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Design as Activism – Developing on Feedback

As a group we presented our campaign and outcomes to the rest of the course where we gained both peer and tutor feedback on our work. Some feedback stated:

  • the infographic had good balance
  • logo design works well with the plastic bottles becoming part of the type
  • stop motion and gif work well

It was clear from some of the feedback that there were some elements that had been lost due to communication errors over our break. For example putting the outcomes into context, displaying them in the form of social media. For example, I could have displayed my gif as if it was part of an instagram feed or facebook post.

Furthermore, one piece of feedback we received was that the colour scheme we had chosen reminded people of IKEA due to the strong blue and yellow. It was felt that the yellow colour should appear more toxic as the thinking behind it was to highlight the synthetic colours that plastic is bringing to nature, which the blue was to represent the natural beauty of the world. As a team we felt that it was best to change the colours to a lighter blue and a more ‘toxic’ yellow green shade. This enabled us to then stop being associated with larger brands and gave us our own identity.

Logo Development – Change of colour scheme

Feedback also said that we many be could have benefitted further from using more seafood in our imagery as our research said majority of micro plastic get into our food chain via the ocean, this is something that we did consider but just felt that wasn’t able to be achieve. However, during our presentation we mentioned the fact that we weren’t able to get the shots of the food around the face, playing on that idea of being disgusting due to not being able to book studio space. According to verbal feedback this could have been stronger more powerful imagery and in future we should consider using other spaces to take the imagery.

For my individual outcome the feedback was mainly positive however, there were a few things that I could develop in order to make it better. Changing the colour of the outer glow of the type on the screen to be the softer blue rather than the white would link back further to the campaign logo and colour scheme. This was something I was able to develop after the feedback as well. I think that this feedback has helped make the outcome stronger which helps capture the audience’s attention further. As I was making adjustments to the GIF I also changed the logo to the newly developed one in order to show how this would work now on the GIF.

Developed GIF Outcome 
Context PCA
Gif in context




Design as Activism – Further Development

After evaluating the GIF developments I decided to explore the possibilities further, including changing the pause at the end of the GIF and experimenting further with colours. I felt that the yellow outer glow didn’t work with the image and caused conflict when looking at it, I thought that it would be best to change the glow to white to be subtle and fit with the image. I also experimented with the pause of the campaign logo at the end of the gif. The pause was too long causing there to appear a break between the repeat, I changed the pause from 0.5 seconds to 0.2 second because I felt that it needed to still pause to show people however, it doesn’t need to pause for the long period of time. I think with these changes the GIF works better in communicating the message we are raising awareness for while still having an element of humour in it.


Reflecting on the project as a whole I think the concept of the campaign we have created hasn’t been done previously and has a serious underlying message to it even though parts of the campaign draw the audience in using humour. I think the use of the photographs (in terms of style), typefaces and colour scheme throughout all the outcomes has helped us to be constant in the way that they look. I personally am happy with the outcome I’ve created.


Design as Activism – GIF Development

Having decided to develop the 3rd initial idea further I went back to my research that I had conducted and found that there were some element which I needed to include within the GIF I was creating. Firstly, the pause showing the logo needed to be longer at the end I felt that this was a key component in one of the GIF I had researched. Also, I felt that I needed to brainstorm more ‘phrases’ to go along side the imagery because I felt currently it was basis and unlike my research didn’t appear to have a humorous element to it.

Also, I thought that the red glitter particles in the drink weren’t bright enough they were a little dull, so I experimented with changing the hue/ saturation levels in the image. Through changing the red saturation, the glitter stood out more compared to the initial idea. Through this panel I realised that I could experiment with changing the colour of the glitter, as the colour scheme is blues, black and white with yellow thrown into the mix, I decided to experiment with how the image would look if the glitter was a dark blue to gain a similarity between the campaign logo. As this is a collaborative project I spoke to my group about the idea of changing the glitter from red to blue. Although the red stands out against the ray background, it was decided that the blue was more in keeping with the colour scheme across the campaign.


