Illustration & Politics

The design and development of language-neutral instructionals for people who live within conflict zones. Challenging the outcomes of political warfare by helping people affected by it.

Charities are great at providing relief to countries who need it most - but there are some situations aid cannot reach due to the scale, or danger level of the area. Conflict zones are filled with people in need of assistance, but developmental aid rarely reaches these people, and humanitarian aid requires a physical presence of relief workers. So how can we solve this problem?
Is there a way Humanitarian aid can be provided without the physical presence of relief workers? How could medical assistance, for example, be provided without trained paramedics? Instructions that educate those living in these areas could prove useful, but with conflict taking place in so many different countries, language and culture barriers exist in transferring information. That's where design can help.
We know that step-by-step instructions can be demonstrated visually without the need for language, as IKEA instructions have been able to help many people assemble furniture for many years. Otto Neurath wanted to develop ISOTYPE images that demonstrated concepts and items visually in a universal way. They are fairly outdated now, as marriage is symbolised with a man and a woman, rather than a mixture of genders. These types of issues need to be avoided so it can be seen to be culturally and temporally unbiased. 
 
My project considered the cultural biases of layout traditions, and addressed issues that are abundant in conflict zone areas. The ways in which the resources mght be reproduced concerned my design practice. If they were to be copied, or photographed, I didn't want any of the information to be lost, so I used texture instead of colour so that no colour would be required to reproduce the information. It also reduces the cost of production by a significant amount. The outcomes can be viewed below:
The resources for these instructionals could also feasibly be provided along with the leaflets. Therefore my project went on to brand the range of materials that would be required for these tasks. Some photographs of this can be viewed below:
By providing the resources with labels which match the branding, the resources seem a far more legitimate source of information. Branding aid is a tricky ethical area, but the increased trust and eventual use of the information would outweigh the negative aspects of branded aid.
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