Stick Your Tongue Out Against Animal Cruelty!

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Not too long ago my dog was attacked by a man.  Do not worry, my dog is quite all right, but I was shocked at how the police in Germany did nothing to the man. 
Because of this incident, I began looking up facts and statistics about the various kinds of acts of animal cruelty committed around the world.  I am quite aware of things that go on through out the world, but reading the statistics made me want to use my artistic ability to help spread awareness further.  I decided that I wanted to create something that would help educate children about how damaging the acts of animal cruelty are in any form. 

Why choose children as the target audience, because as we all know they are our future and what they learn now they will carry with them throughout their life.
One thing that seems to be somewhat international is the fact that children stick their tongues out at things they do not like.  Combining this action with famous animal cartoon characters looking upset about the thought of people committing acts of cruelty upon animals could create a bigger sense of awareness among children who view these posters. 
The posters themselves would not be bogged down with too many facts, but one simple fact per poster.  Thus not to overwhelm the children, but to help them understand that wrong doing towards animals of any kind is not right.  I also do not want to make each poster overly disturbing to a child.  The idea is to inform them and not scare them. With this goal to help educate them and make them aware of the types of abuses taking place hopefully things will change in the future.
I may continue to expand this project, because the more I learn about animal abuse and cruelty the more I want to help spread the information.

Original Sketches...
This project allowed me to experiment with recreating characters in a fashion that closely resembles various styles of the original Disney characters.  I did not want my versions to look exactly the same so I gave them subtle differences that make them unique.  Because they closely resemble the original characters it allows the viewer to automatically see and presume they are exactly the same.  I feel making them slightly unique demonstrates how I can bring a small personal touch to already known characters.
Below you will find the original sketches to the characters displayed above.  One will also notice that there were slight changes made once I started turning sketches into graphics. 
Poster Design...
The design of the posters are kept simple, however there are reasons why they were given this particular look.
For instance, the background behind the characters alludes to the time when the beginnings of cartoons had the pop up of the main characters face in the main title.  The splash of color brings the character to the forefront of the poster.  This retro style works quite well with keeping the overall poster simplistic.
Secondly, I used a font similar to the Disney logo for the tag line.  I believe this helps establish where the characters come from.  Everyone thinks that Disney characters are love-able and happy so to see them upset really sends a meaning to the viewer.  Using this particular font to establish them as the famous characters really helps push that idea.
Lastly, the colors Black and White for the Information and tag line have a meaning as well.  In life, not everything is "Black and White" so to speak.  Thus, when a person or child reads the facts the subtle color tone stands out against the bright colors and causes an interest to learn more about the acts of cruelty being committed against animals.
Becoming A Study...
I decided that I wanted to take this project one step further.  Many designers and even several agencies do not test designs with the intended viewers and others that would possibly come in contact with the pieces created.  However, the day after I launched the project I spoke to Helen Arnold who is a teacher at the International School in Dusseldorf.  I asked her if she could share the project with her colleagues and ask for feedback.
I do not think either of realized at how many educators would respond back to the query.  By the end of the week Helen had amassed twenty or so emails.  The feedback was remarkable and very favorable.  Her colleagues seemed to really like how the campaign was laid out and that it would work quite well with students over varying ages.  The consensus was that the students who are older would completely understand the idea, and the imagery would cause the younger students to ask questions.   All seemed to agree that educating children at young age about topics of this nature was a good thing.  Some teachers even felt this would be great with a presentation or an assembly on the topic.
What surprised me was that one educator divided his/her class into five groups and each group was assigned a poster to discuss.  The interesting thing is that this class of students, who if I am correct are in 5th grade, are already starting to study appropriation, marketing, and strategy.
I feel quite honored that several educators from the International School took the time to view my work, and share their opinions.  The sum of the responses supported my theory that it is important to teach students about topics such as Animal Cruelty at a young age, because it is information they will carry with them throughout their lives.
This is a Spec Ad Series / PSA that I am using as a case study.  This project has not been picked up by Disney or any firms connected to the Disney company.  Thus, the project will remain in my portfolio simply as way to help develop ideas on how to educate children on this topic and similar themes.  Feedback is greatly appreciated and will help me develop future ideas on how to share to communicate this topic to today's youth.
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