Using a few creative thinking techniques I brainstormed some idea of phrases and words that could go along slide the image. Phrases I thought of initially were ‘Think. What’s in your drink?’ and ‘what could be in your drink?’ however, I felt that these didn’t really communicate the idea of plastic consumption. As it’s supposed to be a disgusting drink with bits of plastic in it I thought about including the word ‘plastic’ to highlight that this isn’t something just pretty. The use of the ‘plastic cocktail’ in the imagery gave me an idea about using synonyms for drinks such as appetiser, aperitif or liquor. When pair with the word plastic I decided that ‘Plastic Aperitif anyone?’ was funny but also kept within the serious tone of the campaign.

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Again using the typeface DIN Alternate Bold keeping in with the lines which the team had set I decided to play around with drop shadows and outer glows to try and make the type stand out again the background. I kept within the colour scheme when experimenting with the type. The first development used all the new elements of the gif that I developed, including a while drop shadow. However, in this development the type looked too squished together meaning that it was difficult to read. With an increased point-size I think that the type would work better.

Development 1

The next development I did I took into account the element that I felt didn’t work well in the first development. I changed the point size of the type which meant that is wasn’t as compacted. Furthermore, I changed the drop shadow colour  to match the yellow that has been used in the logo. I thought that this might add a different element to the GIF and make further links to the campaign. Compared to the first development I think that this development highlights the key elements of the campaign. Also, like highlighted in may research I felt that I needed the logo to stand alone at the end of the GIF, with a 5 second pause. There is no image when the logo is shown which means that the eye is draw directly to the campaign logo. The scale of the logo is large, this is something I could experiment with further to see if a smaller scale could work better.

Development 2



Design as Activism – GIF Idea Generation & Experimentation

Before moving into the idea generation for how the GIF would look I already knew which images I would be working with. Following the decision to use photography throughout all elements of the campaign I needed to ensure that there were photos suitable. Using the ‘plastic cocktail’ inspired photos I was able to utilise these to create a GIF.

Using my sketchbook I started to sketch out an initial idea for the GIF, using a few frames to create an insight into what I wanted the GIF to look like. This was helpful in helping visualise where the element will need to know. I sketched 3 different initial design ideas as I felt that were all variations of each other, I then took them into photoshop to start creating the GIF’s.

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Below is the first GIF idea that I sketched out. Using the images of the ‘plastic cocktail’ filling up the glass is the only piece of movement within the GIF and shows the viewer what PCA is about. However, on reflection I don’t think that this communicates clearly enough about what the campaign is raise awareness off. The logo in the bottom left hand corner is small and difficult to read. I think that this was a good initial starting point and basis for the other GIF developed.


For the second GIF idea that I sketched I thought about using movement within the words to highlight message that the campaign is aiming to show. Using the typeface DIN Alternate Bold (like the logo) shows consistency throughout the branding. The GIF is using the rhetorical question ‘Would you drink this?’ which makes the audience pause for a moment and think about what’s happening to our food due to pollution. The use of image and words here work well in establishing this message. Although they work to get a greater sense of the message I found that there was now too much movement in the GIF which almost distracted from the message. This is something that I considered when looking at my research again, seeing that others had only used small amounts of movement, making their outcome successful. Also, I like the use of the campaign logo at the end of GIF it shows the viewer what to research to find further information about the campaigns. I do feel that the logo could be paused longer to allow the audience time to digest the brand and process it.


The third GIF idea I sketched out used various element from the first two ideas, still using the ‘plastic cocktail’ images and components that had been seen previously. There is only movement of the images in GIF watch the glass fill with the drink. This combined with the static words makes the message easier for the viewer to understand and grasp. Instead of there being 20 different frames this particular GIF idea actually has 32 to allow the message to stay on the screen longer. You also see the glass fill up twice within the GIF which allows the viewer to see the drink twice and the particles of plastic inside of it. As mentioned previously my research highlight that some GIF often display their logo at the end of the GIF, and this was something I felt worked well in previous ideas. I created more of a pause at the end of the GIF so that the logo was on screen for a longer duration, to try and allow people time to see the campaign name.


Overall these initial ideas all are developments of each other, I think that I will take the third idea and see what developments I can make to improve it. I have decided to move forward with the third GIF because I felt that it was the one that communicated the message better when compared to the other ideas.

Design as Activism – GIFs/Research

As each member of the group needed to contribute and create an outcome we decided we would each take on a outcome that would be used in the social media campaign. As GIFs are becoming more frequently used amongst social media to help companies promote I thought that it would be an ideal way of promoting our campaign.

GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format and are slowly starting to be increasingly used on social media. According to research visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, which highlights how GIFs will help to raise awareness of the campaign.

By Marine Conservation Society

This is an example of a gif being used by another organisation, Marine Conservation Society (aiming to create a brighter future for our oceans.) This particular gif is making people aware of the impact that even the plastic straw is having on the ocean. It used comedy to draw people into the visual while making them aware of the serious overlying message. The use of the vibrant yellow background helps to draw the viewer to the outcome which is something that I could incorporate into the outcome I produce. Also, they have used their logo at the end of the GIF which prompted the campaign but also shows people where they can go for further information. I think that the use of the logo within the gif is extremely important.

By Plastic Planet

This is another example of a gif that has been used within a campaign around plastic. Unlike the previous this doesn’t use any imagery at all only type, however this works just as effectively. The use of the terms ‘Plastic addict’ is a clever play on words, creating this sense of humour again while still being serious. Similar to the previous example they have used a yellow colour palette to draw people in. The different use of names makes the viewer think about them personally because it could easily be their own name. This also highlights the vast amount of people that could fall into the category. Unlike the other one this doesn’t highlight the organisation who have made it. However, Plastic planet have made a series of GIFs similar to this, which means they works together.

Earth World Day

The GIF above is another example of how they can be used to promote a campaign. This was a GIF made for earth day 2018, the illustrative style is very different from the previous example I have looked at. I think that this would work well with the social media context because I can see grabbing people attention on sites such as instagram. This GIF also has a very different colour palette compared to the previous two, but works well within the message it’s being used for.

From this research it’s clear to me that I could use a variety of different ways to create the outcome, I particularly like the idea of using the logo within the GIF as it would direct the target audience to check out the campaign itself. Furthermore, the use of humour is a key aspect in the example and is something I could utilize in my own outcome. I feel that through investigating these various GIFs has given me a good understand about the GIF out there and the comments which they hold.





Design as Activism – Photoshoot- Image Development

Following our groups discussion with Theo we decided as a group to head into the photography studio to create new developed images. Working on the emotion of ‘disgust’ we decided to use real food and add plastics to them in order to create a disgusting appeal. As the larger studio was unavailable on the days that we were all able to attend we used the small studio and decided to shoot the food, rather than the food smudged around the face. However, I think that the images still show the emotion of disgust due to the plastic element of them.


Again, I took the lead in the photographs as I had experience from A Levels. On a few of the composition I used the rule of third to create a clean outcome, while other I used depth of field to create the compositions. The use of studio lighting and the ombré background helped us to create images that were high quality.

Then using photoshop I edited a few to see how they worked out, using the adjustment settings I adjusted the curves and levels to make sure that the low, mid and high tones were balanced. I think that these are good edits that are able to be used from the infographic, gif and viral images. I particularly think that are representative of the foods and shows the audience that foods are starting to contain more and more plastic, which is the message that we are trying to communicate. In order to remain consistent throughout the ‘campaign’ the group have decided to use all these images taken in the shoot as the imagery for the outcomes.

Image 1.2
Plastic Takeaway
Image 1.3
Plastic Cocktail
Image 1.4
Plastic ‘pepperoni’ pizza


Design as Activism – Idea Development & Experimentation

We went into the photography studio on Friday to create some initial outcomes of plastic food on plates. Using the smaller studio we created some plates full of plastic to replicate food and plastic filled glasses to replace a drink. However, we decided to redo the shoot at a later date because we felt that we would be better to include realistic elements of the food. E.g. using burger buns to create a burger.


I took these photographs as I had experience in photography from my A Levels. I tried to use the rule of thirds to create a clean professional looking composition, I thought that this would also allow for type to sit next to the image best without cluttering. up the image itself. I felt that the ombré background works well because it provides a contrast between the objets and the background.

Image 1
PCA Image 1
Image 5
PCA Image 2

Following a discussion with Theo during a tutorial we decided that we would continue with the idea of adding plastic to real food, for example baking a pizza and adding bottle caps as pepperoni after to show this horrifying thought that plastic is becoming natural part of our diet because we aren’t looking after our planet it’s now affecting us. We also discussed the idea of playing with the emotion of disgust, as it’s a powerful emotion which we feel. For some the idea of eating is disgusting as food gets around the mouth and teeth which some people find horrid. By making the normally delicious looking food appear disgusting the food will disgust people at the fact that they are harming the environment. The other hope is that it will disgust them that they are having an impact on themselves and hope that they stop.

