Award-winning posters

Poster awards have been, and still are an important instrument for the Swiss poster design industry. They contribute to a healthy competition between designers and agencies. If nothing else they help to innovate new approaches and establish new ground rules and nurture the awareness, that a good visual communication needs to be tailored to every message and each client. The Swiss Federal railways SBB launched in 1904 an award for the Swiss tourist industry, which helped to establish an excellent international reputation for the Swiss tourist posters. Founded in 1917 the Nationale Vereinigung zur Förderung des Reiseverkehrs, later called Schweizerische Verkehrszentrale SVZ and today Schweiz Tourismus (Swiss tourism board) organized from 1935 till to the 70's poster awards in the tourism industry.

Founded in 1900 in Geneva, where it is still based, the Allgemeine Plakatgesellschaft APG, contributes with great commitment to the growing success of the poster as an advertising media. For example by nominating in 1914 the commonly used Format F4 (128 X 90,5cm), and its consequent organized posting. The Federal Department of Home Affairs (EDI) started in 1941 once again a poster competition, which was implemented by the APG until 1999. The essential idea behind this initiative was that now all Swiss posters were examined and evaluated in different categories by a jury of experts. The jury was made up of specialist in the field of graphic design, which evaluated the posters once a year. Every Swiss poster classic has been nominated by this jury, and allowed it's designer to develop his career.

In the 1990's, because of the changes in communication strategies and the growth of new advertising medias, the award lost of importance. Especially criticized for the concentration of creative and aesthetic aspects, that no longer fulfilled the new strategies for the commercial poster. The first attempt to better orientate the award for the commercial poster failed. In 2002 the Allgemeine Plakatgesellschaft re-tendered the award and called it „Swiss Poster Award“. Since then they honour Swiss posters in the category of commercial, public service, culture and poster innovation.