On Saturday, April 21, AIGA Miami, in conjunction with the Wolfsonian and Adobe Creative Jams, hosted PosterFest, an event celebrating the history and purpose of posters and how the design behind them can be used as a powerful driver for impacting, provocative messages.
Competitors developed posters for the event for the initiative set by Lotus House, the community partners which AIGA Miami partnered with for this event. The graphics were displayed all across the side of the Wolfsonian; the posters were judged on by both the audience and the judges present that afternoon (you can see the entries here and the judges here). The first place poster chosen by judges was designed by Tennille Shuster, and the people’s choice poster was designed by Jack Daniel Bagdadi.
To initiate the event, the Wolfsonian opened all of their exhibitions to the visitors, offering early tours discussing the rich histories of design, from Julius Klinger’s iconic works to the bold, politically charged posters born out of Soviet propaganda in the early 20th century.
The selection of snapshots presented here showcase a handful of favorite scenes of the event, echoing a passionate, growing community of designers of all disciplines celebrating their craft together.
IS Projects shows some of the early birds how to set up a (name of printing device), letting them organize letters and symbols to create miniature, freshly-pressed posters that were perfect to show off phrases. A popular idea was to create personalized letters or gifts to give to someone who could appreciate a playful, homemade print.
People quickly realized that the letters had to be inversely organized, not too different from the way contemporary printers operate today.
Nick Mahshie of Tranqui Print Studio monitors his three print motifs, aiding one visitor at a time spread paint onto the screen of a design of choice in order to press the design onto a sheet of paper, allowing those interested to make their own posters. The trendiness of screen printing definitely helped pique peoples’ interest in his stand, especially once they saw the interactivity presented by dragging a large squeegee down a screen and watching a quirky design pop out on the other end.
Mashie’s zeal for his craft and his passion to share what he knows attracted quite the crowd as the afternoon developed, with a line to make a print stretching back into the Wolfsonian and plenty of other people trying to take a peep at the process behind the art of screen printing.
The antique, pedal powered printing press, run by Orlando-based print shop Mama’s Sauce, was glossed over as a display piece early on in the afternoon, but once people’s curiosity came around it was not long before designers were deep into a surprisingly intense leg workout, pedaling away until the design was cleanly imprinted onto the paper they chose. The template was designed by Fell, a print shop based out of Salt Lake City.
The little bit of elbow grease you had to put in to get the press operating paid off with a print so precise that everyone was showing off their Florida themed poster, marveling at how clean the design produced was. Many people even noted that this printing press was more exact that their standard home printer.
Portable improv poet Jeff Sanford was also present, pumping out poems in the spur of the moment, seemingly pulling inspiration of of thin air to weave together words to represent whatever topic was given to him by the visitors of the event. From raw feelings and current events to sensations about impending graduation to even a bizarre, giant denim jacket, Sanford was kept plenty busy brewing up poems throughout the afternoon.
Meanwhile, behind closed doors, the participants to Adobe’s Creative Jam were hurrying about, trying to develop content on the fly with a theme they were introduced to just moments before.
On the other, more quiet end of the Wolfsonian, individuals were able to sign up for portfolio reviews with current industry professionals. The opportunity presented during the event was one rarely seen outside of college or work recruitment events, giving experienced designers as well as students at the cusp of graduation alike a largely objective analysis of their work, providing feedback in regards to cultivating their strengths and shoring up their weaknesses.
Many of the visitors who showed up for the event congregated at the back of the Wolfsonian to watch the lineup of speakers present, starting with Rebecca and Abbey, respectively President and Vice President of AIGA Miami, introducing the talks and announcing the winners of PosterFest (which you can find here).
Terry White, of Adobe and Youtube fame, then spoke of the nature of Adobe’s Creative Jams to begin the Creative Talks, letting a few designers come onto the stage whose work embodies an aspect of being a successful designer. Dozens of topics were covered by the handful of speakers. Alex Martinez, Founder and Creative Director of DeepSleep Studio, worked meticulously with Maraquitas brand to rebrand their image, meeting the founder of the company at his own level and even creating cardstock cutout models to satisfy his needs. Pia Celestino, Co-founder of Crea7ive, noted the importance of pathological appeals in design and emphasized that, as a designer, you’re first and foremost a problem solver. Eric Karbeling and Mateo Calderon of PwC’s Digital Services rounded of the talk, closing with the valuable advice of “There is no path. Do one thing well. Stay fluid and let go”.
After the talks, the winners of the Creative Jams were announced, rounding off the night in good spirits and with cheers to a design community both within Miami and stretching far beyond that.
Copy by David Marte
Photography by Isabel Castro