Recently, I was looking through the November/December 2009 of Communication Arts magazine. The issue is their Design Annual 50, looking at 50 years of design. I came across a brilliant ‘public service’ anti-war poster campaign for the School of Visual Arts, Art Director: Jeseok Yi (New York, NY) Creative Directors: Frank Anseimo/Alfred S. Park/Richard Wilde, and Writers: Francisco Hui/Willaim Tran.
This is what the designer said about the campaign:
“We came up with a simple and elegant outdoor poster campaign that focused on the spiraling cycle of war. It reminds viewers that the violence perpetrated abroad will breed the hatred that fuels tomorrow’s violence—what goes around, comes around. To achieve peace, we must end violence…”
The poster campaign relies heavily on the distribution context to communicate the concept successfully. The 100"x60" posters are designed to wrap around pillars to present the full meaning of the content. When the posters are flat a viewer would see a image; of a man shooting a gun, or throwing a grenade, at some undisclosed target in the distance, but when wrapped around a pillar the target becomes the one actually shooting the gun or throwing the grenade, reinforcing the idea that “what goes around, comes around.”
The designers understood their environmental context and developed a concept that would reinforce the cyclical idea of war. The text on the poster “What goes around, comes around,” is broken up and confusing when flat, but when placed on a pillar, the text comes together to work. The poster is simple, elegant, and convicting. It reaches the heart of the viewer and successfully voices the concerns of the designers.