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A Newsletter from the UN & NGOs Designers Group Geneva
Visual Communicators Newsletter
JUNE 2019

This is a monthly newsletter from the UN Designers and Visual Communicators Group in Geneva. Drop us a line if you would like to collaborate or share any material for inclusion in this newsletter:

The thin red line   

This year's World Environment Day campaign really got people talking. With the hashtag #BeatAirPolution the campaign made good use of social media through the "Mask Challenge". There was even a campaign-within-campaign through the 'Breathe Life' website. But since we are after all focused on visual communications, we honed in on the great work done to create an identity through graphic elements and to ensure a proper worldwide consistency through very detailed guidelines.  
Brand assets face challenges with which most UN designers are well acquainted: translation of logos into different languages, creation of highly conceptual icons and the necessity to be universal and generic while at the same time not to compromise on the unique personality of visual assets. The designers tackle this expertly with a restricted color palette and a consistent stroke. Dark and light blue are used to contrast with the red lines that are consistently represent air pollution in the infographics. 

Power to the people

A new edition of the SDG Action Campaign Awards has proven that the real change is not coming from the UN offices in Geneva or NYC, but rather that communities around the world are the ones driving change. These awards are just a celebration of the 'handmade' campaigns that determined communities are putting together across the globe. From the people's choice award, a social youth movement in the Philippines, to 'Condom couture' in Zimbabwe, stopping rape in India, building narratives around climate change, or changing the rape-marriage law in Lebanon these awards are proof that it's the determination of ordinary citizens that will achieve the SDGs.  

One step beyond 

How can we solve famine in the world? IFAD came to the conclusion that the solution is to invest in agriculture businesses that will provide young people with jobs, especially in Africa. But, how do you engage such a specific audience as rural youth? Follow a basic rule of communications of course: speak to them in their language. So, when IFAD wanted to connect with rural youth they looked at which communications channels younger generations use more often.
That's where the idea of using Tiktok came from. What a better way to engage youth than a trendy app used to show your best dance routines to the world in the form of short videos? A song was composed ("Freedom"), choreography created (by Sherrie Silver, the Grammy winner for the This is America video), the hashtag #DanceforChange was added, a video was created and everything got packaged into a funky-looking website. The result? Judging by the more than 10,000 dance moves from around the globe, it was definitely the right step to take. And we dance to that.

June Inspiration
A logo
Extinction Rebellion is a grassroots movement with a penchant for bold graphic design. Its logo, a stylized hourglass within a circle, represents time running out for planet Earth.
A meetup
Next June 18 the Digital Strategy Meetup host lectures under the title 'Effective video storytelling'. Among them, Susanna Pak from ITC wil look at engaging video stories at the UN. 
A contest
Check out the winners of the World Oceans Day photo competition. Some categories this year were Human interaction, Clean our Ocean and this year's theme, Gender and Oceans. 
A taboo
This award-winning commercial may be promoting a brand, but it also does a good job empowering women and shows lots of... creativity (you see, we didn't dare to say 'balls'). 
A repository (or two)
It's always interesting to take a peek at how visual identity resources are organized: OCHA uses Confluence to create an exhaustive catalog while FAO uses a more minimalistic approach. 
A goodbye
After six issues and many awards, Migrant Journal turns its last page (as promised) with a great final issue. They looked at migration in completely novel ways and that will be missed.
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Copyright © 2019 UN Designers Group, All rights reserved.

This newsletter has been produced by the UN Designers group, a non-profit organization created with the purpose of raising awareness around design and visual communications in international organizations, as well as help promoting the work done in this field. Our channels are both our physical meetings, usually hosted in UN agencies or other international organizations in Geneva, and this e-newsletter.

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