The "Keep Distance" project originated from an extensive research into the promotion of COVID-19 safety within public spaces and transportation systems like the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). The research primarily concentrated on the effectiveness of specific graphic design elements and their role in effectively communicating safety information to the general public during crises. Based on my discoveries, I developed a prospective animated poster campaign for the NS to alert travelers about the enduring consequences of COVID-19.
Based on a segment of my research, I concluded that the NS's approach to promoting COVID-19 safety was clear and understandable but lacked effectiveness. While their use of signs was technically proficient, they didn't necessarily resonate with the intended audience. These signs were designed with simplicity, making them easy to comprehend but challenging to connect with emotionally. It communicated clear instructions such as maintaining a 1.5-meter distance and wearing masks but failed to provide the "why" behind these measures. In my view, treating COVID-19 solely as a set of instructions, and treating is similar to a fire exit sign, was a mistake. It would have been far more effective if people were informed about the potential consequences of contracting the disease. During the COVID-19 crisis, a significant shortcoming lay in the failure to communicate the rationale behind these measures.
People tend to grasp the importance of actions better when they understand how those actions directly impact them on a personal level.
Stay Safe © Pip van Gelderen, 2021