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In Graphics: The New Blood Diamonds

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In Graphics: The New Blood Diamonds

Posted by Enough Team on November 23, 2009

This is a guest post by Michael Selby, a junior at the University of Kansas.

The New Blood Diamonds from Michael Selby on Vimeo.

As a junior at the University of Kansas graphic design department, I, along with my classmates in a course taught by professors Tad Carpenter and Patrick Dooley, was given the task of designing both print and digital communication campaigns for an advocacy organization. At the suggestion of a friend who attended this summer’s Campus Progress conference in Washington D.C., I began researching the RAISE Hope for Congo campaign and was especially drawn to the conflict minerals work. The link between sexual violence in Congo, conflict minerals, and electronics devices was shocking. Aside from the staggering statistics and sheer urgency of the problem, I was also moved by the failures of the media in bringing this knowledge to the public. My ultimate goal in creating this motion graphics piece was for viewers to understand the conflict minerals issue and the immediate actions we need to take to solve it.

Both of my campaigns centered around the headline of John Prendergast’s Boston Globe article: “The New Blood Diamonds.” I hoped that these words would serve as an attention-grabbing articulation of a complex problem. Aesthetically, I aimed to create a clean and legible palette, in contrast to the rough, textured nature of the poster series created for print. The motion of the text simulates a conversation with the viewer, engaging them with a contrast of familiar imagery, strong factual copy, and bold typography.

Using these techniques, I hope to communicate an important message: the everyday electronics we hold in our hands are complex objects containing precious but cursed conflict minerals below their shiny surface.