By Christine Galeone

Staff Reporter

The author Mark Twain once quipped, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” But his advice doesn’t just apply to authors. It can be applied to designers as well.

For Belinda Mazur, the Marketing Manager at Southwick’s Zoo, being able to see things clearly and having the ability to use her imagination to conceive a captivating design led to one of her recent accomplishments. The brochure she designed for the zoo’s Festival of Illumination was named the Fourth Place International Winner in the Visitor International competition, “The Best Brochure Awards 2021.” It was selected as one of the best-designed brochures from a possible field of over 20,000 Visitor International client brochures from the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The brochure also won first place for best design in a New England regional competition.

According to the website for Visitor International – The International Association of Visitor Information Providers, the contest judges were all visitor information provider industry professionals from the United States, Canada and Europe. And the winners were chosen based on several factors. They included the brochure’s content, visual appeal, connection to online platforms, and the print materials’ quality and effectiveness in communicating information.

That last factor is something that’s of the utmost importance to Mazur. On her website, ImagesByBelindaMazur.Com, which also features some of her work as a photographer – especially her wildlife photography, the creative design professional states how the “purpose in the art of design is communication.” In regards to her award-winning brochure, Mazur reflected, “In creating this brochure, the joy comes from the success in engaging the viewer to be inspired by its contents,” she said. “The Festival of Illumination is a Chinese lantern festival hosted at Southwick’s Zoo, featuring handmade lanterns – an artistic expression in itself dating back to 206BC.”

Mazur’s ability to create engaging marketing and advertising content was honed over several years. And to see that dedication recognized was meaningful. “When working in creative design, it’s always an honor to be recognized – and particularly, within your peers – both nationally and internationally,” she said. “My career in marketing and design spans over 35 years, both here in the United States and in Canada, beginning in the mid-1980s.”

But Mazur’s commitment to her work goes beyond international awards. “Looking to the future, I see the continuation of creating inspiring pieces that engage the viewer,” Mazur shared. “As an artist and a marketing guru, the thoughts of retirement are still years away, as creating is a way of life!”

Once again, Southwick’s Zoo will be hosting its Festival of Illumination starting in September and running through early January 2023.