Ephemera

As a part of our Design as Activism brief we were asked to have a piece of digital and printed ephemera. We decided to brainstorm a couple of ideas that would correspond well with our animation. We came up with the idea to create an app that would help children understand the effects of smoking and possibly a comic strip or pack of cards.  We are going to create the plan for an app, show it’s possibilities and how it will help children understand the effects of smoking. We will also use the comic strip or cards to communicate different facts.

One of my group members decided to create a poster for our app to help us get an idea of what its cover would look like. However due to lack of communication between the group  we are unclear as to how the idea behind the app will turn out, but the more we meet up as a group we will be able to discuss and develop our different ideas. On the other hand we have discussed via social media that our app would be called ‘Tarnish’, which we thought was quite quirky and went well with what we are trying to communicate. However the more we discussed the name it became clear that we weren’t really considering our target audience, as ‘Tarnish’ might be difficult for this particular age group to understand. I think that the poster is visually pleasing and definitely gives you the idea that this is an app made for children. However I do think that we need to discuss and sketch some more ideas as a group so that we aren’t rushing into using just one design.

tarnish-app-poster
Tarnish’ poster created by one group member.

Another name which we decided on was ‘ButtHeads’. We thought that it went well with our project and left us plenty of ways to play around with the logo, it’s entertaining, and will definitely be more appealing to children.

After meeting up on Friday we decided to do some research into children’s comic strips and how we could go about creating one that would communicate the dangers of smoking to children. We thought that this would be a fun and educational way to communicate our message.  We also discussed the possibility of creating a comic that could be coloured in by children, so that they are able to gain a better understanding of why they shouldn’t smoke.

One of my group members found a humorous comic that we believed went really well with what we are hoping to create. The company have created a funny break up scenario using the figures from Ikea’s instructions. I really like the simplicity of this poster and believe that this type of style would work really well with our animated characters.

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I was then inspired to create a set of cards, that could be given out to children. The cards would have the outline of each character from the animation and would each have a fact about how smoking affects the body. As a group we have decided that I will start creating the cards. I have decided to leave the characters without any colour so that children would be able to colour them in. I am also going to find facts about the organs and place them on the back of each card, for example if I have the ‘lung’ character on the front, there will be a  fact about how smoking affects your lungs written on the back.

After taking our characters from the animation and re-creating them so only the outlines were visible,  I then did some further research into the effects of smoking on the body.  I have picked the facts that I thought children would find most interesting  and simplified the language so that children have a better chance of understanding its content.

Throughout this project we have decided to use the Dalton Maag font, ‘Objeckiv Mk2’ in Bold.  We have used this font at the start of our Animation  and then throughout our printed ephemera. I think that this typeface works really well with this project because it’s simple and bold, which makes it easy to read.  Keeping in mind that our target audience is children around the age of 9 and 10 we want to keep everything as simple as possible so we can successfully communicate our message.

Overall I am very happy with how the cards have been designed.  I believe I have incorporated my group’s ideas and made sure that the cards are simple, and communicate our facts in a clear and fun way. I am also happy with the amount of negative space that is left on the cards, I think that this will help the children to focus on the facts and hopefully understand their content. However I do still have time to improve the cards, possibly correcting some type layout errors so that they all look the same and are typographically pleasing. We have also decided to include the download link for our app on each card, so that every part of our project links together in some way.

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Instead of creating factual cards we have decided to turn them into an interactive card game, suitable for our target audience (children age 7-10). The point of the game is to match up all of the coloured cards to reveal the fact about that organ after being affected by smoking. On Photoshop I designed the shape and colour of the cards, and split each set into different colours. As well as changing the game we have decided to change the content. I have simplified the text even more so that all of the facts are communicated clearly and at the end of every fact I have included our project name, “Don’t be a butt head!”.

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I have also created a set of orange cards that will represent the cigarette characters, these will be used in the game to show how the cigarettes can affect that particular organ. I started off by using a light orange colour so that it went with the rest of the set, however after discussing with the group we decided it would be best to use darker orange to make the cigarette stand out and show that it’s bad. On every card I have used a light gradient to make the different illustrations stand out. However on the darker set of cards I decided to use a dark gradient to make it obvious that the cigarette is bad!

After creating the cards and the second piece of ephemera, I decided it would be necessary to create a card that would be a front cover to the set. I decided to use the same layout that shows when you open our app so that there is a clear connection to each piece of our ephemera.

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