LANGUAGES MATTER! A UNESCO poster competition

Competition Details

Jambo poster

by stephen kariuki
Co-authors: Joe Kingori

Design 21

Our idea was born out of the necessity to bring out the poster as an introduction from all over the world, hence the use of the word ‘Hallo’ in 14 international languages in a more robust and vibrant way. We found that the use of Greens again like last years winning poster, would move us to a more environmental and eco-friendly approach. This led us to the use of loud colors, thus the reason to use a mix of deep yellows and deep reds. We also decided to maintain our theme colors as opposed to using many different colors to have some consistency in the design. Furthermore, we decided to use the title ‘Languages Matter’ as the headline to emphasize on the International Mother Language theme which we thought wasn’t brought out as it should have in the previous year!

Firstly, the reason for the globe in the background was to bring out the international aspect of the theme. The reason for the specific silhouettes was to draw more attention to the younger generation. We gathered that the theme’s main objective was to create awareness about the risk of losing our mother languages in the next few years. The quote by Koichiro Matsuura was to simply explain in the most elaborate way the reason behind the theme. The image with the Japanese girl learning shows that formal education is an essential part in keeping your mother tongue. The second picture shows the ‘maasai tribe’ from our native country Kenya, performing a ceremonial dance. In all the forty two tribes in Kenya the Maasai have the strongest cultural values. They have been able to maintain their language despite pressure from urbanisation. The family images shown bring about cohesiveness and the base of all learning . The image of the old lady portrays a wealth of knowledge for it’s from them we learn about our past history, language and culture. The last image of the small boy is to emphasize language needs to be taught at an early age for they are certainly the future.