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NBF Poster for 2024

Revealing the 2024 National Book Festival Poster

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The following is a guest blog by Maria Peña, public affairs specialist in the Library’s Office of Communications.

We are thrilled to unveil the official poster for the 2024 Library of Congress National Book Festival, designed by multidisciplinary artist, designer and creative director Laci Jordan. The Huntsville, Alabama native, often described by critics as a modern “Renaissance woman,” is known for her stunning designs, her use of vibrant colors and authentic portrayals of contemporary culture. Please join us in celebrating literature as we return to the Washington Convention Center for the festival on Aug. 24.

You can download a high-resolution PDF of the festival poster, plus view and download others through the years from our National Book Festival poster gallery. More details about printed versions of the poster will be available closer to the festival in August.

In an interview, Jordan explained her creative process, the symbolism of her artwork and her inspiration for it. The interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Tell us a bit about your background as an artist.
I was pretty shy as a kid, but art and design gave me a way to express myself. So, in my work I aim to be bold, to use bold colors and to speak what I want to say. I wasn’t even planning on being an artist, but my life purpose won’t allow me to be hidden or to water down my perspective. I can’t end world hunger, but I do things like this project to bring a little good into the world. If anything, it makes people happy.

You have a criminal justice background. When did you have that “aha” moment to become an artist?
The first “aha” or epiphany moment actually came in college; it came from experimenting and being inspired by things around me. I needed to take some electives, so a friend recommended a clothing textile design class, which seemed fun and easy. The class unlocked creativity, and that’s something I’ve always been interested in since I was a kid. You could say that class unlocked my inner child.

From there you just followed your instinct.
Yes, I finished my criminal justice degree and went back to school for design. After I graduated, I got an internship at Disney in California, which is what moved me to the West Coast. The rest is history… L.A. in particular is a place where you can explore different artistic forms, and it’s created the person I am. I’m still evolving.

What interested you in working with the National Book Festival?
When I was approached about this project, I thought it was cool and it felt good. At the end of the day, you want to work with great people who respect what you bring to the table and the project. From our first conversation, it was clear that this would be a great partnership and collaboration. I like to read, and I’m excited about the book festival because of the level of creative freedom I enjoy.

Lately I’ve gravitated towards more abstract works of art, trying to craft a message with the very minimum and focusing on shape and color.

Explain the symbolism of the punctuation marks on this year’s poster.
I’ve been wanting to focus on more abstract work, things that are rooted in my strengths and what I’m passionate about, which are shape and color. I thought of doing things that would have their separate design but also come together as one system, and that turned me to punctuation marks because they work together to convey a message properly.

I gravitated to an exclamation point, an asterisk and quotation marks because I love how they take up space. The exclamation point makes a bold statement, and a lot of my artwork is bold and colorful, it invites you to take up space. And these symbols do that, and their meaning is relevant also for community and culture.

You describe your work as bold and “unapologetic.” What is the message you hope people will take away from this artwork?
I hope they feel curious, inquisitive. I would like it if it makes people pay attention to the small things in their life that build up to the big things. I was also thinking about the different types of people that would be at the festival, and I wanted to be inclusive.

Being unapologetic is showing up fully, being who you are without any shame, insecurity or second-guessing, and that’s an empowering message for people.

Comments (15)

  1. This year’s 2024 National Book Festival Poster is a poor design with a poor explanation from the “artist”. Punctuation doesn’t make meaning; words create meaning. The poster’s a distraction.

  2. It’s a true work of art.
    Incredibly visually appealing.

  3. That’s it?

  4. when I first saw the poster, I didn’t realize I was looking at an exclamation point, asterisk, or quotation marks. It made me take notice. It made me happy. I thought it was a bright, colorful piece of abstract art that could be hung in a large space, the focal point of a teen’s room, family room, or designer dress. In short, it inspired ME to create!

  5. Love the colors but wasn’t sure what I was looking at when I first saw the poster. It doesn’t say much about reading. The festival has had better posters in past years.

  6. This poster is in poor statement to the likes of Mark Twain, Alabram Lincoln, Even to General George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin would even, kick your ass.

  7. When will you announce the Speakers for the National Book Festival?

    • Later in the month–stay tuned!

  8. Can you see the design this identifies the breathing heart of a large space of community that is going to take part in this festive with their artistic and linguistic approach towards books of the Library of Congress.

    Jordan believes in bold quotations to highlight the main figures who will be the author, artist, and readers as an attendee of this festive they would be demonstrated in the asterisk, quotation, and exclamatory symbols.

    These extravagant symbols help us collaborate with the giants who can be the main authors of the space for the number of readers as attendees.

    The national book festival can be the reason for the collaboration opportunity between the author and readers, which makes sense for all artists.

  9. The design signifies that the national book festival can be the reason for the collaboration opportunity between the author and readers, which makes sense for all artists.

  10. The poster is visually appealing. Words convey meaning but without the punctuation marks, they can be misconstrued.
    Great. is different than Great!
    An asterisk shows added information.
    And quotation marks may lead the reader to the original writer’s works.
    Also, this upcoming generation tends toward “short and sweet!”

  11. I love the bold colors and the clean, uncluttered design! Bravo!

  12. When will speakers for the 2024 National Book Festival be announced? I’d love to have enough time to read at least a few of their books before the festival if possible, but time is running out!

    • Soon soon soon!

  13. Although the artist’s explanation was somewhat brief, it is clear she understood her mindset for the creation. Words indeed create meaning, but punctuation provides action, character, and energy to words and their meanings. Without punctuation, communication would be ambiguous, emotionless, opaque, and vague.

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