Anti-harassment Campaign- Solenza Lazar
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.
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.