Poster hero’s winning design makes food waste the message
Heroes come from all walks of life. Graphic designers become heroes when they use their talents to help others understand an issue and take action.
Alana Jade Ramnarine, a Spring 2015 graduate of Palm Beach State’s Graphic Design Technology A.S. degree program, has achieved hero status through Posterheroes, a social graphic arts contest in its fifth year, organized by PLUG, a nonprofit cultural association based in Italy. Ramnarine is one of 40 winners chosen from a field of 871 entries, representing 56 countries. A jury of international experts in graphic arts and communications made the selection, announced May 25.
Ramnarine entered Posterheroes 5 to fulfill a requirement for Professor Victoria Martin’s graphic design class. The contest theme, “Food in the Loop,” appealed to Ramnarine. It challenged designers to create a poster that addresses the critical issue of food sustainability. Entrants picked one aspect of the food chain to focus on—food production, transformation, distribution and disposal—and were charged to “push for debate, feedback, awareness and participation” on how consumers can modify their habits and affect change.
Ramnarine chose the battle against wasteful food disposal as her category. Titled “Same Food—Diff Day,” Ramnarine’s poster was not created on a computer or with typical art materials. Instead, she made the message her medium and used food waste to create a poster about not wasting food.
“I came up with the concept because I didn’t want to work strictly on the computer, and Professor Martin was always encouraging us to think of other ways to go about graphic design,” says Ramnarine. “So I went to a Whole Foods near me, and I had them empty out the garbage from their juicer—all these vegetables and fruits that were going to be thrown away.”
Ramnarine used the food scraps for the “Same Day” section of the poster and fresh organic produce for the “Diff Day” section. She created her message on a bed of dirt and photographed it. The caption provides further context: “Your food scraps today can become another meal tomorrow. Re-discover food waste to learn how we can reuse it, re-grow it and actually eat it.”
As Ramnarine explains, “Maybe it’s not the part that you would normally eat, but all the food [used in the poster] could have pretty much been eaten. Put it in a blender and make a smoothie out of it, things like that. Certain foods you can grow from scraps. I definitely want people to think differently.”
Back in Florida, a proud Professor Martin reflects on why she’s so big on contests: “Students gain experience in competing. Competing also forces designers to look critically at their own work. Contests are great for building your resume and portfolio and can give your work great visibility with other designers and potential employers.”
While Posterheroes doesn’t offer cash rewards or prizes, the recognition of peers and the public motivates Ramnarine. “I’m really excited about how it came out.” Visit www.AlanaJadeRamnarine.com to see more of her work, as well as photographs of the steps taken for this poster.
Watch a video presentation of the Posterheroes 5 winners: