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visual communication practice

Wasting Away


Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

The amount of food wasted annually is astounding. Findings released by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers earlier this year revealed that up to 50% of all the food produced annually worldwide is wasted. In Australia, we throw out up to 20% of the food we buy, which equates to 1 out of every 5 bags of groceries. These figures are very concerning when you consider the approximate 870 million people who are starving, according to 2012 findings. For Memefest’s Friendly Competition I have chosen to design a poster that aims to educate people of the severe differences regarding the amounts and quality of food consumed by individuals from first and third world countries.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

I have chosen to use the display format of a poster because this can be easily put up in areas where food is consumed and discarded. It also appears less formal compared to more expensive installation devices for instance- such as billboards, more effectively targeting passersby. I believe this is because viewers will not form the idea that they are being told these facts in a demanding, authoritative manner, but from an ordinary person like themselves. This will also help to ensure they do not feel overwhelmingly guilty but rather conscious of the issue raised.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

People in society will begin to save money because they hopefully will start buying the amounts of food they actually intend to eat rather than unnecessarily large amounts. Additionally, the prevalence of obesity-related illnesses will ideally decrease due to individuals with overeating tendencies starting to eat less. Due to the fact my poster raises awareness of poverty being experienced overseas, members of overseas communities will hopefully benefit from increased charity donations.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

This project was very beneficial because it significantly increased my understanding of our eating habits in first world countries. I also learned a lot about the power of visual communication based on responses to my artwork: a lot of people, myself included, are shocked to know the exact percentages relating specifically to food wastage in Australia.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

My artwork can be seen as ‘good’ because it actually has a positive intention behind it- it is not designed for monetary profit but rather a positive change in human behavior. It can be perceived as effective because of the simple text featured and the strong, eye-catching image used.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

I have intended for this poster to be displayed on the facades of fast food restaurants and supermarkets because these are places where people commonly overeat and discard fresh, consumable food. Rather than make people feel guilty about their eating habits, I hope that my poster raises awareness of this issue
and as a result reduces the amount of food wasted each year.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

Due to the public locations of my artwork I haven’t specifically gathered feedback from passer’s by, mainly because I want the poster to speak for itself and don’t want viewers to feel they are being forced by a graphic designer to look at their artwork. I believe that in this case, my visual communication should be able to grab people’s attention and make a positive change purely from the poster’s visual contents. I did however ask for anonymous feedback from other members of my graphic design class and they believed the poster had a lot of potential to prick people’s consciences and achieve my desired outcomes.


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Entry details


Wasting Away


While we are wasting food, millions are eating waste..

Concept author(s)

Lauren McKenna

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

I chose the theme of food wastage, researched this issue, formed some potential design solutions and then chose to visually create the solution I thought most effectively raised awareness of the topic :)




Lauren McKenna

Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

Bachelor of visual arts at University of Ballarat