Roland Tiangco's Dirty Hands Poster

The dirty poster that is not only beautiful, but brings interactivity to print through self exploration. Come in and get your hands dirty on what makes this poster fly.

The concept of the “dirty poster”, created by Roland Tiangco, is quite ingenious by design, instead of being a poster that is only good for its looks, it offers an interactive method to get a point across. With one side covered in a powdered pigment, the user rubs his or her hands over the other side to uncover a hidden message. In this poster, the message reads: “The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty”.

Hands On

This poster requires assembly by the individual. By using the powder on one side, the message on the other can be revealed; Smearing the black powder on the page, the individual reveals the message pertaining to how getting their hands dirty will enhance the future—in this case, it was creating the work of art.


Roland Tiangco shows us how we should get our hands “dirty” in order to improve the future: We shouldn’t be content with letting someone else handle a workload that we could do ourselves. While some of us may work in positions that are not of our dreams or strenuous, it is that hard work we put into the job that keeps the wheels of the world turning. It is those individuals who put the effort into the work to make the job successful, who support those that may take advantage of it.

The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty

Dirt Don’t Hurt

To some, the poster is true testament to how getting dirty isn’t the end of the world. Those who are willing to have his or her hands smeared in black pigment proved to themselves, and others looking at the poster, that they are willing to do what needs to be done (at least metaphorically). There are too many people in the world who view dirty work like a scientist views hydrochloric acid. If more people were willing to get their hands dirty, the artist implies we could bridge together a more understanding community.

More Than Words

There are a lot of people in the world who collect posters and insightful sayings for the sheer attraction of entertainment. Not many will pour thought into the words of the device they had bought or printed in order to understand its meaning. These posters could mean much more to the owner aside from beautiful scenery or funny images. A simple poster covered in black dust for example, gives tremendous insight to those who work at revealing the text. You should take a few minutes to reflect on the words and realize they mean more to you than you initially realized. They could provide an insight into yourself that could be greatly beneficial to your personal growth.

The message in Roland Tiangco’s poster is one that strikes close to home for many of us. As this piece is seen by many as a tool for motivation, it reminds us that through hard work and determination the world can be improved. It’s easy to have someone else do the job for us, but it’s far more rewarding to do the work ourselves.

When you look at this kind of project you see how inherently simple and yet effective it is. That is something we all need to keep in mind. Keeping our ideas simple is the first step towards creating something that will make a lasting impact. What do you think of this poster? What are some ways you like engaging with print pieces?