January 24, 2020

Clara Murphy

As a part of my course at Cardiff Met, BA Graphic Communication, we have lots of opportunities to take part in live briefs and to work with clients. With some of our projects, we can tailor them to focus on a subject that we feel passionate about or are particularly interested in.

Live briefs are some of the best parts of the course.

We are often encouraged to work on projects with charities and for good causes, as we can potentially have a real impact and help lots of people through our work. It is really rewarding to see your work being used with a direct positive effect on people.

Last year, as a part of one of my modules, I worked on a collaboration project with students from other design disciplines. Our client was part of a women’s group in Tanzania called Upendo Wa Mama. The group works to support women who have albinism, or have children with albinism.

People with this condition are often rejected by their village, and they may struggle to provide for themselves and their children. They are discriminated against because of their children and often live in fear of attacks.

The goal of the project was to empower these women through raising money and awareness of the work that the group does.

One of our main outcomes was a children’s book. It told the story of an albino elephant’s struggle of being different compared to his family and friends, which is something a lot of albino children in Tanzania can relate too.

Our aim was to sell the book in English in the UK, and to sell a Swahili version in Tanzania, with all the profits going to Upendo Wa Mama. We have just finished designing the Swahili version, and are looking into the technicalities of getting the books printed for them to sell. We also created individual outcomes to help raise awareness of the cause.

Another project I worked on as a part of my course was a persuasive media campaign to encourage and empower girls to take part in STEM subjects. It aims to prove to girls that they are just as able as boys to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

I created a set of cards for a Top Trumps style game, with each card showing the profile of a woman who has made a difference to the world within her field. It’s all about inspiring young girls and giving them the confidence to choose STEM subjects through learning about successful women.

This leads on to the topic that I am researching for my dissertation, which is about how gender stereotypes are reinforced by toys for children. I really like that my course allows me to look at a topic that I am really passionate about and tie it into the work that I look at on my course.

I believe it is important to work on passion projects outside of university too. Recently, I created an Instagram campaign all about getting students to register to vote, and explaining how to do it. Again, this is a topic I really care about, and I love that I can use my discipline to raise awareness and inform people.

Since being at Cardiff School of Art and Design, I am so much more aware of my responsibility as a graphic designer, and the role that we can play in society as agents for change.

As graphic designers we can do a lot to raise awareness of important issues.

This ethical approach is something that I intend to carry into my career after I graduate, whether I work for an agency or as a freelance designer.