10 Beautiful, Promo-Driven Poster Designs

Over at PRINT’s sister brand, HOW, you’ll find the Promotion & Marketing Design Awards, HOW’s longest-running competition with past winners including the likes of Fili, Sagmeister and Hische. As the only competition that specifically recognizes the best promotional design, the Promotion & Marketing Design Awards is a showcase of the best of the best when it comes to paid promo-driven client work or pro-bono design, self-promotional projects like your own firm’s website redesign, personal projects like wedding invitations and baby announcements, and student work.

With this year’s deadline coming up (11:59pm EDT on Monday, April 9), we want to take this opportunity to celebrate some of the fantastic poster design we’ve seen take home a HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Award over the past few years.

We hope you enjoy the inspiration and consider entering your own best promo-driven design before the deadline. Our judges—Joshua Chen of Chen Design Associates, Daniela Garza of Anagrama, and Mackey Saturday of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv—await your work.

10 Creative Poster Designs from the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards

1. Auburn Graphic Design Juried Student Show Poster

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

Design Firm Courtney Windham Design, Auburn, AL; www.courtneywindhamdesign.com | Creative Team Courtney Windham, art director/designer/illustrator | Printers Courtney Windham, Jerrod Windham  Client Auburn University School of Industrial + Graphic Design | Details The design of this screenprinted poster was inspired by the beauty of springtime and the renewed feeling of energy and ideas that come with the start of a new season.


2. 1903 | A Harley-Davidson Cafe

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

Design Firm Zulu Alpha Kilo, Toronto; www.zulualphakilo.com | Creative Team Zak Mroueh, chief creative officer; Allen Oke, executive creative director; Ryan Booth, design director/designer; Andrew Caie, associate creative director/writer; Noel Fenn, associate creative director/art director/designer; Curtis Denomme, art director/social; Michael Headford, Jason Baker, Goldmond Fong, Laura Friedmann, Patrick Nichols, Dan Lim, photographers; George Ault, writer; Joel Felker, writer/social; Greg Heptinstall, Brandon Dyson, Ashleigh O’Brien, Andrew Martin, Amanda Braun, studio artists; Kari Macknight Dearborn, Laura Dubcovsky, Pam Portsmouth, agency producers; Kerry McKibbin, Maya Adler, account team; Heidi Philip, Jamie Cuthbertson, strategists; Sam Kamiel, strategist/social; Ian Reynolds, sound recording; Jan Kelley, media agency; Stephanie Spinney, media team; Weber Shandwick, PR agency; Melissa Graham, Sophie Shin, Dana Frank, PR team; The Mint Agency, event company/construction/interior design/fabrication; Andrew Gayle, Jennifer Langen, Jon Davine, Mint project management; Mint Interior Design: Adam Elijah, Mint interior design; Humberto Garcia, lead fabricator | Printers Flash Reproductions, Toronto Ink Company | Client Harley-Davidson Canada | Details Zulu Alpha Kilo developed an ink made from the actual coffee the café serves, giving posters and cup stamps the texture and scent of real coffee.


3. Hyperquake Poster Series

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

Design Firm/Client Hyperquake, Cincinnati; www.hyperquake.com | Creative Team Dustin Blankenship, Kaitlyn Eleniak, Sarah Faulkner, Andria Mierzwiak, Chris Mock, Emily Zalla, designers/printers | Details For this poster series, each member of the team committed to using certain papers and inks, but beyond those parameters, there were no limits. Results included a poster design built in Illustrator, another collaged from vintage textbooks and one drawn in Sharpie.


4. AIGA Philly 35th Anniversary Poster

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

Design Firm SK Designworks, Philadelphia; www.skdesignworks.com | Creative Team Soonduk Krebs, art director/designer | Printer Perfect Communications | Client AIGA Philadelphia | DetailsAn old-fashioned drafting method with visible grids was used to represent the progress from analog to digital for this poster to commemorate AIGA Philadelphia’s 35th anniversary.


5. Hankook Coffee 

Design Firm Daeki & Jun, Seoul, South Korea; www.daekiandjun.com | Creative Team Daeki Shim, Hyojun Shim, art directors/designers; Seoeun Kim, designer; Hanna Yang, photographer; Kwangjun Yang, copywriter | Client Hankook Coffee | Details Grounded in the Korean market, Hankook Coffee specializes in selling a high-quality green coffee bean, which Daeki & Jun says falls in the top 7% of A-grade coffee beans. The studio used coffee drops to visualize this distinction in diagrams, as well as to illustrate the variety of flavors involved. The posters and postcards also illustrate how Hankook Coffee selects, imports and processes the beans by visiting coffee plantations. The project was showcased at the 2015 Seoul Cafe Show in Korea and was used in sales presentations and distributed to Korean customers.


6. Pay It Forward

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

Design Firm/Client Column Five, Irvine, CA; www.columnfivemedia.com | Creative Team Josh Ritchie, Nate Butler, art directors; Andrew Effendy, designer/illustrator/photographer; Lindsay Hathaway, copywriter | Printer Aardvark Letterpress | Details Column Five discovered a beautifully written letter from Benjamin Franklin that illustrates the pay-it-forward philosophy. They decided to create a poster based on the letter using modern typography, illustration and design styles.


7. Pinnacle Bank 10-Year Anniversary Gift

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

Design Firm/Client Karsh Hagan, Denver; www.karshhagan.com | Creative Team Camille King, Lindsey Mills, designers; Dave Fymbo, copywriter | Printers Public Letterpress and Laser Engraving, InkLounge | Details To celebrate a 10-year client relationship, Karsh Hagan designed a wine bottle and poster set for Pinnacle Bank.


8. Neenah Paper Beauty of Letterpress Poster

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

Design Firm Gee + Chung Design, San Francisco; www.geechungdesign.com | Creative Team Earl Gee, art director/designer/illustrator; TPD Design House, concept and design for The Beauty of Letterpress Series | Printer TPD Design House | Client Neenah Paper | Details The firm’s solution uses the tools of letterpress as typographic forms.


9. Goodwill Vintage Fashion Show 2015 Poster

Design Firm Designsensory, Knoxville, TN; www.designsensory.com | Creative Team Joseph Nother, creative director; Kevin Jones, designer; Susan Hamilton, copywriter | Client Goodwill Industries-Knoxville | Details Designsensory grounded the campaign with the concept of vintage clothing patterns, overlaid with retro language.


10. Make The Cut

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

creative poster design; HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards winner

Design Firm Principal Type, Portland, OR; www.principaltype.com | Creative Team Nathan Savage, art director/designer; John Bohls, designer | Client Portland Community College | Details The challenge was to entice creative professionals to seek new blood from a community college.


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