Today we were given our new unit - Visual Communication in Context 2. As with our first unit last year this unit is split into a series of tasks. Task 1 being Look Again / Think Again.

Our task was to produce an A3 poster either -
Choosing a social issue that in our opinion has been over looked and needs addressing
Or, choosing an object that carries values that go beyond its intended purpose or everyday use; it may evoke certain memories or feelings that give the object a sentimental significance.
Unfortunately I see myself as a bit of a nomad. There's nothing really that sentimental in my life, that I feel carries values beyond its intended purpose. Rather sad I know! So it looked like I had to go for option 1.

At first I was pretty bamboozled. Surely if I knew of a social issue then it couldn't have really been overlooked, as it would have been brought to my attention. I produced a brainstorm listing issues that I knew about. Things such as racism, drugs, religion, drinking all popped into my head. However one did stand out - Smoking.

Yes the issue has been raised. There have been smoking bans in all enclosed spaces such as work and pubs. But even though we all now know of the dangers it has to us and the others around us there are still teenagers and even younger starting it up every day. Why? Because they have the choice to do so. Maybe because of peer pressure, or maybe to look cool. Who knows. I strongly believe they shouldn't have the choice. It should I feel personally be completely got rid of. But then there's the problem of all the addicted.

Another way round it would be to phase it out. Stop letting people start it up, so eventually it would die out. The only way to do this would to be to stop selling it in shops. Make it be like a prescription, where you would have to prove that you are already a smoker, and then you are only allowed a certain amount a week (that you would still have to buy) so you could not pass on your spares. Then their 'prescription' could be cut down, eventually helping them to quit completely.

I had a quick brainstorm, thinking about maybe just having a packet of fags with a prescription label on it, and having the typography follow a swirling smoke shape. Maybe a slogan "Don't give them the choice". All pretty basic ideas, but would it be hard hitting like all the anti-smoking campaigns we know? I decided to have a quick chat with Neil, who said that I should think of it as a political campaign. It needs to be a persuasive argument. One example he gave was that of the Conservative campaign against Labour.

A simple hard hitting design using statistics, that won the Conservatives the election. I then started to research into existing anti smoking campaigns. Whilst flicking through the book 'Creative Advertising' I came across this anti smoking poster -

A very simple design, with a very strong statistic linking in with the image. Tomorrow I have a group discussion of our ideas so far with Neil, so tonight I will be doing more research into previous campaigns and smoking statistics, jotting down any ideas I may have on the way.

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