Design the Poster for Samhuinn Fire Festival 2019

With summer in full force this week, and preparations for the Samhuinn Fire Festival 2019 beginning, 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 the 31st of 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 turning of the seasons: as the night draws in, Summer and Winter do battle and the Celtic new year begins – a time, traditionally, when the veil draws thin and the spirits draw closer to this world.

Our Samhuinn festival has its roots in medieval street theatre, and the traditions of all Hallow’s Eve. The Summer King and Winter King and their courts battle for control of the seasons, overseen by the Cailleach, the crone goddess, 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 decadence and joy, but also a time of icy bleakness – the finality of Winter’s arrival and bracing for the hard months ahead. Our poster and flyer should appeal to the wider community both in Edinburgh and beyond. It should reflect the story and characters highlighted above to draw in those who know the Beltane story, but also to attract newcomers to our festival.


  • You must submit one design for the poster (A2 size), and one design EACH for the front and back side of the flyer (A6 size), at the same time and using the same style and colour scheme to keep a uniform look. The poster and the front of the flyer can use the same artwork and/or layout, (this is what’s usually done), but you must submit all three designs.
  • 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 safety.
  • You should have full-resolution files at 300dpi/ppi available, to be used if your design is selected.
  • Please ensure that all files are in CMYK colour format, not RGB.
  • You can choose to include all of the text and social media elements as listed in this zip file.  Otherwise, make sure to leave enough free space on your posters and flyers for us to fit them in at a legible size. We greatly appreciate submissions that have the festival title beautifully lettered or typeset, and ideally have all the additional text inserted too, but this isn’t essential, and submissions will be considered on the basis of the artwork and layout first of all.
  • If you are including all the text, make sure that you save a copy of your work with layers, preferably in .psd format, for easier editing. You won’t be sending this to us as your submission, but if your design is chosen we will need it.
  • Alternatively, if creating a digital and completely vector-illustrated image, saving the original 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.
  • 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, photography, 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. If your work is accepted, we may need you to send any font files you’ve used, in order to finalise the text.
  • 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. Please do not submit larger versions, or files with layers, at this stage. They will only be needed if your design is selected.
  • 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 completely finished work.
  • 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 the 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

One thought on “Design the Poster for Samhuinn Fire Festival 2019

  1. Pleas make posters available for purchase either directly through BFS or in col-operation with artist(s). I am still wanting the 2019 Beltane poster. If you could provide artist’s name an contact information, it would be appreciated. Slainte!


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