With the highly academic nature of the festival in mind, clichéd depictions of Western interpretations of Zen were avoided. Instead, the visual elements of the poster drew from a rich language of traditional Zen imagery, such as rice paper and ink brush paintings. The translucent quality of rice paper created an illusion of layers of paper that alludes to the passage of time to emphasize the long history of Zen and its writings. Abstraction in the composition of elements within a loose grid also suggests the freeform and fragmented nature of Zen poetry. Although abstract, the elements in the poster combine to evoke a sense of peace and tranquility, which is at the heart of the Zen practice.