Welcome to poster town

Welcome to poster town


One of the best-kept secrets in town

Our September Toolbox Talk took us out on a field trip to the always inspiring, explicitly named 19th Biennial Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition, or as we in the Fort Collins graphic design community call it, the Poster Show. For folks outside the design community, CIIPE stands as one of those little-known secrets that keeps Fort Collins full of surprises.

As the name indicates, every two years the best posters from around the world come to Fort Collins to hang together, look beautiful and ideally come home with one of us.

Get broadsided

The best part of the Poster Show is that each entrant sends two copies: one to be sold first-come-first-served on opening night and one to hang in the exhibit and become a permanent part of the collection. Browse the full CIIPE poster collection here. The homes and offices of Fort Collins design and marketing folks are adorned with amazing, often signed posers from the best designers on the planet.CSU_Poster_Show_Toolbox_Helvetica_Poster

One of our favorites, from the 2009 Poster Show, Helvetica 50 Years by Niklaus Troxler, Willisau

The best of the best

The 19th CIIPE featured over 70 poster artists from six continents. Here’s a few of our favorites:


Happiness Depends Upon Ourselves, attribution pending


Beginning, attribution pending


attribution pending


This one has a wiener dog: Célébrer La Terre by Andrew Lewis

All in the design family

I was proud to see CIIPE posters designed by three of my instructors at the Tyler School of Art: the inimitable team of Joe Scorsone & Alice Drueding and Scott Laserow. During our visit, a young design student was doing her presentation on Scott’s work. That was fun to listen in on. Visiting a design school always makes me think of Tyler and brings a taste of bitter, metallic fear mixed with donut-fueled adrenaline to my mouth. Yummy!


Veinticinco Años! by Joe Scorsone and Alice Dreuding


Plastic Fish by Scott Laserow

Fort Collins, CO: Postertown USA

Sure it’s a bold claim, but hey, we just made it. Nobody’s optimizing the term, so Google Postertown USA in a few months, you’ll get this page and bam: It shall be done. But seriously, 36 years of hosting the world’s best posters has undoubtedly influenced the Fort Collins design community. A quick stroll around old town will prove that the medium is alive and well. From Daz Bog to Walrus Ice Cream to the windows of Hodi’s Half Note and Art Lab Fort Collins, you’ll see some posters that could compete with the world’s best.

Call the Poster Lady  (just don’t call her the Poster Lady)

The postering of Fort collins doesn’t just happen. The fact that we’re a poster town is in no small part thanks to the legendary Nancy York, who keeps the town’s posters tidy and timely. As marketing folks, we know Nancy will get our posters up in all the right places. As the fairy godparents of Art Lab, we know she’ll keep the posters in the window up to date and on topic.

The future of poster design

As the world of design gets webbier and webbier and as Toolbox focuses more on branding for technology innovators, our opportunities to design posters get fewer and farther between — but a few of our favorite local clients keep us in the game. Below are a couple examples. See more Toolbox poster design here.


A pop up poster for Art Lab’s Pop Up Art Carts
 CSU_Poster_Show_Toolbox_MakeChangeNoCo_PostersA consumer awareness campaign for MakeChange NoCo

In closing: it’s closing! Get there soon

The 19th Biennial CIIPE poster show is up through October 28, 2015. So get there this week or you’ll have to wait until 2017 to see what the best poster designers in the world have to offer.