From the Cult: Graphic design is not the AMS candidates’ passion, clearly

You’ve seen them on the bulletin boards scattered around campus.

You’ve probably ignored most of them — hoping that if it ain’t seen, it ain’t real.

But it is real. As the snow patches from the Great Snowmageddon of 2019 continue to melt under the lukewarm Vancouver sun, it approaches from under the slush.

They’re coming.

It’s everyone’s ‘favourite’ time of year: the annual AMS election! And, oh boy, have we got a lot of candidates vying for this year’s chance of securing a sick addition to their med school or grad application. I’m kidding. (Am I?)

You folks LOVED when I reviewed last year’s candidate’s posters, but things are going to be done a little different this year. Instead of relying on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m going to be using this emotions chart that I found off of Google that is obviously much more objective and scholarly.

These were the posters up as of March 7, 2019.


Kuol Akuechbeny

I have to hand it to Kuol. His graphic design skills have definitely improved since this time last year and I’m entirely referring to the fact that he refrained from including a random hashtag. I do appreciate the inclusion of his platform, but man, how many people are going to read each of those bullet points fully?

With his platform available on the AMS website, all a poster has to do is intrigue me enough to encourage further reading and not demand every ounce of my attention.

Chris Hakim

I love that Chris stuck to using UBC’s colour scheme and bruh, masking yourself over the border? My god, he’s a genius. But the massive looming text that takes up half the poster looks more funny the longer I look at it. In fact, it kind of looks like an eye exam.

I’m mostly worried about you getting crushed by your own name, Chris.

Jas Kullar

This poster is pretty alright except for the massive white border surrounding it. Do you guys see that? I’m not sure if this was intentional or not but I’m sadly just not a fan with the design choice.

The white border on this poster — whether it’s an oversight or not — is making me feel… cautious.

Stuart Clarke

This poster has a lot going on. How are we expected to believe that Stuart is able to balance on that surfboard with a head so large? Hey — I totally get what Stu is going for here, this direction of poster design is very hip and cool with the kids. BUT, constructively speaking, I think that the inclusion of the position(s) he’s running for would have made more of a splash.

I’m going to deduct major points for the “https://” at the beginning of the AMS elections’ URL, though. That’s going to be a ‘no’ from me.

VP Academic + University Affairs

Julia Burnham

I appreciate any poster that chooses a consistent colour scheme right down to the clothes the candidate decides and sticks with it to the end. Now, perhaps this is just an issue with the length of the title itself but it looks like it reads “VP Academic & and University Affairs Senate.”

I wish that I could offer up some input on how to format the title because I sure as hell don’t know what I’m doing nor am I at all qualified in any usherings of graphic design.

Nick Pang

See, I think Nick absolutely nailed formatting the long ass title he and Julia are running for. I think what makes it so perfect is the usage of two separate colours. With that said, I do think the photograph of Nick is a little heavy on the contrast — I just want to see more of you and your wonderful head of hair! And whether you’re standing in a forest or not. I’ve got questions.

VP Administration

Cole Evans

Cole, I have one major question. On your poster, it appears as though you stood in front of a green screen and then you masked in a picture of nice birch hardwood. So… are you meant to be in front of a wooden, floor-like wall or some straight-up wood floor?

I’m just curious, is all.

Andrea M. Hurtado Fuentes

Andrea not only made two posters, but she made two such nice posters that I thought they were promotional materials. Whether that’s a con or not, hell, I’m not sure. Either way, aesthetically-speaking these are two sick posters.

Andrea’s poster(s) make me feel optimistic that there’s at least one of us out there who has a real knack for graphic design.

Alex Okrainetz

Dude, in this poster Alex is all gussied up in vector art form. I honestly I didn’t even think this was possible for an election poster. This is an eye-catching poster and very unique from what I’m sure we’re all used to seeing. That said, the cheesy government rhetoric is just a little too cheesy for me.

