2018 Communications Design Competition Judge’s Choice: Russian Revolution Poster

This year, each of our eleven TDC competition judges chose their favorite from all the entries. These Judges’ Choice selections will be highlighted in the Type Directors Club annual, The World’s Best Typography – Typography 39, which will be published later this year.

The award-winning work is on display in Warsaw at PJAIT through July 23, in New York at The Cooper Union from July 18 through August 10, and in Portland at the TypeCon 2018 conference, August 3–5.

As a preview, we want to tell you more about Cybu Richli’s Russian Revolution anniversary poster, one of seven communications designs that received the Judges’ Choice badge, and allow communications design judge Nicholas Blechman to tell you why he chose it.

About Cybu Richli’s Russian Revolution Anniversary Poster

  • Design: Cybu Richli, Luzern, Switzerland
  • Studio: C2F
  • Principal Type: Custom

Russian Revolution 1917-2017 poster by Cybu Richli of C2F.

The Golden Bee Global Biennale of Graphic Design in Moscow, led by Serge Serov, invited Cybu Richli from C2F to design a poster for the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Out of five hundred posters, this one was chosen for the world tour exhibition.

The information on the poster is reduced to the essentials. It shows only the two years 1917 and 2017. The design refers to the Russian propaganda posters and is printed in cinnabar red using silkscreen printing.

Comments by Communications Design Judge Nicholas Blechman

We asked art director and illustrator Nicholas Blechman to explain why he thought this example of communications design was exceptional:

“In an era of visual clutter and pop up ads, this poster cuts through the surrounding noise with a graphic clarity and strength that is rare. The 1917–2017 poster is both retro and contemporary. It bridges the gap between past and present, echoing Russian Constructivist design on the one hand, and modern minimalism on the other.

To fully appreciate this poster is to see it in person. After a weary two days of judging everything from ‘zines to animation, this poster stood out. This is partly due to its size, a massive 35.2 x 50.4 inches. Its tactility is even more impressive when you realize that it is silkscreened.

This nod to craft and physicality, in a period of impermanence and Instagram, speaks to the integrity of the designer. I’ve been following Cybu Richli’s work for some time, and was particularly pleased to discover he and his firm C2F were behind this poster.”

About Nicholas Blechman

Nicholas Blechman is a New York-based art director and illustrator who has served as the creative director of The New Yorker since 2015. Previously, Nicholas was the art director of The New York Times Book Review and The New York Times Op-Ed page.

Since 1990, Nicholas has published, edited, and designed the political underground magazine NOZONE, which was featured in the Smithsonian Institution’s Design Triennial. His illustrations have appeared in GQ, Travel + Leisure, and Wired. In 2012, he won the Rome Prize in Design at The American Academy in Rome. He co-authors “One Hundred Percent,” a series of limited-edition illustrated books, with Christoph Niemann.

Read more about Nicholas and view his work here.

Portrait: Nicholas Blechman.