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visual communication practice



Description of idea

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

Student life is exciting for most. It can also be very stressful and pressured. Studying is part of a process and change. Students must deal with being on their own for the first time; moving out of home or even moving to another state or country. They must deal with the emotions of being separated from family, leaving old friends behind and forming new ones, studying challenging subjects, and affording the university/college life style of drinking, socialising, joining new clubs, purchasing lap tops, text books, and the list goes on. For some, financial support is no problem, however for many students, keeping up with study, a job, and all other extra curricular activities can be overwhelming.

Debt and financial worries is the number one concern student’s worry about, and unfortunately, students tend to find themselves in a lot of debt. Part of this is due to immaturity, and the other part is due to the hectic life style student’s lead. Studying is also now more expensive then ever before and thus greater concern is developing about the large debt students will be facing at the end of
their studies.

A study undertaken by the University of Queensland found that students with any level of stress were twice as likely to suffer from a mental illness as students with no financial stress. This point highlights the urgent need for Universities, Colleges and all learning institutions to take a broad and proactive approach to the mental health and wellbeing of students due to debt related stress.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

In order to create a better awareness regarding debt related stress among students, a student debt pack was created. This debt pack takes the form of a three-dimensional pyramid, acting as a metaphor for the unbalanced power relationship between debtors and creditors; creditors being at the top and debtors being down the bottom. The concept revolves around the idea that being debt free = stress free. In order to capture the feeling of being ‘free’, imagery was used for the visual identity. I.e. Calming water, flying through the sky, or jumping of a cliff into mid air or symbolise the feeling of being free. These images were edited to create a bold, vibrant and youthful design aesthetic – ultimately appealing to students. Calming colours were used such as green and purple – purple being the colour for wealth. The package is also designed to be a moneybox – with a small slot where students can insert coins, thus encouraging students to start saving.

This pack will consist of a student debt stress free pocket guide, origami paper/debt related notepaper, a series of badges, and a stress ball.

The pocket guide – This guide is a small information booklet designed to inform students that debt related stress is a growing problem among students. This guide offers information about debt and stress, simple tips on how to de-stress, a section about where students can get professional help, and lastly an origami instruction guide.

Origami notepaper – The bird/paper crane has been used as a symbol of freedom through out this pack. A paper crane is also a symbol of good luck, as keeping a paper crane in one’s home is thought to be a powerfully lucky and benevolent charm. The origami pieces of paper act as notepaper designed for debt related issues. For example, one can keep a debt check list (Pay rent for week $150), keep track of people they owe money to (Owe mum $100 for concert ticket), and lastly they can write down any negative thoughts. The idea is that each list has a start and end date. Once they have ticked off all the boxes – they can literally fold their problems away by making their own paper cranes. At the end, hopefully a collection of paper cranes will have been made – thus creating good fortune for the student debtor.

Badges – A series of badges were designed in order to reflect the concept of being debt and stress free. Students can wear the badges, or pin them to bags or where ever they like. These badges will be a constant reminder to stressed students that they are not alone, and help is always available.

Website – Students are directed towards the website – www.debt-stress-free.com.au. Here students can find out more information regarding debt related stress, and book an appointment online with a non for profit debt guidance counsellor – specialising in student debt concerns. Here, students have the options of seeking help from someone who will not judge them for their debt distress. Most importantly, the appointment is absolutely free of charge!

Stress ball – A stress ball has been included in the pack – a great reliever of stress when times are tough.

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

My work is benefiting society in many ways. I am helping students find solutions to rid debt, or at least become less stressed regarding this issue.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

I learnt many things creating this project. It was fascinating to find out how many students were in fact in serious debt trouble and how it affected their day to day lives.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

Debt is the number one concern for students. Students thus deal with anxiety on a day-to-day basis, as student debt can be overwhelming for many. If this pack can help at least one student change the way they see debt – thus having an impact on their mental wellbeing – then it is safe to say we have achieved something good.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

This Debt Stress Free pack will be handed out outside all learning institutions such as Universities, Colleges, Tafe etc. It will also be handed out in popular student ‘hang out’ spots such as the Queen Street Mall, Shopping centres, and social events that targeting uni students.

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?)



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Entry details




Debt Free = Stree Free

Concept author(s)

Louise Wright

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

This work was produced by myself - Louise Wright. I was the sole contributor to this work.




Louise Wright

Designer(s) year(s) of birth




Copy author(s)

Louise Wright

Copy author(s) year(s) of birth


Copy author(s) contribution

I wrote the copy for this text. Research however was done on the internet to find statistics etc.



Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

Queensland College of Art - Visual Communication Design