Winners of LU Arts’ Poster Project announced for their striking and topical designs

Last term LU Arts launched their poster project, Campaign for a better world, calling for students and staff to submit their own political posters about the causes they were passionate about.

Three winners have now been chosen by Nick Slater, Director of LU Arts and Simon Downs, Lecturer in Graphic Communication, who were the judges of the competition.

Each of the winners will receive a cash prize and their winning designs will be printed onto bus shelter posters to be displayed on campus later this term.

First place goes to Tom Brown for his poster on climate change. He is a first-year Graphic Communication and Illustration student, originally from Sedgefield. He was inspired by Seaton Carew, a beach near him which is right next to a huge industrial area. He said: “I found the contrast between the picturesque beach and a very industrial area quite interesting and chose the yellow and red colours and fluid typeface to represent heat.”

Winning poster by Tom focusing on climate change. A red and yellow poster with a woman on a sun lounger in front of an industrial site.

His poster can be downloaded here and more of his work is available on his Instagram.

Final year Textiles Student, Florence Sargent was awarded second place for her poster that highlighted the Black Lives Matter movement. The words ‘Black Lives Matter’ stand out amongst a floral background, with a Black fist at the top. She commented: “This is one of the most important and urgent conversations we need to have. I hope we all keep working for change in whichever way we can as individuals, whether that is through making a poster, writing a letter or just changing our behaviour – we still have so far to go.”

Image of Florences' poster about the Black Lives Matter movement, a floral design with a Black fist at the top.

Her poster can be downloaded here and you can see more examples of her work on Instagram.

Kelsey Bebbington came in third place with her poster that focused on UK arms sales. She is in her second year of a Graphic Communication and Illustration degree. Her poster was inspired by the dehumanising rhetoric around UK asylum seekers. She said: “By creating the poster, I hope to highlight how profits from British arms sales are directly linked to the persecution of many people around the world.”

Kelsey's blue, red and white poster with the words 'No peace in arms' in bold.

Her poster can be downloaded here.

Speaking about the Poster Project, Simon Downs commented: “There are some jobs that are a bit of a drag, and there are jobs that are a delight. Being part of the Poster Project was a delight from beginning to end, the only painful part of the operation was picking a winner. There was so much passion and so much effective design channelling of that passion that I would like to offer the following advice to all who took part: it is good to care, and it’s good to have the ability to communicate that care. Being able to bring the two together allows us to change the world, and the world is sorely in need of change. 

“The first-place poster, by Tom Brown, was a vivid piece full of energy and detail, it took me back to the angry political posters of the 1980s. Florence’s second-place poster exemplified careful and beautiful work that carried a powerful clarity, the poster was eloquent in its appeal to what needed to be done. Kelsey’s third-place poster was exciting and raw in a knowing way that allowed the visual to empower the message. 

There is one more prize to be given out for the most downloaded poster. LU Arts are encouraging all staff and students to browse the bold and daring collection of posters submitted and download their favourites before the end of January, when the winner will be announced.

As well as the four winning posters being displayed in bus shelters, a selection of the other poster designs submitted will be put up across campus to give visibility to these issues and showcase the students’ work. Look out for further details on when and where you can see these posters on the dedicated Poster Project webpage or by following LU Arts on social media.