Another research project of mine involved analysing a couple of charity posters in order to study the way in which such a great impact is made.
The first one was ‘Torture victims are people just like you and me’, a Swiss Christian campaign to help wipe out torture. Their means of communication was rather a dramatic one, with a poster printed onto the back of seats on a bus – the main feature being bloodied and bruised arms tied with rope, as though bound behind someone’s back. An element of forced perspective has been used here to make it seem as though the passenger sat in the seat has their arms bound as though they are being tortured. The fact that this campaign has been placed on public transport for anyone to see, highlights their message that torture victims could be any one of us.
The design is simple and clever, with only the image of the arms, tagline and charity logo being featured: this is all they need to say, as people react to an image, especially one as shocking as this, with the tagline, saying just enough to make that impact.
The second charity campaign I looked at was one in aid of Crisis Relief Singapore, in which a series of posters have been created of a real image of severe poverty and tragedy. Surrounding the central image are numerous hands gesturing a thumbs up – the only text printed is ‘Liking isn’t helping.’ and ‘Be a volunteer. Change a life.’, as well as the charity’s logo and website address. The text is minimal in order for your main focus to be on the visual itself. A simple idea of using the iconic thumbs up ‘like’ image, referencing to Facebook, shows the futility of social media, as well as the mindset of people today, and how many comfort themselves by thinking that ‘liking’ is sympathising and is helping in some way or another. The text itself is small in relation to the poster so that it is not the primary focus, however, the black and white photographs do show the text, and when seen, it then ties together the whole message of the poster. The short and powerful statements are everything that the charity need to say, as the visual is what really drives home the message: they have provided their charity information so that people can get involved, and they have made their message even clearer with the strong comments used.
Both campaigns have been really interesting to analyse and they do contain similar elements in order to tackle the issue at hand. They both use a shocking image as the primary focus of their graphic, and are careful with their use of text, keeping it to the point, and on message. From these elements in particular, in terms of a charity campaign, I have learnt it is important not to overcomplicate matters, as you need to grab the viewer’s attention, just for long enough that they are affected by what the poster conveys, then, hopefully proving successful, they can get involved by visiting the charity website for more information – that is where the bulk of the information and details on how to get involved should be. The poster is the means for finding that information and being able to successfully impact the viewer.