Final Project Proposal

Sylvia Brookoff

Final Project Proposal

Visual Literacy

Professor Williams

November 22, 2010

My final project will be a poster raising awareness and spreading the mission statement of the organization Heifer International. The title of the work will be “A Lasting Gift.” It will be a graphic design.

I came up with this idea because while working with Heifer, I’ve always been impressed by its unusual way of giving. It not only allows those who are well-off to make an important contribution, but also gives the disadvantaged a chance to do the very same. Because of this, many people are invested. One animal produces offspring and that offspring produces more offspring. The work of the organization is about sustainability and how one good deed can keep growing. Heifer is founded on the idea of giving a man a cow instead of a glass of milk. The cow produces milk for years to come. Rather than being a quick fix, it’s lasting. Heifer International gives animals to farmers in third world countries and once their animal has offspring, they are required to give the first born to a neighbor. The gift literally keeps on giving and Heifer has been responsible for bringing entire communities out of poverty. Sustainability is something that attracts me to Heifer International.

I want to incorporate the idea of sustainability into the design, using different papers and materials to give an individual, earthy tone. The poster will show the journey of how one animal can change a community. I’ll show a cow and I’ll show a calf going to another family with arrows and a path of progression with additional animals branching off. The animals will be cut out of different textures of paper to give them a cultural and creative feel. I believe the very way Heifer goes about giving is creative. This pioneering method of giving is achieving great success. I hope to draw awareness to what Heifer does and how effective they are. I hope to create a visual to show just how far donating one animal can take a person, a family or an entire village. I also want to create a visually appealing piece of art. I want to create something that radiates hope.

I will execute my final project by starting the creative process over Thanksgiving break. I will look through past Heifer designs and make sure I know every detail about the organization, it’s founding and the kind of images it chooses to represent itself. I will search out and buy different papers at various craft stores and begin formulating how I want the various animals to look. It will all begin with sketches and then progress to mock-up collages.

I am inspired by certain folk art posters that use the cut paper approach. I am particularly inspired by a poster that hangs over my bed for the Memphis Music and Heritage festival. This poster I create will depict the respective roots of various cultures and communities Heifer helps people all around the world in places ranging from Africa, to the South Pacific, to Latin America. I want to capture the traditional arts and cultures of these areas and accurately convey a sense of individualism in the giving and how each gift has a different meaning to a different person. This poster will be the visual equivalent of world music, capturing the spirit and culture of many different countries. One of the reasons I am drawn to the “cut paper” execution is because it looks human. It does not like manufactured or perfected, and that’s the kind of feel I want to achieve with my poster. My intended audience is everyone. I have talked to a range of people about Heifer International. I have handed out buttons to seven year olds at craft fairs and I have helped give a presentation about the organization at a retirement home. Coming together is an idea young and old can delight in. I want the idea to appear fresh and hip to the younger crowd, but full of spirit and folklore for the older generation. I hope people see the image and are impressed by the network of hope a single animal can create and begin to understand why this organization is different from others and how it changes people’s lives.


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