Poster Challenge

2023 Maryland Folk Festival Poster Challenge

The Maryland Folk Festival is a diverse and rich celebration of the arts, showcasing the best of America, and the best of Maryland. So we need an official poster that reflects this as well.

The 2023 Maryland Folk Festival is seeking an artist to design this year’s official poster answering the question: What does ‘folk’ mean to you?

What exactly is folk? 
From a musical perspective, the Festival will include everything from blues, rockabilly, gospel, klezmer, jazz, bluegrass, breakdance, cowboy, polka, tamburitza, old-time, and mariachi to western swing, honky-tonk, beat box, rhythm and blues, and zydeco, as well as traditional music and dance from Cajun, Native American, Celtic, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Asian, Appalachian, Latin American, African and Pacific Islander cultures.

Poster design must include the following words and items:

  • Maryland Folk Festival
  • Salisbury, MD
  • September 22-24, 2023
  • The artist’s signature
  • An area near the bottom for a sponsor logo / name
  • Empty space to include the names of all the performers attending this year’s festival.

Submission Format:

  • Vertical orientation (not landscape, please)
  • Design Dimensions 18”x24”
  • Original: Full Color 300 dpi
  • TO SUBMIT FOR JUDGING, Only upload a smaller 72 dpi version
  • If your design is chosen, you must provide: a high-res 300 dpi flattened PDF

Poster Template: 

To avoid white edges, extend your design to the full bleed size – but keep text and images within the safety area. Remember to remove all die lines from your template to avoid them being printed alongside your design. Download the templates (ai, pdf, svg) here.

Specs for poster (18”x24”):

Full Bleed Size
24.5" x 18.5"
622.3 x 469.9 mm

Document Trim Size
24" x 18"
609.6 x 457.2 mm

Safety Area
23.84" x 17.84"
605.6 x 453.2 mm

Maryland Folk Festival Logo and Bird:
The Festival logo and Bird may be used, but are not required. You may download these graphics here.

Rules, Rights & Sales:

  • Artist must reside in Maryland
  • If the original design is created with paint or another non-digital medium, the artist must provide the original work to the Maryland Folk Festival for professional photographing or scanning.
  • All designs must be original art. No trademarked or copyrighted images or phrases should be used, with the exception of ‘Maryland Folk Festival’.
  • The winning design become the property of the Maryland Folk Festival.  The Maryland Folk Festival will assume full ownership of the content, including any profits associated with a sale.
  • The festival will print and sell the winning design on posters and shirts at the festival. All sales will go to the festival.
  • Design winner is solely responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, including taxes imposed on their income.


  • May 30, 2023 - MDFF Poster Challenge begins accepting applications
  • July 17, 2023 -  MDFF Poster Challenge closes applications
  • July 18-July 30 - MDFF judges will select the top ten designs.
  • August 1, 2023 - MDFF Poster Challenge posts top ten designs online and voting begins (The decision of the judges will be final.)
  • August 18, 2023 - Announce winning design at 3rd Friday
  • August 28, 2023 - Poster goes to print
  • September 22-24, 2023 - Poster goes on sale at Maryland Folk Festival

Recognition of winning design:

  • The artist whose design is selected will receive $2,000.00
  • The artist will be featured in the Maryland Folk Festival Official Guide

Generously sponsored by

The Maryland Folk Festival | Salisbury, MD is produced by

In Partnership with