LANGUAGES MATTER! A UNESCO poster competition

Competition Details
Languagesmatter_unescoposter_jessicali_550x550_

For The Love of Languages

by jeli
Co-authors:

Views:

Because language is inherently abstract, it was a considerable challenge to represent the theme visually. I chose to use a predominately typographic approach because writing and reading are important aspects of language. Names of various languages are written in their native forms and strategically placed together to form a speech bubble. Additional graphic elements (writing utensils, mouths, ears, a telephone, a speaker, etc.) are also used in the puzzle to further represent other facets/applications of language. The large speech bubble originates from a character on the bottom left; she is seemingly in a conversation. The situation suggests a mother speaking – in a mother tongue – to her child about culture and languages while the child listens in awe and admiration. Both characters’ design also resembles lips/a mouth.

Warm colours are chosen to be approachable and friendly. A bold colour is also used to highlight the theme and title within the speech bubble. The speech bubble itself is also emphasized by a subtle offset print in the background. Although contemporary and bold, the composition and style is reminiscent of old-time woodblock prints. This is suitable since like some languages, wooden typeset printing is also a dying art.

The design of this poster is unusual because of high level of abstraction. Simple, yet engaging graphics allow viewers to focus on what is being said without the distraction of unnecessary elements. Instead of using photographs of literal meaning, flat graphics and typography are used to express the essence of the message: that diversity in languages are an important, and that there is a genuine love and pride when one is able to speak his/her mother tongue.