Mar 092010
Authors: Matt Miller

Joey Gudenas is challenging people to “Enjoy the little things.” Or at least that’s the message that sits at the heart of his top-64-in-the-world poster.

“If we all took a step back we would be a lot better off,” he said of his poster, which is one of eight CSU student posters in the final 64 of 300 original entries at the 2010 AIGA Poster Clash.

After submitting their posters to the international contest without the highest of expectations, Gudenas and his classmates now make up one-eighth of the final 64 competitors, beating out hundreds of students and professionals from around the world.

“It feels good to know that you have the talent to compete with people who make a career out of it,” Gudenas said.

With their success in the first portion of the competition, the students have been given a taste of success that sophomore graphic designer Lindsay Bergquist said they hope will motivate them at the start of their career.

“It’s a great starting off point,” she said. “It’s the first step of getting into the graphic design industry.”

The theme of the competition is “change one thing,” and entries, which can be viewed on the Web site,, range in topic from child abuse to legalizing marijuana. Bergquist’s poster shows a measuring stick comparing the list of countries that use the metric system to the three that don’t, including the U.S.

“I was influenced by how the metric system was what they chose to use in the Olympics,” she said.

Lauren Lafontaine depicts an oil barrel with the outline of a wind turbine and the words “Insert here.”

“It’s an international contest and I wanted to do a topic that everyone could relate to,” she said.

Lafontaine said she has faith that her poster can go even further in the competition.

“It’s a very simple topic,” she said. “You only have three to five seconds to get your point across.”

The students were given a week to work on their posters before submitting them on March 3.

“I was impressed with how quickly they came up with a visual solution,” said first-year graphic design instructor Eli Marco Hall, adding that he was amazed with how well most of his intro to graphic design students did.

Hall motivated his students by promising them A’s on the assignment if they made it to the top 64, he said, and to his surprise, many of his students met that challenge.

“This is the most A’s I have ever given out,” Hall said. “I expected one or two of them to get in but some of them really took it upon themselves to get it done.”

The contest began with a panel of judges that narrowed the entries down to 64. The public is now voting on the posters online where they will be narrowed down to 16. These final posters will be displayed in Fredrick, Md. at the main event on March 18, where the final winner will be named.

“As far as the quality of the design and the concepts they are right up there with the professionals,” Hall said. “Now it’s just going to be a matter of what the public likes.”

Voting is open to anyone and can be done online at

The winner of the contest will receive the full suite of Adobe software, valued at about 1,800 dollars, and the tournament champion belt.

Staff writer Matt Miller can be reached at

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