Vintage Poster Contest


Judges Aaron Cohick, Jean Gumpper, and Katja Rivera announce 1st-3rd place  WINNERS of the 2022 Conservation in the West

STUDENT VINTAGE POSTER CONTEST:  Classic Posters, Contemporary Message

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1 s t   P l a c e   W i n n e r

Coconino National Forest, Arizona
Poster by Isabel DeVito


I interned for the National Park Service near Flagstaff in 2021 and spent weekends hiking and camping in the Coconino National Forest. I chose this view of ponderosa pine forest below the San Francisco Peaks to illustrate wildfires, perhaps the most serious impact of climate change on public lands in the Rocky Mountain West. Coconino and many forests are experiencing prolonged drought and a higher incidence of severe wildfires. These impacts threaten not only biodiversity and protected species but millions of visitors' ability to recreate. The public supports transitioning away from fossil fuels and making our public lands a net-zero source of carbon emissions. The State of the Rockies survey found that 72% of Arizonans support prioritizing recreation and conservation over fossil fuel extraction. “Keep It In the Ground” is a national campaign by NGOs to advocate for the cessation of all new oil, gas, and coal development on public lands. 

--  Isabel DeVito

2 n d   P l a c e  W i n n e r

Arches National Park, Utah
Poster by Charlie Bragg


I chose Arches National Park as my subject. I’ve visited several times and am awed by both the beauty and complexity of the area. It’s an important site because it’s so well-known and easily accessible, and therefore busier and more prone to destruction. By suggesting respect and preservation of the land, I hope to remind and enforce the idea of leaving no trace. Since climate change has become a politicized issue, it is important to stress that preservation and conservation are supported by “everybody”. Furthermore, by presenting this as common knowledge, people should feel more obliged to partake in the effort. While issues like drought, use of public land, and indigenous rights are in the Utah climate change conversation, a simple reminder to respect the land and leave no trace can go a long way for the over one million annual visitors of the park, especially the new ones. 

-- Charlie Bragg

3 r d   P l a c e  W i n n e r

Glacier National Park, Montana
Poster by Sophie Dua

SophieDuaSAVEGLACIERSAs highlighted in the Conservation in the West 2021 Survey, climate change is seen as one of the most serious problems facing the rocky mountain region, and support to reduce human contributions to climate change is high. Because of these attitudes, I chose to center the message of this poster around bringing awareness to some of the ramifications of a warming climate, as well as encouraging a feeling of responsibility to join the fight against climate change. What better way to present this than through Glacier National Park? Glacier has not only seen a dramatic increase in tourism since the pandemic but also has one of the most tangible examples of the impact of climate change: rapidly melting glaciers. The future of Glacier is ever so tied to the future of climate change, and how we might all take steps to minimize its consequences.

--  Sophie Dua



Coconino – Keep it in the Ground

• Dynamic composition 

• Significant transformation from source photo, inventive

• Good use of a limited color palette, with neutrals, brights, and complements 

• Strong connection to survey results 


Arches Respect and Preserve 

• Lots of colors, kind of wild, but it all works together 

• Use of humor in the message

• Fun composition and use of text

• Connection with survey results


Glacier – Save the Glaciers

• Nice composition with use of frame and type

• Thoughtful styling on the type

• Significant transformation from source photo 

• Strong connection to survey results, plus they made an excellent point about the melting glaciers being one of the most visible signs of climate change

•Beautiful color palette


CaseyMillhoneREMEMBERBUGSRocky Mountain – Remember Bugs Made This
Poster by Casey Millhone

•Great premise

•Connection with survey results 

•Design is bright and eye-catching


Bears Ears - For the People, Land, and Water
Poster by Natasha Yskamp Long

•Great message that pushes tribal consultation


Grand Canyon – Magnum Fire
Poster by Sofie Miller

•Interesting use of cartoon framing.

•Unusual approach.

Promotional Posters

CC letterpress students designed promotional posters for the 2022 contest.  
By Kaitlin Steinfort, '22 and Mar Wilson, '23

Letterpress vintage poster Rocky MtnVintage letterpress poster Grand TetonLetterpress vintage poster Yellowstone


The Federal Art Act of 1937, among other things, helped promote the visitation of residents and international tourists to a newly created National Parks system.  Last summer, the number of visitors and the number of parks visited more than doubled than in years past.  Today, the message to visitors and outdoor recreationists, would be a different one if we were to create new promotional posters for visiting our national lands.

