The British Red Cross aimed to produce a presentation with the hopes of winning funding for young refugees. Their presentation was built up of facts and figures. However, a part of it was to tell a story of a young boy named Ali, who came from Afghanistan to the UK to escape the war. The British Red Cross found Ali and helped him learn English, get an education and find a foster family.
Blue Baboon’s role in this presentation was to enhance the narrative of Ali’s story through visuals. The aim was to strengthen the presentation by creating an emotional response from the viewers.
To elicit an emotional response from the viewers of the presentation, ultimately to win funding for a project to help young refugees coming to the UK.
“We loved the series of illustrations that the Blue Baboon team created. The illustrations are so powerful and emotive, they really bring out the story of a child refugee and his plight. Given the short time frame and tight deadline what the team produced was original, creative, of an extremely high standard and they worked very well within our brand guidelines.
We have had departments from across the organisation enquire about using it in their external communications. A huge thank you to all of you especially with having to work beyond your hours of work to help deliver this to us on time.”
The outcome of this project was a series of 19 illustrations, representing matching frames of a narrative. To capture the story and tie these frames together, we used visual metaphors as well as a shift in the colour palette going from shades of grey to colour as Ali’s life gets back on track. We also used Ali’s body language to portray his emotions.
Ultimately, the client felt more confident doing their presentation supported by our visual aids. The visual narrative we produced managed to engage the audience and emotionally connected with them resulting in a successful funding bid.
The novelty of this project came from the purpose behind it. The primary focus of the presentation was to ultimately help young people. The Blue Baboon team worked collaboratively and went the extra mile to fulfil the needs of the client.
We had to step out of our comfort zones, be flexible and put into practice skills that we do not usually use. We did this because the purpose of this project was significant to us. We also believed that we have the skillset internally, and are willing to adapt to suit the client’s needs.
Step 1: Experience Planning
After being presented with the details of this project, we constructed a narrative script, which we then used to produce a 19 frame story of illustrations. We proposed the idea of creating a video with all illustrations stitched together in a timed presentation, alongside a script.
We used the script and transformed it into a visual storyboard illustrating Ali’s journey, through witnessing the terror in his village to joining the other young refugees in exploring ideas of leadership and social action, which ultimately built his confidence and self-esteem which led him to support other young refugees.
Step 2: Illustration
The process of this project began with visual research; we looked into similarly illustrated narratives, these then influenced our design ideas. The frames began as hand-drawn sketches. These were then scanned and edited digitally. We created a reference for a background to use on all frames; this enabled each person to work on these frames while maintaining consistency.
The use of colour was in this project was hugely important. We used black and white to highlight the pain Ali went through when witnessing the terror around him, and colour to represent the brighter times in his life and the journey he went on. Throughout this process we had a continuous loop of feedback, always keeping The British Red Cross up to date with changes and developments.
As a company, we were especially passionate about this project, as our work helped The British Red Cross gain funding which ultimately helped people. The result of this project potentially had a positive impact on children affected by war around the world.