Optionz Community Project

The Optionz community project in Gloucester and Art Shape worked as a partnership to produce these heath advice posters for HIP, the Gloucester Health Information Project.

This community design project involved a professional designer (Stephen Podolski) working closely with staff and young people from the Optionz Community Project in Gloucester to produce a set of materials to help promote the launch of a new Health Information Project (HIP).

HIP is focused on providing young people with high quality information on a wide range of issues affecting or potentially affecting their health, including smoking, drugs, alcohol, sex and nutrition.

There were two key objectives:

  • To ensure that the materials were attractive to the young target audience
  • To enable the Optionz community project to play a large hands-on role in the design and production of the materials.

A number of short (two hours each), highly focused group design sessions were therefore held to identify the core messages that had to be communicated, and produce some appropriate artwork.

Stephen directed these sessions, and helped with the manual tasks, but the visual ideas were generated by the participants. They also produced their own individual artworks.

The core technique used was collage (using a range of contemporary magazine and advertising imagery) to enable ideas to be translated into images relatively quickly, whilst building the participants’ confidence in their visual abilities.

Once the artworks were complete, Stephen took them away and prepared them for printing in a variety of formats, including A3 and A4 posters, flyers, business cards and postcards. The work produced was of a high quality and succeeds in drawing viewers in to explore the detail and depth, thus making it more likely that they will remember the core messages.