ONE UNIVERSITY FOR ALL – A picture puzzle for diversity and visibility
|Jeanette Krumbach & Verena Walterbach
|Fuchs & Hase
|Equality l Picture puzzle l Variety l Visibility l Diversity
From idea to implementation
The idea to create a picture puzzle of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg was born at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The original aim of developing attractive and useful promotional materials to make us visible as the Office for Equal Opportunities was quickly expanded to include the following idea: developing a campaign in the form of a picture puzzle of the entire university.
But why did we decide on a picture puzzle?
Many people may still be familiar with picture puzzles from their childhood. But they no longer appeal only to children, but to everyone - no matter what age they are. Through their appealing design, they attract attention and manage to combine as many scenes, places and diverse characters as possible in one picture. They make it possible to graphically represent diversity and overcome distances. Our own university is also characterized by a high diversity of different people and settings, some of which are very spatially dispersed. With the design form of a picture puzzle, the complexity of our university can also be represented in one picture and attention can be raised to the diversity of people as well as places of learning and teaching. But from our point of view, picture puzzles also have numerous other advantages:
- They are low barrier, because even people who can neither read nor write have the possibility to understand the information and messages communicated. (also refers to German as a foreign language)
- Picture puzzles offer a high degree of scope for interpretation and encourage reflection and exchange with others.
- Due to the variety of settings and depicted characters, there is always something new to discover.
- They also provide a platform to present many small details and at the same time to raise awareness for issues (e.g. equality & diversity).
We chose the Magdeburg graphic design agency Fuchs & Hasefor the design implementation. The support of regional artists - especially in times of pandemic - was particularly important to us and their repertoire was a perfect match for our ideas. For the illustration of the picture puzzle, we decided on a simple and unpretentious style of color and design. The characters are drawn more abstractly, without faces and are outlined and colorless. In this way, we avoid attributions and offer no room for discrimination. The picture puzzle offers a lot of room for interpretation, more possibilities to create stories and to let the imagination run wild. It also offers a variety of alternatives for later utilization. In addition to use in the form of print media (posters, postcards and coloring pictures), individual scenes can also be extracted from the picture and used for promotional items to ensure a high level of recognition and identification. In our research for suitable merchandise products, we focused on offering meaningful, diverse and, above all, sustainable items that appeal to as many ages and target groups as possible (e.g., sustainable drinking bottles, seed confetti, and fruit and vegetable bags made from organic cotton). The support of regional suppliers was also a major concern for us in this case. By combining parts of the picture puzzle with sustainable and meaningful merchandise, we want to make ourselves visible as Office for Equal Opportunities and ensure a high recognition value.
With our campaign we, and of course the Office for Equal Opportunities, mainly want to pursue one big goal: representing the diversity of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg and making it visible. We want to show that we are a university for ALL and spatially "unite" the diversity of the employees, students as well as buildings of the university on one picture. We are a university that employs a wide variety of people and consists of diverse teaching, learning and meeting places, some of which are widely scattered. With our picture puzzle we want to create a proximity and present the university as an entire picture. Our campaign should tell stories, stand out from other campaigns and appeal equally to all target groups (children, students, academic and non-academic staff). By using individual design elements that relate to the city of Magdeburg, we also want to reach people who do not study at the university or work here and point out how beautiful our location can be. With our picture puzzle we want to create an identification with the university and with the city of Magdeburg by addressing many groups of people in the same way and by uniting people inside and outside the university in one picture.