The Influence of Graphic Design During A Global Crisis

I'm excited to say I was recently published in a blog article by Dot Yeti titled "14 Creative Leaders Share The Importance of Graphic Design During a Global Crisis". The article reveals 14 responses from varying graphic designers around the globe (myself included) and their opinions on how graphic design influenced the current global crisis - the COVID-19 pandemic. My responses are not posted in their entirety due to the length of the article; so I thought I would share below.


If you would like to read the full article please click here.

QUESTION 1:

What are your comments about how the graphic design industry played its role as the front liners of relaying essential information to the public?


We have all heard of the saying “information is power” and perhaps a more accurate phrase that rippled through this pandemic is “communication is key”. During the start of the pandemic, there was mass panic and confusion from the public. People were frightened and the Hollywood horror movies that depicted these events suddenly became a whole lot more realistic. The pressure from country leaders to communicate quickly and precisely had never been more critical. The most difficult task at hand being how on earth do we inform an entire country on what a pandemic is? Seeing as the last pandemic was in 1918.


Graphic design was an integral part to defeating the pandemic by filtering an insane amount of jargon, unfamiliar by most; into easily digestible and concise forms of graphic material (especially that of social media posts) that could be understood by majority of the public. This was done rapidly, and consistently throughout Australia to ensure unity and guidance within our country – everyone understood their role they had to play to keep our country safe. It was critical graphic designers understood what to communicate and what not to communicate – a fine line between misguidance and causing confusion. The consequences of this miscommunication could be detrimental; societal collapse, further widespread mass panic, rioting and even death.


QUESTION 2:

Do you have any experiences you’d like to share on how your work as a graphic designer made an impact on people, clients, or businesses during the pandemic?


Unlike some industries, my business increasingly started gaining momentum about 6 months into the pandemic. I was shocked to say the least, but in hindsight – it makes a lot of sense why. I primarily work with small businesses and start-ups; developing their brand identities and helping them launch into the business world.

Six months into the pandemic, when society became more settled - some knock-on effects of the pandemic were:

  • Many employees were forced to work from home, were stood down or had decreased days at work to keep companies afloat. This resulted in many people having more free time on their hands to indulge hobbies and interests.

  • The notion of “life is too short” really stopped people in their tracks. Many people, myself included had realisations during the lockdown period and questioned their future goals.

  • People lost their jobs and many businesses weren’t hiring. People looked to other ways to find sources of income.

These three points all contribute to the fact a lot more people were starting small businesses. Whether it was to support finances, recoup losses, spark new interests or because they were bored at home – small start-up businesses were popping up left, right and centre. As most people know, one of the first steps when starting a business is developing a brand identity so fortunately enough, this gifted me the most clients I have ever taken on. There truly is opportunity in adversity.

I found my clients in 2020 to be a unique breed of people. They were willing to try new things; open minded and despite the pessimistic state of the economy – were excited to be diving into passions.


QUESTION 3:

Looking forward, what do you think the creative industry as a whole will look like in the future?

Long regarded an “non-essential” discipline, I truly hope that graphic design becomes more recognised for its critical nature. After all – graphic design is communication, and what would society become if we’re not communicating clearly with one another. Graphic design creates a unified language to help us understand more deeply and more critically. It’s when we start to see communication break down and lack of information; like we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, do we realise how important clear and concise information truly is – how important graphic design is.


If you would like to read the full article please click here.

To conclude, it is a little sore spot of mine that graphic designers/digital creatives weren’t considered “essential


” during the heights of the pandemic. The irony for me lies in the critical and urgent demand for clear and concise information needing to be distributed to the public. Eg; infographics, commercials, social media, posters, billboards, medical brochures.


A big thank you to Dot Yeti for this feature and the interesting discussion surrounding this topic.


Interesting in discussing this topic further? Send a message to hello@emlycreative.com.au



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