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Tacoma Film Festival poster has distinct Northwest feel

Winning design comes from East Coast entry

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The Tacoma Film Festival hosted by The Grand Cinema strives to fulfill its mission "to enrich our community by bridging the gap between ourselves and the outstanding works of independent film." And through grassroots efforts and the support of the creative community and admirers alike, organizers fulfill that mission heading into their second annual event, which starts today.

To promote the event, The Grand held a competition to select one winner for this year's poster design. The Grand received tons of submissions both locally and internationally and even some from college students who used the competition as a class project, according to Rachel Marecle, director of community development with the Grand. Deciding factors included feedback from Grand Cinema attendees along with a panel comprised of marketing and graphic design gurus deciding among the most popular. And perhaps the most important factor was how the poster design would look on film festival programs.

Cameron Taylor from Hundred, W.Va., a recent graduate of Fairmont State University, came out on top with his Northwest inspired poster entry.

When I inquired how he had drafted his design, Taylor says research was the key.

"Before I even started sketching ideas out on paper, I went online and tried to get a better feel for the city of Tacoma and the Pacific Northwest," Taylor says. "Also, I looked at some of the poster entries from 2011, and I saw a comment on The Weekly Volcano website that said, 'We hear The Grand folks have grown tired of posters that include Mount Rainer and the Narrows Bridge.' So with that knowledge I set out on creating a uniquely original design without using those two main landmarks of Tacoma."

It was a hit with judges.

"The design meets the need of the more mature crowd while appealing to a younger demographic, so not too cutting edge but represents Tacoma with a nice outdoorsy theme that was so Pacific Northwest," Marecle says. "We wanted to distinguish ourselves from larger festivals and didn't want to choose entries that focused too much on an assigned theme."

The festival poster sets the stage with a starlit sky and features some friendly wildlife holding a sign that proclaims our motto, "You'll Like Tacoma."

"My main inspiration was an old black & white photo that said, 'You'll Like Tacoma,' in giant letters along a shoreline (which I found online and believe was from 1909)," Taylor says. "The photo was so inviting and I wanted my poster to have that same feeling."

And as a down-to-Earth but proud community, the appeal charmed us Tacomans and represents The Grand and the festival well.

Taylor is appreciative of everyone who helped his design rise to the top.

"I'm so glad that everyone enjoyed it," he says.

To that I say (I think for all of us), thank YOU Mr. Taylor for being a part of an inspiring and sure to be another successful year of our film festival.

For the entire Tacoma Film Festival schedule and ticket info, visit For more information on winning artist Cameron Taylor, visit his site at

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Comments for "Tacoma Film Festival poster has distinct Northwest feel" (1)

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Marla said on Oct. 06, 2012 at 12:08pm

The link in this article for the Grand links to a Grand Cinema in another state. The correct site is

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