We might have gotten exhausted over the hand washing, physical distancing, maskwearing mantra, enforced all over the globe over the Covid 19 pandemic. But we know it is, still, a crucial, life-saving one. The city of Porto started as early as March 2020 devising public awareness campaigns to enforce this message. They started in April 2020, when Portugal went into lockdown for the first time, urging people to stay at home. By late June, for the summer solstice street festivities of Saint John, it was again very important to remind the population to keep gatherings “family small”, in an empathic, gentle manner. As classes resumed in the Fall, and cases started to slowly escalate, it was mandatory to reinforce basic individual responsibility measures. The municipality wanted this to be done with an empathic tone, avoiding harshness and distance.
To convey this very important message we resorted to portuguese idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms (and some wit!) and paired them with brand new icons develop from the city of Porto visual identity repertoire. The city’s visual identity articulates a collection of linear icons that depict many of its landmarks, ex-libris and symbols. These icons work under a modular dynamic, in white and blue, the institucional colours. They can be used alone or combined in modular patterns, adapting to different communication contexts and necessities. For this occasion, we printed them in black over a bright yellow background. The new icons and slogans address the key aspects of individual care and prevention.
This campaign was extremely well received, with the population praising the familiar tone in the messages and the ability to address very serious topics with a normalising approach, avoiding unnecessary severity and actually coming across. It even caught the attention of “The Guardian” newspaper, being used to illustrate a news update on european lockdowns. Our biggest compliment was from a northern european who commented something like: you don’t even need to be a native speaker to get it!
Studio Eduardo Aires
Rua Alexandre Braga, 94 1 Esquerdo Porto, Porto 4000-049 PT