition at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in May 2010.

Explaining his entry, Diego wrote: The existence of numerous cultural differences between people and nations is inherent to human beings. I understand that these differences cannot be, by any means, reason for intolerance, disrespect or even belligerence. The pacific coexistence is fundamental to longevity of such beautiful and intelligent creatures as we are – although so different in habits, traditions, creeds or appearance, so close in our noble essence. In my understanding Rapprochement of Cultures means a necessary move by which we, people from all around the world, need to make so as to reach high standards of comprehension, tolerance and mutual respect. The poster’s leitmotif refers to establishing these great achievements through the simplicity of things (as in a smile, in a flower) and that is a hard work in a stiff world as ours. I feel honoured to be selected by such an important institution as UNESCO as the winner of this poster competition and to have been comprehended in my intentions.

UNESCO had this to say about their choice: One of the major goals of 2010: International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures is to engage the international community as well as civil society. UNESCO’s original mandate is to “build the defenses of peace in the minds of men.” While UNESCO continues to work, as an international organization, with governments on a global level, we remain committed to working with civil society and are convinced that the roots of dialogue and the sowing of the seeds of peace happen on a person to person basis. As the artist states, offering flowers to a stranger or an opponent “is an act of confidence that means peace is possible between men and nations.” We chose this design not only because we felt it represented this engagement and action on an individual level, but also because it reminded us of Picasso’s Guernica. The aesthetic influence of a Spanish painter on the Brazilian winner’s aesthetic we also found represented an engagement beyond one’s own culture. The transformation of an aesthetic that was used to portray the horrors of war into an image that cultivates dialogue, understanding, and peace struck us as a potent and beautiful reflection of the underlying theme of 2010: International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and the role individuals play in manifesting mutual understanding and promoting peace.

Judges Picks

Two entries were singled out by D21 Advisory Board members Emiliano Godoy and Rick Bennett to each win a Judge's Pick prize of $500 cash.

2010 INTERNATIONAL YEAR FOR THE RAPPROCHEMENT OF CULTURES (4th image) by Azadeh Ramezani Tabrizi (Iran) was selected by Emiliano Godoy, who said this about his pick:

I think this is a great poster because it suggests through the flower shape and the multitude of different characters, that it is natural for different people to get together and create diverse and harmonious societies without losing their individuality.

Although constructed of individual silhouettes, the flower has a very distinct character, and as such, it may well be one of many flowers that make a group which, in a similar way to how the flowers are conformed, will be a group that both has a distinct personality but is clearly generated through the sum of individual groups. The analogy with different cultures instead of individuals is powerful, and the dandelion shaped flower also suggests that each character may fly away as a message or seed which will grow into another diverse and beautiful group.

The composition also allows for different placements of texts, in different languages, without losing the main message, which is important for an institution with six official languages. The different silhouettes may be used individually in other applications successfully, which makes this poster a good synthesis of the idea, but also a great first example of a visual language that may be applied to other graphic elements throughout the year.

cultural integration by Süleyman Karaca (Turkey) was selected by Rick Bennett, who commented:

In my selection of so many wonderful poster designs for such an important issue, I was particularly looking for simple, clear and impacting visual communication. To boil my selections down to one final "Judges Pick' was difficult and could have gone to one of about five final submissions. However, my final choice, "Cultural Integration" was based on several criteria. Primarily I was looking for a design that was not only suitable for a poster design, but was complete as an actual poster design. I wanted the message to be able to be conveyed at a distance, whether this be on a notice board, the side of a bus or bill board. The design needed to work on a multitude of scales (postage stamp or large scale banner). My final selection also needed to have a powerful tagline and a clever relation to the graphic.

I also wanted the poster design to be colourful and impacting, however also work if translated as monotone. Despite the concept of a series of integrated jig-saw pieces being a common choice by many designers, I felt my final pick achieved this the most competently and by formulating into a 3-D composition gave it added strength and impact.

