Pixels of Fury Comes to Seattle

Nominated by their local AIGA chapter, six local designers faced off last night at the Makers Space in Seattle enduring a battle of both creative design with a blend of powerful messaging. Find out who won and what you wont out of it.

Sponsored by AIGA and Shutterstock, each contestant was armed with a Macbook, Adobe Creative Suite and twenty minutes access to an instant lightbox. Only one would leave with the title of Pixels of Fury Champion.

When asked what the mood was like on stage, competitor Rene Neri simply said, “Chaotic.” With every crop and color adjustment under the watchful eye of two local judges, as well as the third judge, being an audience of 200+ people, the intensity was clear.

The brick wall where the designers competed

Asked to compose a poster that encouraged the audience to simply “take action”, ambiguity intentional, the designers all quickly displayed their own unique style. With messaging and concepts varying from “freeing your mind” to “killing your television”, the spectrum of final posters was about as diverse as one could have imagined. To put this in perspective, when asked, Brian Thurston said his unlikely inspiration for his design of a large woman dressed in formal attire while holding a gun, came from a recent episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

With Stephanie Battershell winning the first round with her “Kill Your Television, Free Your Mind” and Michelle Yang’s  second round victory with her vintage luchadores themed election poster, they were set to compete one-on-one in the final round for the title of local Pixels of Fury champion. The crowd now full on pizza, beer and cupcakes, would ultimately lay judgement on who they thought should leave with the trophy. But there was a twist. Both Battershell and Yang were now required to use the theme of the other’s poster from the first round to create their own version.

The final two posters in progress (Battershell — left, Yang — right)

Both feverishly working in front of an awe-inspired crowd, Battershell immediately jumped on here idea with Yang playing with a few concepts before diving into her design. With very contrasting designs, the two official judges were split with one vote going each way; the crowd ultimately deciding that Yang’s poster was their favorite of the night.

Yang, left and Battershell, right; the final two

“It was just an honor to be competing next to Michelle, she’s a great designer” Battershell said, “I had a lot of fun tonight, I’d definitely do it again.” When asked about her victory, Yang said she was just happy to have met a bunch of other local designers. “My main goal tonight coming in was to have fun, and I definitely did.”