Enter your artwork in Plymouth's unique Mayflower 400x400 Design Challenge

Jan 14, 2020

There’s still time to submit your January entry for the Plymouth Design Forum (PDF) 400×400 Design Challenge, which encourages people to produce artworks inspired by the Mayflower - past, present or future.

Run by the PDF, this free and unique challenge focuses on a different theme each month and is open to local, regional, national and international design professionals, non-professionals and students.

January’s theme is ‘Fear’, and you can submit your entry online via the Plymouth Design Forum website.

The brief is open to anyone, and there are no restrictions on content or style within the context of the broad 'Mayflower' inspiration and the monthly themes.

The only fixed parameter on the brief (other than Mayflower and the monthly themes), is that each submission must measure 400mm x 400mm (plus 3mm bleed), which provides an intrinsic size reference to the 400-year commemoration and also makes it very Instagram-able!

If the submission is digital, please refer to the artwork specifications on the Plymouth Design Forum website.

Plymouth Design Forum's 'pop-up' show at Ocean Studios during the Plymouth Art Weekender. Credit: Dom Moore / @ddoommmmoorree

Entry is free and you can enter as many times as you want each month. The PDF will shortlist 25 artworks each month from the total number of entries received.

Across the 16-month duration of the challenge, this will provide 400 pieces of creative artwork that will be exhibited in a final show on or around the official Mayflower 400 anniversary on 16 September 2020 (venue TBC).

The Plymouth Design Forum 400x400 Challenge was one of 15 different community groups which secured grants in the third round of funding from ‘Mayflower 400 Community Sparks’.

‘Mayflower 400 Community Sparks’ is a partnership between Mayflower 400, Plymouth Culture, Plymouth City Council, The Box, Plymouth and Vital Sparks. 

From music and performance, to exhibitions and events, to murals and mosaics, the projects will benefit from an overall investment of £38,473 from the scheme, which was set up to support grass-roots community, arts and cultural activity in the city.

Plymouth Design Forum's 'pop-up' show at Ocean Studios during the Plymouth Art Weekender. Credit: Dom Moore / @ddoommmmoorree

All the projects will be delivered by November 2020, connecting many of the city’s neighbourhoods with the Mayflower 400 anniversary and ensuring that a range of diverse and inclusive events are part of Plymouth’s extensive commemorative programme.

The PDF is currently looking for additional funding and sponsorship to help out with the full cost of the space needed and printing/displaying the artworks. If you would like to help out, please use the contact details below.

For more information, please visit the website at plymouthdesignforum.co.uk/400x400 or email hello@plymouthdesignforum.co.uk.

You can also find out more by visiting the PDF Instagram and Twitter pages.

Plymouth Design Forum 400 x 400 Challenge - monthly themes

Month 1 (April 2019) – Freedom


Month 2 (May 2019) – Technology

Month 3 (June 2019) – Equality


Month 4 (July 2019) – Courage


Month 5 (August 2019) – Humanity


Month 6 (September 2019) – Friendship


Month 7 (October 2019) – Territory


Month 8 (November 2019) – Destruction


Month 9 (December 2019) – Compassion


Month 10 (January 2020) – Fear


Month 11 (February 2020) – Imagination

Month 12 (March 2020) – Environment (deadline 31 March)

Month 13 (April 2020) – Faith (deadline 30 April)


Month 14 (May 2020) – Change (deadline 31 May)

Month 15 (June 2020) – Innovation (deadline 30 June)

Month 16 (July 2020) – Future (deadline 31 July)

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