Visual Metaphors

A metaphor is a figure of speach which is an implied comparison between two different things. A visual metaphore uses this same idea but visually communicates a message which suggests something different. This is a very powerful technique in awareness campaigns as it engages the audience and makes them think how they can help. Using visual metaphors can be a good way to communicate a sensitive subject such as child abuse as it is not so direct and engages the audience.

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This visual metaphor is very striking and clearly communicates the importance of global warming. The way that the globe is melting suggests an ice cream cone melting like the ice caps. No typography is needed to explain as the visual metaphor his so clear.

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Another visual metaphor that I like communicates a negative approach against smoking. The way that the hand is holding a cigarette with the shadow of the gun in the background creates an idea of how cigarettes are slowly killing you. By looking at these two contrasting  subject matters shows how visual metaphors can work for everything. This is an approach that we would like to include in our project to create awareness for child abuse.

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India Clausen

India Clausen came in to speak at the afterlife session today. I really enjoy all the different designers that come in to talk to us in the afterlife sessions. They all provide different insights into Graphic Communication and good advice. Although I found that India Clausen’s advice has been to most relevant to me as a designer at this moment in time.

She spoke a lot about her time in university and the transition between the quality of her work in first year compared to third year. She focused quite a lot on her moving image work which I really enjoyed as we have just started an animation project which I am new to. To see her moving image piece in first year compared to third year was really impressive. This gives me hope that I will be able to develop in this area.

Clausen began to speak about how she began a career after graduation. She is now working for weclickmedia who approached her at her degree show. This just goes to show how you need to put as much time and effort into every project, regardless on whether you enjoy it, as it can open up so many opportunities for you as a designer.

From working as a junior designer, a colleague left which opened up a designer role just 6 months after starting in weclickmedia, where she was left as the only Graphic Communicator at the company. I think this shows how you need to grab opportunities when they come and try to adapt to new situations. She is now living in Cardiff whilst still working for the firm in Bournemouth. This was very interesting to hear as she had such a big role in the office in contrast to working from home. Graphic Communications has so many different specialist areas and job roles whether it is working for a design agency or being a freelancer. This is a prime example of the versatility of Graphic Communications.

Joanna Quinn

Joanna Quinn is an oscar nominated animator and english film director who came in to do a lecture about her work and experience in the industry. Some of the well known work that she spoke about was Girls Night Out, Britannia and Family Ties. I really enjoyed hearing from Joanna Quinn as we have just started an animation project so I felt very lucky to hear from such a well established animator.

Quinn does lots of her drawings by hand as that method works best for her, she spoke about in her working environment they do not care what the techniques used in the process as long as it is a well constructed final outcome. It was interesting to see the details of her drawings in contrast to the transition drawings which were basically just lines. It was fascinating how illustrations can transform from one thing to another as I have never seen this process before. Not only did I like the visual aspect of the animations, but I also liked the powerful narrative which is communicated in a humours way. I think that this collaboration works very well together was it engages the audience whilst creating an impacting message.

I feel like hearing from Quinn has definitely given me more of a knowledge on animation. The strong messages that she communicates through the narrative is definitely something that I want to focus on in the project. As well as building up some new skills on moving image and animation.

Story Boarding

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Lily and I were the only two from our group that attended todays story boarding workshop. Story boarding is a key factor to the process of creating a moving image video/animation. It helps with constructing a strong narrative and successful process so when you take it to screen you have a clear visualised plan. It can help to break down the key elements in the animation, help with the camera shots and traditions between movement and frames. Any audio can also be annotated in a story board whether it is diajetic or non-diajetic sounds such as audio music, dialogue and sound effects.

We were assigned the H&M 2016 winter advert called ‘come together’ directed by Wes Anderson. The advert is about how people are all on a train which is delayed because of the weather. At first you see each person in a train window and as the narrative evolves they come together and spend Christmas as one. Lily and I watched the video and decided the key frames to include in the story board. We have sketched out the key frames and included arrows to represent the transitions such as pan left/right, tilt up/down, zoom in/out. We have also annotated the story board with camera shot angles such as a long shot, mid shot and high and a low angle shot. We considered the audio in the advert although forgot to annotate it on the story board. The only dialogue in the advert is the conductor explaining to the passengers there will be a delay. Not only does this tell the passengers on the situation but also communicates with the audience by telling the narrative of the story. The sound of the train tracks reinforce the setting on the train, and the Christmas music highlights the festive season.

