Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blog 16 Saatchi & Saatchi

The Abuse You Yell at Your Kids Stays in the Family for Generations

 I hate to end my blog on such an ugly, disturbing note but I think this is such a powerful poster, such an important issue, and such an awesome book.  This poster was designed for the Children and Younger Persons Services in New Zealand by graphic designer John Fischer of Saatchi & Saatchi.  I'll discuss the topic and design of the poster later - first the book.  If you haven't checked this book out of the Parkland Library yet, definitely make the effort.  It is an amazing book.  It dissects works of graphic design and looks at their origins.  For example, the piece that is posted here is related back to 30 works by other designers.  The book shows how the composition relates to the other designs through the use of typography, imagery, color, shapes, time period, perspective, theme, and many other ways.  Again, this book is just incredible.  I loved it so much, I had to buy it for myself.

Now for the message...  This poster's message is so important - stop verbal abuse of children.  I can't tell you how many times I have seen parents at the mall, in the grocery store, at the part, where ever, yelling, no SCREAMING at their children - saying horrible, horrible things.  I can only imagine that they learned that behavior from their parents, from the way they were treated as children.  This cycle has to stop and public awareness and education is the only way to stop it. 

The imagery in the poster is very powerful.  What better way to convey the immediate sense of uncontrolled parental rage than a tightly cropped mouth showing a frighteningly angry scream?[ Heller & Ilic]  The ugly mouth reflecting downward into the throat over and over is very intense and represents the viciousness and hurtfulness that words alone can cause children AND that this type of abuse tends to be cyclic.  If your parents made you feel bad about yourself, it is easy to say the same things to your children with the same consequences and the cycle continues.  The typography reminds me of refrigerator magnets that have been altered, aged: misaligned and raw, which fit into the theme so well.

Source:  Heller, Steven and Mirko Ilic, The Anatomy of Design, Rockport Publishers, Beverly, Massachusetts, 2009


  1. Wow! What an insightful poster. I know what that feels like. I spent 2 years in counseling and took extra child rearing classes to be a better parent because I was afraid I'd repeat what was done to me as a child. Part of the reason I draw so well is because it was my only outlet for the first years of my life. Art helped me through a lot of stuff. The only thing missing is just a little more of the face [for the first one only], to see the "snarl" that is usually accompanied with this mouth. This mouth looks a little more like just screaming to me. The real snarl is missing for me to believe it, but then you'd have to have been there as a child to know the difference. Not so many teeth would be showing with a snarl. This on without the other mouths makes me feel like a dentist is getting ready to pick at your mouth. Anyway it is a generational thing and hearing it in the stores and public places makes my skin crawl every time. I immediately go in my mind to my class training skills to deal with what I'm over-hearing. I think that we've become so lax with our language in our society that negative words are carelessly thrown around doing damage all the time.I never wanted my kids to ever hear thinks like I've heard. For parents it's learning not to take it personal and staying in control of your temper, mouth and actions.

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