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How to use your creativity to fight Covid-19, according to the UN

The government organization has released an open brief that provides guidelines for designing for a global health crisis.

How to use your creativity to fight Covid-19, according to the UN
[Photo: Brooke Cagle/Unsplash]

Are you creative? Do you want to help fight COVID-19 but don’t know where to start? The UN is calling on artists and designers to create public service announcements that both engage and inform at-risk citizens around the world.

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OPEN BRIEF: Global Call to Creatives for COVID-19 invites designers to submit smart, clear, accessible public health messaging during a global health crisis. Through this initiative—the first of its kind for creative communities from the UN—the intergovernmental organization plans to potentially use some of the creative ideas in its own campaigns. Selected designs will help flatten the curve, the organization’s central goal, and minimize the number of COVID-19 cases in communities that the virus has yet to hit hard.

[Screenshot: UN]
“We are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply. We cannot resort to the usual tools in such unusual times. The creativity of the response must match the unique nature of the crisis – and the magnitude of the response must match its scale,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

The UN’s six main categories are personal hygiene, social distancing, knowing the symptoms, kindness contagion (or, community-oriented behavior), myth busting, and encouraging donations. The Google Presentation housing the UN’s document provides a creative brief for each category; one such suggested approach is curating balcony concerts to ensure social distancing or donating saved commuter expenses to workers still clocking in at essential businesses.

Creatives are free to submit content in audio, video, or graphic form, and the work should be able to be translated for audiences across boundaries of language, country, and age. While this initiative shows much-needed leadership from the top down, it also highlights the irony of how essential good design and a spirit of ingenuity is to a healthy society—while scores of creatives are left unemployed in COVID-19’s wake.

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