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“Toxic” wins Art Toppling Tobacco

Posted in Art, Blog, Competitions, Design, Illustration, Logos

Art Toppling Tobacco is a competition that encourages entrants to create art that does damage to the tobacco industry.

My submission “Toxic”, showing the destructive nature of the tobacco industry, was awarded first prize! The contest was judged on World No Tobacco day and seven runners up were also announced. Be sure to check out the Art Toppling Tobacco website for details on the winning entries and all other submissions.

My winning piece can be seen below. Director of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Dr Brendan Nelson, judged the Grand Final round of the contest and had the following to say about this piece:

The despair and desolation of nicotine addiction and its seemingly endless capacity to capture completely its victims.

Art toppling tobacco contest entry by Elise Martinson


While the health risks associated with smoking are well known, cigarettes also have a significant negative impact on the environment. Cigarettes don’t only do damage to your body, they also contribute to air, land and sea pollution, killing wildlife and altering ecosystems. This slightly surreal illustration captures the effects of smoking on the body and the environment, showing how our choice to smoke or quit can go on to have much a bigger impact on the world around us.

I also entered this symbol to the contest, which won a prize in the preliminary round:


A Fresh Start

Some smokers feel vilified by all the negative anti-smoking advertising and feel that their right to choose to smoke is being challenged. I think there’s an opportunity for a more positive “quit” campaign, so I developed this logo as a positive symbol for the quit movement. It was inspired by World No Tobacco Day often acknowledged by placing flowers in an ashtray. This logo shows a hand holding a flower instead of a cigarette. Flowers are symbolic of fresh air while the white on red also reads like a stop sign – signifying the end of a smoking habit.

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