At the start of the school year, kids used to worry about fitting in, looking and acting cool, becoming one of the “popular” kids, and, oh yes, their grades. But with the increasing number of shootings on school campuses, those worries are overshadowed by larger fears. Just since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School seven years ago, which took the lives of 20 children as young as six and seven, more than 400 people have been shot on U.S. school campuses, and many more at public venues like concerts, shopping malls and local fairs.
So along with the usual back-to-school product pitches, this public service ad was timed for release at the start of the school year. Sponsored by the gun-safety group, Sandy Hook Promise, and produced by BBDO ad agency, the PSA has no voiceovers on gun control or violence, but leaves a powerful message on why something must be done NOW.
Looking back, the days when school kids practiced getting under their desks and covering their heads in the event of a nuclear bomb attack seem so innocent. All we had to worry about was the bomb, not an active shooter on campus.
Founded in New York City in 1993 by two writers Jeff Fligelman and David Grae, Gotham Writers’ Workshop has since grown into one of the nation’s largest adult education writing schools offering both private and online classes in every genre, from fiction to screenplays to poetry to memoirs. After 20 years, however, Gotham felt it was time to move from a more generic-looking logotype to a customized brand identity.
Brooklyn-based design studio Hyperakt was asked to evolve the brand to give it greater presence. After conducting in-depth research, Hyperakt distilled the essence of the brand message to “craft igniting creativity.” To better represent the scope of Gotham’s offering of online classes and events, Hyperakt recommended that the name be shortened to “Gotham Writers,” dropping the word “Workshop” completely. “The shift better represents the school’s community of writers and promotes a sense of belonging,”
In the mountainous village of Granados in central Guatemala, Peace Corps volunteer Laura Kutner came up with a way to solve several problems at once – the need for more classrooms, the shortage of building materials, and the abundance of plastic trash littering the ground.
Kutner rallied the community of roughly 860 people living in the village and surrounding area and together they collected more than 4,000 discarded plastic soda bottles. From there, students and volunteers used sticks and hands to cram the plastic bottles with more plastic — used bags, packaging and grocery sacks – to give the containers heft and form, then stacked them like bricks held in place by chicken wire, and “stuccoed” them with a cement-sand mixture.