My only criticism (or perhaps advice) would be to increase the emphasis of the title "2010 - International Year for the ......" in scale in the top left corner. I would draw two parallel lines from the placed logo in the top left (top and bottom) and fit the 2010 log and title between those two lines.

I admire the thought and skill of this design and in particular the relationship of the Tag-line to the graphic. Very clever.

Congratulations to the designer and I am proud to nominate this poster design as my 'Judges Pick'.

Most Popular

téléphone sans fils by Cynthia Carolina Mura (Italy)
is the Most Popular entry having received the most votes by DESIGN 21 members.

Honorable Mentions: posters chosen to be printed

In addition to the Overall Winner and the two Judges' Picks, the following designs were selected by UNESCO to receive Honorable Mentions and, pending copyright arrangements, will be printed for an exhibition to be held at UNESCO's Paris headquarters in May 2010 in the framework of the UNESCO International Festival of Cultural Diversity.

Interlinked cultures by Yael Gavish (Israel)

Universal Adhesive by Matthew Willatt (United Kingdom)

Unity and Peace by Andrew Rose (Australia)

The Tree of Cultures by Jan Pisarik (Czech Republic)

2010, international year for the Rapprochement of cultures by Maria Beatriz Ardinghi (Brazil)

International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures by Florence Weiser (Belgium)

many cultures / no boundaries by Efrat Golan (Israel)

diversity is basic by Elisa Baldissera (Italy)

We All Cast A Shadow by Scott Jobson (Australia)

Rapprochement of Cultures by Dejan Brajovic (Serbia & Montenegro)

Say Yes to TOLERANCE by György Paraszkay (Hungary)

Le rapprochement par les mots by Mehdi Fazlija (Switzerland)

Clockwork by Kamil Pawlik (Poland)

A look at cultures by Eduardo Gomes (Spain)

Meeting by Sarah Amico (Belgium)

Culture Metro by Massimo Morandi (Switzerland)

Ethnic dolls by Julien Kaltnecker (France)

peace flame by Sam Abell (Australia)

Me Means We by Nadine Khatib (The Netherlands)

Together by Lindsey Yankey (United States)

Different Shades of the Same Colour by Isabella Tan (Singapore)

Cultures by Olavo D'Aguiar (Brazil)

2010: Blank Annotation by Angela Faison (United States)

Rose by Elise Toussaint (Belgium)

observers & unity by Mahnaz Mohammadi Khashooei (Iran)

Interlinking Dialogue by Valerie Thai (Canada)

Le visage de la Mixité culturelle internationale by Frank Dardé (France)

Other Finalists - posters selected by UNESCO to be featured online

The following 20 posters were selected to be displayed in an online gallery linked to UNESCO’s website for the International Year 2010.

The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens! by Amal Ma'ani-Hessari (South Africa)

Poster design for 2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures by Ong Tou (Malaysia)

quest for dialogue_c by Carlos Pion (United States)

tree of rapprochement cultures by Veronika Manukjan (Czech Republic)

Dialogue beyond Diversity by Ashish Acharya (India)

Palm Print Collage by Chandrashekar Rajoor (India)

Culture Counts by Jonathan Schute (United States)

cultural puzzle by Vincent Groetzinger (France)

Dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation -- A by Guning Deng (Belgium)

Rapprochement of Cultures by Lorena Juarez (Mexico)

weaving by Cecil Mariani (Indonesia)

Patchwork is beautiful by Sandra Dufour (France)

Culture Counts Poster by KJ Kim (United States)

Approche Culturelle by David Mottier (Switzerland)

Cultures like Butterflies by Magdalena Zajac (Germany)

Human Dialogue by Nichole Steeprock (United States)

Our tree-house by Anne Lück (Germany)

The Glow by Pradeep Kaniyadi (India)

Paper cuts by Ondrej Laciga (Spain)

Spectrum of cultures by Sandro Drinovac (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

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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