We are constantly urged to do “ten simple things to save the earth,” when in fact the earth will not be saved simply. There is a grave danger in allowing incremental change to lull us into feeling satisfied about our behavior toward the planet.
That paragon of incremental change, the reusable shopping bag, has been overdue for a sendup, and my image has been picked up on numerous environmental and lifestyle websites. While sales of the actual bag on Zazzle.com have been modest, I don’t mind. If producing one of these bags has half the environmental impact of making a tshirt, that would amount to using five ounces of pesticides, 350 liters of water, and creating 3.5 pounds of CO2!
We never do anything for just one reason, and Populational is proving to be a very interesting project in the realm of design research. Visual memes have evolved quickly, and there is little to be found on how the visuals operate. There’s a good bit online about how visual memes should be launched or circulated on various social media sites, and that one should make memes fun and catchy – but not much beyond that.
Describing best practices will be challenging in a field so driven by whim and fashion, but stay tuned!
What began as a tagging, stenciling, and stickering campaign evolved into a tagging, documenting, and retouching effort. From there is was a short move to a full-fledged online campaign consisting largely of memes. The ease and speed of social media; the ability to share images without defacing the property of others; the widespread dissemination, and the growing popularity of memes made the spray paint seem surprisingly … inauthentic. I decided to create images to suggest to the others what they COULD do to trash piles, were they so inclined. Yet it seems taggers see the practice of virtual tagging as cheating in some way, and it is certainly far more convenient to not have to buy spray paint/scale walls, etc. and just work in Photoshop. I’m curious if others see the practice as a logical evolution, something devious, or both.
Over the years, I have designed signage, packaging, brochures, and logos – for Fortune 500 companies and small enterprises I helped create with local merchants. I’ve done a ton of pro bono work, from hands-on design to writing and editing to general communication strategy. My current design activities are concentrated on a campaign to raise awareness about the relationship between our environmental and reproductive behaviors. More about this at POPULATIONAL.COM
Populational is a series of social media memes (for want of a better term) formatted for easy distribution on the web. Creative Commons licensing makes this kind of sharing even easier. Check out the “Design” section here to get a sense of what I”ll be releasing over the summer. For now, bookmark this page, or sign up for CSS feed, or whatever so you’ll be sure to see the latest releases.