Tips from an ESPN expert for creating a great entry in Wimbledon poster contest

A sampling of past Wimbledon posters as seen on the ESPN Tennis Facebook page. (ESPN)
A sampling of past Wimbledon posters as seen on the ESPN Tennis Facebook page. (ESPN)

The first-ever contest for U.S. fans to design the official 2014 Wimbledon poster has kicked off and the winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Wimbledon. The All England Lawn Tennis Club, home to the annual Major, has joined forces with ESPN to sponsor the contest. ESPN analysts and former Wimbledon greats Chris Evert and John McEnroe are among the judges.

John Korpics
John Korpics

ESPN Vice President of Creative Digital and Print Media John Korpics sat down with Front Row to give some creative design insight to contest participants.

What creative direction would you encourage contestants to go with this?
Have an idea in mind, don’t just make it visual. There needs to be a thought behind it. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Is it because it evokes emotion, is it because it gets you excited for the tournament, or is it because it addresses some of the uniqueness of the tournament? You need a strategy and a vision and then the visuals can support it.

Do you have a specific sports poster that you’ve seen over the years that inspires you?
There has been a great history of Olympic posters throughout the years. In my lifetime, I can remember the 1964 Tokyo Games sprinters poster really well. They tend to be very grand, graphic and sort of inspiring. They get you excited about the event and convey a sense of importance. They usually will address something that is unique to the nature of the event. So the Olympics tends to be location; [for] something like Wimbledon, you would focus on the things that make Wimbledon unique – so wearing white, it being on grass and in London. These are rituals that are specific and unique to that event.

What’s your last piece of advice to participants?
If you’re not a creative person, don’t let that stop you from trying to enter. If you have a personal connection to it, if you like tennis and if you like Wimbledon, there’s probably something that you can bring to the conversation that’s relevant. You would be surprised; some of the best ideas will come from the most unlikely people and the most unlikely places. If you can bring a personal appreciation to the project, that’s really much more important than what your visual skill set is. The simplest ideas are almost always the best.

Editor’s note: The deadline for poster submissions has been extended to March 25. On Sunday, March 16, watch ESPN2’s live telecasts of the Women’s and Men’s Championships from the BNP Paribas Open (3 p.m. ET) in Indian Wells, Calif. For more information on the poster contest, click here.

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