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The 10th International Poster Triennial in Toyama, 2012

The Prize Winners and Their Works

Grand Prix  Gold Prize Silver Prize Bronze Prize Yusaku Kamekura International Design Award
IPT2012受賞作品(Japanese version)

Grand Prix

Grand Prix
Yamanote Jijosha, Oedip Rege

Gold Prize

Gold Prize
Gold Prize

Keith Godard

EVIL - LIVE Evil prevails when good men fail to act


Silver Prize

Silver Prize

Silver Prize



Silver Prize


CLAUDE KUHN [Switzerland]



Bronze Prize

Bronze Prize
Bronze Prize


Alefpa The Poster Exhibition of Students' Experiences

Bronze Prize
Bronze Prize



Bronze Prize
Bronze Prize


Shinichi Kaneko Photo Exhibition "TORSO"

Bronze Prize
Bronze Prize

Design Fumio Tachibana


Bronze Prize
Bronze Prize

Typography Express-Hokuriku

At Sea





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International Jury's comments for screening of IPT2012

Kazumasa Nagai Shin Matsunaga Alain Le Quernec Kari Piippo

Kazumasa Nagai  International and National Jury, Chairman of the Organizing Committee

The 10th International Poster Triennial in Toyama received a record number of 4622 submissions from 53 countries and regions, a great success particularly in light of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and the global economic downturn. 398 posters were selected for display after a rigorous screening process, resulting in an exhibition that was rich in content and variety.

While poster design continues to serve as a "mirror of the times", I believe there has also been a shift in its content. Posters submitted to the IPT 2012 included those which focused on themes such as the 2011 Tohoku disaster, changes in the state of the economy, and environmental issues, works that did indeed mirror the times by reflecting our current realities. At the same time, a trend visible among the submissions as a whole was a decrease in works demonstrating excellence in the genre of commercial posters, and a greater number of posters designed for exhibitions, theater, and other cultural purposes, with many fine examples visible in this field. Another case in point is the corporate poster, where the decline of the poster medium has spurred a rethinking of the poster as a means of promoting the cultural attributes of a company, rather than an advertising medium. This increasing tendency to think of the poster less in terms of economics and more in terms of its social and cultural capacity reflects a trend that is being seen throughout the world.

Among the posters selected for exhibition at the IPT 2012, the level of entries from Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, and France were particularly high. Many of the designers serving as jury members of past IPTs have hailed from these countries, and we were pleased to see some of them return to the IPT 2012 as individual applicants.

It was from among this impressive body of works that the recipients of the IPT 2012 awards were selected. I would like to make special mention here of the Grand Prix and two Gold Prize recipients from Japan, Switzerland, and Germany, for these were three works that all demonstrated a high level of excellence, making it very difficult to choose between them. After much deliberation, the work that ultimately emerged as the Grand Prix recipient was Osamu Fukushima's Oedip Rege (Oedipus the King). While using a straightforward image to represent the Oedipus the King storyline, Mr. Fukushima also managed to evoke the sterile atmosphere of a theater stage and a sense of the drama to come, encapsulating all of these elements, along with some excellent typography, within the confines of a single poster.

Capturing a Gold Prize was Keith Godard, submitted by Jianping He of Germany, which was designed for a solo exhibition of the British graphic designer in China. With his unique face montage and outstanding typography, Mr. He has carved out new territory in the genre of exhibition posters.

Also honored with a Gold Prize was Ralph Schraivogel's EVIL-LIVE, a poster that, while composed solely of bold typography, captures the concepts of virtue and vice in the same four letters, which can be read "LIVE" from the bottom or "EVIL" from the top. Conveying the strong message that "Evil prevails when good men fail to act", this is a dynamic poster that is at the same time very simple and extremely compelling.

As epitomized by these top three works, the 16 prize recipients were a diverse collection of themes and graphic expression, and no two works were alike. From these results, I believe it can be said that the IPT 2012 exhibition did indeed manage to show us the world in all its variety.

