Alternative election ads crafted by Montreal students

A group of design students in Montreal didn't like the campaign posters put up around the city — so the students made some of their own.

Students of design professor Nelu Wolfensohn came up with new takes on federal parties' campaign posters

Students Michael Grenier and Sarah St. Laurent made this fake propaganda poster for the Liberal Party of Canada. (Michael Grenier, Sarah St. Laurent/UQAM)

Are you fed up with federal election campaign posters featuring plastic smiles and empty promises?

So are a group of students at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM).  

Students Maryne Bélanger, Raphaëlle Brillant-Marquis and Camille Lévesque came up with this fake ad for the NDP. (Maryne Bélanger, Raphaëlle Brillant-Marquis, Camille Lévesque/UQAM)

Led by design professor Nelu Wolfensohn, the third-year design students have put together an exhibition called Election Issues 2015, featuring the alternative propaganda posters and videos they dreamt up leading into the election.

"Graphic design and specialty posters and now videos can do a lot to awaken the public interest for the election and also what's happening in our country," said Wolfensohn.

He came up with the alternative propaganda-poster idea a decade or so ago.

Rachel Baril, Marie-Pier Mercier and Vanille Windenberger made this fake Liberal poster featuring Stephen Harper done up like the Queen. (Rachel Baril, Marie-Pier Mercier, Vanille Windenberger/UQAM)

Disenchanted with his political options during a municipal election in which Gérald Tremblay was up against Pierre Bourque, Wolfensohn got his students to make up some alternative posters. That first project was christened SOS Montréal.

"So it's a long tradition to do this kind of exercise at our school," he said.

It's the first year, however, that the fake ads are bilingual. Wolfensohn said the decision to do them in both English and French was guided by a desire for a wider reach.

Students formed teams of two or three and picked their party out of a hat. Wolfensohn said the teams were divided up according to the day's latest polling data. 

At the time, it put the NDP and Liberals ahead of the Conservatives, with the Bloc Québécois and the Green Party trailing.

A sample of the students' work is below. Find the rest of the posters and videos online here.


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