As a symbol carrier for recording and communicating language, words have played an extremely significant role in the course of human civilization, both as an important means of communication and as a witness and creator of history and culture. In the long pursuit of civilization, people have continued to explore the ways in which words can help communicate and express themselves, and as a result, words have taken on an increasingly rich and diverse forms of expression.
In the new era of rapid development of technology and information, people’s lives have become increasingly fast-paced, and traditional reading has crossed the boundaries of the context and medium of the times. The visualization of words has become an important topic at present.
Words are not only a symbol carrier of sound language, but also a collection of sound language and visual language. The dissemination of information no longer relies entirely on the reading of sound language, and visual reading has become the mainstream of today’s culture. The figurative language of word posters can better convey the connotation of poster design, strengthen the visual expression and communication power of words, and allow designers and viewers to read, understand and communicate across time and space, becoming the new design fashion.
Organized by Nanjing University of the Arts, the “Cool Words” Words Art Design Exhibition is a joint design exhibition for typeface researchers, graphic designers and outstanding students from art colleges, which is both original and exploratory, aiming to promote the creative transformation and innovative development of typography. “Cool Words” Words Art Design Exhibition has been successfully held for four years since 2016, with strong support and active participation from professional designers, students and teachers. The large number of entries received has made the competition the most sought-after major design event in the word theme category. The jury, consisting of world-renowned graphic designers, experts and professors, follows international practice and selects a number of forward-looking winning entries in a fair and standardized manner.
Nanjing University of the Arts
National Museum of Chinese Writing
Nanjing Arts Institute School of design
Language Commission of Jiangsu Education Department
Japan Printing Museum
Tokyo Type Directors Club
XinHua Daily Press Group
Jinling Scriptural Press
Chinese Character Form Information Professional Committee of Chinese Information Processing Society of China
Theme Design A:
Any keyword chosen for the theme will be presented in the poster with a corresponding meaning and can be expanded. As an international design competition in a multilingual and cultural context, all theme words can also be presented in foreign languages, and all posters that meet the theme requirements are eligible to participate.
Theme Design B: Post-epidemic – Creation
The COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world in 2020 had a profound impact on the development of human society, from national institutions to the lives of individuals, and triggered the development and change in many areas, with national economies, social culture, and lifestyle facing new opportunities and challenges. After this period of uncertainty, we are now approaching the “post-epidemic era”. This theme will present the thinking and perception of human society in the “post-epidemic era” from the path of textual visualization.
Theme design C: The Beauty of Books-The Publishing books for designing
Word is not only an important symbol carrier to convey and record content information, but also one of the core elements in the overall composition of the book. In addition to the meaning of the text itself, it can also stimulate people’s artistic imagination by means of visual modeling, such as font design, size differentiation, color relationship, spatial sequence, etc., so as to play the role of finishing point or rendering foil for content expression. This theme takes the overall design of publishing books as the carrier, through this comprehensive construction system, to show the diversified functions and charm of the text.
Theme design D:Cultural and creative design
Oracle bone inscriptions have been handed down for thousands of years, whose unique inter-frame structure and formal beauty have forged a solid link in the history of Chinese civilization, and have brought special inspiration to today’s cultural creation. In his congratulatory letter to the 120th anniversary of the discovery and study of oracle bone inscriptions, General Secretary Xi Jinping mentioned that “the discovery of oracle bone inscriptions in Yin Dynasty ruins is of epoch-making significance in the history of Chinese civilization and even human civilization. Oracle bone inscriptions are the earliest established writing system ever found in China and the source of Chinese characters and the root of excellent traditional Chinese culture, which deserve to be treasured and better inherited and developed.” The theme aims to examine the cultural and creative value of oracle bone inscriptions in today’s times, to fuse oracle bone inscriptions with modern design language, to use its unique charm to travel back in time, to see through the traditional Chinese cultural connotations contained in Chinese characters, and to shine through a variety of media and perspectives.
Entry Fee: None
Target: Professional designers, students and teachers, artists, words researchers and design institutions worldwide
Time: July 8th, 2021 – October 15th, 2021 (24:00)
Poster design, book design, layout design, logo symbol design, set typeface design, monogram design, Chinese and foreign character combination design, digital media art, movable type, character moulds, engraved lettering, integrated material art, etc.
Electronic file of the design: A.size A4, jpg format, imagesize not more than 2mb.
B.movie，mp4 format,moviesize not more than 20mb.
Name the work in the format of “name + work name + work category”, e.g.
Contact: Chen Qixu 18651606106
Deadline: October 15th, 2021 (24:00) (physical works postmarked by local post)
The organizing committee will announce the list of candidates after the preliminary review, and the candidates must submit the corresponding final documents or material objects according to the requirements.
For details, please pay attention to the relevant push of the Organizing Committee in the later stage.
Participation Certification will be provided for all posters been selected into exhibition. And own the purchase discount on《The works of The 5th “Cool Words” Words Art Design Exhibition 2021》.
Entries must be the original work of the participant or team. If the entry is found to be a copy of another person’s idea or concept, or if the work is subject to disputes over copyright or intellectual property rights, the author will be responsible for the consequences and the Organizing Committee will disqualify him/her from the competition.
The Organizing Committee reserves the right of final interpretation in case of any doubt regarding these rules. Any unresolved matters relating to this competition are subject to further rules and interpretation by the Organizing Committee.
Katsumi Asaba (Japan)，
Ahn Sang-soo (Korea)，
Cao Fang (China)
The Organizing Committee reserves the final interpretation for the number and distribution of awards.
This exhibition will be jointly organized by Jiangsu Education Department, Xinhua Daily Press Group and National Museum of Chinese Writing in December，2021.
The Organizing Committee owns the intellectual property rights of the works submitted in this exhibition, and it has the right to photograph, reprint, publish and promote the works. Besides, the Organizing Committee will compile, design and publish the 2021 Nanjing University of the Arts “Cool Words” Words Art Design Exhibition Collection to record and promote this event. All selected and award-winning authors will be given a copy after the publication of the collection (postage unpaid).