A visual design competition is nearing its end as talented student designers vie for public votes for their vision of a culturally optimistic Toronto.

The fourth annual Astral Media Outdoor Student Design Competition lets students from the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) create advertisements for the city of Toronto to show off the city’s cultural pride. With the top four entries already decided, a public online vote will now determine the winner.

Val Meyer, a representative from Astral Media Outdoor — which helped create the competition in tandem with OCAD — hopes the contest will give students added confidence and experience in having their designs recognized by creative directors and the public alike.

“We like to support young people and the local industry and something like this is really building their portfolio,” Meyers said.

Students were tasked with creating an original outdoor artwork design that expresses cultural optimism and demonstrates their own vision of what Toronto is. Meyers says the theme of cultural optimism is meant to highlight the fact that whatever state the economy is in, Toronto is a city that lives and breathes opportunity for people of any culture.

“We chose an optimistic theme this year because there’s a lot of bleak news out there and we wanted to remind people that it’s a great city we live in,” Meyer said.

The winning design, to be picked near the end of this month, will receive a grand prize of $3,000 along with a donation of $2,000 to a charity of the winning team’s choice. They will ­also see their design posted on 50 outdoor shelters across the city in June.

OCAD students Erik Christensen, 24, and Vlad Rudakov, 21, worked together to produce their top-four entry, a cheerful, hand-drawn representation of downtown Toronto floating in the clouds and imploring viewers to “Keep on shining Toronto.”

Christensen and Rudakov approached the challenge with one goal: To make people who see their work feel good about it.

“The whole idea was to get people to smile. We just wanted people to be happy with whatever they saw,” Christensen said.

The pair of young designers see the contest as a great chance to expand their repertoire.
“It’s a really good learning opportunity for us,” Christensen said.

Have your say
• To vote for the winner, go to www.mytorontois.com.

Most Popular From ...