Get drawing for the The Great British Postcard Competition – and win £5,000!

The Great British Postcard Competition is a chance for the country’s creatives to show their view of Britain through original art and design – all on a postcard! Big Issue founder John Bird will be a judge alongside John Lydon

Punk legend John Lydon has teamed up with The Big Issue, The Big Issue Foundation and online print company SAXOPRINT to challenge the country’s creative community to design a postcard that reflects their personal experiences of Britain in 2017, and reinvent the tradition of The Great British Postcard.

With three prizes up for grabs, the competition (#TGBPC) is a chance to have your artistic say during a time of profound, social, political and technological change.


The Grand Prize winner will bag £5,000 in cash; the Young Talent Prize winner for the best postcard designed by a student will win £1,000; and the postcard that gets the most peer votes online will win a Wacom Cintiq 13HD graphic tablet. The two top prizes will be decided by a panel of judges from the world of print, design, art and music.

A selection of the postcards will be sold via the Big Issue Shop.

John Sheehy postcard
John Sheehy's design for The Great British Postcard Competition

Big Issue founder John Bird will host alongside head judge John Lydon (AKA Jonny Rotten), at an awards ceremony held at a top London Gallery in September – with the exhibition curated by renowned UK visual and performance artist Richard DeDomenici, leading a team of design students to showcase the shortlisted postcards.


A celebrity postcode design auction on the night will deliver all profits to The Big Issue Foundation. Chief executive Stephen Robertson said: “The competition offers the Great British Public an opportunity to show what Britain means to them in 2017.

“At a time of social and political upheaval it’s going to be interesting to see how issues such as homelessness and poverty play out in the creative imagination and how this is reflected in the entries.”

A good postcard captures an atmosphere, emotion or culture – and a bad one can captivate with hilarious awfulness!

With Lydon no stranger to creating his own social upheaval, it seems only fitting for him to be involved in the judging process.

“Postcards began for me at five years-old at the seaside,” said Lydon. “I loved them as simple and direct. A good one captures an atmosphere, emotion or culture and a bad one can captivate with hilarious awfulness!”

Regular contributor to The Big Issue’s Street Lights pages, John Sheehy, created his own entry for the awards (pictured above). Sheehy began painting after attending workshops with The Big Issue following a period of homelessness (see video above). “Art helps me, it’s crucial, necessary,” he said. “It gets me through the day, gets me through the night.”

If you find yourself living and breathing art, or even just as an occasional dabbler, make sure to get your entry in. You can enter by downloading a postcard template here, and uploading your finished design!