“There were many great posters submitted … so many that I could have chosen 50 submissions and been happy with the selection. I was happy to see that plenty of gig posters were submitted …
But there was great range to the work that was entered, so I made an effort to choose examples that represented the diversity of the submissions. Once I had narrowed it down to about 20, it was very difficult to make the final cut.
In the end, the winners all seemed to work for me on a number of levels, both conceptually and formally.”
Now, five years after Skákala’s big win, we talk with firm principal Petr Skala, designer and co-founder of NOMADS, to find out what he’s been up to since.
“Competitions are good for designers
to survive among designers.”
What initially compelled you to go into design?
I wanted to draw for a living. And design seemed to fulfill that.
How has your design business/career grown since 2009?
I moved from Holland back to Czech. I stopped being freelance and with three friends we started a service design company. And many, many more great things have happened.
Has your perspective on poster design changed since you entered the competition?
I’ve become obsessed with giving viewers as little information as possible. I found out that poster is not just a one-time experience for you—it (or they) accompanies you in your environment for a certain amount of time, and I want to entertain you all this time. And also, production technology has changed—now almost every print is digital. Therefore, you don’t need to stick with one design, and the whole campaign can be much more variable.
Is there any one poster project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge, and can you elaborate on why?
Probably the Herbie Hancock one. For the first time I did not use the time of the event to keep the message simple. And this is not the easiest thing for the client to agree with—but it is quite logical [because] the time is almost always the same, and you will find this information on the website or when you buy the tickets. [Editor’s Note: Skala points out that this was also his favorite poster to design.]
Any words of wisdom for designers looking to create award-winning poster designs?
Well … first of all, don’t start with thinking of the winning [of] any competition. Think of the viewers. Give them [an] image, [one] they want to look at every time they go around. Make it playful—you don’t need to stick with just one design. And the most important thing—use only the important information.
We feel the Poster Design Competition really levels the playing field and is a chance for any designer, regardless of experience, to gain recognition and establish their professional credentials. Do you have any thoughts on why entering the Poster Design Awards is a good idea for designers?
Competitions are good for designers to survive among designers. To polish our ego. So it is [a] great idea.
Will you be entering this year’s Poster Design Competition & Awards?