Calling all artists: Summerfair poster contest now open

Greater Cincinnati artists have an opportunity to create the visual symbol of the long-running Summerfair fine arts and craft festival – and pocket $3,000 in the process.

The annual Summerfair poster design competition is open to anyone 18 and older who lives within 75 miles of downtown Cincinnati. The chosen concept will serve as the official visual icon for the festival and function as the centerpiece of advertising and outreach efforts. 

Now entering its 57th year, Summerfair features works by more than 300 artists from around the country and Canada, as well as an acoustic stage for local entertainment, food and a youth arts area. The 2024 show will take place May 31 through June 2.

Patrons of Summerfair Cincinnati walk the grounds of Coney Island
Patrons of Summerfair Cincinnati walk the grounds of Coney Island

Summerfair – which is a nonprofit – stressed a few key elements to consider as part of the design. A major note is that while Summerfair takes place at Coney Island, it’s not affiliated with the day-to-day operations of the park or pool venue. As such, the successful designs will not reflect imagery associated with Coney Island.

Instead, posters should reflect the essence of festival itself. Summerfair posted a gallery of previous winning designs on its website to serve as examples.

The contest requires all designs to include the following information: 

  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 2024 Dates: May 31 – June 2, 2024 
  • Rain or shine
  • Selected exhibits of Fine Arts and Crafts
  • Coney Island, Kellogg at I-275
  • Friday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Designs must be adaptable for other uses, including the program cover, local billboards, advertisements and merchandise such as T-shirts and tote bags. Designs must also work in both full color and black and white.

Entries are due no later than Jan. 6. Artists may submit more than one entry. 

Summerfair requires all submissions to be dropped off at one of six designed sites, including its office on Five Mile Road. The locations are available online. Those interested are advised to call ahead before making a drop-off.

The 2023 winning poster design by artist Danny Caro

All entries must be vertical, 16 inches by 24 inches and mounted to mat board or foam core for judging. Any 3D, sculptural or bas-relief designs must be submitted as an entry-size two-dimensional reproduction for judging.

If selected, the design must be made available in a digital, high-resolution format. The winning entry will be enlarged to vertical 24 inches by 36 inches.

Each submission must have a completed official entry form as well. That can be filled out on the Summerfair website.

The guidelines are also available on the Summerfair website.

Judges will review all poster entries in January and choose three or four entries for presentation to Summerfair Cincinnati membership. The group will vote by ballot for the winning design. The screening committee is made up of select members of Summerfair Cincinnati and the local art community.

The winner will be announced on Jan. 17. First prize is the full $3,000.

Summerfair poster contest

Discover more from Movers & Makers

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.