Design as Activism – Group Research Overview

Girl Specific Design

Above are some top results for girls item, as you can tell the main colours are pink and purple. Very stereotypical colours for girls. Consistent imagery I found for ‘girls’ items were cute characters, princess themes and beauty. Buying a child these gendered products may seem harmless to the parent but can put limits on their child in the future. A young girl may think she’s not allowed to wear blue, ‘blues a boys colour and I’m a girl’. It’s an unhealthy thought to have and children shouldn’t be limited to one gender. Let children enjoy what they like not what is pushed onto them.

Boy Specific Design

As you can see ‘boys’ design follows the same sort of pattern. Main colours featured are blues, greys and reds. Common imagery such as cars, superhero or ‘being naughty’ is often included. This perception can of course can damage boys too, maybe a boy wants to wear something pink or a dress. The child may feel uncomfortable to express the way that they feel because he may feel it’s ‘not normal’. This can link into the LGBTQ+ community, a child feeling they are transgender may be too afraid to express themselves because of what society has told them they should be.


Overall everybody knows what a stereotypical boy and girl style is. Its being shown to many of us since we were little and has probably influenced the way in which we grew up. I made some further research and found that out of the 5 online stores I looked at, Screen Shot from the Walmart Website3 still used gender as a ‘shop by’ option. Some retailers have passed this dated outlook but others still need to update the way they categories their items. With this brief I want to make children and parents more aware of gender neutral design and helping people to understand that children don’t have to be labelled by their gender.

An important thing to note in my research is that both genders use colours such as grey, blue and yellow these in pastel shades could work for a colour scheme. Another thing they share is the use of nature and animals in their imagery. These would be good things to go of when designing something non gender specific like this campaign.

Existing Awareness Art

These three posters really stood out to me in Finley’s research they either convey a lot of emotion or were striking to look at. From his research I noticed that there is no right way in creating a piece of awareness art, all three of these successful posters use different methods to attract an audience. Kruger’s poster design (I Shop Therefore I Am) uses humour and a striking colour scheme to draw in her audience. It almost interrogates the viewer much like the piece by CBS (Liking Isn’t Helping), it is criticising you for not helping. This very emotive posters uses your guilt to act on the situation in Singapore. Fairey’s work uses this style aswell by using a young girl which forces the audience to think about who they could be pushing out of the their country and which innocent lives will be affected.

‘Overall, the one thing that ties all design together is the fact that they all want to be as widespread as possible to have the greatest effect. This can be widespread in terms of geography and the amount of people they connect with, or the amount of time they connect with people for. Ultimately, awareness campaigns employ various tactics to stay in the viewers memory. These can be anything from designing an interactive experience to printing 10000 copies of your poster and sticking it on every billboard in the city.’

Sources Used:

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