During this discussion we spoke about the logo which we had chosen and spoke about potential colour palettes for the campaign. We initially thought blues and greens as this linked to the ocean and from research we had found that plastic is mainly getting through the food system through the ocean however, we are finding that plastics are entering the food chain through live stock too at this moment in time. However, it was suggest that we play around with using both natural and synthetic colours because beaches and coastal areas are now littered with these vibrant manufactured colours that aren’t naturally there.

Following the discussion with Theo we decided to create a plan for the next photoshoot in order for us to know exactly what shots we required to come out of the session. This was a helpful session because enabled us to completely see where we should be prior to breaking up for Christmas. I personally found it useful as I am able to think about the composition of the photos before going into the studio.

We decided to experiment with the colour palette in the logo too, changing it from all black to using other colours. This worked well because the colours made the plastic bottles stand out more than they had previously. As a group we found that the bottles looked more effective using the dark blue and yellow/green colour because the blue symbolises the ocean while the yellow is symbolic of the synthetic colours that are being seen on the coastal areas now.Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 15.03.31

I found the whole tutorial useful as it enabled us as a group to see if we were heading down the correct path and not heading out on tangent. I feel that at the current moment in time as a group we are meeting the brief and have a clear understanding of the things that are required to be done.


Design as Activism – Development & Research

Due to having decided to create a campaign around this idea of plastic consumption we felt that it was best to look at current campaigns out there, specifically looking at campaigns around reduce plastic pollution. I initially conducted my own independent research into campaigns looking at method, digitally, that have worked best as our brief requires all outcomes to be digital.

I looked at Plastic Pollution Coalition to begin with who are raising awareness for plastic pollution problem through a ‘coalition’. On their website they state they are a “growing global alliance of more than 700 organizations, businesses, and thought leaders in 60 countries working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, waterways, and oceans, and the environment.”`They use video and still graphics to create an impact to raise awareness, this is something that as a group we could incorporate into our campaign as it highly effective.

Another current plastic pollution campaign I found was Plastic Change, who promote the need to stop dumping rubbish into our ocean, showing the effects it has specifically on ocean creatures. They also highlight the effects that this has on the environment in general. However, one of the most compelling pieces of promotional that Plastic Change have done was this short animation where they placed aquatic animals in a humans situation (doctors surgery) and gave them human characteristics. This for me plays on the heartstrings was it gives the target audience a chance to emphasise with the animals and realise that they are the cause of this horrid situation. From this I think that a short animation or stop motion could work well in order to get us to get the message across.


Sky have also recently started a campaign to raise awareness for plastic pollution within the oceans. They have started the campaign #PassOnPlastic with the idea to make people change the way they use and consider single use plastics. This campaign is both digital with the use of video and vital image / text, while using a sculpture of a whale named “plasticus” to highlight how much plastic waste is entering our seas. This campaign like the others is successful due to the hard hitting facts and statistics that they use, they are bringing peoples attention to the reality of situation.

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After looking at research into both campaigns and plastic pollution, we needed to come up with a name for our own campaign. This was a difficult aspects to the task as we all had various ideas however none that appeared to be suitable for the campaign. However, it did enable us to produce a wide range of ideas ranged from ‘plastic diet’ to ‘plastic plate’ however in the end we decided to chose the name PCA – Plastic Consumption Awareness. This was a play on words because it sounds like PVC (type of plastic). Myself and another member of the team began to sketch up ideas for poitential logo designs for the campaign, this was different for me as I learnt how to collaborate and share ideas to create the best outcome. I then took these digitally into Adobe illustrator when I began to play around with ideas.


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Plastic Pollution Coalition (2018) Plastic Pollution Coalition. Available at: (Accessed: 4th December 2018)
Plastic Change (2018) Plastic Change. Available at: (Accessed: 4th December 2018)
Plastic Change (2017) The Waiting Room: ” A recycle a day keeps the doctor away”. Available at: (Accessed 4th December 2018)
Sky (2018) Sky Ocean Rescue. Available at: (Accessed: 4th December 2018)