VP External

Cristina Ilnitchi

Cristina has definitely upped her ‘A’ game from last year in the poster department. But… the text above her is not centred with her portrait shot which possibly could be bugging me because I’ve simply been staring at this for a while in deep, contemplative thought.

Am I just seeing this, though? Have I been staring at this for too long?

Will Shelling

Equity. Access. Will and Andrea both include what we like to call in the biz of reviewing posters “buzz words” or “vague political rhetoric.” Equity… so… equity in what? In access? And, wait, access to what? Besides the inclusion of two buzz words that litter every political science class I’ve ever taken, this is a pretty crisp poster with my favourite colour scheme of all time which is blue and yellow all the way, baby.

Riley Ty

Riley’s poster is bright, clear, and… horizontal. This is a personal preference but I’m not a necessarily huge fan of horizontal posters — there’s just something about them that is deeply uncomfortable and I cannot explain why.

Also — someone had gone ahead and stuck a pin through Riley’s eye and I gotta say, that’s pretty rude.

VP Finance

Lucia Liang

This poster just oozes minimalism and, compared to other posters that rely on colour and punchy text, Lucia’s is a fresh change-up in the poster game. They are quite small, however, about the size of a sheet of printer paper. I would worry about others trying to crowd over hers.

Which, I gotta say, makes me sad. I saw a few examples of that on my ventures through campus.

Jon Tomalty

This is a pretty nice poster — it’s simple and uncontroversial. Which is, well, not at all a bad thing but… it’s kind of… yawn? But, what do I know?

Viki Loncar

I gotta say that the editing on Viki’s poster, albeit a bit of an overused format this year, is undeniably fresh. I really respect a poster that uses colours that are complementary to each other — it’s a nice touch! But I’m somewhat curious as to how so many people this year decided to use almost the exact same poster format of including a profile shot, bold text, border, and AMS election logo stuck in one of the corners. Is there something I’m being left out on?

Board of Governors

Dylan Braa


DYLAN BRAAM FO- oh my gosh, sorry. I lost control of myself for a second. It’s definitely telling me that Dylan Braam is all on board for being apart of the Board of Governors.

Max Holmes

Max, I nearly thought you used the exact same poster as last year but changed up the positions you’re running for. I now realize I’m completely mistaken and now you’re standing outside of IKB and looking away from the camera instead of at the camera.

I guess if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it but… meh.

Jeanie Malone

Leave it to Jeanie to bring forward an underutilised poster format! I wish that the box containing the voting information was… well, edited in a little nicer, but it’s still clear and easy to read (although a little cut off by the white border).

One more thing — Jeanie, you look so cold in that picture! Let me make this clear — I love the background, but your cheeks are super rosy which only leads me to believe this may have taken one more take. Or you’re just naturally rosy.

Awais Quadre

Besides me feeling pretty awkward running up beside a duo of defenceless students trying to study in peace inside the Life building, this is… well, it checks almost every box of my list of things that irk me in posters that I’ve babbled about throughout my poster-viewing excursion.

Awais utilises a lot of typical student governance rhetoric in his poster but it does make me curious as to how he intends to “increase student resources to match population growth.” Wait, what? Population of the campus, or of the city of Vancouver? The Lower Mainland? The province of British Columbia? The Universe?


Iman Moradi

I have spent the absolute longest time trying to figure out where this photo was taken. Whether it’s located in the Henry Angus building or in the Nest or whatever, this is… well, maybe not the most aesthetically pleasing poster I’ve seen. The text is legible but… I’m unsure of how that shade of yellow got chosen.

Julia Chai

Alright, I viciously dislike that the URO thumbtacked their poster a bit over Julia’s, but I cannot let that distract me. I really like everything about this poster. Julia does look like she’s being blinded by either the sun or, y’know, her bright future as a UBC grad.

Actually — Julia’s poster is a little bit put over Andrea’s…

Emotion charts aside — we have 30 separate names on the ballot this year, and whether they can make good design decisions or not has no impact on how competent they could potentially be in student government roles. Anyway, I hope that some of this year’s candidates didn’t have ambitions to pursue graphic design after they graduate.