What Social Issue?
Here we go again, another trimester at SAE Perth. This trimester our project brief is to create 10 pieces of art for a social issue campaign. Designing for a social issue can be a challenge, trying to connect to an audience through simple images and messages. How do you achieve this? Are you just raising awareness? Is this a call to action? These are the questions that you have to ask yourself as you progress through the project.
What social issue to pick? For me this has been tough to decide, like any project it’s hard for me to decide what I want to work on over a 13-week span. For me I didn’t want to pick something to heavy of a subject, these were some of the topics I originally looked at from ocean pollution, homelessness, fitness, animal protection, mental health and bullying. This can be seen in my sketchbook photo above (fig.1). After much deliberation, I have decided upon Mental Health.
Now mental health is a very broad subject range:
As this is a big topic, it wouldn’t be fair to try squeeze all of this into one campaign. This is why I am focusing on Anxiety & Depression, as these two are very close to each other. More specifically I want to focus on Men’s Mental Health that are suffering from these illnesses. These illnesses can ultimately lead to suicide. In the image below (fig.2) are some stats collected over my research. This backs up my reasoning that men need to break the stigma and start talking and helping there mates out. With 6 out of 8 suicides being male just shouts there’s a problem here.
Simply knowing these stats isn’t enough to help men out, understanding that when your anxious or depressed you don’t want to bring it up with everyone on your own. This is why the R U Ok? Campaigns work, as they actually force people to ask their family and friends how they are. The problem is this is only one day a year, what about the other 364 days of the year? This is why I’m making a new campaign to combat the stigma, you see, the myth with mental health is that it is a life sentence. It’s not and if you can talk to get help you can battle this.
My campaign is the Mental(k) Health. The aim is, you guessed it, to get men to talk to each other, through campaigns to help them understand people with mental health, and how to talk to people with mental health issues. How do you achieve this? This is going to be achieved through various mediums and different advertising avenues. One idea at this point is to create a campaign surrounding men hanging out with each over a beer. We will be making puzzle piece beer coasters to be placed around the pubs. The beer coasters will be a face over different men when placed together, on the backside it will be explaining how men need to start a conversation. With a question to ask their mate, having something physical to grab and look at while sat around talking in the pub, I believe will have a good connection with the audience.
While the puzzle beer coasters are just a small part of the campaign, with their also being promotional posters to help spread the message there will also be a second campaign going alongside it to raise awareness amongst all ages and genders. By targeting other audiences instead of just men may help push the message and help break the stigma of talking too. This will be achieved by infographic/animation/motion graphic video that will be placed throughout different social media platforms. It will hold all of the information gathered over the research period of this project. The visuals will be more simple and illustrative. It will be the story of a duck on the surface of a lake when the camera pans down we will see just because he’s calm on the surface doesn’t mean it’s the same below. His feet will be swimming frantically while demons of anxiety and depression try to bring him down.
This will all be a new approach on my style and interesting to see how I produce this all. With more photography and photo manipulation-based designs to push the message. Stay tuned to this page and let me know your thoughts.
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Men’s mental health: let’s talk about it. (2018). Abs.gov.au. Retrieved 16 March 2018, from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/