Saturday, 16 March 2013

Communication is a Virus - 10 000 Steps - Full Project

Alex `Dyson
Laura Tomlinson
Melissa Gater
Dan Everitt
Will Jeffrey
Jasper Lee

Due to our initial idea being impossible (see Communication is a Virus post on Design Context blog) we decided to make people aware that simple changes in their lifestyle would help them become healthier.

The main focus of our concept was to get students, specifically from Leeds College of Art, to take the stairs over the lift. We wanted to target people through several different avenues. To create the greatest awareness we wanted to produce a series of shocking and eye-catching posters, a booklet to provide more detailed information, stickers to raise more awareness and finally some flyers/leaflets to reinforce the message.

We split up the process into three phases. The first phase was stir attention, followed by promotion and finally viral. Before we could start designing and producing work we needed to decide on the content/logo/name, colour, tone of voice and font.

After some discussion we decided to use Bebas Neue as out main font as it was bold and simple and had a good impact when increased to a larger point size. Due to the limitations of the brief we chose to use black and yellow on white stock. We decided on these colours because black and white have the highest contrast – creating the greatest impact – and yellow would make elements stand out. For the tone of voice we wanted something that students would connect with, something on their level. As we as students ourselves, it made finding this tone of voice easier. The tone of voice we settled on was one that was suggestive, forceful, profane, risky, (mildly) offensive and sexy. Dan came up with our name, FACT, where the c was hidden or not as obvious so it infact said FAT. This became the foundation for the website that was called thehiddenc.

Our initial poster concept was to use visually shocking images, combined with hard-hitting, slightly offensive and mildly amusing slogans. The posters that were to be placed in the lift were to be offensive, negative and suggestive, where as the posters on the stairs were supposed to be more encouraging and positive.

Negative Lift Posters:

Positive Stair Posters:

At the same time as I created these posters I also came up with some logo design ideas.

Whilst I was producing my poster and logo designs other members of the group produced some so that we had an array of designs to chose from.
The following designs were designed by Will:

The following designs were designed by Alex:

With our plan set out in phases and a wide range of poster and logo designs we had a preliminary critique to discuss our work. From this critique we received feedback on all our poster and logo designs. The feedback we received on the posters was that they were very shocking and had a powerful impact, they were something that you would remember and that they were something that would appeal to students. The overall opinion was good, however some of the designs were deemed too offensive due to the disgustingness of the images. Another problem that was picked up on was the rights to the photographs, as we hadn’t taken the photos ourselves we didn’t have the right to use the photos and therefore had to take our own shocking photographs. The final point that was taken from this critique was that any profanity would have to be censored.

Although the posters did exactly what we wanted them to do, we were advised to redesign the posters as they may cause offence.

As we were advised to change the poster images and censor the profane language, we still wanted some photographs that were shocking and had a powerful impact. Due to needing to have the rights to the photographs we decided on a photo shoot of several members of the team horribly eating McDonald’s. Although this was not as shocking as the grotesquely fat people it was still shocking and attention grabbing. The photographs were mostly taken by Alex, however, Dan and I also took some. Dan then came up with the idea to put tape around our faces in some of the shots to represent the fact our body was built and made of what we are putting into ourselves. This just disfigured the face more, making the images more shocking.

The logo was also decided on and finalised so that I could be used on all our posters, leaflets, booklets, website, Twitter and Facebook. The logo we chose was one that I had designed. The design read fat, however the A is composed of two brackets that have been pushed apart at the bottom and pushed together at the top. This gives the appearance of an A whilst also looking like it is fat. Within the brackets is a small yellow C to create the FACT and emphasise thehiddenc.

Whilst these elements were being decided on and finalised Alex was creating all the website, Twitter and Facebook pages which were to be used for all three phases, especially the third and final phase.

The final posters we created were split into two different series. The first series were the photographs, converted into black and white (due to limitations on number of colours and to provide the greatest impact) and with the logo added on. These were the posters that were supposed to grab the attention and shock people into investigating. The second series were purely type based, providing a little more information and insight into what we were doing. The photographic posters were designed and composed by Will and Alex and the type based posters were designed and digitised by Will and I. The layout design for the type based posters – the central alignment with the main test in a large black font and the more profane element in smaller yellow font (meaning that it was not as openly offensive however it was still readable and the viewer would have to get up close and personal with the poster to grasp its full content) – was designed by myself.

Photo Based Posters:

Type Based Posters:
Note: The following posters do not all contain the correct logo or colours.
The following designs were designed by myself:

The following designs were designed by Will:

Final Posters:

Once all the posters had been finalised, they were printed out and put up around college by Alex, Dan, Will and Melissa.
Posters in Context:

Whilst the posters were being produced and put up, Melissa and Laura were designing and producing the booklet that would hold more information about what we were doing and the facts about it.
The way that the booklet was designed was that it was an A3 sheet folded together so that I could hold a selection of small cards. The cards can be removed and handed around so that they raise more awareness. The clever element to the booklet that was when all of the cards were removed the structure could be unfolded to reveal a poster with facts and figures on steps that need to be taken when related to McDonald’s meals.

There were two further planned developments to the project and one that was a reaction development. The first of the planned developments was the stickers. The stickers were initially designed to create more and wider awareness, however, due to how the project developed, they were designed and used as the positive statements on the stairs. The reason they were changed to this was to provide another alternative method of delivery that we believed students would react to. The stair stickers were designed, produced and distributed by Will and Alex. The stickers were designed to give people who took the stairs a positive feeling as they did not take the lift.

The final planned component of the project was a leaflet that was cheaper design. The leaflet was designed by Will and produced by myself.  Theses were produced in a ‘hot dog book’ format and were made at a size that could easily fit into your pocket. The content of this leaflet was not as informative as the booklet and was more aligned to the posters, using similar language, tone of voice and incorporated the photographs taken for the posters.

Due to some regulations in Leeds College of Art all of our posters were taken down and thrown in the bin. This was done after we asked for permission to post them up around college. Due to these posters having been thrown away and due to the title of the brief was Communication is a Virus, Dan, Will and I produced two more posters in a aim to get people to remove the posters. The content of these posters was similar to the rest, without the profanity and more suggestive.

100 of these posters were distributed around the college, compared to the 30 that had previously been distributed. The aim of these posters, as well as to stir attention, was to get people to walk around college to remove the posters. They were effective and worked, as all of the posters were taken down and posts were made to the Facebook page by people who had taken them.

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