I found this poster (from the First Chicago International Poster Biennial) on a post at Design Observer. The posters are in Chicago in Daley Bicentennial Park until October 29.
"Titus Andronicus" by Tomasz Boguslawski of Poland is one of my favorites. I’ll start with some sensational points from the plot summary of "Titus Andronicus," Shakespeare’s bloodiest play.
The Emperor of Rome has died; hijinks ensue. Lavinia (Titus’s daughter) is made to watch the murder of her husband. Then she is raped over his dead body after which her tongue is cut out and hands cut off so she cannot reveal what she has seen. When Titus discovers the perpetrators of this crime (Lavinia writes their names in the dirt holding a stick in her mouth), Titus slits their throats, bakes them into a pie and feeds them to their mother (who encouraged the earlier rape and murder). In the end Titus, his daughter, all his sons expect one, the emperor and his wife, and countless other have died—of natural causes and at the end of long and peaceful lives, of course.
Understanding the tenor of the play explains the design choices perfectly. The bloody, decapitated meat-head wears a laurel wreath. Traditionally worn to signify victory, the bay laurel in the design is ironic--no one wins--and it also acts as bay leaf seasoning in cooking, hinting at the men who are baked into a pie and consumed.
The slanted text and use of a different font, bold or light face, size, and/or color gives an unhinged, “nervous-tick-motion-of-the-head-to-the-left” quality to the type. That most of the fonts (with the exception of the slab serif “I”) are sans serif, relatively mono-stroke, working within a monochrome, and relatively close in size provides structure and unity to the previously mentioned variety.
See a slideshow of 31 winners from the contest.