“Humanize the Stereotype”

The Project Brief:

Hand in: May 26th 2017

Inspired by and based on the D&AD New Blood Awards 2017

Brief originally set by:

Edited by:
Hibah Hoque

“Monotype challenges you to embody and express the importance of cultural diversity through a typography-led solution or campaign.”



Words and typography are intrinsically linked to, and form a crucial part of, our identity; as individuals, as communities, as cultures. As we witness a rise in the rhetoric and practices of protectionism from global governments, and as issues of immigration, free movement, labour and displacement dominate global news, dialogue and understanding between cultures has never been more vital. And through typography, you have a unique opportunity to express culture, local aesthetics, traditions, tastes, humour, quirks, place, and people—in any language, on any device, and with a clear voice.

The Challenge

Identify a culture, community or country that you feel is misunderstood, AA or underrepresented. Create a typography-led campaign with both physical and digital elements to express your chosen culture or community in a relevant way, and engage it with the world. Use the power of type to spark a conversation, evoke better cultural understanding and celebrate diversity. Typography embodies so much of our culture.

What’s Essential

A typography-led integrated graphic design campaign including:
At least one poster
At least one digital element – online platform
Your touch points could include: banners, badges, moving image ads, newspaper ads, website banners or other online promotions – think about what’s relevant

Campaign to last over 4 weeks

The idea of the campaign is to reduce judgement of people that look a certain way, people that fall into a ‘stereotype’ and to remove the judgement that might follow from first impressions.

There will be 3 badges; each badge will have a different statement: (statements still a work-in-progress)

  1. I’m struggling the same way you are
  2. I’m just trying to prove my self-worth
  3. Failing and flailing
  • I’m trying to prove my worth as much as you are
  • I worry about things that I could easily get done
  • Your judgement isn’t an accurate depiction of my personality
  • Your first impression of me is as relevant as Trumps opinion
  • How I look is not a representation of my background
  • I can’t express the feeling of being violated
  • No ban, no wall
  • We all want peace
  • The pressure to achieve something I’ll never be able to do
  • My appearance categorises me as someone I’m not

There will be three bowls, each bowl will have a different badge in it and people can choose which statement best represents them. A picture will be taken of the person with the badge on them and then pinned up on a wall so different people can be categorised into very basic/blank statements. The outcome of the exercise is to show people that they are going through the same struggles as someone else even though the other person might be a stranger. That person may look a different way from them and inevitably have a different background as them. This stranger at a first glance may be judged according to what their external look is and may be categorised in to a certain stereotype that they are judged for however, at the end of the day everyone is going through the same thing.

One statement will run per week supported by 3 very different looking people.

The image/ad will run in magazines, public transport/train adverts.

As you go through the magazine you’ll see the same statement supported by 3 very different looking people so the message is clear by the time you’ve gone through the whole magazine that no matter what your appearance or background you could be going through the same struggles as someone else.

4th week of the campaign people will begin to see branding emerge, the badge statements will begin to appear on t-shirts, become available for the public eye to see and purchase.

The three statements will feature as slogans but the main phrase that will be available is “HUMANIZE THE STEREOTYPE.” So after seeing all these ads and statements people will finally understand the aim of the campaign.

Disappointmugs – not only hot on the market, but also hot on your life

“Failing and flailing”: Statements on a mug so that with each sip you’ll receive a constant reminder of your inadequacy.

Project Outcome: 

  1. 9 photographs: 3 people per statement (3 statements)
  2. 9 magazine layouts (the photographs running through a mock-up magazine)
  3. Public transport adverts (photographs of people with statements)
  4. Designed badges
  5. Logo design (Humanize the stereotype) + statements
  6. T-shirts and hoodies with logo/phrases
  7. Instagram page
  8. Exhibition: Bowls of badges with polaroid walls for each statement

Aims and Objectives

“The hijab has become a flag of Islam.”
“Throughout time, the headscarf has evolved to symbolize autonomy and control over Muslim women’s bodies. An empowering rejection of the male gaze, colonialism, and anti-Muslim sentiment, it can just as easily be twisted into a disempowering tool of subjugation and repression through its forced imposition.”

“Islam gives equality to men and women, and that includes privacy. Since it is impossible to tell it a man has had sex before, then women should be able to have that privacy as well.”

The aim of my campaign is to reduce the judgement that Muslim women receive if they wear a scarf on their heads. To create a platform that moves away from oppression and focuses on the ‘real lives’ and ‘real problems’ of Muslim women. The monotype brief requires a campaign to be created using text only, which enable text based work to allow onlookers to see that words and visual imagery are very important in affecting how people are seen. The acts of insulting, arguing and calling out people are stemmed from the unrealistic imagery shown to us online and through the media.

A lot of social media platforms have allowed Muslim women in particular to speak up regarding oppression and given them the ability to show that they’re just regular people too. However, aside from the small percent of women who have spoken up many are able to share the work of others or read it themselves but still don’t have the strength or courage to speak up – not just about issues as a hijabi but issues that come with growing up and going through changes in life. Muslim boys are never judged according to their outward actions, whether they’re more or less religious than a girl wearing hijab. The inequality when it comes to judgement on a person who’s sinning differently to you is huge in the Muslim community. Islam is a religion of teaching and constantly learning how to improve you as a human being. To learn to be peaceful in a chaotic and ever changing society, but how can you improve yourself if you’re unable to speak up and discuss important issues without being judged?

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