If you’ve been following HOW on social media or via email lately, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about the HOW International Design Awards—a prestigious and extraordinary international design competition that spans the entire globe.
So, yeah, you know what it is. But why should you enter? Here are a few good reasons:
1. Your work will earn global recognition no matter what kind of designer you are or where you’re from.
HOW’s audience includes hundreds of thousands of creatives from Mumbai to Bangkok, from New York City to Sydney. The work of these designers includes branding campaigns, photography, web designs, poster designs, book cover designs, creative advertisements, infographics, videos and more! The sky is the limit.
2. You’ll be recognized alongside countless top international designers across the world.
The HOW International Design Awards recognized designers from all parts of the world. We’ve had winners from Brazil, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Argentina, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Australia, the United States and more. See your work among that of the best designers in the entire world!
Among those designers are our esteemed competition judges, Stüssy Tschudin, Matteo Bologna and Hector Ayuso. Meet the judges here.
3. We’ll publish your work in HOW Magazine and on HOWDesign.com.
Not to toot our own horn too much, but HOW has an audience of hundreds of thousands. Not only will you be featured in the prestigious HOW International Design Annual AND in our online gallery, you’ll also very likely have your work plastered everywhere for our audience to see.
Slideshow: Outstanding Achievement Winners
Bartley & Dick Design/Advertising, New York City; www.bartleyndick.com
Scott Bartley, Rick Biolsi, Chris Mallinson
Clearwater Music Festival
This poster features an illustration of a landscape from a bird's eye view, mimicking the shape of a guitar. The tagline reinforces the fact that the music festival is held on the bank of the Hudson River.
Lovers of folk music are a special lot. They dig their traditional instruments, and they adore outdoor music festivals especially. The Clearwater Music Festival, held last June near Westchester, NY, featured some of the top performers of the genre today, including Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Kris Kristofferson, Mavis Staples and newer groups like Son Volt. Since this festival was held on the banks of the Hudson River, designer Chris Mallinson with art directors Scott Bartley and Rick Biolsi, featured an overhead view of a river in a landscape, an Alice in Wonderland-esque environment with the river shaped like a guitar. It’s the storybook style of illustration that makes this poster unique. The context of the illustration stays true to the kind of folksy visuals that these music fans would enjoy.
Creative team Robert Andreoli Client
Manic Productions Description
TrackyLocke created custom posters to drive awareness and excitement for concerts by Manic Productions, a Connecticut-based booking and promotions company.
It’s so refreshing to see a poster that feels hand-painted, like this one for the performance of Cat Power with Nico Case in New Haven, CT. This poster is arrestingly beautiful with ink-brushed facial features over a yellow, mesmerizing, sun-like circle. The paper itself is printed to look old and faded, the edges browned in places as if we’re viewing something with age. The sans serif font is right—a perfect complement to the loose and painterly illustration that causes me to stop and stare. Isn’t that what a poster is supposed to do? This is a sublime and highly visual poster—with lovely color and an illustration that feels vulnerable and intimate—like the performances of one Cat Power and Nico Case.
Pittoresque, Edmonton, Alberta; www.pittoresque.net
The Mohawk place
This poster series was designed for the Buffalo's club, The Mohawk. Rock'n'roll, beer, esoterism and propaganda are the ingredients to provide a singular identity for this great place of underground music.
The poster series click on so many different visual levels; our minds are treated with connections to old seed pack advertising, 1950’s television, medical and science illustrations, religious iconography and an amalgam of pop culture references. The woven images are familiar yet distantly surreal and dreamlike—esoterica we can see but not fully connect or understand. That’s the charm and power of this series. Rock on!
BRED, New York City; www.brednation.com
This self-promotional, 17-color, letterpress poster/brochure uses both hand-carved, wood blocks and polymer plates. It highlights some of the unique formal and conceptual qualities within the Ludd type family recently designed by BRED. Whimsical emoticons clash with excerpts from a recent list the U.S. Department of Homeland Security uses to track suspicious email activity. The entire system is presented in the interior poster, as well as an outline of the inspiration and design philosophy for the type family, while juxtaposed with unique typographic details.
While they had several entries in this competition surrounding this font, it was this letterpress poster/brochure that caught my attention. And there’s a good reason why. This self-promotional poster/brochure features 17 colors and uses both hand-carved, wood blocks and polymer plates in the letterpress. The emoticons and copy pulled from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security speaks to technology and the tensions that exist in and around it. Smart and beautiful, this poster (and font) is a design dream.
Greteman Group, Wichita, KS; www.gretemangroup.com
Sonia Greteman, Garrett Fresh, Jon Flaming
Kansas State Fair
The goal was to attract a younger, urban demographic to the Kansas State Fair with a campaign celebrating the 100th anniversary of the fair.
This poster made me smile! It’s a whirlwind of color, pattern and icons that make up the midway. State Fairs are family events, but children are the ones who feel the intensity and excitement the most. Imagine seeing this poster as a child—it’s wacky, totally fun and alive. If this poster had sound, people would step right up to hear the carnival barkers, the fireworks and the sound of rides. Attention-getting? Check. Attract a younger audience? You did it!
