SCAD GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDIO: METHODOLOGICAL PRACTICE-GRDS-702
Part 1 Discover
Identify and Analyze the original cultural, social, and/or value purpose(s) that informed a classic fairytale.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a German Fairy Tale in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It is about a princess, Snow White, who’s step-mother, the Queen, is jealous of her beauty and tries to kill her. Her assigned killer, The Huntsman, lets her go in the forest and she is taken in by seven dwarfs. When the Queen learns she is still alive, she tries three more times to kill her by disguising herself and appearing to the princess with a cursed gift. The first two times, she accepts the gift and the dwarfs save her. Upon her third attempt, she gives Snow White a poisoned apple, she eats it and falls into a deep sleep only to be awakened by the kiss of a Prince. While there are many morals that can be read into this popular tale, I believe the overarching lesson to be learned is not to accept things from strangers, especially food.
Part 2 – Respond
Develop a design narrative that articulates how you intend to relate your chosen fairytale to a contemporary audience. Consider your design narrative to be a flexible document, particularly its how component. Still, it is important to be thoughtful and to commit to the what, who, and why aspects of the narrative. Your narrative should include, but is not limited to, the following:
What you want to say: Describe your communication intention and its relationship to the fairytale you selected.
Who you want to say it to: Describe your intended audience.
Why you want to say it: Describe how this opportunity presented itself through your exploration and why this communication is significant to the intended audience.
How you will say it: Describe possible forms that the communication may take. Be sure to consider the use of new technologies in your media exploration.
Design Narrative - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
What you want to say:
Based on my analysis, I will start with the overarching lesson from the story – Don’t accept things from strangers, especially food – and boil that down for our contemporary Social Media driven audience to -
Don’t Friend Strangers!
Who you want to say it to:
As with the original fairy tale, this would be a great lesson to communicate to our modern day children, particularly girls and boys ages 8-12. Using the Snow White fairy tale, children of this age will resonate with the story and the characters.
Why you want to say it:
Children of this age level are naturally trusting. The majority of them haven’t had the experiences in life that teach you to be cautious of strangers and than there are some people in this world that are bad and will want to hurt you. Additionally, children are being exposed to the web, and particularly social media, and a younger and younger age. While technically they are not allowed to have a facebook account until age 13, I know plenty of kids younger than that that are already on social media in some form, and even some parents that allow them to sign-up as early as 7 or 8 to “keep in touch with family.” I feel that communicating them before they engage in social media with this message will have a positive effect on their online behaviors and safety.
How you will say it:
Using the theme of Snow White, I will explore a variety of ways to communicate with this target demographic. Possibly a poster, t-shirt, or other print material in the elementary school, or partnering with the PTA, a fast food place, or after school venue would be a possible rout.
Part 3 – Resonate
In Part 2 of this exploration, I developed a Design Narrative from my interpretation of the main moral lesson in the fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Don’t accept things from strangers, especially food. Within that analysis, I decided that this was very much along the same lines as the age-old lesson taught to children – Don’t Talk to Strangers. While I felt that was the essence of the lesson, in order to modernize this for a contemporary Social Media driven world, I decided to think differently about kids of today and came up with the message:
Don’t Friend Strangers!
I received a few comments from my colleagues, and from that feedback took away several items to think about as I moved forward:
Consider a Vanity Theme – The Dwarfs were also strangers, but took pity on her.
Possibly, I will explore this in my creative play.
Research more about my demographic – Will children of this age still respond to fairytale characters, storyline and theme?
I believe so, having children myself. But I need to research the demographic more.
Is there a Redemptive Theme present?
Possibly, but I don’t feel that the Redemption aspect of the tale is very strong for the contemporary audience, or with the message that I am trying to communicate. At this point, “modernizing” the Don’t Talk to Strangers message seems to be a pretty strong direction and works really well with this story as the backdrop.
Consider including a statement to qualify that not ALL strangers are bad.
I like this idea and will see how it plays out in execution.
Consider including a statements that speak to the actual dangers themselves (child predators, etc.) Point out that we don’t know who is on the other side.
