This Way Forward

Given the last 2 to 5 years, "say something" to help prepare the next generation for the future.

For full details, download the Call for Entries PDF now

How to Enter

Step 1
Download our Call for Entries PDF and follow the Design Guidelines and Submission Guidelines. Carefully review the Eligibility and Copyright sections.
Step 2
Create a poster that responds to the theme of this year's competition and adheres to the Design Guidelines.
Step 3
Upload a poster that meets the Upload Spec (as explained in the PDF) along with a short write up- 250 characters or less- expressing your inspiration behind the poster.
Step 4
When the season 2 gallery opens and online voting begins, share your poster with friends and encourage them to vote.

How to Win

Round 1 - Online Voting
The top 100 posters with the highest score automatically move on to the second round. Scores are accumulated within the online gallery by rating and sharing a poster.
Round 2 - Judges Panel
Design experts and a representative from the non-profit beneficiary will review the top 100 posters from Round 1 and determine 25 semifinalists. Judges will consider message, execution and relevance to the theme of this year's competition.
Round 3 - Live Event Voting
The 25 semifinalists will be featured in gallery shows where event attendees cast the final vote to determine the 10 winners. Votes from each show are accumulated and winners announced on our website.

Print Spec

18 x 24 300 dpi in CMYK

Upload Spec

450px x 600px 72 dpi in RGB

Thumbnail Spec

300px x 170px 72 dpi in RGB

Note: The actual shapes used in this example are NOT sized to spec


Individual Entry category encourages the expression of personal experiences. With the freedom to choose their subject matter, individuals can flex their imagination and creative prowess.


Team Entry category encourages multi-disciplinary collaboration. With the ability to have different design specialists on one team, for example Illustrators or typographers, teams should also consider inviting non-designers like historians or mathematicians to add content and depth.


Organization Entry category encourages organizations to express their mission or purpose as it relates to the theme. This category is open to companies, agencies, non-profits, professional associations, NGOs etc.

Poster entries are credited to the organization (e.g. Submitted by: UNICEF). Organizations have the option of acknowledging the actual designer(s) within the Inspiration Statement.

Note: All entries will be judged by the same criteria. Judges will not know who submitted or created the poster.

Richard Hollant

Richard Hollant

  • Principal, Design Director, co:lab
  • Founding Member, Design is Love
  • AIGA Connecticut president
  • Advisor, Sustainable Farm School
  • Development Director, Compass Youth Collaborative
  • Co-creator of 5 Hollant boys
  • Give-aholic, Yes-aholic, Peace-aholic
How did you decide on a career in graphic design?
I wanted to be a film maker because I love the power of words and images. Design is the same thing, but with much calmer people (generally speaking).
What point-of-view would you like to bring to the judges panel?
I won't bring a POV to the judging. I rather hope the contributors will bring a POV. I respond favorably to clear POVs even when I may disagree with them.
What advice can you give to the designers entering this year's competition?
Dig as deep into yourself as you know how. Put all your energy into expressing as honestly as possible what you find within. Then - throw it away, dig deeper and work it again.
Shari Maestre

Shari Maestre

  • Teen Education Director, Blue Hills Boys & Girls Club
How did you decide on a career in youth services?
I grew up in the same neighborhood the kids I work with are growing up in. I know the struggles and hardships they face because I've been through them myself; growing up in a single parent home, growing up in the projects, losing family and friends to gang violence... though I've been through this, I was able to strive, and that's the message I want to give to them- be their inspiration.
What advice can you give to the designers entering this year's competition?
Inspiration is all around you. Be creative and have fun.
Matthew Monk

Matthew Monk

  • Graphic Designer
  • Professor of Graphic Design at Rhode Island School of Design
How did you decide on a career in graphic design?
I was admitted to the architecture program in the College of Design at North Carolina State University, at a time before "graphic design" was a household word. Upon my arrival, I discovered in graphic design what I had been looking for all my life.
What point-of-view would you like to bring to the judges panel?
This competition is fundamentally about communication. I will look for intelligent posters with clear, developed ideas, alluring formal elements that serve those ideas effectively, and solutions that address the mission to Say Something--all in one.
What advice can you give to the designers entering this year's competition?
The competition is called Say Something. So: 1) figure out what you want to say; 2) explore different ways to say it, both verbally and visually; and 3) translate that into an engaging and persuasive poster that will inspire and motivate others.
Joe Marianek

Joe Marianek

  • Designer & Associate Partner at Pentagram New York
  • Faculty in the Graphic Design dept at the School of Visual Arts in New York
  • Board member in the Rhode Island Chapter of the AIGA
How did you decide on a career in graphic design?
Many of my relatives are a combination of commercial artists, graphic designers, industrial designers, engineers, illustrators, printers and painters, so I've always been familiar with the "career" to some extent. During my freshman year at RISD, I declared my major in illustration, then architecture, but finally switched to graphic design because it seemed like the most open-ended and flexible way to practice design.
What point-of-view would you like to bring to the judges panel?
I'm interested in celebrating the social and aesthetic role that posters play, both for the public and the profession. But because posters in the traditional sense (as big pieces of paper holding in information in public areas) are no longer a primary communications device, it is imperative for designers to consider the function of a poster at multiple scales, and its effect in a second life as a traveling digital asset.
What advice can you give to the designers entering this year's competition?
Honor the history of the format, consider the value and purpose of the content (as well as the form), and clearly articulate your intent.

The Break Down

Prizes are awarded to the 25 semifinalist and 10 finalists. Prizes range from design tools and resources to exclusive experiences. New prizes are added periodically so stay tuned for updates.

For Teams or Organizations that make it to the finals, the person listed under Primary Contact will be the person prizes are sent to.

Top 25 Semi-Finalists

Each semi- finalist will receive:

The Best Poster Ever!

Proof of your hard work, dedication and creativity is right there on the wall. Each semi-finalist will receive a copy of their poster printed at full size.

Top 10 Finalists

Each top 10 finalist will receive:


The RockPort Reading List

Rockport Publishing is giving each finalist a copy of:

  • Design Entrepreneur
  • 100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers
  • Graphic Design, Referenced
Communication Arts

Monthly inspiration, for a year.

Communications Arts is keeping each finalist up to date on design developments, new talent and rich inspiration with a 1 year subscription to their magazine.


How Awesome!

HOW magazine wants to tell the world just how amazing they think you are by featuring the 10 finalists on howdesign.com. Along with this exclusive opportunity, they're sweetening the deal with a 1 year digital subscription to HOW Magazine.


Stock Up!

Did you know Thinkstock.com is part of the Getty Images family? Well, you know now. But to give you an even better idea of what's available at thinkstock.com, they're giving each finalist a $99 image pack.

+ New Prizes being added all the time