The STA 100 Show Returns

An inclusively-exclusive design competition showcasing the top 100 examples of exceptional graphic design and typography, the STA100 competition has been relaunched by the Society of Typographic Arts after a many-year hiatus. After extending its call for entries through August 1, this year’s competition was open to professional, student, personal, and, for the first time this year, unpublished work from anyone in the world. And the show is this Friday!

The entries have been collected and judging is probably happening even as you read. Chicago’s oldest professional design organization will present the selected 100 works this Friday, August 5 at the STA100 Judges Night Opening Celebration in Chicago’s River North.

The STA100 show, launched in 1978, has a long history with an even older organization.

Since it was founded in Chicago on October 17, 1927, the STA has existed to encourage excellence and professionalism in all aspects of design, printing and typography. Originally a chapter of the New York-based American Institute of Graphic Arts, in 1927 the Society of Typographic Arts created its own identity as an organization of Chicago’s leading professional designers, typographers, and printers. Typographers R. Hunter Middleton and Osward Bruce Cooper were early Fellows of the Society, which was firmly established by 1939 when L. Moholy-Nagy and the Bauhaus came to Chicago. Through the years the activities of the STA and the work of its members have helped sustain the city’s tradition of excellence in all aspects of the graphic arts.

— from the 1978 STA100 Show catalog

The cover of the STA110 Show catalog
The cover of the 1978 STA100 Show catalog

To find out more about the Society for Typographic Arts (or just to look at some fantastic design) check out the STA website for current happenings, look through this catalog archive at UIC (scanned by yours truly) to thumb through some of their older publications, or browse the Chicago Design Archive for a little bit of everything design-y all the way back to 1869.


Beth Voigt

Beth is a graphic designer in Chicago, a superhero in her own mind, and absolutely nothing on TV. She wrangles fonts professionally, pummels code amateurishly, and has been known to shove fire in her face for fun. Fond of volunteering, late-night bursts of productivity, and making snacks, she dislikes grocery shopping and sticky public transit and is only on her second smartphone. Her opinion is that you should try everything twice; if you don't like it, you were probably doing it wrong the first time around. If external links are your thing, here are links to Twitter and Instagram, and you can support her ongoing weirdness by buying her a coffee or six.

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