The Dalai Lama Commemorative Poster

The Dalai Lama Commemorative Poster

VSA Partners, Inc., 2007


VSA created a branded identity system for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 2007 visit to Chicago. The program supported the daylong event and teaching, and included signage, apparel, programs and this commemorative poster.

The poster design was based on the mandala, a traditional Buddhist form used for guidance along the path to enlightenment. In Vajrayana Buddhism, a kyil khor (Tibetan for mandala) usually depicts a landscape of the Buddha land or the enlightened vision of a Buddha, and consists of an outer circular mandala and an inner square mandala. Any part of the inner mandala can be occupied by Buddhist glyphs and symbols as well as images of associated deities, which symbolize different stages in the process of the realization of truth. In keeping with the mandala tradition, the poster used photographs of the Chicago landscape to build the mandala, and placed the Dalai Lama—today’s most recognizable symbol of Buddhism—at the center of the inner mandala.

Collections: AIGA 365: 29 (2008)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Promotional design and advertising
Format: Posters


Design firm
VSA Partners, Inc.
Creative director
Jamie Koval
Kristie Downing
Mark Smalling
Active Graphics
Printing method
6-color offset
Titanium Opaque, 100 lb. (text)
The Tibetan Alliance of Chicago