Graphic designers get creative to show support during Covid-19 outbreak

Graphic designers get creative to circulate helpful advice during coronavirus outbreak

Artists and designers have grabbed their pens, pencils and digital styluses to create images of support and informative illustrations to help distribute advice on how to slow the spread of coronavirus.

As the virus continues to spread, creatives have used their online platforms to urge people to make the necessary life changes in order to minimise the chances of catching or spreading coronavirus Covid-19.

At the time of publication, infected people have been detected in at least 143 countries, according to the New York Times. There are currently more than 194,000 people with the virus, and at least 7,000 people have died.

"We artists can help by creating something useful that can make a difference"

While hand-washing has been identified as one of the key ways people can avoid spreading Covid-19, other actions people can take include social distancing to minimise contact with others, and self-isolating if you develop symptoms.

"Even though we are not doctors or nurses, besides staying at home in self quarantine, we artists can help by creating something useful that can make a difference," artist Juan Delcan told Dezeen.

"We need to make people understand that staying home can save many people's lives," he continued. "Through powerful and telegraphic images we can convey the sense of being responsible in a global crisis."

It's "about changing our mindset"

Graphic designers and illustrators have created powerful images and animations to try and spread the message, including visual representations of symptoms and comic representations of self-quarantine.

"The best advice I read about #corona today was about changing our mindset: instead of trying not to get infected, we should assume we ARE infected and do everything so we don't transmit it to somebody else," wrote graphic designer Christoph Niemann in an Instagram post.

"Stay safe and when you need to be out, try to have a kind word for all the people who are working under a huge amount of pressure (nurses, bus drivers, police officers, supermarket cashiers)," he added.

Here are 10 examples of creatives using their talents to circulate helpful advice:


 

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Mona Chalabi

British data journalist Mona Chalabi has published a series of sketchy illustrations on her Instagram page sharing advice on social distancing, self-isolation and not stockpiling supplies.

This includes a graphic outlining some of the symptoms of coronavirus, from the more common signs of a fever and dry cough to those less ordinary of muscle pain and vomiting.


Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre

Director and artist Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre visualised the positive impact of social distancing in an animation of matchsticks catching fire. Stood next to each other in a row, the first alight matchstick sets the next one on fire, and so on.

The duo anthropomorphised one of the matchsticks, giving it legs to allow it to step out of the line to prevent the rest of the matches setting on fire – representing the importance of staying at home to avoid the virus spreading.


 

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Sara Andreasson

Swedish illustrator Sara Andreasson continued the lit-matchstick analogy in a bid to encourage people to stay home. Her graphic design features a broken line of matchsticks, half burnt out and the other half kept unlit with the words "break the chain" written beneath.

"We all need to make an effort to help protect the more vulnerable people in our communities and try and break the chain of infection," the caption reads.

"I'm hopeful that when all this is over, we will have learned something valuable about working together as a community."


 

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Christoph Niemann

Graphic designer Christoph Niemann used his typically ironic and playful illustrative style to get a message across to his Instagram followers to wash their hands and stay at home.

This comprised a simple yet effective image of a girl, with the red pencil used to draw her positioned strategically above her hand like a megaphone, with the girl's open mouth shouting down the pencil tip.


 

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Jean Jullien

French illustrator Jean Jullien applied his characteristically tongue-in-cheek approach to bring some light humour to the current crisis via Instagram.

His drawing asks viewers to spot the difference between two images of a man lying on a sofa "before quarantine" and "during quarantine", surrounded by his laptop, tissues and clothes.


 

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Petra Eriksson

Barcelona-based Swedish artist Petra Eriksson aims to shine a light on the positives in getting some more time to yourself during quarantine and self-isolation, as represented in her Silencio illustration.

"One good thing with spending so much time at home by yourself is that you really get the chance to set into a slow and more simple way of living, giving your head some extra peace and quiet so that you can dig a little bit deeper into certain things going on inside you," reads the caption.

"Even though I miss having more face-to-face social interaction it's interesting to see what happens when you completely need to let go of most of the things you would normally do."


 

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Sara Shakeel

Artist Sara Shakeel aimed to bring a more positive outlook to our hygiene habits, encouraging people to wash their hands more by turning water and soap into crystals in this series of glittery collages.

"I am truly happy to see how a simple piece of art can bring such a positive impact on people's lives, especially in these tough times," she wrote. "As an artist it fulfils my purpose and the very reason why I create art!"


 

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Oliver Jeffers

Brooklyn-based visual artist and author Oliver Jeffers stressed the importance of helping each other during the Covid-19 pandemic. In his illustration, the globe wears a surgical mask as it floats above the words "now more than ever think 'we' not 'me'".

"This virus doesn't care about your passport or your bank balance," he captioned the post. "It can affect any of us. But hopefully not all of us if we act in unison to defeat it. Be safe. Be sensible. Be sensitive. One in, all in."


Toby Morris and Siouxsie Wiles

New Zealand-based cartoonist teamed up with microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles to create a series of illustrations advising people on how to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus and "flatten the curve" to ease the strain on health workers.

This includes an animation showing alternatives to handshakes, hugs and high fives when greeting people amid the Covid-19 outbreak – from a wave or a "namaste" gesture to using sign language or "the 'all good' nod".


 

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Gemma Correll

British illustrator Gemma Correll created "coronavirus reward stickers" to digitally praise her social media followers for things like washing their hands, not hoarding toilet paper, checking in with loved ones and maintaining social distancing.

The hand-drawn stickers feature friendly faces and bright colours, in the artist's signature cartoonish style that has also seen her post comical drawings of self-isolation posed as "Couchella" instead of Coachella – the California music festival that was postponed in light of the epidemic.