Shin Matsunaga  International and National Jury, Member of the Organizing Committee

Although physically fatigued, I also feel refreshed and exhilarated. The international jury members were able to engage in a frank exchange of opinions that led us to a final decision satisfying to all, which made this a fatigue of the most fulfilling kind.
While the overall level of a competition is of course important, what matters even more is whether each selected work can convey a vivid sense of originality. In this sense, the IPT 2012 showed itself to be a competition of the highest caliber in terms of both quantity and quality.
The works receiving the top three prizes were each outstanding in their own right, and selecting a single Grand Prix recipient was a difficult task. The decision to nominate these three works for the three highest IPT honors was a unanimous one, and any one of them would have been a deserving Grand Prix winner.
The recipient of this year's Grand Prix is a designer whose work we know well, and who has continued to produce works of a consistently high level. He has long devoted himself to the challenging genre of theater, and he brought symbolism and beauty to his work with a freshness of expression.
Posters are not inherently logical, and we do not judge posters solely through the medium of discussion. However, without some explanation, the content or context of a poster may not be clear to all members of a judging panel. During the IPT 2012 judging, the international jury members provided explanations of the various posters to one another, allowing us to debate the posters upon a foundation of shared understanding and then go on to reach a decision based upon our sensibilities. The international jury members were able to speak their minds freely and engage in a discussion gratifying to everyone involved, making this international judging an exceptionally rewarding experience. It was no doubt this that contributed to the pleasurable sense of fatigue I felt.
There has long been a chorus of voices proclaiming the poster to be on the brink of death. While it is true that the poster has grown increasingly detached from mainstream media, this just serves to make the responsibility of the individual designer all the greater and compels us to question the graphic expression we use. The modern poster has shifted away from its conventional role of representing a particular object or type of expression, and has now become a vehicle for more autonomous forms of graphic expression. In this sense, the IPT's Category B, designed for self-produced posters and first introduced at the 6th IPT, is truly beginning to come into its own. My belief that posters have become the self-portraits of their designers is a reflection of the display of individual expression that we have increasingly come to value, and during my judging at the IPT 2012, I believe that I managed to catch a glimpse of the poster as it will become in the future.

Alain Le Quernec  International Jury of IPT2012

Japan has always been for me the other country of graphic design. Since the sixties in the pages of Graphics or in the Warsaw Biennale of posters the Japanese works were different and fascinating by the perfection of design and print.

Beyond the fascination for Japanese graphic design, I discovered that because of our cultures the aims and the languages are fortunately different. Beyond the formal aspects of the works I suppose I am missing something because of my occidental culture. But in reverse I imagine that Japanese people don't find the same interest as we do in the language of our posters.

Applying the parity in the jury the Toyama Triennial of Posters (2 jury members from Japan and 2 from the west) is more than politeness, it is a form of intelligence that gives a quality to the exchanges.

Since the first edition Toyama Triennial has been a reference for me. It is a great event in poster graphic design that Japan deserves. And to be invited as a jury member was a great honor and a real pleasure because of the perfect organization and the warm welcome I received.

Kari Piippo  International Jury of IPT2012

A good poster speaks for itself. The message is easy to understand - even globally.

As a European designer, I admire Asian and Arabian aesthetics. In order to make a judged decision, there are still moments when I feel I need to obtain more background information on a single work. Beautiful visuals are rarely sufficient enough to make the message understandable.

Visual communication, especially in a forum like this, is sometimes very dependent on words.

The Toyama International Poster Triennial is a show of diversity. The selected works are statements about cultural and social atmospheres around the world - a collection of contemporary poster art of the highest quality. It is truly a privilege to be part of this exhibition.

The international jury worked for two days, in high spirits. We discussed, compared - and finally decided. The posters that rose high are intelligent, confident and unique. They cut a long story short.

The awarded posters are great examples of how form and the objective are balanced beautifully.

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