In design we trust

Finding that connection between design and our current COVID health crisis

PAALALABAS Health and Safety campaign

You mention Design Center of the Philippines, and ask someone to connect it to COVID-19 and our current health situation; and at first glance, it might be a bit of a stretch to find the connection. Without a doubt, many would associate the design center as an entity helping us improve our exports via the design component of the products produced, or helping young designers have more of a global outlook, and then lending this acumen to the worlds of Philippine design, manufacturing, technology, and retail. But to think of linkages between design and COVID may not be that apparent.

The virtual launch organized by the Design Center of the Philippines

Organized by the Design Center of the Philippines, the Design Advisory Council, and the Communication Design Association of the Philippines, a virtual launch held June 4, 2021 brought home how the connection can, and does exist. The PAALALABAS Health and Safety campaign is a joint project of the three entities, and its aim is to come up with a comprehensive campaign targeted to encourage Filipinos to practice more vigilant health and safety practices amid the still rising COVID-19 concerns.

To achieve this, a lot of thought was placed on how to make the messaging be one that’s easy to understand and absorb, would be acceptable in a non-threatening or fear-mongering manner, and what mediums would best create effective dissemination. From the font size and type, to color scheme and everything in between, a lot of thought was put into the material that was produced. It was even tested on audiences, and their reactions gauged and processed.

Health and safety campaign

Hosted by the charming Anne Gauthier Das Neves, the illustrious panel of speakers included Rhea Matute, Angel Guerrero, Royal Pineda, Dan Matutina, and Vhincent Cañares. Together the speakers brought home the notion that design is indeed relevant in our everyday lives, and that especially during a time of crisis such as now, it can be employed to spread vital public information and serve as a potent reminder of what needs to be done in order to bring normalcy back as soon as possible.

Pictures tell a thousand words and a video of the material produced, as being used now in Intramuros, was a stirring reminder of how design is truly part of our everyday existence.