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The CIPB is an international design initiative that includes professional & student poster competitions, exhibits, books and lectures.

Project Overview

What we're trying to do: Undertake a very large public arts initiative that brings the world's best poster designers and their work together, through competitions, exhibitions, lectures, and a variety of learning and public outreach programs. What we need: We need money to pay for the many expenses associated with producing public events, especially when they're free to the public, like ours. What we can offer you: A beautiful book about the best contemporary poster design in the world and/or a set of posters designed by some of the world's great artists (and only available here).

The Story

Thank you very much for reviewing our Kickstarter proposal—and for considering supporting a public arts initiative that has already become dear to the hearts of many people in Chicago... and well beyond. Our name is pretty good at expressing what we’re about: the world’s greatest contemporary posters gathered, judged, and put on display to the public in the heart of the United States. Here, we will celebrate the poster’s ability to meet us on the street, shaping the visual literacy of our people, advancing dialogue on important social and political issues, demonstrating the diversity of our viewpoints, and simply making the world a more beautiful and interesting place to live.

CIPB public exhibition in Grant Park, Chicago, 2008

The great modernist designer from Chicago, John Massey, summed up our vision very eloquently when, as the first CIPB jury president, he defined the Biennial during an interview with Step Inside Design magazine. He said, “The thing to remember is that we’re not talking about posters here. We’re talking about the transfer of information and ideas from one culture to another. This is about broadening international understanding among all people, and that fosters the betterment of society at large.”

While the CIPB is a local effort, it is also the only such event of its kind in the United States (it is endorsed by the International Council of Graphic Design Associations and open to anyone in the world), and it has already earned respect and attention from a global community of great poster artists. The 2012 CIPB professional poster competition will draw over 2,000 poster entries from artists and designers in 50 countries. One person will receive the top prize and gold medal. Other awards will be given for design excellence, typography, and craftsmanship. A special award will be given within the category of music posters. This year, we’re thrilled to be partnering with the City of Chicago to hold a student competition. Our jury will select one student’s work that will be produced as the official poster of the 2012 Chicago Jazz Festival—a tremendous honor and opportunity for a young designer. There is no entry fee required to enter any of the CIPB competitions.

Some of the finalists from the 1st Chicago International Poster Biennial, 2008

The CIPB has been enthusiastically engaged with design education since its inception. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago will not only host our international jury for the judging process, but they will be providing auditorium space so that several of our jury members can present their work and ideas to the public. Later this summer, the Harrington College of Design will graciously host the 2012 CIPB exhibition of professional and student finalists and winners, with approximately 200 of the world’s best contemporary posters on display throughout their galleries and halls.

The 2nd CIPB medalists wall at Harrington College of Design

2012 will mark the 3rd CIPB season, and we need your help to bring this amazing event from struggling infancy into self-sustainability. In exchange for your support, we think we can offer an incredibly unique ‘thank you.” Rewards are being offered at a variety of giving levels, which are outlined on this page. We know that what excites most people about posters is that they are eminently collectable and own-able, so our Kickstarter project was built with the idea of offering you something truly rare: posters designed just for the 2012 CIPB by seven of the absolute top poster makers in the world. This is the only place these special posters can be acquired. 

The 3rd CIPB will be presented within a theme of “posters in the musical city of Chicago.” We do not yet know what the posters themselves will look like, but we do know who will be creating them. Designers like Niklaus Troxler from Switzerland and Finn Nygaard from Denmark have been creating some of the world’s most memorable music posters for decades. Jason Munn of the United States represents a growing and vibrant community of artists who make “gig” posters that, while supremely American, are also world class. 

As I’ve said, this year’s international jury features seven highly accomplished masters from six countries. It would take thousands of words here to describe their many accomplishments, so marvel at these examples of their work and then follow the links to investigate more. While you're looking, keep thinking to yourself, “I could own a poster by each of these amazing artists” (because you can). The 2012 CIPB jury includes:

Ronald Curchod (France)

Joanna Górska (Poland)

Alejandro Magallanes (Mexico)

Jason Munn (USA)

Finn Nygaard (Denmark)

Woody Pirtle (USA), Jury President

Niklaus Troxler (Switzerland)

Pirtle, Troxler, Curchod, Nygaard, Górska, Magallanes, Munn

Your reward for supporting our cause at the $100 and up level will be the art and inspiration of these amazing designers. $250 ensures that you receive a poster from each of them. If you'd like to own one of only 100 sets that will be signed and numbered by the artists, pledge $500 or more.

Work of the 2nd CIPB jury, displayed to the public in 2010

Besides the 2012 CIPB posters, we’d like to offer additional incentives for giving. Those who can pledge between $30 and $100 ($50 - 100 for international supporters) will receive a copy of one of the best Poster Biennial publications in the world: the “2008: First Edition” CIPB Exhibition catalogue. The outstanding printing was donated by our good friends at The Graphic Arts Studio. Paper was donated by Mohawk Paper.“2008: First Edition” includes almost 300 pages of color plates plus extensive, authoritative texts by Todd Lief, design writer Steven Heller, and writer and historian Victor Margolin.

