W1. What are some of the current issues confronting our world today? Amongst them, what is of interest and a cause of concern to you?
Recently there has been an upsurge in the interest of sustainability. Along with it, the sale of products such as bamboo or metal straws saw an upsurge as well. It has become a trend more than a public concern to the extent where fast fashion brands like H&M pushed forward a sustainable conscious collection recently. However, how actually effective are these new trendy “sustainable” products and movements?
Hitti, Natashah. “H&M called out for “greenwashing” in its Conscious fashion collection”. Dezeen. 2 August 2019. https://www.dezeen.com/2019/08/02/hm-norway-greenwashing-conscious-fashion-collection-news/.
Whiting, Tabitha. “‘Sustainable Style’: The Truth Behind the Marketing of H&M’s Conscious Collection”. Medium. 27 June 2019. https://email@example.com/sustainable-style-the-truth-behind-the-marketing-of-h-ms-conscious-collection-805eb7432002.
Bijairm Road Expansion Construction
One ongoing heritage and environment related issue is the debate surrounding the expansion construction on road Bijarim in Jeju, South Korea. Not only will we loose thousands of cedar trees and the habitat for endangered species like the Fairy Pitta but conservationists also believe it will lead to continuous problems in the long run. The expanded Biljairm road will allow the a higher influx of tourists and lead to an increase in further construction of new amenities, further pollution, and the construction of the second Jeju Airport.
**Content regarding this issue from English credible sources are unavailable. I believe this further emphasizes the need of raising awareness for this issue.
Moores, Nial. “Test Case for Biodiversity Conservation: The Bijarim Ro, Jeju Island”. Birds Korea Blog. 13 June 2019. http://www.birdskoreablog.org/?p=22082.
“Either Hidden or Ignored”. The Jeju Weekly. 24 September 2018. http://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=5977.
“10 Reasons Why We Oppose the Construction of the Second Jeju Airport”. Save Jeju Now. 19 June 2019. http://savejejunow.org/10-reasons-why-we-oppose-Theo-construction-of-the-second-jeju-airport/.
Another widely held issue in Asian countries historically is Comfort Women. These women have been taken away from their homes in various Asian countries such as Korea and Taiwan and were sexually exploited by the Japanese. Even till this day, Japan has not issued any apology or acknowledgement of the wrong doings they have committed.
Lynch, Ami. “Comfort Women”. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/comfort-women
The design of Juul is different from the conventional form we have in mind when we think of cigarettes. On a positive note, this allows smokers to avoid social stigmas. On the other hand, this also allows teenagers to use it inconspicuously. The advertisement designs promotes a life style of relaxing, traveling, and sharing a moment. These factors come together to give a positive impression that Juuling is ‘healthier’ than cigarettes or that it does not contain nicotine. On the contrary, one pod contains up to 3 times to amount of an average cigarette. According to the founders of Juul, they used to design to come up with a solution to a public health concern. However, they ended up creating a new problem.
Vox. “How Juul made nicotine go viral”. Youtube. Uploaded by Vox. 11 August 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFOpoKBUyok
2. Why is the issue important? Who does it affect and how?
The issue is important for several reasons. First of all, the environment is an issue that concerns all of us. Although in the end it is up the individual’s freedom whether to act on it or not, we all do bear a responsibility to be conscious about it. Secondly, currently there is a lot of attention focused on the being sustainable and being green. Thus, there cannot be a better time than now to annunciate methods on how to be sustainable. With the high influx of sustainable products and services, we should learn how to deal with it.
Superficial sustainability affects both the consumers and companies.
Consumers affected will mainly be those who are following the sustainability boom/trend that has surfaced recently.
Affected companies can be divided into two broad categories. Firstly, there are companies who see sustainability as part of their company philosophy/policy. Examples of such companies are The Reformation and House of Marley. Secondly, there will be companies supplying a series of sustainable products in order to meet the demand of the consumers. An example will be H&M and their recent Sustainable Collection.
3. Who do you need to communicate to and why?
The main target audience will be consumers in their 20s to 30s. As consumers, all of us have the responsibility to be more conscious about the products we consume and how. Fortunately, a lot of us are aspiring to become more sustainable recently. Thus, to me it seems like there is no better time than the present to target consumers.
Traditionally, the need for consumers was recognizing the importance for sustainability and being eco-friendly. Currently, on the other hand, most already do recognize this importance. So alternatively consumers need to learn the right methods of going green. For instance, a product could say it was made from recycled materials. But just like fruit juice, it’s the percentage that matters.
The effect we expect is a higher discretion process during purchase of “sustainable” goods. Examples will include checking the percentage of recycled resources used or how long the product should be used in order to make up for the manufacturing cost. In the case of Tesla cars, the initial manufacturing environmental affects are larger than average cars. However, it quickly makes up for all of it in just 18 months.
4. How was visual communication contributed to address the cause?
Apart from articles or videos, it was difficult to find any other project addressing the same cause. Thus, I looked into the visual communication of brands known for being sustainable instead.
The website as a whole mainly uses natural colors such as brown and green. The sans serif font they use has a tight kerning. Perhaps fonts with tight kernings use less ink to print. Most of the photographs were of nature sceneries and model shots of using the product was mainly taken in the nature.
The main colors used are white, green, and pastel pink. Along with the color, the photographs of models being carefree in nature creates a dreamy utopia like future which must be representing an ideal sustainable future.
The Reformation provides a sustainability report every year. They shy away from using professional terms and uses visual aids such as pictograms and graphs to help get the information across easily.
LUSH has sustainable company philosophies: 100% vegetarian, ethical buying, fighting animal testing, and naked packaging. They aspire to convert all their liquid products into solids so they can reduce the number of containers.
Their main colors for packaging consisted of a consistency of black and white while the display or visual merchandising included brown as well. LUSH uses sans serif as well along with a handwriting font. One thing to note is that most of their products are naked to avoid as much packaging as possible.
Commonly for all the brands, they used icons to get their point across easily. In addition, all of them used sans serif fonts. I believe these two features were to connect with the consumers on an easier and casual note. While House of Marley and The Reformation had a simplistic and clean shaven look, LUSH used handwritten fonts or display objects that look hand made. Perhaps the difference comes from the fact that LUSH also focuses on creating hand made products and their factory environment. However, as a whole all the brands made an effort to take a friendly tone with their design or jargon rather than a serious or strict tone when it came to discussing sustainability.