School of Art, Media, and Technology

UNESCO launches global design contest for World Press Freedom Day 2016 – deadline 11/20

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Information, information and more information! We all make decisions based on the information we have. Access to quality information, especially public information, helps make better informed decisions.

Freedom of information is a human right. It is also an integral part of the fundamental human right of freedom of expression “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. Freedom of information is also a precondition for informed public participation in governance and in the democratic process.

In recent years, there have been many concerns with the restriction on the flow of information. Issues such as surveillance overreach, the security of private data, and protection of journalists’ sources have all come to center stage in the last few years.

On World Press Freedom Day on the 3 May 2016, we want to put a spot light on the importance of freedom of information and the need to create a culture of openness and transparency by running a contest to create the “global look” for the visual identity of WPFD2016. The global thematic of the WPFD 2016 is “This Is Your Right! Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms”

We are looking for designs that encapsulate the idea of culture of openness and transparency. It should consider that everyone should have the rights to publicly held information (except in very specific cases) and that access to quality information has the potential to improve quality of life.

The winning design must be adaptable to different formats including for usage on UNESCO website banner, social media networks, standing banner (roll-up banner), A3-ratio print poster, A4-size booklet, conference badges, and interview backdrop. It should also factor in that the final design will be made in the six official languages of UNESCO (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian)

UNESCO is the United Nations specialized agency with the mandate to protect freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity. UNESCO oft quoted famous founding words states that since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace must be constructed.

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  • Winner of the competition will be remunerated to create the “global look” for World Press Freedom Day 2016 for print and online uses.
  • Honourable mention for the top 19 submissions. Selected submissions will be featured on UNESCO’s dedicated website for the Day.

Technical note:

All design must be in vector format and be submitted to UNESCO in A4-size (portrait)

Once selected, the winning designer must be able to work with UNESCO to adapt the winning design into various formats including UNESCO website banner, social media networks, standing banner (roll-up banner), A3-ratio print poster, A4-size booklet, conference badges, and interview backdrop.

Deadline for submission: 20 November 2015. Please submit your design towpfd2016(at)


The contest is open to all interested designers.


Legal note:

By submitting to the contest, the designer agrees to grant UNESCO the right to publish, reproduce, diffuse, and communicate to the public in any form and platform, including digital, all or in part of the design.

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