Your chance to design the poster for Samhuinn Fire Festival 2017

With preparations for the Samhuinn Fire Festival 2017 beginning (already!), it’s time to invite you to submit your beautiful artwork to feature in our festival’s promotional material.

The chosen submission will be on posters and flyers all over Edinburgh in the run up to 31 October, and will also be used in our online promotion and press advertising for the event. Anyone is welcome to enter, so if you have arty friends please feel free to pass this on to them!



Samhuinn is a time of the changing of the seasons, of the battle between summer and winter and of the Celtic new year – a time when the veil draws thin and the spirits draw closer to us.

Our Samhuinn festival has its roots in medieval street theatre, the traditions of all Hallow’s Eve. The Summer and Winter courts battle for control of the seasons, overseen by the Cailleach, whose grief and sorrow at the death of Summer brings forth the darkness and storms of Winter. It is a time for celebration, Summer’s last gasp of opulent decadence, but also a time of icy bleakness – the finality of Winter’s arrival and the hard months ahead.

Our event is a community celebration of this changing of the seasons – and our poster should appeal to the wider community in Edinburgh and beyond. It should reflect the story and characters highlighted above to appeal to draw in those who know the Samhuinn story, but also attract those who are newcomers to our festivals.

Before you commence work on a design or consider submitting your creations, please thoroughly read all technical requirements and information below. By submitting your work, you are agreeing to these terms. You must be 18 years old or above to submit artwork.


  • You must submit one design for the poster (A2 size) AND both a front and back side for the flyer (A6 size), at the same time and using the same artwork and colour scheme to keep a uniform look.
  • The size (with required bleed edge) for A6 flyers is 111mm x 154mm
  • The size (with required bleed edge) for A2 posters is 426mm x 600mm
  • Remember to leave any text or important visual elements at least 7mm from the edges for printing.
  • You should save your full-resolution files at 300dpi.
  • Please ensure that all files are in CMYK colour format, not RGB.
  • Make sure that you save a copy of your work with layers, preferably in .psd format, for easier editing. You do not need to send this to us as your submission, but if your design is chosen we will need it.
  • Alternatively, if creating a completely digitally illustrated image, saving the file as a vector graphic is helpful as it will scale better and be easier to work with if changes are needed before sending to print.
  • Please download THIS ZIP FILE for all the text and other elements that must be included in designs. Minor changes to text may be required before going to print (for example, venue and times), but it is absolutely essential that all text etc is in place when submitting your design.
  • Everything in your submission (apart from the downloadable elements provided) absolutely must be your own work or created with elements that you have permission to use. If you use any stock imagery, free or purchased, you must be able to provide evidence of legitimate sources if asked. Please check the relevant licensing for any fonts that you use and be able to provide this information if asked. Although BFS is a charity, it is also a registered company, so please only use fonts that are licensed for commercial use to be on the safe side.
  • We will accept submissions from pairs of artists/designers. For example, if you’re an amazing illustrator and you have a friend who is great at layouts, feel free to work together and submit under both your names.
  • Don’t forget to sign your artwork. We appreciate that you’re offering your creations on a voluntary basis, so we’d like you to have your signature(s) on there somewhere.


  • Your submission should include three separate files: A2 poster, A6 flyer front and A6 flyer back.
  • When sending your designs for consideration, please make them 1000px on the longest side and send in jpeg format. You do not need to send larger versions or files with layers at this stage. In fact, absolutely do not submit larger versions or files with layers at this stage.
  • You can submit more than one entry if you like, but please submit each only once. There is no need to send a draft or sketch first, and there’s no advantage to submitting early. If it takes you right up until the deadline to complete your work, then please take that time. All submissions will be considered at the same time after the deadline.
  • Because of time constraints and the need for printing and promotional activity to begin as early as possible in the run-up to the festival, we will only accept finished. This means that all the text and additional elements absolutely must be included. Please do not send image-only submissions.
  • Email your submission to festival[at]beltane[dot]org and contact this address with any questions you may have


  • As the creator of your artwork, YOU own it and by submitting it for the competition are granting BFS license to keep it in digital and physical archives, display it for public voting and use it in promotional activities, online and offline, globally and in perpetuity.
  • You are welcome to sell prints and products featuring your artwork, without any of the provided text, BFS branding or elements included in the downloadable design pack, should you wish to do so.


Once all submissions have been received, the BFS Board of Trustees will create a shortlist of entries which are appropriate to promote the event, and select a final entry to use. There will not be a public vote: criteria for selection will include quality of artwork, suitability as a representation of the festival and Beltane Fire Society, appeal to potential attendees, and clarity of presentation of information/legibility. Entrants will be informed by email as to whether or not they have been successful. In the event that no submissions are deemed suitable, the trustees may make alternative arrangements.

We are hugely grateful to all those who put in the time and creativity it takes to submit a poster design.

Here are some of our recent Samhuinn posters to help inspire you!

Samhuinn 2016 poster by Sonya Hallett
Samhuinn 2015 Poster
Samhuinn 2014 Poster

Samhuinn 2013 Poster by Phil Obermarck

Featured page photo of Samhuinn 2015 by Raini Scott for Beltane Fire Society

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