Designed by Yann Legendre at Legendre+Rutter, Paris/Chicago

In 2008 and 2010, the CIPB introduced walking poster art to the grand opening festivities of the Jury Exhibition. One poster from each of our jury members was transformed into a poster dress, designed and made by Miki Shim-Rutter and auctioned to raise funds in support of the event.

2nd CIPB Dresses, Photography © Erika Dufour. Poster designers: Holger Matthies (left) and Paula Scher (right)

1st CIPB Poster Dresses, Photography © Bonnie Bandurski. Poster designers: Lanny Somesse (left) and Michel Bouvet (right)

In 2012, we will be partnering with faculty and students at SAIC to create these graphic fashion statements and, again, members of the public will have a chance to own them. Only through this Kickstarter project will the highest level pledge of $10,000 or more earn someone the right to own their choice of these one-of-a-kind wearable works of art.

I hope that these images have inspired you to join us in our cause. Your pledge will allow us to produce this massive and important public arts initiative in a way that honors the hundreds of volunteers who have worked so tirelessly and generously. By giving, you will honor the designers who pay to send their work across the globe for us to marvel at. You will honor the masters of the poster profession who donate their time and talent to judge our competition and whose work exemplifies the standards by which great posters are measured. You will honor the idea that posters as public art still have a place on the streets of our cities and villages. In return, I'm certain you will be honored to own something truly beautiful and truly unique. 

For whatever pledge you can offer... I thank you very much.

This project is dedicated to the volunteers and donors who have given so much to the Biennial effort for four years without the promise of anything in return... and who continue to give.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    19 backers

    You get your name published on our website and in the 2012 Chicago International Poster Biennial exhibition catalogue as a donor to the Biennial initiative. And you have our enormous gratitude!

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  • Pledge $30 or more
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    71 backers Limited (229 left of 300)

    We'll publish your name as a donor + we'll ship you a crisp copy of the very first Chicago Biennial catalogue: a beautifully printed, 300+ page color book including finalists' posters, comments from medalists, photo documentation of judging and Biennial exhibition, and essays by Steven Heller and Victor Margolin. INTERNATIONAL PLEDGERS: Please make a pledge of $50 or more in order to cover the cost of international shipping. Thank you.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    49 backers Limited (151 left of 200)

    We'll publish your name as a donor + we'll send you three of the posters by our Biennial jury (our choice), designed specifically for the 2012 CIPB in limited quantities. The jury includes some of the world's great poster artists: Woody Pirtle (USA), Niklaus Troxler (Switzerland), Finn Nygaard (Denmark), Ronald Curchod (France), Joanna Górska (Poland), Alejandro Magallanes (Mexico), and Jason Munn (USA). INTERNATIONAL PLEDGERS: Please make a pledge of $175 or more in order to cover the cost of international shipping.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    11 backers Limited (89 left of 100)

    We'll publish your name as a donor + we'll send you ALL seven posters of the 2012 Biennial--one by each member of our internationally lauded jury! You'll also have a pass to attend any of the public events during the Biennial year, without any entry fees. INTERNATIONAL PLEDGERS: Please make a pledge of $350 or more in order to cover the cost of international shipping.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    5 backers Limited (73 left of 78)

    We'll publish your name as a donor + we'll send you a limited edition autographed and numbered set of the seven 2012 Chicago Biennial posters. INTERNATIONAL PLEDGERS: Please make a pledge of $600 or more in order to cover the cost of international shipping.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    3 backers Limited (12 left of 15)

    We'll publish your name as a donor + we'll give you the "2008 First Edition" CIPB catalogue and a limited edition autographed and numbered set of the seven 2012 Chicago Biennial posters + you and one friend will be our guests at a private dinner with the jury and the CIPBA board at the home of one of our directors on Friday evening, June 8th. INTERNATIONAL PLEDGERS: If you are making a pledge in this category, it means you plan on traveling to Chicago on your own budget. We'll give you the posters and book when you get here!

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Everything from the $1,000 reward category + we'll recognize you everywhere we promote the Biennial as an "official partner" of the 3rd CIPB + we'll fly you here from anywhere in the world and put you in a hotel for two nights. While you're here, you'll not only attend a private dinner with the jury on Friday, but you'll also be our guest at a lunch with the jury just prior to their final judging session at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on Saturday. You will also be our honored guest at the 3rd CIPB Jury Exhibition grand opening on Saturday evening, June 9. Hotel reservations for Friday, June 8 - Sunday June 10.

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Everything in the $5,000 reward category + we'll recognize you everywhere we promote the Biennial as a "presenting sponsor" of the 3rd CIPB + we'll fly your guest to Chicago with you. You'll get to hang out in the jury room at SAIC to watch the process all day on Friday, AND you'll have your choice of one of the fabulous—and famous—jury poster dresses (signed) which will be on display at the 3rd CIPB Jury Exhibition grand opening on Saturday, June 9. First donor at this level will get first choice.

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Funding period

- (30 days)