Design as Activism – Ephemera

As well as our animation we are also required to create two pieces of ephemera; one printed, one digital.

As a group we have decided to hold off on discussing the ephemera pieces because as it says in the brief, the visual style on all pieces must be coherent with one another and therefore we wanted to focus on the animation and developing the visual language for that. We have however discussed ideas of what we could do for the pieces.

For the printed ephemera we thought of creating like a double illusion – like a child’s book where you have to move or remove something to reveal something else.


D&AD 14 – New Blood Winner: Fashion Motograph:

In this design students used an old technique called motograph which is an optical effect that can animate static images. I like this project because it is an old fashioned technique that has been used in a contemporary context. Not only that but I really like the optical illusion within it and I think it not only has an impact visually, but fits well within the context of the concept. It is very simple, yet well considered and has a beauty attached to it.

I think this style could work well within our project through displaying a healthy and unhealthy world. I think it would be visually impactful to create something along these lines because it would show the effects of deforestation and the seriousness behind it – as long as it is not done in an overwhelming or frightening way, as that could deter individuals to make changes.

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With the time constraint Dee managed to create a pull out leaflet which contains illustrations and information from the animation. I really like the overall effect of the ephemera piece because it is both interactive, quirky and informative. The visual style matches that of the poster and the animation and therefore feels like a part of a campaign. I like the limited colour palette as it prevents the piece from becoming overcrowded and overwhelming visually. The design is different to what was originally researched, but nonetheless, I think it fits the purpose effectively.

Moving away form the interactive leaflet we have decided to created a printed poster and a digital GIF to go alongside our animation. As we still have work to do on the animation, we decided to split the workload so that I will work on the animation to finalise it, Dee will work on the poster and Joe will work on the GIF.

Work on the animation can be found on the Design As Activism Progression of Work blog post.

Here is slideshow snapshotting each frame of the outcome of Joe’s GIF:

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I think that the GIF works well as it shows a healthy world changing into an unhealthy world with the ‘What’s Your Legacy?’ logo to end. The idea behind this was to capture the essence of the destruction of deforestation. We decided on the unhealthy world because that displays the result of our actions if we don’t try to resolve the issue now. Although the unhealthy planet is not featured in the animation itself, due to its message I still think that it works well and relates to the animation we have created. The rotating globe is a main and constant feature throughout, which therefore creates the visual link between the GIF and the original animation.

Here is Dee’s design for the poster:

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With the poster we have decided to include the globe because as previously mentioned; it is a key and constant element throughout, however, we decided t make the character the focus point as that brings in the human element into the ephemera pieces. I think that it reminds the viewer that it is an issue that needs to be addressed by people. The style of the illustration has a positive notion attached and therefore does not overwhelm the audience or frighten them too much, because as research has shown that will only deter the audience from making any form of change at all. I also feel that the graphic nature of the designs will appeal to graphic designers more, therefore targeting our target audience.

After Dee had shown me the poster we began discussing the piece and she suggested pushing it that one step further by adding in a code that the viewer can scan that will then take them to the you tube link of the animation (once it is uploaded). This idea stemmed from Green Peace brochures, which she showed me:

It works through an app called Blippar and works similarly to a QR code – you simply scan the orange, circular symbol through the app and that will direct the viewer to the attached link. We therefore thought that if we could get it to work it would be a nice addition to the campaign as it would bring the poster to life in a way and allow the viewer to connect with the campaign more and could open it up to a wider audience. It also continues the interactive nature of the ephemera pieces, such as in the pull out leaflet.

Although we have made the decision to work separately on various elements, we have remained in contact throughout, constantly asking one another their views on the work created and whether anything needs changing. I think that due to the strength of our communication the pieces all work coherently with one another and all follow the same visual language.




Author: marislathamgraphics

I am a student at Cardiff Metropolitan University studying BA Hons Graphic Communication.

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