This week the Design Observer announced the CIPB. “Seehpppppbt?” Okay, that’s not an acronym’able name. Let’s call it the Chicago International Poster Biennial, which is a first (while other IPB’s exist, this is Chi-town’s first), and is free to enter. While on the one hand, I’m excited, on the other, I’m hoping not to be let down.

As of today I’m entering two posters, which I’m showing here (in finger-hold format) so you can track my probable defeat: 

Meet_The_Pros_08_finger.jpgThese posters were produced for an annual student design event, and they’re about all I have for posters. We’ve done a few for the ol’ Be A Design Cast, but those weren’t really what I’d call “CIPB material.” One of them, at least, is too small (smaller than the 16.5″ x 13.4″ minimum) and the rest of my posters were produced before January of 2006. A few people on the comments section of DO have bitched about the minimum size requirement and others, but that just backs up my old theory that stupid 8.5″ x 11″ or 11″ x 17″ posters aren’t posters: they’re flyers. When the Chicago International Flyer Biennial ramps up, those guys can go apeshit.

The judges are renown poster designers whose amazing work you can see here, and that’s the part of this that excites me most. Why? Because Modern Dog and Aesthetic Apparatus aren’t on the list. Not to bag on those two shops, but so much of what seems to have come to define the American Poster these days (at least to the design community at large) seems to stem from them. AA has produced a legion of clones that have made the silkscreened poster omnipresent (w/o regard to AA’s quality) while Modern Dog, well, they just make shit up as they go. I just can’t abide that as good design; no matter how good it looks, it’s ultimately shallow.
I’m hoping these judges will shed some light on the rest of the posters of the world — the unsung styles. Show us something new and groundbreaking — the future, in other words, not the past. Three artists/designers will receive medals, and one will be crowned grand champion with a more special gold medal. All told, only 100 posters will be selected. And that’s the most encouraging/defeating part of the whole thing. It’s free to enter, so there’s no reason not to, but your odds of being selected are somewhere between winning the lottery and landing on the moon. The encouraging side is that all of those silkscreened posters based on obscure band lyrics touting an upcoming show, or some bullshit thing made for just Flatstock, are all going to look exactly the same, giving the rest of us a better chance by simply being different.
Or I could be wrong, and it could all be AA-clones, Modern Dog penis-cat posters, silkscreened thingies based on obscure band lyrics, and bullshit posters made for just Flatstock. We’ll find out this Fall, I guess. Until then, get your entries in before May 27!