2011 Brief Announcement

2011 Brief Announcement

In March 2009 our goal was to build and provide the best platform possible that allowed graphic designers to use their skills to support issues that affected people all over the world. This year we have worked hard to get back to our original roots and produce a brief that will better allow designers to do this. It’s a bit different than previous years, but we are all pumped with the direction and can’t wait to see the work that comes out of it. Entries open August 1st 2011, and this year you can enter more than one poster!

Below the brief is a case study we have put together that we think encapsulates our own thinking and is a perfect example of the way we want the design community to approach important issues. Enjoy!


The Brief

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 StudyHelp 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.


  1. Sam Osborn says:

    love this brief… it really takes advantage of the international reach of the competition and should add a really personal touch to the posters. Every time someone looks at a poster they wull be in some way exposed to important issues. Looking forward to the entries…

  2. andrew murray says:


  3. Bronwen says:

    This is going to be a super tough one to judge.

    The brief is genius: It strikes at the heart of what it means to be a visual communicator with a strong motive to ensure you do your chosen topic justice with your design.

  4. Zane David (Phoenixfire Creative) says:

    Wow, I’m more than excited with this brief. Can’t wait to let the creative juices flow!

  5. nick says:

    Looking forward to seeing your entry(ies) Zane.

  6. jake stollery says:

    Yeah im looking forward to seeing the entries, I have an idea myself too! Fun, creative times ahead! :D XOXO

  7. Ray says:

    Great… more posters for causes that actually need money and time.

  8. Flyn says:

    Great brief guys, looking forward to seeing what the peeps come up with. Well done.

  9. Liz says:

    Super excited – really great brief. Couple of Q’s – can you enter as many posters as you like? When do submissions close?

    Thanks :)

    • Zac says:

      Thanks for the feedback Liz. We’re super excited to see all the entries!

      You can enter as many posters as you like.

      Submissions close 5pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) Friday, 30th of September 2011.

  10. Valencia says:

    Helpful place to start your collection. Teaches the hitsroy of show posters, lobby cards, press books, and other show memorabilia. Can help you not get taken.

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