GRAPHIC DESIGN: "The Human Rights Poster"

Assignment Source: Originally from "Design for Communication" by Elizabeth Resnick.

Assignment Brief: This assignment was inspired by the Zimbabwean poster design Chaz Maviyane-Davis and his Human Rights poster series, examples of which can be seen on the artist's website here. In his Rights series, produced in the 1990s, he was influenced by his African heritage, his goal to fight for human rights in Africa and his need to "remind authorities of their moral obligations as leaders and human beings."

Your assigment is to visually articulate one of the thirty-one rights from the "Declaration of the Common Rights of Humanity", as written by Jeff Stansbury, found on the United Nations website.You may select any one of the 31 rights that you wish.

Before you get started: Create a folder on your network space called "lastname_HUMAN_RIGHTS" Save the files of this project to that folder.

Then, spend some time reviewing the 31 rights and thinking about what life might be like if these rights were denied to you. Once you have reviewed the rights, select a right to focus on. Brainstorm some ideas that will enable you to create an engaging, effective and meaningful message that supports or argues for the right, so that the message can be understood by a general audience.

Trial Sketches: After brainstorming for ideas for how you might visually make the point of your chosen right in a thought-provoking manner, sketch out three ideas for your final poster. Make these sketches on paper with pencil. You will submit these sketches for consideration- Mr. B. will help you select one to execute. Remember, you must execute your final poster in Photoshop, so only sketch ideas that you know you can execute.

Required Elements of the Poster: Please create your poster to the following specifications:

  • Poster size: 11" x 8 1/2", 300 dpi.
  • Program: Photoshop.
  • TEXT: Please include the WORDING of the right that you have selected. You may edit lightly, as needed, for brevity
  • The ELEMENTS of the poster should be created or manipulated by the student. It is NOT SUFFICIENT to merely steal a graphic or a photograph off of the internet, throw it in the background and put some text on top of it. The student needs to CREATE this poster.

Goal of the Poster: Your poster should seize the attention of the viewer and then retain it, provoking or motivating the viewer. It should make the viewer reflect, question, protest, recoil or otherwise react. At its most effect, your poster should promote, encourage or persuade and should be seen as a dynamic force for change. PLEASE NOTE: The "Declaration of Common Rights" is meant to be a UNIVERSAL statement of rights, not targetting a specific country or nationality. Inclusion of specific country symbology (such as American Flags, Statues of Liberty, etc.) should be AVOIDED!

Samples: As this is a common college level graphic design assignment, there are lots of poster samples available on the internet. I have selected a few of these for your examination:

Grading: This assignment will worth a total of 150 points, 75 points for including all necessary elements to the poster and 75 points, based upon Mr. B.'s critical eye, for the aesthetic qualities of the work.