Li Zeng, Conway, Arkansas
This series was created to promote the Beiwan Bar at Houhai Lake, a grouping of three bodies of water surrounded by tourist districts and bars in central Beijing.
Exploring color and texture from studies she made of the area in both day and night, Li Zeng has captured a gesture and vibrancy without being literal or stating the obvious. Besides her computer virtuosity, I wonder how Zeng arrived at such gorgeous, sensual shapes and patterns. Perhaps this artist used the very simple and time-tested technique of just squinting her eyes at the nightlights and locking the color and soft abstractions in her mind. The color is luscious, and the translucent overlapping shapes are reminiscent of Dale Chihuly’s “Seaforms” glass. These posters are delicious.
White Bicycle, Buffalo, NY; www.whitebicycle.com
Brian Grunert, Barbara Rowe, Abaca Press
This poster was created to commemorate Andrew Bird's show with Patrick Watson that took place on July 16, 2012 in Buffalo, NY. More specifically, the song “Lusitania” on Bird’s “Break It Yourself” record inspired the design.
This three-color silkscreen is truly magical. Printed on an 18-by-36-inch piece of raw chipboard, using metallic copper, bone white-and-black, it’s not just the physical beauty that’s so stunning. The metaphoric linking of the lost Lusitania delicately suspended above raging black seas by a white seagull is positively poetic.
Scott, Laserow, Scott Laserow Posters. Wyncote, PA; www.scottlaserowposters.com
This poster was designed to promote plastic conservation awareness.
Designer Scott Laserow has managed to create a grotesque beauty with this interpretation of an ocean fish that has transformed into a combination of plastic bags, six-pack rings and other plastic debris. There’s a sick and poisoned beauty at play here—this pitiful creature swimming in a deep black void, a powerful statement to the folly of our man-made polluted oceans. This poster is breathtakingly on the mark with its single line of type at the bottom—a warning that our carelessness and disregard for garbage is ruining the planet.
Dessein, Perth, Australia; www.dessein.com.au
Geoff Bickford, Esther Lee, Robert Frith
Initially created as part of the 2013 season catalogue to represent the client’s six principal productions, each design was adapted to create a poster series launching the year ahead. Dessein brought the complex characters from these productions to life by using three layers of imagery to echo the sub-theme of “What lies beneath.” The first layer depicts the essence of the main characters and their emotions conveyed in desaturated color before delving deeper into the second layer to reveal the period and setting of the play. The final layer uses a colorful border of the location.
When looking at a series of posters, it can be disappointing when one or more of the sequential works don’t hold up to the others. That’s one of the risks a designer undertakes with a series. Similar to a baseball pitcher going for the shutout, it’s tough to maintain momentum again and again. With this series, designed by Geoff Bickford and Esther Lee, each poster was as good or better than the next—quite a feat with a total of five. The manipulated black-and-white photographic portraits by Robert Frith are stunning—layered against a four-color photographic border that’s unique to each poster. Look closely at the desaturated images (black and white) section and you will see that Bickford and Lee have built in numerous imperfections (subtle wrinkles, torn edges and smudges) to accentuate the flawed humanity of the complex characters in each these dramatic scenarios. As for the typography, it’s gorgeous and right, like the posters themselves. Each poster, again and again, holds enough humanity, mystery and symbolism to keep me in the game.
University Marketing + Creative Services, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX; www.utexas.edu/brand-guidelines/contact
Leslie Ernst, Scott McKowen
The design team at the Marketing + Creative Services Group at The University of Texas at Austin created this poster to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the McDonald Observatory and promote the speaker series at the Observatory and statewide. In this poster, the client asked for an artwork that was scientifically accurate yet whimsical. In the selected concept, detailed constellations are accurate to the West Texas sky, and a classic Texas cowboy hat becomes the shape of the observatory dome, creating a visual pun. The final scratchboard illustration incorporates a classical sensibility into the whimsical and results in a harmonious and memorable solution.
A strong concept will take you a long way in any creative endeavor. Couple that with a strong execution, and you should have a winner. The team created detailed sky constellations that are accurate to the west Texas sky, and the rich scratchboard illustration of the Texas cowboy hat nails it as the shape of the observatory dome. Overall, this is a beautiful poster with rich color and visuals.
5. The past International Design Award winners are thrilled to have been recognized.
From the 2013 HOW International Design Competition Best Of Show Winner: MyBurger, Bruce Edwards, FAME chief creative officer:
Why did you enter the 2013 HOW International Design Competition?
We like the recognition, but for us, it’s bigger than that. It’s about inspiring others. We’re proud of the work we’re doing, and want to be featured in publications like HOW—the ones that go “missing” around design offices everywhere. It means others see the value in what we do. It’s a compliment.
Any positive outcomes of having won Best of Show?
Winning the HOW International Competition Best of Show was a big deal for us – definitely all-agency-toast-worthy. But it also gave us something fun to share with clients and prospects. Working with an award-winning agency makes them look smart too.
6. The deadline is September 30, 2014!
The final entry deadline HOW International Design Awards deadline is September 30! Now is your chance to earn global recognition for your most impressive work.