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Culture Counts: UNESCO poster competition

Create the poster for 2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures. Culture Counts is a competition to promote better communication and understanding between all peoples and cultures.

Participants of the competition are invited to express their vision and understanding of the “Rapprochement of Cultures” by designing posters that creatively emphasize the importance of exchange and dialogue among and between cultures in ensuring social cohesion and harmonious coexistence.


The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, and has defined three main dimensions: dialogue, mutual understanding, and cooperation.

UNESCO, as a specialized agency of the United Nations entrusted with the mandate to build “the defences of peace in the minds of men,” has been designated as lead agency of the Year within the UN system.

Let us recall that the quest for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples is deeply entrenched in UNESCO’s Constitution (1946) as one of the best guarantees of peace in the world and constitutes an overarching objective of the Year 2010.


Design a poster that celebrates “2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures”.


50 posters will be selected for display in an online gallery linked to UNESCO’s website dedicated to the celebration of the International Year 2010.

From 50 selected posters, 30 posters will be printed for an exhibition to be held at UNESCO HQ in May 2010 in the framework of the UNESCO International Festival of Cultural Diversity. The designs of these posters will not be altered, nor used for commercial purposes.

From the 30, UNESCO will select an Overall Winner who will receive a $2000 cash prize plus an invitation from UNESCO to attend the poster exhibition at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in May 2010. The winner’s trip (airfare, accommodation and per diem) will be paid for by UNESCO. The trip may not be substituted for cash payment.

In addition, two DESIGN 21 Advisory Board members will select their individual Judge’s Pick with a prize of $500 each.

The designers of the 30 chosen posters (or in the case of a submission with co-authors, the person submitting the entry) will be contacted directly by UNESCO. In order to be “chosen,” the designers must agree, in writing, to allow UNESCO to use their posters for promotional purposes and future activities related to the objectives of the Year 2010 and to grant UNESCO all reproduction rights. The designers of the 30 posters will benefit from the high visibility of their design; the artists’ names and nationalities will be included on the poster.


  • Entries are limited to text and images only.
  • Designers have complete creative liberty, and may freely use in their design the title of the Year (“2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures”) in any of the following six languages that they are most comfortable using: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic.
  • Entrants are free to play with the title in more than one language, but should not use a language they do not write fluently (for example, Chinese, Arabic, Russian).
  • Please verify the proper spelling of the full title of the Year as shown here.
  • Incorporating the title of the Year in your poster design is optional, not mandatory.
  • Entrants must keep in mind the international nature of UNESCO and the celebration of the Year and avoid any reference to a particular country, region, culture or religion.
  • The final printed poster will be A1-sized (59.4 x 84.1 cm or 23.4 × 33.1 in). Although the online entry provisions do not allow for the full A1 dimensions, your entry must include at least one image showing the entire poster design scaled to A1 proportions. Note the “Entry Provisions” section outlined further down the page.
  • You must not include any logos on your design but instead use a placeholder. The final printed posters will include the UNESCO/UN logos + the official Logo of “2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures”. To accommodate these in the poster design, entrants must save a place in their design where the official logos would be positioned in the event that your design is selected as one of the 50 to be showcased. The placeholder should be scaled to 9cm x 9cm relative to an A1 poster, and be positioned in the upper left hand corner of your poster. Click here to download the placeholder example. Since screen resolutions are different across computers, if the placeholder we have supplied does not measure 9cm x 9cm on your screen, you may recreate it to the 9x9cm dimensions.
  • Any person submitting a design within the framework of the competition certifies and warrants that his/her proposal does not violate the rights of a third party or any copyright.
  • All entrants must consult and agree to the competition Rules (see the Rules tab).

Culture Counts: UNESCO poster competition brief (via DESIGN 21)

How to enter?

Submit your designs through the social design network – DESIGN 21.

Entries should be submitted in the format of a web-resolution jpeg of 72dpi.

Additionally, entrants should have their design readily available in a 300dpi print resolution PDF in case their poster is selected as one of the 30 to be printed. If your design is chosen to be printed, and you have verified in writing your acceptance of the usage terms, you would need to add the official logos (mentioned above in the “Design Brief”) which would be supplied to you by UNESCO. (See “Proposed Usage of Winning and Selected Designs,” below, for more details).

Each design submission should be accompanied by a description (French or English only, 400 words maximum) describing the design and what it intends to illustrate.

Entries that direct users away from the DESIGN 21 website will be disqualified.