At Richard Stockton University, where I am currently enrolled to achieve a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Visual Communications, I completed a course called Image and Typography. The coursework revolved around the idea of using elements of design to communicate ideas effectively.
The first project assigned involved illustrating a prevalent world issue for a Time magazine cover. The professor would then assign respective copy to be placed and stylized to accompany the graphic. The class was urged to create an image that would cause the average person walking by a magazine stand (or scrolling on their phone) to do a double-take. We had to emotionally and mentally draw the reader in.
In a previous semester, I took a class that went into detail about global warming and its effects. The class intrigued me very much especially since before then I always thought of climate change as an event that wouldn’t affect me during my lifetime. I discovered that global warming is one of the most prominent, evident, and catastrophic issues facing our world today. Melting glaciers, shrinking polar caps, rising sea levels; these are all factors that we try to understand, but often don’t take seriously. We can’t, or perhaps choose not to, see the link between the disaster and its direct effect on our lives, not to mention the enormous hand that humanity has in this issue.
The foundation of this project was primarily based on driving people to care about the state of the Earth. I needed to create a visual stimulus that would invoke a Time Magazine reader or passerby to learn more about climate change and what they can do to impede the problem.
BRAINSTORMING & DESIGN
Basis of the idea
I started off my brainstorming by researching more into global warming and the themes that coalesce into the subject. I needed to figure out which concepts I wanted to focus on in bringing my graphic together. From there, I performed a few word association exercises followed by the actual sketching of possible magazine covers.
The notion that stuck with me most when I was researching was the irreversibility of the damage that humans contribute. We, for the most part, unknowingly pollute harmful chemicals and substances during daily activities. Once these elements are released, there’s not much that can be done to retract them. We have a larger impact on the world than we like to believe.
To illustrate this suggestion, I used an ice cream cone as the focal point; a wonderfully tasty treat that we only have moments to fully enjoy before it melts away into a mess. To make the connection between global warming and the ice cream, I decided I would superimpose a satellite image of the Earth on the ice cream. This would allow the viewer to quickly make the connection between the melting ice cream and the heating of our planet.
Stylistically, I wanted to create this composition in a photorealistic format. After all, this is a real world issue we are dealing with. Some of the design decisions I decided to make were: using vibrant blues for an Earthy atmosphere, framing for a close up shot of the ice cream to bring focus to the superimposed Earth, and using harsh lighting to create stark undertones.
What the idea means
The goal of the idea was to make a comparison between the melting of ice cream and the heating of the Earth. Ice cream can only be fully enjoyed for a select amount of time or else it will melt. On top of that, if you drop your ice cream cone, there’s no getting it back (unless you are a hardcore believer in the 10-second rule). The damage is done and it is irreversible. The Earth is at a point where it has not only been metaphorically dropped, but it is on the ground melting away as well. There is a point of no return with the Earth’s decay. We as humans and inhabitants of the planet must realize how much of an impact our behavior has on it. We must preserve the Earth before it truly is too late.