Poster boy

Helen Fotopulos, Executive Committee Member responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design and the Status of Women, and the producers and partners of the Building Montreal UNESCO City of Design initiative are pleased to announce the finalist and the winning posters in the Montreal portion of the CODE international poster competition, the first joint project involving the seven UNESCO Cities of Design – Berlin, Buenos Aires, Kobe, Montreal, Nagoya, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The jury chose the poster created by graphic designer Serge Côté.

Designers were invited to define the visual identity of a UNESCO City of Design, expressing each city’s most distinctive aspects. Submissions were judged based on the originality and creativity of the concept, relying on solid principles of design, relevance and connection with the competition’s theme, as well as the possibility of adaptation in whole or in part to other applications, formats or merchandise.

“The CODE competition is a tangible achievement that fits in with the Action Plan 2007-2017 Montreal, Cultural Metropolis, aimed at reinforcing Montreal’s status as a UNESCO City of Design,” says Christine St-Pierre, Quebec Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women.

For his part, Laurent Lessard, Quebec Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, notes, “Montreal is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, alongside major cities such as Berlin, Buenos Aires and Kobe. Our government is proud to support creative activities that strengthen the local and international networking of Montréal design and that promote the city’s influence.”

Adds Raymond Bachand, Quebec Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Montreal Region, “The CODE Montreal competition is an ideal occasion for local designers to express their vision of the urban landscape and to define their perception of the city, its personality and its identity, and then to measure their work against that of designers from other UNESCO creative cities, thereby playing a role in promoting Montreal on the international design scene.”

Says Executive Committee Member Helen Fotopulos, “This initial joint initiative has led not only to the forging of stronger links with the other UNESCO Cities of Design and for our expertise in organizing competitions to be applied for the benefit of this Network, but also helped Montreal designers to obtain outstanding visibility at the international level.”

Winning graphic designer Serge Côté was singled out for work that beautifully expresses the individuality, dynamism and free spirit of Montreal’s cultural life, resulting from the symbiosis of the French- and English-speaking cultures. Côté describes Montreal as a city of contrasts, both American and European, synchronized with the seasons that influence our way of life. Drawing inspiration from water to illustrate what he is articulating, he explains his concept this way: “This fluid and constantly moving ferment is the results of two opposites meeting to form a whole. The blue and the red blend with one another, without ever losing their tonality. In it can be seen the letters forming the name Montreal. The T is in the shape of a cross. This either represents Mount Royal, or simply the street intersections where east meets west on Saint-Laurent Boulevard.”