As RRDP’s graphic designer, I was very excited to attend an art exhibition and series of speeches hosted by PArt Of Us and featuring our latest data. On 3rd October 2016, the community-led project held an art exhibition at the University of the Arts in London to raise awareness of the situation facing refugees and displaced people in Europe through art and design.
The exhibition was followed by a series of talks from an inspiring collection of creative entrepreneurs. Each speaker had dedicated their time and skills to help refugees and displaced people in Europe. First to speak was RRDP founder, Marta Welander, who introduced our organisation’s aims and values. I then followed by discussing the RRDP brand and, with the help of a powerpoint presentation, I was able to explain how the designs have developed from a scribble on a piece of paper into the full branding that you see today. This branding has been applied to the website, reports, and various promotional materials.
Infographics have become a fashion in recent years, with media outlets scrambling to convey data in new and thought-provoking ways. Therefore it was essential that RRDP hopped onto this bandwagon to attract the attention of both the general public and key media outlets, as well as to support RRDP’s advocacy work.
Using RRDP’s unique branding, I have been able to introduce design elements that not only help to entice interest from a variety of groups, but also convey a lot of information in an easy-to-read format. Essentially this has helped to make RRDP an instantly recognisable enterprise in a sometimes overcrowded domain. Working pro-bono for RRDP it was essential to build a brand that I could apply to different media easily and efficiently. Therefore I developed the font, colours, textures and patterns that you see consistently used throughout our brand.
At the PArt Of Us event we were so pleased to be able to work with artist and PArt Of Us director Eleanor Henson, who produced two fantastic pieces of art to promote our data in a totally new way. Eleanor’s “Have you experienced police violence in the camp?” installation used white chrysanthemums, which traditionally represent truth and honesty, to show the number of women present in the camp who had experienced police violence. The dried flowers represent those who have experienced violence, and the few living ones in the centre represent those that have not. There is a single flower for every girl we surveyed in February 2016.
The second piece by Eleanor Henson, “Does your shelter let in water?”, used ladies undergarments weighed out in grams to represent the number of women present in the camp who live in leaking shelters. The damp and soiled undergarments represented the women living in these unhealthy conditions, while the small number of clean undies represented those who do not. Every 5g of garment weight represented a single woman.
Other artworks included photography by the fantastic Nora Lorel and Carolina Rapezzi, as well as films, paintings, sculptures, audio pieces and textiles by other artists. We also heard fantastic speeches from Mark Surge of Caris Boxing Club who spoke of his experiences bringing boxing to the Calais camp, and Joshua Coombes describing his incredible work cutting hair for the UK’s homeless and Europe’s refugees.
This was a fantastic evening full of inspiring new talent, great ideas and absolute dedication to helping others. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Eleanor and Hakon for all their hard work putting on this event. We look forward to the next one!