In the fall of 2021 I was invited to create a poster for the 3rd Emirates International Poster Festival, part of design week in Dubai, which was part of the World Expo 2020 hosted there. The organizing committee selected 100 designers from around the world to “introduce poster images that reflect the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

My concept centered on the themes of creation and creativity, and the use of repeating motifs, circles, and mandala-like patterns to evoke movement and connection. I searched for a quote or text to extend the meaning of the imagery, and settled on this one from Ursula K le Guin: “As great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.” I chose the open source Google font Brygada 1918, a revival typeface created to celebrate 100 years of independence of the Republic of Poland in 2018. Some of the mandala shapes use letterforms and glyphs from this typeface, while others use open source photographs of objects.

The final poster is shown here, and was exhibited in Dubai in November 2021. You can see a virtual tour of the exhibition here.