"Wash&Dry": Paper means Hygiene

Paper, art and the world of graphics. The students of the Fine Arts Academy of Bologna were the protagonists of the Wash&Dry - Paper means Hygiene contest organized by the ETS (European Tissue Symposium).

Maura Leonardi

What do the ETS (European Tissue Symposium), paper hand towels and the Accademia delle Belle Arti of Bologna, have in common? They have created an interesting contest organized and sponsored by ETS, in the person of its President, Dr. Roberto Berardi and Letizia Rostagno, part of the organization team. An initiative whose aim was to promote in the young students attending the Academy a greater awareness on the theme of "paper and hygiene", facilitating their approach to the professional world and in particular, to the world of tissue paper.


The contest was open to students attending the academy's three-year course in "Fumetto e Illustrazione" (Comic strips and illustrations) and the two-year course in "Linguaggio del Fumetto e Illustrazione per l'Editoria" (Language of comic strips and illustrations for the world of publishing). "Communication" was the key word of the event that saw 15 students as protago-nists. A communicative exchange between the world of Art and the world of tissue products - two ecosystems that are apparently distant one from the other but, as often happens in life, things that have no common ties somehow become inter-twined, creating interesting artistic expressions.

An exercise in art applied to the universe of disposable paper where different styles and interpretations met up, imagination playing a determining role. The main challenge for these students was to interpret a very important message for the daily life of every individual, transforming it into a graphic representation through comic strips or simple illustrations. The contest is part of the awareness-promoting program that ETS has embarked on whose aim is to stimulate and increase interest in tissue products, underscoring the importance of the "hygiene" factor in our lives.


The ETS, that represents almost 90% of tissue production in Europe, has among its objectives that of enhancing scientific knowledge on the use of these products through advanced studies performed in collaboration with qualified Institutions. And it is with this spirit in mind that the contest was organized, and the students were given the chance to put their artistic competencies and their expressive creativity to the test and communicate a new, young, ironic, creative and surely different message, measuring themselves up against the professional world in concrete fashion. It also allowed ETS to obtain graphic works perfect for diffusing a young, original and very effective communication. "Paper is the most hygienic way of drying hands compared to air or cloth: this is a scientific fact. But it is also a rather unappealing topic. The works proposed by the students succeeded in animating this issue with irony and imagination as well as with talent, and through this exhibition, everyone can see the results. Not only the works but the titles themselves offer unprecedented solutions that perfectly fit the theme artistically as well as commercially, merging two souls into one single work." This is how Letizia Rostagno describes the students' efforts in the Exhibition's catalogue.


With the aim of encouraging these students' works, ETS decided to confer a double recognition: a prize for the best synthesis between the artistic aspect and the needs of the customer, and a further recognition to those works having a greater communicative appeal that answered the needs of the message proposed.

The jury, comprised of a committee of ETS members working in the field of marketing and qualified artists in the field of comic strips and illustrations, awarded first prize to Gabriele Peddes, a student of the "Linguaggio del Fumetto" course, with the work entitled "Manuum Bacteria". Peddes perfectly embodied the concepts required by the contest itself. The complete, structured work tells of a young woman's typical day: waking up in the morning, a day's work,meeting with friends. His works are a synthesis of a typical intense,frenetic day, portrait of modern life, where bacteria are always in ambush behind every gesture we make!


Washing our hands and drying them with paper becomes the gesture that frees us from these parasitic nuisances. The communication efficacy of the works being judged was also rewarded. The Jury conferred three marketing prizes to underscore the artistic communication effort. Winners of these prizes were Stefania Potito with "Signs of Hygiene", first prize: a simple, clear and effective illustration ready to be used for a strong marketing campaign. The work by Lorenzo Marescalchi entitled "Small choices for a healthy life" united the popularity of Pippi Longstockings with the use of alternative energy sources, winning second prize. The strong impact of the graphic illustration "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" by Giulia Guerra won third prize. Special mention by the jury also for Gianluca Fanelli's "White/Black", a work having a strong visual impact and pictorial quality. Art, communication, marketing and paper were well synthesized and interpreted by these young students.

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