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10 Nov 2021

APU Bags All Three Awards in Cross-Border E-Poster Design Competition

In a poster competition to raise awareness on breaking stereotypes, three Media and Communication & Digital Advertising students from APU not only managed to capture the audience’s attention with strong visual and succinct messages but scooped all Top 3 awards!

The UPSI’s CONNECT 2021 – Design 2 Connect E-Poster Competition is an annual contest tailored to communication and media students from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, where this year’s focus was on ‘Stereotypes’.

Competing against 46 regional participants, Tang See Min, a Year 2 student of the BA (Hons) in Media and Communication Studies secured the first prize of RM500 while Agnes Soh En Xuan, a Year 1, received RM300 for coming in second. Sim Si Yu, a first year student of the BA (Hons) in Digital Advertising programme was the third prize winner, receiving RM200 for her achievement.

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The trio were aware that visuals were important to capture the audience’s attention and the message needed to be simple and clear for a public service awareness poster to be effective. Tang, who won first prize, used different design applications to highlight the stereotypical gender roles in her campaign.

“I used the Sketchbook application and Adobe Illustrator to complete this poster design that raises awareness about gender stereotypes. I highlighted the point that people think men should go to work and women should stay at home to take care of the children,” the 20-year-old said. Tang added that the message was to remind people to be more aware of their biases and that it was important to combat the effects of gender stereotypes.

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Meanwhile, runner up Agnes Soh En Xuan depicted a storyline of stereotypes on her poster using an illustration of a bear travelling to human territory and meeting judgements, stereotypes and critiques. The poster aimed to focus on how people with glamourous appearances are still imprisoned by judgements and what others thought about them.

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Sim Si Yu, who came third, positioned Sembene McFarland, a public figure with a skin condition of Vitiligo as the main character of her artwork. Based on the bullying that happens online, Sim incorporated mean words in her design, drawing a red seal on it implying that the main character was locked up behind it.

“Many of us are inexplicably attacked by others because of our looks, background, religion, nationality, and so on. Creating this design made me more aware of the topic of stereotypes, I understood Vitiligo more throughout the process and thus appreciated the beauty of people with this condition,” she said.

While preparing for this competition, the trio was mentored by Ms Nur Leila Khalid, Media and Communication Studies Lecturer of APU’s School of Marketing & Management.

=“They were excited to exhibit their artworks and went all-out lobbying for a ‘Like’ from their social contacts, as the posters were revealed on the organiser’s social media page, and were assessed 60% by the jury and 40% by the general public,” said Nur Leila.

“Participating in a competition is always good for accumulating personal experience and gaining practical exposure. Students can kick start their design portfolios very early on during their studies. This competition has inspired them to improve more and by winning, it has given them the confidence to participate in other competitions in the future,” said Nur Leila.

According to her, besides increasing their learning experience, participants for this competition also gained an opportunity to enhance their digital skills – a key requisite for a career in media, communication and design.

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