Positive Posters


Welcome everyone. We are super excited to be running another competition this year. We are still sorting out all of the final details, but with the new site up and running we thought we better give you all the info we have so here goes. Check in regularly in the lead up to the launch date to get all the final details.


Positive Posters provides a shared platform that encourages designers to be proactive in shaping important issues. We believe in the ability of design to inspire minds, change attitudes and spark revolutions.

The 2011 Positive Posters brief asks you to design a poster that highlights or exposes an issue specific
to your own country, someone else’s or one that is international. It could be social, environmental or political; anything that you believe deserves a global audience and could be better seen or understood.

This is an opportunity for you to make a positive contribution towards an issue by presenting it to a global audience. We don’t want to tell you what’s important; we’d like you to tell us what’s important to you.

Case Study — Help Japan

On Friday March 11 2011 Japan was struck by one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history causing widespread devastation to the nation and it’s people. Canadian visual artist and designer James White wanted to help. He acted quickly and his self initiated project, driven by design made a big impact.

“When I woke up on the morning after the quake struck Japan I knew immediately that I wanted to do something to help. Being a designer who already runs a well-traveled blog, I decided early on that this would be the vehicle I would use in order to generate funds to donate. Using my abilities to help.

The design came together very quickly as I wanted something simple, striking and obvious as to what it represented. The Japanese rising sun symbol with a fracture symbolized what had happened, where it happened, and that they need our help. The title “Help Japan” says it all, and is non-specific so the poster could be used for a number of fundraising and charitable events.

The image itself took on a life of it’s own after going viral and has helped many other people with their own fundraising efforts. That’s exactly what I wanted the image to represent, a call for help. I received a staggering number of emails in the days after its release from high school kids, companies, charitable organizations, magazines, etc all wanting to use the image for their own initiatives. It traveled all over the world, to places
I myself will never see.

A person in Toronto sent me a photo of a roughly printed version of the poster that ended up in a Korean grocery store. My “Help Japan” text was replaced and translated, urging people to donate. It was a beautiful example of my design being used to help, and crossed over to another language.”

James’ story is a perfect example of the kind of work we believe in and want to encourage. Use his story
as inspiration when thinking of issues that matter to you.

The ‘Help Japan’ poster has raised over $19,000 for Japanese disaster relief. You can order a copy of the poster at the Signalnoise store.


July 1: Brief announced
August 1: Call for entries opens
September 30: Call for entries closes
October xx – xx: Shortlisting
October xx – xx: Judging and high res file request
October xx: Melbourne exhibition


Entry is free!

The annual Positive Posters competition is open to all designers worldwide, individuals (students and professionals) and collectives (e.g. studios/agencies/collaborations)

Entrants must complete all stages of the entry process outlined below

Entrants can submit as many entries as they like

All entries must be submitted online and received by:
Friday 5pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time), September 30 2011


1. Design a portrait A1 (594 x 841mm), 300dpi, CMYK poster that responds to the brief
2. Upload an 842px wide by 1191px high, 72dpi, RGB version of your poster in JPEG format
3. Submit a rationale (500 character limit) describing how your entry answers the brief


First Place
3,500+ posters distributed in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia
$1,500 + $1,500 to a charity of your choice

Second Place
Wacom Intuos 4 Tablet

Third Place
Safari Living Prize Pack


As each entry is submitted, they are approved by our submissions coordinator and uploaded to our online gallery. We reserve the right to refuse an entry we deem to be inappropriate.

After September 30, Positive Posters will review the entries and shortlist 30 posters for inclusion in the end
of year exhibition. From this shortlist, our international judges will choose the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winning entries.

Find out who are judges are here by clicking here.


The most important thing you need to know is that every entrant retains 100% ownership of their poster
or posters. To read the full terms and conditions, click here or see the link at the bottom of the page.

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