I like this idea and I will explore this in my creative play.
From here, I have come up with these preliminary ideas:
In this idea, I was thinking maybe I could create a “modernized” Snow White tale for kids. One that takes place on the schoolyard and involves a little girl that gets herself in trouble through making friends with the wrong people on the web. I could parody the characters in the original story to the modern one. Perhaps the book itself would take on a real “fairytale look” to the design.
School Outreach Idea
In this approach, I was considering that partnering with the PTA and doing an “event” at the school could be a good approach. Perhaps hold a special Assembly and bring in costumed actors to play the characters in Snow White and act out some “lesson” for the kids to teach them about online and particularly Social Media safety. The kids could leave with some flyers or other literature to take home and discuss further with their parents. Maybe even one piece could be a “royal scroll” type piece that gives information or is even a commitment that the children and parents sign promising to be safe online.
Vanity Theme Idea
In this idea, I explored the theme of Vanity, but given my message, I pretty quickly went into Authenticity. People online can “look nice” but are they REALLY nice? Perhaps this could play off the Facebook function of suggesting friends to a user.
Message to Parents Idea
In this idea, I explored changing (or adding) the demographic of the parent into the communication. Perhaps warning the parents of social media predators with a direct tie to a “Dislike” icon. I also explored potentially morphing a Princess face with a Queen face and asking the question “Friend or Foe?”
After exploring the last idea and playing with the actual images from the story, I explored how it would play out to use another recognizable icon from Snow White – The Mirror. Perhaps the Mirror is printed in Foil to create a reflective surface and the statement is “Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Safest of them All?” The reader sees themselves and then the body copy on the piece supports the idea that you can only trust people YOU personally know online… or something along those lines.
In this final idea, I explore a Character driven campaign where I use the actual characters of the story in the piece. Perhaps each one comes to life and says something to the viewer in the voice of their Character that furthers the message Don’t Friend Strangers! For example, the evil Queen disguised as The Old Woman with the Apple, offering the viewer an Apple iPhone and saying “Friend me on Facebook Deary!” Maybe this could be a series of pieces where there are different key characters, like the Prince could say something heroic, the Dwarfs gives sound advice, etc.
The feedback that I received from that was great! The Character idea resonated with my colleague and she also gave me a great idea to bring in some of the points raised in the Vanity theme.
From here, I have first proceeded in furthering the visuals Character Idea:
My first character was the Old Woman offering an ipod to the viewer.
Old Woman Character – “Friend me on Facebook Deary!”
Next, I explored various ideas for the other main characters: Prince Charming, the Dwarfs and Snow White.
I tried to write lines that would give the viewer a disruptive wonder experience… a sense of surprise and fun.
I settled on the following:
Prince Charming Character – “I may look Charming, but don’t accept my Friend Request!”
Snow White Character – “I love to Tweet, but don’t Follow Me on Twitter.”
Dwarf Characters – “Hi Ho! Hi Ho! When strangers Friend us, we say no!”
Lastly, I explored some methods of execution: Stickers, Posters, Website, T-shirts, Flyers, Booth at a PTA Open House or Special Assembly event, Kids Meal Box for a Fast Food Sponsor (like McDonald’s).
Part 4 – Revise
The feedback from my colleagues on those sketches and info I got from research was very helpful and has informed my revisions. In discussions, I decided to pursue the Character execution and create a series of collateral (T-shirts, stickers, posters, etc.) for the kids to “collect” and be excited about. From my demographic research at various elementary school events with 3rd and 4th graders, as well as interview discussions with my 9 year old 4th grade son, I decided to design the fairytale characters with a “dark” and “cute/creepy” spin referencing some styles like:
Garbage Pail Kids
Tim Burton Movies
Little Big Planet
(Characters will be simple shapes, have Black Button eyes and a fabric texture)
Next, I decided to move to creating the characters on the computer.
Digital Character Development – Snow White
Final Snow White Design
Final Old Woman Design
Final Prince Charming Design
Final Dwarf Design