Luke’s crafty design wins Refugee Week Youth Poster Award

Jul 07, 2023

Graphic design student Luke Dixon

A bold yet playful skeleton reminding people that ‘everyone’s the same underneath’ is at the centre of TAFE SA student Luke Dixon’s award-winning design for the SA Refugee Week Youth Poster Awards Exhibition.

The engaging poster design won the tertiary category of the competition, which is run by the Australian Migrant Resource Centre to coincide with World Refugee Day and SA Refugee Week in June.

The competition is open to students at primary, second and tertiary level, who are asked to produce a poster that celebrates the themes surrounding the United Nations International Refugee Convention such as multiculturalism, human rights, cultural diversity, and anti-racism.

The winning designs and shortlisted entries are exhibited at the Children’s Artspace at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Luke, a graphic design student and keen illustrator, set out to design a poster that combined a serious message with a sense of play.

“I’m very craft-oriented when it comes to design. A lot of people will head straight to the computer, but I work with pens and markers first, so I was always going to take a craft approach, but I really took inspiration from kids and what they would do because they don’t really have a limit on creativity,” he says.

His approach included using bold blocks of colour, incorporating different media such as Letraset type and charcoal, and adding quirky names for each body part to further engage his audience.

While he has previously been a finalist in design awards for the Adelaide Advertising and Design Club (AADC) and Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA), this is his first award win and comes as he completes his Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design course at TAFE SA’s Adelaide College of the Arts (AC Arts).

“Studying at TAFE SA has been great for my personal development and I’ve enjoyed meeting people and getting to know the lecturers,” he says.

Luke, who has an arts background, says an early topic in his course - called Design Foundations - helped expand his thinking about the role of art and design.

“That subject made me think more emotionally about what pulls people in not just in a visual sense but what they feel when they see a piece of art or design, and I think it’s very important to capture that human element in design,” he says.

It’s an idea that he’s pursued in the “safe space” of TAFE SA’s graphic design studio, pushing creative boundaries and developing his style.

“I think my point of difference is craft. Anyone can do something on the computer, especially with the emergence of AI, but what I do is approach design with the aim of interacting or connecting with you emotionally on a human level,” he says.

Luke is one of five TAFE SA students selected for the SA Refugee Week Youth Poster Awards Exhibition. Other finalists include Amber Ward – named runner-up in the tertiary category, Christian Bianchetti, Alec Mulconray and Alexander Novakov.    

The exhibition at the Children’s Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre, is open to the public until Sunday, 13 August. The exhibition will also be shown through regional South Australia.