When the United Nations and World Health Organization put out a global project brief calling on creatives to help spread critical messages to a wider audience during the COVID-19 pandemic, our team perked up. Physically separated due to quarantine, unable to collaborate in our traditional “walk up to each other”-type ways, we felt, like so many across the world, an overwhelming desire to help in any way we could but, at the same time, overwhelmed by not knowing where to start. This brief, which clearly spells out vital, timely messages and emphasizes shareability as a key measure of success, served as the perfect rallying cry for us to focus our energy.
So we immediately starting brainstorming—over Zoom, of course. Virtual collaboration has taken a bit of practice—learning how to not talk over one another and how to seamlessly bounce between various mirrored screens to share bits of inspiration, for instance—but we quickly realized that the same magic of building on each other’s ideas could still occur despite our distance. We could still feel and feed off our collective energy, give constructive feedback such as, “I love everything about that except the design,” and get a much-needed laugh thanks to that one person who keeps upping their virtual background game. In some ways, we discovered that virtual collaboration allows for more flexibility and impromptu gatherings because all you need to call a full team meeting is a computer, instead of a free conference room.
In the end, we learned that, despite the circumstances, we can continue to make things we’re proud of because we still have the tools we need: our brains, our fingertips, our relationships, which quarantine can never take away. Sure, there’s nothing like being in a room together and riffing, but when there’s a good brief, a vital cause and a happy hour sprinkled in, we were able to adapt and unite and generate some work we’re deeply proud of. We’d love to share a few of these concepts below.
Calls to Inaction
We’d all like to think that we’d stand up and act in the event of a worldwide crisis. Ironically, the most noble action to take in the COVID-19 pandemic is, well, absolutely nothing. This concept emphasizes the importance of physical distancing by presenting mundaneness as a global movement. The campaign aims to remind people that despite the gradual restlessness that builds while in lockdown, remaining steadfast, patient, and stationary—no matter how boring—is literally life-saving.
We’re all being inundated with dire graphs these days. We wanted to turn this notion on its head by presenting graphs that show, even in these difficult times, that positive things are happening, and that social distancing practices are actually working. Using a simple, down-to-earth design and color scheme and hints of humor, we chose topics that are relatable and often-surprising behaviors that cropped up during this time, such as “Tiger King Obsessions” and “Haircut Experimentation,” all showing an upward graph with the underlying message, “Keep It Up. Stay Inside.” #StayHome
There’s no way around it, this pandemic is changing us, personally and as a society. We’re reprioritizing and relearning what’s truly essential in our lives and in our communities. It’s a defining moment, and when it comes to the very words we use, a redefining moment. This concept, through the familiar design structure of the dictionary and a bit of humor, tackles this idea head one by highlighting words and phrases that once had negative connotations but are now being seen in a more positive light due to the current situation. The world needs “couch potatoes” and “clean freaks” right now, because staying home is actively saving lives. And when this is all over, maybe the “good” habits we’re developing, like more positivity and less self-criticism, just might stick around.
Keep an eye on our social channels as we continue to spread these messages throughout the coming weeks.
Stay healthy and stay safe. #btdoingourpart