Rallying for rhinos

Liesl Ah Shene
TWO NMMU students from the Western suburbs placed first and second respectively in the Design@Bay Anti-Rhino Poaching Poster Design competition in conjunction with the Castle Lager East Cape Biltong Festival.
The initiative invited students to design a poster in order to create awareness of the dangers being faced by rhinos across the African continent.
The poster design competition ran from March 25 to April 15 and was open to students registered for a graphic design course at recognised higher education institution in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
NMMU graphic design BTech student Marc Cooper, of Sherwood, is the talented and lucky winner of the competition.
The runner-up is post-graduate degree corporate communications and visual design student Darren Berkland of Sunridge Park.
Both talented men got involved in the competition because anti-rhino poaching is a project that is near and dear to their hearts.
Cooper, 22, said it was an overwhelming feeling when he won.
“The fact that my poster will further be used in the campaign for anti-rhino poaching just makes it so much sweeter.
“I really could not have asked for a better outcome,” Cooper said.
Cooper’s poster shows 668 rhino images which make up a larger rhino.
Underneath it states “This is the amount of rhinos poached in 2012. Rally for the rhino. End the massacre.”
Cooper said: “I am exploring the viability of using data visualisation in awareness campaigns.
“To briefly explain, data visualisation takes values of data and represents it visually so that the viewer can more easily understand and access the figures presented. That is why I took the available data I could find about rhino poaching and visualised that number.
Berkland’s poster included graphics of different South African bank notes.
With the rhino missing on the back of the note and a message that reads: “Never too late to save”.
“I did not want to show an image of a rhino or use the word ‘rhino’ on my poster.
“People are very aware that rhinos are endangered, so I wanted to literally ‘take them [rhinos] out the picture’.
“Also, a rhino horn is a symbol of wealth so I think taking them off the South African banknote was a logical connection,” Berkland said.
The decision by the judges on the winning poster was done on an assessment criterion which graded the posters according to: strength of concept or idea, visual effectiveness, organisation, originality and content and impact.
The judges of the contest included Michael Barry, the head of department for the arts and culture department at NMMU, Theresa Hardman who is the chairwoman of Art EC, as well as an international adjudicator and a member of various committees within the architectural fraternity.
Senior conservation officer from the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa Eastern Cape Morgan Griffiths was also part of the team and completing the panel was Dipti Varghese, creative director and owner of Design@Bay.
Cooper said he was really thankful to have been a part of the initiative. He received a prize of R3000 from Design@Bay.
Second and third runners up received hampers from the Castle Lager East Cape biltong festival’s main sponsor, SAB, and all received tickets to the Biltong Festival taking place on July 12 and 13 in Somerset East.

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