Paper Prison lets the user experience Mandela’s Robben Island cell

The Mandela inspired Paper Prison lauded as one of this year’s most creative designs, according to AIGA.

A project honouring the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, called Paper Prison is one of 15 examples of exemplary design honoured at AIGA's Cased competition this year. The competition recognizes creative and inspiring case studies that demonstrate the value of design in a clear, compelling, and accessible way that also serves the client’s very specific needs.

Designed for Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, Paper Prison is an A2 poster created to allow the user to experience the size of Mandela’s cell at Robben Island prison. “We took our posters to an international stage and unfolded these pieces around the world. We watched as visitors stepped inside, and felt not only the confinement of the 18 years Mandela spent there but the spirit that helped him emerge on the other side,” wrote the designers.

Paper Prison was submitted to the Mandela Poster Project, which collects close to 300 submissions from countries around the world. The best posters honouring Mandela and his legacy are exhibited and posted online.

At first glance, Paper Prison read, “He illuminated the world from an 8-foot cell,” but according to the designers, there is more to the message. “The poster was not one page but many, designed to unfold to an eight-by-seven-foot rectangle,” added its creators.