The end of violence
Know Violence in Childhood, a global learning initiative, is concerned with ending harmful acts on children, both psychological and physical that impair and affect their growing up years, and even causing death. Children, a vulnerable core of society, must be protected. More peaceful societies should be nurtured. Know Violence in Childhood aims to make this change. Lopez Design was commissioned to design their global report, executive summary, policy briefs, media kit, website and other communication templates.
Changing the way we understand violence
A core part of our design mission was about making the communications heartfelt, imbibing the innocence of childhood and carrying through the importance of its preservation. The protection of the child is not separate but woven into the fabric of society itself. This wonderful concept, which appears to be simple when completed, began as a memory of childhood, mothers and grannies with knitting needles and a ball of wool. Thus, a half knitted sweater draws the picture of an incomplete project, a work in progress. When complete, it brings joy, warmth and protection. The notion of ‘knitting together’ creates the sense of a space for children to be nurtured, protected and grown. From the incomplete to complete, the viewer or reader is engaged with the need to finish what was started. A symbol of protection becomes a symbol of fulfillment signaling the end of violence.
“We are on the verge of our launch – I am excited to say that I finally received copies of the report … and it is very exciting!
The product looks absolutely beautiful – a collector’s item. Congratulations to all. … At moments like this, the stress fades away and we enjoy the wonder of a creative process and its result.”
— Ramya Subrahmanian, Know Violence in Childhood
How we began
We defined the design brief based on the requirements from the client, which described existing global concerns and the many misconceptions about the perpetration of violence and its impact on children.
The global flagship report emphasizes how violence goes beyond physical transgressions to leave a strong psychological impact. This unseen aspect of violence has far-reaching consequences creating lacunas. The incapacity of children to be articulate makes them unreliable witnesses to testify against any form of violence. In many forms, violence experienced at home, travel and school shapes the physical and mental personality of a child. Many of these cases go unreported. Income, culture and particular contexts all play a role in determining what kind of violence a child may be subject to. Violence against women is linked to the manner in which children are treated. By subjugating women and denying children the opportunities they deserve the economy of nations gets damaged, as youth are not in a position to take up decent working positions.
The report exhorts a holistic approach to bring about change across strata. The three prong approach advocated is to a) change the culture of violence b) address specific contexts and c) pillars of action.
How the design had to perform
The design for the communication tools had to be impactful. Primarily they are tools for awareness and advocacy. The documents therefore need to be accessible resources for credible and reliable evidence with a positive and empowering visual language. The online version could have interactive elements where possible.
The systems should be designed with a clear hierarchy that is easily comprehensible. The clarity in design language needs to let the reader navigate efficiently and by making an impact.
Who we had to address
The product had to reach out to policy makers, international civil society, NGOs, donors, academic institutions and individuals working in the field of violence prevention and research across sectors.
Tone of voice – how it had to sound
Consistent, complementing the core message and strengthening it
Creating the way forward
We felt the need to present the content in the document in a manner that can be easily absorbed by readers. Visual language in the form of illustrations would be imperative to bring out the essence of the chapters as well as build intrigue and a conceptual layer to the content. In this way the reader could become sensitized to the information presented in the document: establishing a human connect would bridge the gap between words, data and reality. We explored a range of illustrative styles.
Evolving new directions
We explored four directions to unravel the theme “Ending violence in childhood” from using visual metaphors of illustrations created from particle dust to harsh abstract lines, and distressed cloth art to humanistic illustrations. Of these, the metaphor of woven fabric was chosen for exploration towards the final outcome. Several concepts were worked with yarn, crushed fabric and thread to show the journey of a person from childhood, facing numerous trials, healing and emerging.
The final illustrations were a collaborative effort between Lopez Design and artist Sarah Naqvi. Naqvi, a textile artist from NID is ardent about issues of feminism supporting disadvantaged voice. Her strong stance is evident in her work. The “Ending Violence in Childhood” reports carry a symbolic series of images weaving the various chapters together. Naqvi developed the illustrations of a child’s sweater being knitted from start to completion, conveying the notions of care, weaving and work to emphasize the need to embrace children in stronger and carefully interwoven strategies for violence prevention. The visual imagery is a gripping metaphor for binding the argument together.
The cover design for the reports employed a strong graphic statement that used the fabric as the background. Infographics were specially developed to resonate with the visual language.
The following products were delivered: Global flagship report of 172 pages, Overview Report – 52 pages, Policy Briefs – 8 Nos. (40 pages), Pouch Folder, Web versions of all documents, PPT Template, Word Template and USB Card