Light, colors and architecture – meet the winners of the Paimio Sanatorium 90 poster competition!

The Paimio Sanatorium 90 poster competition was received with tremendous enthusiasm both in Finland and abroad. The international interest and overwhelming number of entries, 444 in total, took the jury by surprise. Here are the winners – take a look!

The three winners of the poster competition.
Meet the winners of the Paimio Sanatorium 90 poster competition.

THE PAIMIO SANATORIUM and Grafia, the Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland, celebrate their 90th anniversaries this year. To mark the occasion, they held an international poster competition for visual communication professionals and students in collaboration with Finnish Design Shop and so_helsinki.

The participants were invited to explore Aino and Alvar Aalto’s vision of the human relationship with the environment, architecture, and design. The Paimio Sanatorium, which was opened in 1933, has gained a global reputation as a masterpiece of modern architecture.

The poster competition held in February and March, 2023, received 444 entries from Finland (45 %) and elsewhere in the world (55 %). The jury decided to share the first prize and both winners will receive 4000 euros, while the third prize is 2000 euros. The entries were judged anonymously. Without further ado, here are the winners!

The winners of the poster competition:

Joint 1st prize, 4000 euros
Anna Meck “Holistic Healing” (Germany)

Anna Meck's poster design called Holistic Healing
Anna Meck's poster “Holistic Healing”.
A portrait of Anna Meck
Anna Meck is a Munich-based designer with focus on typography in digital and analog space.

Anna Meck: “Healing light, healing air, healing nature. My design for the 90th anniversary of Paimio Sanatorium plays with the subjective perception of light. The poster is meant to represent light as a feeling and with that as an individual feeling of healing. The warmth and radiance – in terms of color based on the color concept of Aino Aalto – is based on the fundamental parameters of light, air and nature that form the design of Alvar Aalto. The emotional aspect of seeing is stimulated and the viewer feels warmth. 90 years ago as well as today: a timeless healing feeling.”

Joint 1st prize, 4000 euros
Petri Henriksson “Aalto Variation I” (Norway/Finland)

Petri Henriksson's poster design “Aalto Variation I”.
Petri Henriksson's poster “Aalto Variation I”.
A portrait of Petri Henriksson
Petri Henriksson is a Finnish graphic designer based in Oslo.

Petri Henriksson: “My poster features organic shapes made from paper cutouts, letters and hand-painted lines that mimic the natural curves found in Aalto's architecture and interiors. The poster aims to capture the essence of Aalto's design, which emphasised a connection to nature and people, where the organic and imperfect play an important role.”

3rd prize, 2000 euros
Rosa Aamunkoi “Take a seat” (United States / Finland)

Rosa Aamunkoi's poster design “Take a seat”.
Rosa Aamunkoi's poster “Take a seat”.
A portrait of Rosa Aamunkoi
Rosa Aamunkoi is a graphic designer, concept artist and AD living and working in Brooklyn.

Rosa Aamunkoi: “This poster celebrates the joyful details of color and shape found in the unique hospital environment.”

Honourable mentions:

Jolanda Jokinen “Shapes of Happiness” (Finland)

Jolanda Jokinen's poster design “Shapes of Happiness”.
Jolanda Jokinen's poster “Shapes of Happiness”.

Tuukka Tujula “Raitis ilma” (“Fresh Air”, Finland)

Tuukka Tujula's poster design “Raitis ilma”.
Tuukka Tujula's poster “Raitis ilma”.

Linda Linko “Beyond Function” (Finland)

Linda Linko's poster design “Beyond Function”.
Linda Linko's poster “Beyond Function”.

The awarded posters, including all three winners and those with honourable mentions, will be available at Finnish Design Shop in May 2023. The posters will be showcased in the Human Perspectives poster exhibition at the Paimio Sanatorium in summer 2023.

The jury also selected entries by the following designers to the exhibition: Mimosa Aronen, Samuel Cabiron, Andrea Chronopoulos, Reetta Costanzo, Rose Hallgren, Jussi Hellsten, Petri Henriksson, Marika Iivari, Pekka Jokinen, Jade Järvinen, Laura Kamppi, Anna Kesäniemi, Kärt Koosapoeg, Timo Kuoppala, Hanna Kääriäinen, Ilmari Lehtinen, Tommi Lehto, Linda Linko, Laura Mustonen, Erica Preli, Yoanna Rönnqvist, Eetu Saikkala, Ville Savimaa, and Petra Zoubek.

“High-quality entries from around the world”

The patron of the competition was Rafaela Seppälä. “The standard of the entries we received from around the world was very high. This showcases the continuing influence of Aino and Alvar Aalto as pioneers of holistic well-being. It’s been 90 years since Paimio Sanatorium first opened, but the Aaltos’ values and their color design ideas remain as relevant as ever”, Seppälä says.

According to Ilkka Kärkkäinen, head of the jury, the standout entries were built on strong ideas and executed both professionally and meticulously.

• Read also: Ilkka Kärkkäinen: “Our society craves for things to feel like something” >

Overall, he describes the style of the designs as everything from flat and minimalist to humoristic, abstract, and traditional poster art. “The winners represent a wealth of styles executed to the highest standards. The joint first prize was awarded to a polished and elegant typography poster and a powerful and striking abstract work. Our excellent winning posters also showcase classical graphic design language, airy ambience, and playful illustrations.”

The Human Perspective poster exhibition will be open from 12 May to 30 September, 2023 at Paimio Sanatorium in Finland.

See also:

All posters at Finnish Design Shop >
The Paimio Sanatorium and Grafia turn 90 >

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