Oktoberfest motif competition 2023

Oktoberfest poster 2023: This is the winner of the motif competition

Fri 02/10/23 • 11:45 am
The winner of the Oktoberfest motif competition has been chosen. Graphic designer Manfred Escher's entry for the Oktoberfest poster convinced the jury.


Oktoberfest poster 2023: Cordiality, joie de vivre, pleasure!


Three yellow and black striped cloths covered opaquely what the Oktoberfest fans in the Ratstrinkstube were impatiently waiting for. The answer to the question: Who will win the motif competition for the Oktoberfest 2023? And to whom will silver and bronze go? Oktoberfest boss Clemens Baumgärtner let the tension rise a little more: "The snow is hardly gone in February before the Oktoberfest, our little folk festival, starts again. Since 1952, the city of Munich has been holding this art poster competition, looking for the motif that will then be printed on over 10,000 posters."

Then the covers fell off the easels: First at the third place, the colorful Wimmelbild by Matthias Englmaier, then it went to the other side to the cheerful Oktoberfest watercolor by artist Gabi Blum.

And the winner is ... Clemens Baumgärtner, Speaker for Labor and Economy, stood behind the poster in the middle so as not to cover it up during the unveiling: "This design symbolizes everything that makes the Oktoberfest!" With an overwhelming majority, the jury had voted for this motif as number one.

"Cordiality, joy, joie de vivre. A place of longing, the Oktoberfest! A place of culinary delights, but also a place of pleasure. And the whole thing in the middle of Munich!" Escher's motif may seem simple at first glance, says Baumgärtner, but that's precisely how the graphic artist manages to capture the entire essence of the Oktoberfest with just four symbols in the four primary colors.

1st prize in the 2023 Oktoberfest motif competition: Manfred Escher


Red heart, blue Ferris wheel, yellow beer mug, green pretzel - immediately you know: It's all about the Oktoberfest.

With a wink, the Oktoberfest boss comments the winning motif: "You can argue about whether this is perhaps the perception after two or three measures of beer, because it seems to blur a bit, or whether this is now simply a dynamic, artistic representation. But I'm happy if the discussion about the poster motif gets going again this year!"

Everyone can find their own Oktoberfest story in Manfred Escher's motif. The experts on the jury agreed that the winning design's boldness and restriction to the four basic colors made it particularly suitable for licensed articles, from beer mugs and T-shirts to caps and pins.

Manfred Escher is an old hand in the creative field: the Freising-born designer and graphic artist has lived in Munich since 1996 and feels closely connected to the city and the Oktoberfest.

2nd prize in the 2023 Oktoberfest motif competition: Gabi Blum


"With the second place, you can see right away: the lady can do something!" enthuses Clemens Baumgärtner about the second place. "We don't have hand-painted watercolors that often, so this is already an extraordinary piece of work." The sweeping brushwork and cheerful watercolors give freelance artist Gabi Blum's design a playful and lively look. She impressively translates the typical Oktoberfest mood without becoming kitschy.

Incidentally, the more than 10,000 Oktoberfest fans who took part in the public voting saw it the same way and voted Blum's motif into first place. How did the online voting work exactly? You'll find all the information in the last paragraph.

Gabi Blum has a studio in Munich and is a co-founder of the initiative "EXIST - Space for Art in Munich". She organizes and carries out numerous exhibitions and projects in the city.

3rd prize in the 2023 Oktoberfest motif competition: Matthias Englmaier


"A very courageous design," says the Oktoberfest boss about the third place, "almost an Oktoberfest picture book, you can hardly get enough of it!"

You can really feel the lively, baroque Oktoberfest chaos and the exuberant joie de vivre. Two laughing angels, a rather beerseliges Münchner Kindl, a brass band and Oktoberfest Schmankerl drive with this draft carousel.

Matthias Englmaier, who is only 23 years old, is studying communication design at the University of Applied Sciences in Augsburg and works as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. His courage to create an idiosyncratic, almost quirky design was rewarded with 3rd place by the jury.

The innovations at the motiv competition 2023


Oktoberfest boss Clemens Baumgärtner explains what the innovations were for the 2023 poster competition: "On all three posters, you can see the same lettering Oktoberfest München with the date of this year's Oktoberfest. That was a condition of entry for the competition. Why? Because we had the Oktoberfest brand protected - and also the lettering itself, the letters, the ornamentation of the letters."

"Another condition was that, as an artist, you were not allowed to associate your poster motif with your own name in advance," says Baumgärtner. "There were a few who didn't adhere to this, who were actually already in the last round. Unfortunately, we had to disqualify them."

30 motifs eventually made it to the final round. "It wasn't easy at all to choose a winner. But in the end, the jury overwhelmingly chose number one. And I think that's a good choice."

More info on the 2023 Oktoberfest motif competition

95 designs were uploaded, 38 of which made it into the public vote. In the public vote, 10,180 Oktoberfest fans cast 29,642 votes to determine the 30 most popular poster designs. From these, a jury of expert judges selected the winning design for the Oktoberfest poster without knowing who had submitted it or the results of the public vote. The poster contest was prominently announced on all muenchen.de channels and the content was shared.

The winners will receive 2,500 euros for 1st place, 1,250 euros for 2nd place and 500 euros for 3rd place.

The winning motif for Oktoberfest 2023 will be featured on the internet, social media, licensed merchandise and posters. In addition, it will adorn the official series measuring mug, continuing the series of coveted collector's mugs begun in 1978.