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MA Graphic Design alumna Geertje Debets is a finalist at the European Design Awards 2015

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Written by
Helen Carney
Published date
15 July 2015

Geertje Debets, a 2012 graduate of LCC’s MA Graphic Design course, was recently announced as a finalist at the European Design Awards 2015 for her project ‘Dutch – Russian: A Vocalic Communication System’.

Geertje explains, “the project ‘Dutch – Russian: A Vocalic Sound System’ is dedicated to the 298 passengers who died on flight MH17 last year, and indeed to everyone in the world who has to face war.

“I was deeply touched by the MH17 plane crash in July 2014 and the turbulent global political climate last year. We experienced once again that peace is not always guaranteed. I found this to be particularly true in the case of the miscommunication between Russia and the Netherlands – it reminded me how fragile and unfair the world can be.

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‘Dutch — Russian: A Vocalic Communication System’, Geertje Debets, 2015.

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‘Dutch — Russian: A Vocalic Communication System’, Geertje Debets, 2015.

“As a direct response I created a project which aims to inspire and stimulate the communication between Russia and the Netherlands. I believe that some of the ideas that I explore in the project would help to avoid similar situations in the future.

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‘Dutch — Russian: A Vocalic Communication System’, Geertje Debets, 2015.

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‘Dutch — Russian: A Vocalic Communication System’, Geertje Debets, 2015.

“The project focused on the difference in script and language between the two countries. The Dutch and Russian languages have a lot of similar sounds but a completely different script.

“For me this comparative approach represents the wider miscommunication issues between the countries: you hear the same sound but have a completely different image in mind.

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‘Dutch — Russian: A Vocalic Communication System’, Geertje Debets, 2015.

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‘Dutch — Russian: A Vocalic Communication System’, Geertje Debets, 2015.

“To visualize this I cut out the letters of our Latin alphabet, morphed them into the Cyrillic script and scanned them. This resulted in a Dutch/Russian vocalic system, which acts to avoid miscommunication and conflict for a peaceful and bright future. From these images I created a flyer, a book, postcards and posters all for sale.”

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‘Dutch — Russian: A Vocalic Communication System’, Geertje Debets, 2015.

On her time at LCC Geertje explains “what I especially loved about studying at LCC was the different views people had on graphic designs relationship with world topics.

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‘Dutch — Russian: A Vocalic Communication System’, Geertje Debets, 2015.

“With such incredible diversity in nationalities, cultures, religions and backgrounds the course was so inclusive and allowed to really broaden my mind and view on the world.”

Find out more about MA Graphic Design.