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Naomi James

The image that I have chosen is one that I found online, it is a poster which I had
found on (Paulvickersdesign.blogspot.com) created for the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an agency that aims to protect refugees, asylum
seekers, internally displaced people and stateless people. (UNHCR.org, 2015). The image
shows a young girl who is showing her bracelets to the camera. The image is in black and
white however the surrounding text is white and red. The text also explains that the girl
shown in the image is an 8 year old girl called May, and that she is now one of one million
child refugees from Syria.

The image implies that the refugee crisis that is occurring in Syria is affecting
children as well as adults and that this shouldnt be the case. It implies that more needs to be
done in regards to the refugee crisis in order to prevent more children like May from having
to escape their homes in Syria and attempt to begin a new life elsewhere.

The audience that the graphic is directed at are adults who may have children of their
own, possibly of the same age as May, the girl shown in the image. The fact that the poster
has a webpage link which takes you to the UNHCR webpage also suggests that the target
audience are those who have money that they would be able to donate to the cause of helping
these Syrian children.

The way that this poster aims to persuade the audience is by presenting the audience
with the brutal facts. The image of the young girl holding up her bracelets is used to put a
face to one of the many stories that could be told about children who are Syrian refugees.
This poster goes even further and puts a name to the face of the young girl, who we learn is
called May. The text that accompanies the picture of the girl also gives a brief description
of Mays story that she had to escape from the city of Damascus in Syria. It also informs the
audience that all that she was able to bring with her were four bracelets, which are shown in
the image. These bracelets are further emphasised by the large text which says 1 girl, 4
bracelets. There are two main reasons why it seems that these bracelets are being highlighted
so much. One reason is because it demonstrates how desperate these refugees are. Many
Syrians flee their country with only the clothes that they are wearing, and are unable to take
personal possessions with them. This shows how desperate the conflict in Syria is. The other
reason why I believe such an emphasis has been placed on this girls bracelet is because it
highlights the fact that she is still only a child. At the age of 8, most young girls dont have a
lot to worry about, meaning that they are able to focus on less important things in life, such as
their jewellery. May (the girl in the image) however, has a lot more to focus and worry about
due to her situation. Nevertheless, her innocence is shown through how important her
jewellery seems to her, even though there are much more serious things to consider. Her pride
in her bracelets and the fact that she wants to show them to the audience also emphasises the
fact that despite her circumstances, May is a normal 8 year old girl, and that if she were to be
brought up in a different environment, she would be no different to the daughters of those
who are the audience for this poster.
Another strategy that is being used to persuade the audience is the use of color in the image.
The image of the young girl is in black and white. This may symbolise how simple this
situation really boils down to. It's black and white, right and wrong. When people are in need,

we must help them. Another reason for this color choice could be that the black and white
image gives the sense that these refugees, especially children, are almost forgotten, and that
they are fading into the background as nobody does anything to help them. This simple
background color scheme enhances the look of the text that accompanies the image. Half of
the text is in white and the other half is in red. Both of these colors stand out from the
background but they do so for different reasons. The white text is used to inform the audience
of some of the background details. The red text also does this, but it also highlights the key
facts and does so in a blunt manner. If somebody was to read only the larger red text is would
read Syrias children. 1 girl, 4 bracelets. This alone is enough to cause a member of the
public to become intrigued by the image and want to find out more about what the poster is
about.
A key feature that stands out on this poster is a piece of text that is highlighted by a
red background. It has the words now one million written on it and it appears to cross out
the text that was previously written there which read half a million. The effect that this has
on the audience is that it shows that the problem of Syrian child refugees is ongoing and is
worsening. It isn't a problem that will go away easily and it requires the help of people,
including the audience of the poster in order to prevent the situation from getting even more
desperate.

The fact that the poster is based around a child gives the assumption that the audience
are good people because a good person would want to help a child in need. The image
also assumes that the audience aim to be good people, and by donating to the UNHCR they
would be playing their part in helping to improve the situation for children like May.

After analysing and evaluating the image, I think that the techniques used are
successful in enticing the audience and getting them to feel like they have a connection to the
girl in the poster. I think that the image is successful at this because the poster design is eye
catching, due to its color scheme. Then, when looking closer at its message, it is clear what
the poster is attempting to inform the audience about. Not only is the message easy to
understand, the way that this message is put across, through the use of the image of the girl
and her story, may even cause an emotional response by the audience, especially if they are
able to relate to the young girl and her situation.

References
Unhcr.org,. (2015). UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency. Retrieved 15 October 2015, from
http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home

Vickers, P. (2013). Paul Vickers : Design Thinking: August


2013. Paulvickersdesign.blogspot.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015, from
http://paulvickersdesign.blogspot.com/2013_08_01_archive.html