Saturday, February 18, 2012

First International Reggae Poster Contest: Competition Pays Homage To The History Of Jamaican Pop

The look and visuals of ska and reggae music have been as much an inspiration to me as the sound of the music itself. As such, I was excited to learn about the First International Reggae Poster Contest for which a winner will be named in early April.  As a frustrated graphic artist I have always been moved by the inspiration as well as the science behind graphics and visuals, particularly as it relates to music. I’m sure students in graphic design college are able to relate.

Jamaican-born and U.S.-based creative activist Michael Thompson is the creative force behind the launch of the competition (read a great interview with Thompson here).  His vision of the competition is to build awareness around the historical, cultural and social impact of reggae music and the global achievements of reggae musicians. The jury of six graphic and creative artists he has selected is looking for talent and vision and wants to see what designers can come up with in their original poster designs that will capture the energy and vibe of Reggae covering any one of the genres; Ska, Rocksteady, Roots Reggae, Dub, Dancehall and the unique Jamaican Soundsystem.  Check out some of Thompson's stellar reggae inspired graphic arts work at his Flickr feed.

Thompson and his colleagues hope to field as many as 1,000 posters by the time entries close at the end of March. To date they have received entries from Australia, Belgium, Greece, Norway and Brazil. Many of the submitted images have been of Bob Marley, but others have included reggae icons like dub master Augustus Pablo, music producers Duke Reid and Clement Dodd and Deejay U Roy.

The Poster competition is part of a bigger vision to establish a Reggae Hall of Fame in Kingston, Jamaica. Thompson's goal is to auction off the 100 best posters from the contest with all funds going toward the world-renown Alpha Boys’ School which helped train many of the best and brightest Jamaican musicians who helped to invent Ska, Rocksteady, Dub and Roots Reggae.

The entry period has already begun and ends on March 30th, 2011. The first prize winner will receive and Apple iPad 2 along with a suite of other prizes.  There are also prizes for second and third place.

Click here to learn the design specs for entering your own reggae-themed poster design.

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