Announcing the winners of the CGSNY student poster design competition

2020 has been a difficult year for everybody, particularly so for students whose job and paid internship prospects plummeted due to COVID-19. As a gesture of support, the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York (CGSNY) launched a poster design competition in partnership with Poster House. Students were asked to create an original work that uses the Swiss Grid Style as their primary design tool. The three selected winners all created unique and intriguing designs which will be presented in an exhibition this spring in the Consulate’s lobby along with a selection of other student works.

Aita Pult, the head of the Cultural Affairs Section at CGSNY sat down with our first place winner, Maya Rodgers, for a conversation about her design and how she incorporated the Swiss Grid Style. Included below are also statements by our winners, reflecting on the inspiration behind their works and their integrations of the Swiss Grid Style.

MONTREAL, Photography by Maya Rodgers

Maya Rodgers / Ithaca College — First Place

The intention behind this poster was to create a simple, Swiss Grid inspired design that revolved around the weather in a city of one’s choice. Inspired by the circular motions of the Montreal Ferris Wheel paired with the “partly cloudy” weather that day, I used a grid system to create this poster. With shades of blue and circle elements paired with Helvetica Neue typeface, I wanted to emphasize the repetition and structure that the grid brings to design. The type is slightly obstructed by the transparent circle elements, which reiterates the weather “partly cloudy.”

STILL THE SUN RISES, Photography by Julia Muller

Julia Muller / Farmingdale State College — Second Place

I was inspired by Swiss Style posters from the 1970s when choosing the color palette and geometric design. The orange gradient circles represent the warmth of a sunset while the cool toned circle represents the sun rising. Without the circle in the top right, the design would be left feeling quite unbalanced; just like a sunrise and sunset, they need each other to exist.

The message of this poster is inspired by this past year. In 2020, things did not turn out how anyone could have ever expected. We have all been through a lot and it is important that we remember that no matter what we face in the day, we can wake up the next morning and start fresh. I created this as a reminder that we are not stuck in the days of the past and there are opportunities to try again. Every night the sun sets and some nights are darker than others, but it continues to rise again each morning, just like us.

PERSEVERANCE, Photography Exhibition by Kestin Mica by Niki Ito

Niki Ito/ City University of New York — Third Place

The design was inspired by a hypothetical photography exhibition for the American photographer Kestin Mica and the simplified geometric format of the Swiss International Typographic style. The exhibition titled PERSEVERANCE takes place in Tokyo on April 20, 2021. The layout is based on a grid system which complements the photographic narrative of this exhibition. The photography follows the story of perseverance through the photographer’s journey, as shown in the withering flowers.

The composition was intended to unify important information using the Swiss Grid as a guide, while playfully composing typography to complement elements within the photograph. The words “kestin mica” extends the horizon line of the photograph. The “OTO” of the word “PHOTO” is blurred like the flower in the foreground, while “mica wired” is in focus similar to the flower in the background to complement the existing spaces within the photograph.

For updates about our upcoming exhibition and all other curated selections of Swiss culture in New York, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, Swiss Pulse in New York.

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