Design & visual imagery have always played a vital role in delivering powerful messages to the community. Effective design is the propagator of news, insights, political views, and announcements for centuries now. When it comes to imploring people or the entire nation to change their behavior, visual communication can get an emotional response from the viewer and drive certain social behaviors.
Now considering the current global pandemic, the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) have called on creatives around the world to put all of their efforts to halt the spread of erroneous information about COVID-19 and endorse public health precautions.
According to the UN, creatives have truly changed the world. UN launched the ‘Global Call Out to Creatives’ to implore the design community from all across the globe to convert the most paramount public health messages into work that can entice and update people of different cultures, languages, communities, and platforms.
Why are visuals more effective than the written words?
Visual imagery is quite important when you seek to reach the indigent parts of society. In this scenario, “pictures speak louder than words.” When you choose to speak through an image, it helps even the illiterate to understand your motive. Minority cultures tend to follow the recommendations of the majority and consequently, the belittled become part of the wider community. Since we’re going through an unprecedented global situation, public health messaging needs to be spread all around the world and resonate with all languages and cultures in order to halt the spread of the virus much effectively. For that, the UN and WHO know that creatives are in the foreline.
Those who seek to contribute to this unprecedented call out; the creative community has joined the force to help in streamlining your visual message. The top advertising agencies’ creative directors like Leo Burnett, Ogilvy, Dentsu, and BBDO along with companies like Spotify have become a part of a team, giving feedback and suggestions on your submission.
Public health messaging is prime during this time of crisis. Our support towards essential workers, whether they’re health workers, supermarket shelf stackers, or freight train drivers, will surely boost their morale and we can show our support and respect through social media platforms via infographics, charticles, collages, etc.
Recently, Dutch design studio ‘Lennarts & de Bruijn’ launched the Stay Sane / Stay Safe project to encourage creatives from all across the world to come up and design posters around the brief of ‘stay sane, stay home’. The idea behind this project is to spread the right message and show solidarity to frontline healthcare workers through beautifully-designed postcards and sending them to hospitals in the Netherlands.
Currently, almost 841 people with creative backgrounds from over 70 countries have contributed to the project. Whether it’s the female-driven creative studio ‘Bad’ in Switzerland or Priscilla Camacho, a Costa Rican artist, everyone is contributing to the cause. Moreover, creatives from a variety of backgrounds are going the extra mile to raise awareness through their exceptional designs and getting the message through to us all “Stay At Home!”
Furthermore, the design holds a special place when it comes to connecting people on a community level. From the past seven years, a non-profit design laboratory ‘Territorial Empathy’ is dedicated to using design to inspire the empathy needed to make more inclusive spaces globally. To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the studio has designed a digital ‘FoodHelp’ map which shows where impoverished New Yorkers can find community kitchens, food banks, and meal pick up locations.
You’re Stronger Than You Think You are…
Now if we look at history, it won’t be wrong to say that visual communication has been proven essential in conveying crucial messages and now is no different. Albeit, they aren’t on the frontline, yet the creatives, designers, and artists can play a key role in sharing and spreading information which can certainly save people’s lives. So, what’s your design idea to combat COVID-19?