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We should have a symbol against gun violence

Jan Sabach

Northampton, MA, United States
January 27, 2014

Symbols unite us, sort us, differentiate us, inform us, protect us, they can frighten us or make us feel safe. The symbol agaist gun violence should serve two purposes. One is a "badge of protection", a symbol of security that people could get behind in their efforts to change the gun laws and protect the lives of children. Second as a "mark of solidarity" with people who had to go trought this unimaginable experience. Visual language of anti gun groups often comes across as "soft" or "too emotional" and therefore easier to dismiss. Yet their message couldn't be more powerful. I offer this symbol as a counterpoint to the gun lobby. Part badge of protection part mark of solidarity.

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  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Really cool, Jan. Like that you approached this conversation not just from the community solidarity angle, but also from a very pragmatic design approach. It's stylish and makes me more open to the idea of getting involved in the conversation because it pulls less on the heart strings, and makes me want to engage.

    • Jan Sabach

      Thanks Alessandra. I'm glad you said that it makes you want to engage. Loooking at this serious and extremelly emotional issue from a "heartless" branding pespective, that is exactly what you want your brand (message, issue, etc) to spark. Successful identity is one that makes the leap from awareness to active participation. I think designers should invest more of their time to bigger issues. We don't always have to wait for a creative brief. We are trained in visual problem solving and if we are passionate about something, we should take action. Finding your issue and getting involved and putting your work out there is a virtual equivalent of going out at night with a roll of posters and a bucket of glue.
      This issue is already super charged with emotions and that's why I think the symbol should be simple and in its pure form rather "emotionless". Not only will it come across as more credible, but it also has better chance to include people who are not directly affected by the gun violence, yet still want to help the efforts that the groups against gun violence are alreday undertaking.