1930s poster

National Parks poster

The State of the Rockies Conservation in the West Poll surveys people in the 8-state Rocky Mountain Region about their attitudes toward public land conservation and other current environmental, social, and political issues we face living in the West.  The poll consistently demonstrates a growing desire to protect our nationally designated public spaces.

"We’re seeing strong voter concern for nature, which is translating into calls for bold action on public lands in the West,” said State of the Rockies Project director Katrina Miller-Stevens, a Colorado College economics professor.  “If federal and state policy leaders are looking for direction on public lands, the view from the West is clear," said Miller-Stevens.

2021 poll respondents are concerned for the future of nature.  Protection of water, land, and wildlife continue to be important to Rocky Mountain resident voters -- loss of wildlife habitat is considered an extremely serious problem. Two-thirds of sampled western voters want Congress to protect public lands and the "outdoor way of life" from energy development.  When asked, 69% of poll participants want Congress to focus more on protecting sources of clean water, air and habitat than on ensuring we produce more domestic energy. 







What Makes a Good Poster?  Watch this for tips.

Videos by Eric Ingram, '23


Students will create vintage style digital posters with contemporary conservation/environment "mottos."  This Bryce Canyon National Park poster is an example of a poster created during the Federal Art Project; the old vintage poster now recreated as what students may come up with using their own imaginations and by exploring the survey results on public and national lands.  Of course, this mock-up is more of a spoof; but witty text and images would be welcome.  The direction each student goes is only bound by the topics covered in the poll that deal with conservation of public lands.  We will print the winning posters and hope to collaborate with the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum to exhibit the collection of letterpress and digitally-created posters.

2021 mock up poster
EXAMPLE of a 2021
Student VINTAGE poster


The State of the Rockies project invites students to submit a digital image of a vintage-style poster of a national park, monument, or forest in the 8-state Rocky Mountain region that includes a contemporary conservation message.   Your submission must include an explanation of why or how your contemporary conservation motto is relevant to current conservation attitudes of residents in the 8-state Rocky Mountain West (highlighted in the Conservation in the West 2021 poll and how or why your motto is relevant to the national park, monument, forest, you chose.  Please submit a 150-word maximum justification for choosing the place you chose -- explain to us why, how, and/or what conservation efforts are critical for the future of the public space your poster represents. 

Please SUBMIT your entry to by midnight December 15, 2021, BLOCK 4 Week 4. Use CC OneDrive to share large files.

1st Place $700
2nd Place $500
3rd Place $250 

WINNERS notified J-Block


Judges will choose winning posters based on the following criteria:

1. How well your conservation motto and justification relate to conservation concerns reported by recent Conservation in the West poll findings.
2. Composition of poster
3. Creative use of the historical national park poster style
4. Use of color
5. Impact of message


  • Files must be in jpeg or png format.
  • Posters should be at least 11” x 17”, but can be larger. Choose a size that works for your composition.
  • Resolution of files should be 600 dpi (we need high-res files so that we can print them for display). 


Aaron Cohick is a book artist and publisher based in Colorado Springs, CO, where he runs the NewLights Press and The Press at Colorado College. Aaron's work, under both imprints, is held in public and private collections all over the world, including the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University, SFMOMA Library, the Letterform Archive, and the Tate Britain Library. He has taught workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the Bemis School of Art, the San Francisco Center for the Book, Naropa University, and Penland School of Crafts.

Jean Gumpper is Artist in Residence and Senior Lecturer in the art department at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her color woodcut prints are represented by William Havu Gallery in Denver, Davidson Gallery in Seattle; Ebo Gallery in New York; Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis; Olson Larson in Des Moines; and Open Studio in Toronto, Canada.  Jean’s prints are in collections of The Art Bank at Department of State, Washington D.C; in museums, universities and art centers as well as in collections across the United States, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, Nepal and Sweden. She received an Individual Visual Artist Fellowship award from the Colorado Council on the Arts.

Katja Rivera (she/her) is the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. Recent curatorial projects include Ronny Quevedo: at the line (FAC), Harold Mendez: the years now (Logan Center, University of Chicago), and Traduttore, Traditore (Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago). Prior to joining the FAC, Katja worked at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago and in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her projects have been supported by the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Foundation and the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, among others. Katja holds an MA in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin and is a PhD Candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she specializes in modern and contemporary art with a focus on experimental practices in Mexico. 

Sponsored by State of the Rockies Project and supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.  For more information, EMAIL Cyndy Hines

Report an issue - Last updated: 03/09/2022