Melissa Washburn Wins Popcorn Fest Poster Prize

By: Darlene McCarty Cohn Last Updated: May 3, 2012

mwashburnposterValparaiso Community Festivals and Events has selected Valparaiso artist Melissa Washburn’s design as the 1st Place Winner of their 2012 Popcorn Festival Poster Contest. Washburn’s design will be featured on the official posters, T-shirts and buttons for this year’s 34th Annual Popcorn Festival.

VCFE Executive Director Tina St. Aubin said the VCFE received 24 entries for this year’s contest. “This is the first year we didn’t have a theme. …The hope was that it would spur a wider range of creativity.” Washburn, who works as a graphic designer for Group 7even in Valparaiso, took advantage of that freedom to create an image which honored the longstanding community tradition of the Popcorn Festival while incorporating her own artistic interests. “I did a lot of background research, looking at old popcorn boxes and typography. All the pieces really came together. I was able to successfully use typography and something I drew by hand and some decorative elements in a way that I feel came together really well.” The result is a bold and distinctive red, white, and black design with a retro feel. “I think it will be really fun to do the T-shirt and the button,” Washburn said. “I think it’s going to translate in some really interesting ways.”

Each year the winning poster is chosen by a rotating panel of judges. This year’s panel included Lori Good, Executive Assistant to Mayor Jon Costas, Susan Brychell, Director of Purdue University North Central—Porter County, and Susan Antoszewski, Marketing & Communications Specialist for the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.

The VCFE also awards a People’s Choice prize. All contest entries will be on display during May, starting Friday, May 4th, at rTrail Collective Edge, 54 W. Lincolnway in Valparaiso. The public will be able to vote for a favorite design either online or via paper ballot. Voting instructions will be available at rTrail Collective Edge.