Anti-harassment Campaign- Solenza Lazar

Topic AwarenessDevelopmentDesignSafety and securityGender related statisticsMobility dataTransport patterns & user needs

The Idea 

The issue I was asked to work on was harassment in public transport, more specifically on buses. After designing the physical solution to the problem, I was tasked with working on an awareness campaign. Originally, the idea was to design a poster, however I wanted to take a more unconventional approach. The problem with creating a poster, is that I would have had to fit too much information in what needs to be a very visual representation of data. 

The idea behind the animation is to first show people all the relevant statistics (from the YouGov website), and then target the more emotional side of the viewer. Finally, the viewer needs a simple phrase to remember, as well as a reminder of the number to call in case of emergency. 

The process 

2D animation is a very long and time-consuming process which I am a complete beginner at. Indeed, this is both the first time I have worked on an awareness campaign and the first time I tried animating. I am a fan of cartoons and character design in general, however I had never seen what it takes to draw the cartoons we watch as kids; so, naturally when I started this project, I had high expectations for the final outcome of this project. Once I started the project, I realized that 2d animation consists of drawing movement as non-moving layers that are played one after the other at high speeds, to give the illusion of movement. This concept is very old, and although I was familiar with it, what I did not know, was how many layers I would have to hand draw to create such a short animation. It was when I started, that I realized I had built highly unrealistic expectations that I immediately knew I could not fulfil. 

For this project, I chose to work using a very simplistic software on my iPad, called Procreate. The major advantage of this software is its simplicity, which is also its biggest flaw. At first, using such a simplistic tool made it faster to get into drawing and animating; however, some problems arose as the animation got more complex. By the end of the project, I had 12 short animations that I then compiled together to make one video, each animation containing a minimum of 20 folders (and twice as many layers). 

Was it worth it? 

From a learning point of view, this experience has been truly valuable because animating is a skill that I believe will be very useful for my future as a designer. It has also been helpful to discover this new form of visual expression and the benefits of adding it to my workflow. As a designer it is always crucial to push your boundaries and challenge yourself, because that is the only way to become better at what you do. Even though I found animating quite difficult and time consuming, I truly enjoyed it and will keep doing it for my personal design projects. 

From a more professional point of view, it is important to remember that the purpose of this animation was to create an awareness campaign against harassment on public transport. The reason why I chose to make a video instead of a poster is that most people (especially the younger population) is more visually attracted and intrigued by “moving images” than by a conventional poster. It is also a way to give information to people without asking them to think too much about it or to focus on reading text. From this perspective, I believe that creating an animation could have been the right choice. I emphasize on the word could instead of was, because I do not believe that it was the right choice to do an animation for this particular project and its constraints. It could have been a good decision to create an animation for this project if I had already had experience with animation, if I was working in a team of people who could help me through the process, if I had known how to use software like adobe animate or photoshop with the video timeline, if I had access to step by step animation training other than YouTube tutorials, and finally, if this project had not had a 2-week timeline. So, even though the initial idea and intentions were justified, for this project, and with my level of knowhow at the beginning of this project, designing an animation was not worth it.

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Jump to comment-75

3 years ago

Hmm. Whilst it is important to instill values such as respect into a child's upbringing (education), I would still argue that education is for all. Your method may in fact be alienating for a large sector.

Jump to comment-73

3 years ago

Hi Paul. The reason for my focus on the younger population is quite simple. 

Firstly, I believe that educating the younger population is critical, because they are our future. It is also a lot easier to influence a child's thinking, than it is to change an adult's behavior and beliefs that have been engrained in their mind for decades. 

Moreover, by teaching children to discern wrongful behavior, they can encourage a change in their parent's actions regarding the issue. It is indeed easier to educate parents through their children, because parents naturally want to be the best version of themselves in front of their child. 

Finally, it is important to note that a simple and colorful design is always eye-catching and intriguing, no matter the age of the person watching. In this era of technology, social media and endless sources of information at our fingertips, standing out is more imperative than ever; this was just my attempt at doing that. 

Jump to comment-72

3 years ago

Hi Solenza, this level of reflection on the process is valuable, you're right that we always need to push our boundaries. The real learning here comes from knowing that you could achieve  a similar result in the future with more rapid methods. AND that you now have the initial animation skills to build up assets that can be used for future work. I agree that the moving medium is a useful tool.

However, as your animation points out (link to be added to Youtube channel) this experience can happen to anyone, at any age - why then only focus on young people and their needs for animation?

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