LOGAN SQUARE — A Logan Square resident's posters promoting a greener Chicago will be displayed around the city this summer.
Alex Gilbert’s poster design was among those chosen for the City of Chicago’s City in a Garden design competition, which called on local residents to use Chicago’s motto — “Urbs in horto” (city in a garden) — to create a “powerful, attention-grabbing, memorable poster, incorporating what it means for Chicago to be a sustainable city.”
Gilbert, 25, channeled the style of renowned Chicago designer John Massey in his prize-winning submission, he said. That work will be displayed around the city in June.
His winning design is “very minimal and focused more on color,” Gilbert said. “The plane of green intersecting Chicago’s colors is reminiscent of the city intersecting with sustainability and the environment.”
He tried to keep the symbolism clean and simple, he added — the design is even further simplified by an impactful white space, reminiscent of Chicago architecture and its iconic skyline.
“I think every designer will tell you they’ve been drawing since they were young, but my real start came from Harrington College [of Design],” Gilbert said. “I always wanted to pursue the arts — designing was a practicality more than anything else but it ended up turning into a strong passion of mine.”
His work with nonprofits and community arts organizations like Spudnik Press and the Chicago Design Museum helped hone his skills in recent years, he added.
“The idea of sustainability falls under a larger umbrella of doing something that is meaningful and impactful,” he said. “Something I’m really passionate about is working for causes that are noble. It’s such an important topic in this current climate, to have that sustainable lifestyle — coexisting in a way that’s not a detriment to our environment.”
Gilbert described winning among such talented competition as a "humbling experience" and motivation for his work moving forward. His work will be displayed on city bus shelters and he'll receive $500 cash.
“Something that I’m always interested in is being able to share these interests with other people and to combine my interest with different fields,” Gilbert said of his plans for the future. “I guess the options are endless.”