You can prevent it
Purpose: To remind the viewer of the power they hold in curbing the spread of Zika.
The poster depicts an embroidery hoop with a developing foetus. A sinister arm extends silently out of the black background into the embroidery hoop. The intent of the graphics is to, firstly, point to the potential consequences of Zika: microcephaly and among other foetal abnormalities shown by the not fully developed foetus; the second intent is to emphasise the culprit: the female Aedes mosquito, depicted as the menacing striped arm; and finally, to place the viewer in the point in time before/after the virus reaches the baby. If read as “before”, the viewer is faced with the question of “what will you do now?”; if read as “after”, we can only wait and twiddle our thumbs, watching to see if the child will pull through safely.
While embroidering the foetus, the medium chosen because of the strong feminine and motherly connotation that it has, I realised that the act of piercing the cloth to thread was too similar to the mosquito’s biting mechanism it was quite uncomfortable. If we were to liken the bite to the piercing of the needle, and that the formation of the baby parallels the embroidered image, then if at any stage of pregnancy that needle was to transmit the virus to the child and inhibit its development, then what I saw on the embroidery hoop would be reflective of the entirety of the foetus’ development – incomplete. And if the major systems of the foetus were not sufficiently developed, he would not be able to survive.
However, let us not forget that not ALL Zika-infected pregnancies result in such abnormalities. Zika-infected pregnancies simply have a much higher probability of resulting in stillbirths and abnormalities. In fact, the Straits Times reported just a few days ago that the two births (so far) have progressed smoothly and the babies have -drumroll- no sign of microcephaly. Worth celebrating, yes? Even so, let us not become complacent in keeping those Aedes mosquitos at bay. They are carriers of both dengue and Zika. Dangerous mites they are.
Learning points: making posters are very much harder than expected. And making one that is supposed to relay serious information and motivate/encourage/remind/warn people while being engaging/interesting and clear at the same time really is a juggling act. There were also a number to design do’s and don’ts that I’ve learnt through this project. The first being margins, margins, margins. Very, very important (paraphrasing Michael). The second is hierarchy, and the third is composition. I think I still need to work on both hierarchy and composition much more, because I’m still not very satisfied with the layout of the current poster. Though it is better than the first few ones… #practicemakespurrfect, hopefully someday soon.
If you happen to be interested in the process, or would like to have a few more laughs at horrible compositions/designs/etc feel free to check it out here.