York/Sheridan design students go for virtual gold in Europe

York/Sheridan design students are now going for virtual gold in Europe, after recently sweeping provincial and national design awards in Canada. They took first, second and third places in the student category of the Canadian leg of the Design Against Fur poster competition in May.

Cash prizes were awarded to first-place winner Liz Hayward ($1,000), second-place winner Nelson Leung ($500) and third-place winner Magdalena Ciechonska ($250) for their original poster artwork that expressed the slogan “Fur is cruel.” Neshantheny Balasubramaniyam’s and Kyle Bolton’s posters earned honourable mentions.

 Above: Liz Hayward’s first-prize-winning entry

The contest is sponsored by Fur Free Alliance (FFA), a coalition of groups which campaign to end the fur trade, and Global Action Network, a nationally incorporated non-profit organization dedicated to fostering environmental awareness and action.

Right: Second-place winner Nelson Leung’s entry

“The national/international poster competition is one of the projects for my third-year Design for Public Awareness class,” explained York design professor Wendy Wong. “I wanted the students to have a real life professional assignment which requires them to follow explicit instructions. If they win an award, then it’s an extra bonus.”

The competition takes place in two phases – regionally and internationally. Regional participants are Australia/Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. Regional winners automatically advance to the international competition, where a grand prize winner will be selected for a US$5,000 cash prize and a trip to Rome in November for the awards celebration. The winning entry will be considered for promotional use by FFA.

The contest is open to teachers and students of fashion, design, fine arts, advertising, marketing, and graphic design multi-media disciplines at a college or university level. This year, about 2,000 students participated worldwide. The contest aims to raise awareness about the fur trade and challenge people’s perspective about fur, while associating the cruelty of fur production with the fur wearer.

Left: Third-place winner Magdalena Ciechonska’s poster

The winning posters by fourth-year York/Sheridan students can be seen on the FFA Web site in the Design Against Fur section.