Awareness for women's issues
August 25, 2014

NSCAD design students put their skills to work and gained a greater understanding of women's issues through a partnership with the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Over the Winter 2014 term, students created awareness posters to highlight issues in four areas:

-- women in leadership
-- women's economic security
-- freedom from violence for women and girls
-- women's health and wellness.

They researched the topics, interviewed practitioners and experts, then created visual presentation  posters.

The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women provided grant funding and mentoring to NSCAD to support the initiative. Four students received $200 honorariums for the top posters in each subject area; they are: Conor McLaughlin for the poster, "Support Gender Equality"; Amanda Lenko for "True love shouldn't hurt"; Wesley Norris for "Everybody is Different Every Body is Different"; and Brina Frenette for "Equal Pay for Equal Work." The project was also supported by various community organizations, such as Techsploration and Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services (ISIS).

“These are really difficult issues and they generated a lot of discussion and opened a lot of eyes in the class,” says May Chung, associate professor in NSCAD’s Design Division. “This was much tougher than designing a logo for a company, for example; it enables a designer to realize that what they do can be read in so many different ways depending on the metaphors they use to construct concepts.”

 "Women in politics? No question, period" by Devin Connell

"The idea that women should hold political positions in today’s society is a no-brainer. However the current reality is that men typically run and are elected for these positions. In this poster, a rallying crowd spreads the message to empowering women to run for political positions. The sign the woman in the front row is holding has a deeper meaning; referencing the question period that follows political assemblies." -- Devin Connell

"Support Gender Equality" by Conor McLaughlin
"My poster hopes to inspire and portray women in leadership. The pair of women on the poster can be seen climbing a staircase together, one leading the other to the top. The staircase is made up of type with related words that works as a metaphor, showing how women are moving forward towards gender equality." -- Conor McLaughlin
"Discover Your Power" by Christie Taylor
"For the poster, I wanted to use illustration in a way that will grab people’s attention. The poster is titled “Reach” and features a girl reaching out to grab a floating wrench surrounded by other floating objects associated with non-traditional occupations. Since the tag line is “Discover Your Power” I wanted to have a girl become inspired in some way, such as by conveying the feeling of “discovering” new abilities she may not have
thought she had." -- Christie Taylor
 "Women in politics. Better together" by Kelsey Walker
"This poster illustrates the need for equal relationships between men and women in
elected government. By showing two pieces of bread, one with jam and one with peanut
butter, we create a metaphor. We see both the relationship between men and women, and the need for equal participation and in government." -- Kelsey Walker
"Equal Pay for Equal Work" by Brina Frenette
"I chose to use pennies to construct the images of a male and female symbol in order to more accurately reflect the differences outlined in the statistic shown in the poster. The male symbol is made up of 100 pennies, while the female symbol is made up of 71." -- Brina Frenette
"Raise the Roof. Women in the Trades" by Kate McLeod
"Raise the Roof: Women in the Trades, draws attention to supporting women coming together and change their working roles in society by improving their economic security for their themselves and their families by working in the trades. In my poster, the hands describe women working together creating a strong system and support for women in the trades and for the next generation." -- Kate McLeod
"Know your options. It's your future" by Livia Barreto
"Women’s career choices is related to their economic security. Income could improve
considerably if more women were able to work in areas “traditionally made for men” such as the trades. This poster includes images that show possible career options that women can consider, including trades, science and technology. The emphasis of the poster is the importance of their choices for their own future." -- Livia Barreto
 "True Love Shouldn't Hurt" by Amanda Lenko
"Abuse is not easily recognized. If love is true then it should not hurt. The bottom right portion of the image at first glance appears to be the neck of the woman but in reality it is the hand (of the person kissing her) in the violent act of grasping. When a poster has an element of surprise that requires a closer second look to gain a deeper insight. This creates a striking and memorable piece." -- Amanda Lenko
"Cyber harassment: Different tool, same hurt" by Weiyi Ning
"A girl is sitting behind her computer and her hands are on her face, showing that she is
upset. The cyber harassment perpetrator is holding a phone in his hand with a shadow of a vicious monster showing his intent. This poster represents cyber harassment that although the perpetrator uses new technologies, his intention is still the same as traditional harassment." -- Weiyi Ning
"Street Harassment. See it. Stop it" by Jocelyn Spence
"One of the problems with street harassment is that people often see it as normal and acceptable behavior. My concept uses metaphor, turning the wolf whistle of the perpetrator into a literal wolf lunging at the receiver. This poster raises general awareness of street harassment and encourages anyone who sees harassment to 'See it, Stop it.'" -- Jocelyn Spence
"End Abuse" by Josh Udall
"The poster tries to hit on the fact of three mainstream abuses that happen within intimate
relationships. As it strives to communicate directly and frankly that we all have a job in
helping end these horrible abuses that take place. The imagery with the word “Abuse” on the gravestone is an effort to hit that point home." -- Josh Udall
"Stop violence against women and girls: Get involved" by Natalie Utremari
"The poster aims to inspire people in our community to take action and get involved such
as: knowing about the issue, sharing thoughts and experiences, being aware, inspiring others to act, and most importantly, being the voice and agent for change. This illustration style aims to embrace not only a mature audience but also the younger generation. It could be used in schools to teach and create awareness about violence against women and girls." -- Natalie Utremari
"Stop Victim Shame" by Katie Waye
"Many women are blamed after they’ve been abused. It’s a barrier they struggle against,
formed by words and society’s skewed belief that the abuser is not to blame. Using the imagery of caution tape to symbolize this particular barrier, the poster shows women’s struggles and agency to break free." -- Katie Waye
"Happiness isn't measured in pounds" by Justin Ensor
"The poster’s message relates to body image issues most women often struggle with.
The message is your body weight does not depict your health, wellbeing or beauty. These
aspects plus many more that contribute to happiness should not have a correlation with
your body weight. The smiley face represents happiness here. The  bathroom scale represents measurement of weight. The intent of showing these two signifiers together is to make the tagline visually obvious. Happiness isn’t measured in pounds." -- Justin Ensor
"Don't let _____ bully your body" by AJ MacDonald
"This poster was created as a reminder to all women, especially youth, that despite exposure to potentially negative factors, women have the power to resist and to ensure their own wellbeing. The poster’s message is of empowerment for young women against the possible negative influences in their lives." -- AJ MacDonald
"Don't give negativity a home" by Shea Mandolesi
"The tag line for this poster is “don’t give negativity a home.” If you open yourself up to negativity, eventually it will take over. The image is a time line, showing negativity growing in a jar. The jar is meant to represent a women’s mind, body, and spirit." -- Shea Mandolesi
"Everybody is different. Every body is different" by Wesley Norris
"The goal of this poster is to reflect on why society creates an unobtainable ideal of beauty. My aesthetic intent was to remain positive, inclusive and captivating. The tagline is broad enough to encapsulate the complexities and discourse surrounding female body image. Furthermore most female Nova Scotian viewers can identify with the characters in the illustration." -- Wesley Norris