I really enjoyed story boarding as I can now see how you can visualise a narrative. This will really help with the planning of ideas and structure of the moving image. However as we have story boarded a finalised moving image clip it is more detailed than I expect our story boarding will be. We will be taking a different approach as we’ll be gathering our idea’s and planning the visual, transitional and audio elements of our animation within it.

After Effects

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After Effects is a new program introduced to me. I have never used it before so the thought of it was quite daunting. However Matt created a basic step by step workshop that I found extremely useful. We learnt simple techniques such as how to begin working on an After Effects document, importing files into the program, rendering the finalised animation and saving it. We learnt about compositions and how to set up new ones. The workshop was mainly on the animation of type exploring different effects such as rotating the type, altering the opacity, moving it around the screen, trim paths tool, zooming in and out etc. I think that this was a very useful workshop as we will be using it to create our animations. I am hoping that we will have another workshop on making illustrations move as we are planning to use typography and illustrations within our animation. Although I know that there are lots of youtube tutorials that I will try to use to expand my knowledge.

Child Abuse Campaigns

Child Abuse Awareness Emoji’s

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A Swedish charity BRIS has set up a campaign to try and help children speak out about child abuse. 8 in 10 people use emoji’s to communicate over social media. I think that this is a very effective technique to help children speak up about abuse. 1 in 3 children sexually abused by an adult did not tell anyone this suggests how some children find out hard to tell someone that they are being abused. This could be for a number of reasons whether they do not realise it is wrong, they are too scared to speak out or maybe too embarrassed. This is a way of children communicating the problems visually as they may find it difficult to put in to words what is happening to them.

Secret Anti Abuse Message 

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A Spanish organization called ANAR created a secret anti abuse campaign that communicates a different message to children and adults depending on the average height. It is targeted at adults to create awareness of child abuse. Where as a child perspective would see a boy who has been abused so they can spot the signs through the cuts and bruises on his face. “If someone hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you” along with the help line phone number engaging a younger audience to try and encourage them to speak up if they have been abused. I think that this is an extremely powerful campaign. I really like that one image is aimed at both adults and children depending on their perspective. Within our design as activism project I think that it is essential that we decide on whether on a very specific age range for the campaign. This will help determine whether we are raising awareness about child abuse, trying to educate children or parents, or whether we encouraging children to speak up etc.

Group Research Responses

As a group we came together to discuss our research and idea’s so far. I showed our group my research on the NSPCC compared to the Barnardo’s campaign. We all decided that because of the sensitive subject matter, taking a cartoon/illustrative style would be a better approach, rather than a realistic style as this would be less shocking. Child abuse is a very broad topic covering lots of different types of abuse, from this we looked and these topics and began to brainstorm different elements that we could include within them.

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By highlighting different idea that we had for each topic we began to explore further into sexual abuse. When I showed my group the facts and statistics that I gathered from the NSPCC website they all found them just as shocking as I did when reading them. Therefore we thought that this would be a very powerful message and would show the current issue of child abuse in todays society. As a group we looked on the NSPCC website and saw that they have a section for Real life stories. Reading some of these stories is very powerful as they are children’s actual experiences. We thought that it would be very powerful if we could visually communicate one of the real life stories in a animation using quotes from the story as well as facts and statistics.

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After having a tutorial with David I think we have jumped into the project too quick. He liked our idea’s and thought that we were on the right track, although he wanted to know why our animation was going to be different to existing child abuse awareness campaigns. Whilst I think that communicating a child story would be visually very strong, we would not be pushing boundaries and trying to think of something that hasn’t already been done. Therefore as I was the only one that had started to do any research we have decided to go away and all research more. David suggested that it would be good to look at campaigns with a different subject matter to see how we could apply different techniques and approaches.

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