Category: Covid 19 (Sue and Emma’s project)

Bunny coronavirus signage!

Coronavirus signage


The signage used to negotiate social distancing, personal hygiene, and other precautions commonly advertised to prevent the spread of coronavirus, tends to include a similar colour palette, fonts and pictograms.


One key commonality between most of the designs was the use of a sans serif font, often in caps or bold, in a dark colour contrasting the background. This makes the message clear and urgent, while retaining the ability to be paired with other design features to make it seem friendly and helpful. The use of a bold, clear sans serif font makes the message readable to the target audience, employing a clinical, professional stance, while also remaining visually appealing.


Another key feature was the use of colour, specifically the use of only one colour or colour family, in combination with either black or white text. Colours that were most frequently used were yellow, blue and green. Yellow alerts danger and is eye-catching but doesn’t suggest immediate danger that might invoke an emotional response like the colour red, for example, would. Blue and green are often associated with healing or medical professionals, and are generally calming colours, so they work well to convey a message that is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the general public.


I also saw the use of shape being utilised to grab attention, for example many stickers or signs used a circle to have a main message in the centre, with other, important text surrounding it. This works well to grab the attention of the audience, and then maintain their focus to process or follow a message.


Signs were often posted on the ground, in order to explain social distancing protocols, or simply because it provides a good surface area that people will frequently look at. Signs on common signposts or walls also are effective, especially when encouraging people to wash their hands or to direct them safely. The use of stickers on posts or walls also does this effectively.


Overall the use of bright colours associated with clinical practice, bold sans serif fonts, eye catching shapes, and accessible signage are key components in the effective employment of coronavirus signage, whether it is used to serve as a warning, a direction or simply a reminder to stay safe.

Illustration Vs Typography

For this task I wanted to look at the differences between graphic design that has been released as a part of a government campaign and graphic design that his been done by individuals not employed by the government. I found some really interesting pieces of design from something called ‘the visual art project’ which is a virtual art gallery that invites graphic designers and artists to submit original poster designs that respond visually to the Covid-19 pandemic. The project was created by Mark Kelner (a DC-based artist), Ben Ostrower (a graphic designer specialising in political campaign branding who founded (wide eye), and Zachary Levine (a historian and curator who runs throughline collaborative).

I thought this would be a good source of comparative work as the designers haven’t had to work with a specific client like the government released Designs. Obviously the two designs have different intentions in terms of sending a message about covid but I think both are effective in their own way. The government design uses a very bold sans serif type in all caps which creates an extremely legible message. The message of ‘control the virus’ is also in a larger type which creates an almost summary of the governments instruction. In comparison to the poster regarding hand washing, the governments design is much more accessible. Not only could this design be read a lot further away (impacting more people) it is just easier to read in general with the centre alligned, large type. The colours used also give this design some sense of urgency for the reader. The border of the design look almost like some kind of hazardous tape which alerts the reader to read the warning.

The hand washing poster uses an extremely small type to elaborate on the message of ’20 seconds’. The use of such a small font here could work in either one of two ways. Some people could be intrigued at the fact that they cannot read the words at first glance or alternatively, someone may simply not be bothered to read it as it requires more effort to look closer. This designer is almost allowed to take this risk as they have not been employed by the key people responsible for controlling the virus. For such an important message perhaps it is best to stick to legible type.

Another large difference between the two designs is that the hand washing poster used illustration to portray a message. A line drawing is used to resemble the washing of hands. Again this could of have varying impact. A line drawing is not something that is bold or even legible at all from a certain distance. This leads to similar implications of the small font choice.. Some may be interested by this, it looks like a piece of art.. however some may hardly notice the subtly of this design which means a failure to pass a crucial message on.



Hands, Face, Space: Covid-19

For Sue and Emma’s project, we looked at the graphic language of Covid-19 signs and posters, both on the Whiteknights Campus and from the internet. I began this project by exploring campus to take photographs of all the Covid-19 signs that I could find. I then used social media and google to find some more examples of posters that use imagery and typography to convey information or messages about the Corona Virus. It became clear to me, that there was a wide range of approaches that could be used to create eye-catching and visually appealing designs. One technique most of these signs and posters adopted, was the use of colour. Vibrant reds and bright yellows are often associated with danger and warnings, hence why these colours appear frequently in the Covid-19 signs.

To organise my images, I created powerpoint sides, grouping the signs into the following categories: hands, face, space.

Covid Colour Signs and posters


In todays task we found posters and signs online and in person related to covid 19.

i’ve separated the images into two categories related to the theme of colour, blue and yellow. I’ve realised during the group call a lot of the posters include these colours, i think the creators of these posters and signs choose these colours as they aren’t alarming to the target audience but are still clear and attention grabbing.

i found all but one of these signs around campus, they all use sans serif type and use the colours black and yellow, the poster also uses a little bit of blue. Most of the signs also use circles with bold black outlines. I’ve also grouped these together as they’re instructions rather than informing the audience. The colours are bold as they’re suppose to catch your attention when you walk past them. They’re also quick, simple and easy to read and understand.

I found these posters online, i grouped them together as they all use different variations of blue. The first three posters are more of decoration, they’re all telling the public to stay at home. The first poster is an image of a woman in the bath holding toilet paper while smiling, this has connotations towards the toilet paper running out in shops, it uses decorative black type. The second poster is an illustration of someone surfing while on their phone, the type is again decorative and is in white and black. The third poster mimics the jaws poster, the covid atom is the shark and the woman is the home, The text is bold and in red making it seem like the situation is a horror. The bottom two posters are used to inform the readers of what covid is and how to prevent it, both posters have a lot of text and would usually be put in places where the reader has a lot of time to read it. They both use white, sans serif typefaces. The last sign is put in this group due its colour, the type is also in white and uses a sans serif typeface, instead of informing the reader it instructs the reader to ‘wash your hands’ the poster uses a similar calm blue, its eye catching and calming with a strong message , it doesn’t scare or intimidate the reader.



friendly Cautious

When first given this project I want on the site Pinterest an image-sharing app to look at images related to Covid 19  at first no results where shown cause the website did not want to risk false info about covid 19 sharing on their platform.

I use the other name Coronavirus and the first image I saw was an illustration of an iconic character in a movie cartoon titled the ‘Incredibles’ and she one of her most iconic lines is ‘No Capes’. When I saw this image, it gives me a feeling of nostalgia and childhood.

I like this illustration cause it is ironic how her she says, ‘no capes but real super wear mask’ to highlight the importance of wearing a mask for anyone especially a superhero. and I believe that anyone who has watched this movie would be able to understand the reference.

Another important thing I like about this Illustration is cause it is funny and allows the viewer to learn about covid but still escape the harsh realities of this pandemic.

This pandemic has taken many lives and cause so many people financial problems so most of the times people don’t want to see posters that keep reminding them of this year trauma however it is still good to remind people about the importance of wearing a mask without scaring them.

The images are different from those of the usual yellow signs that grab the attention of viewers and remind them to wear a mask. The illustrations are not people friendly and stricter on their information.




Thou these images are yellow they are more friendly since one is a movie titled ‘Kill Bill which is an action movie that involves a lot of man slaughtering and the other uses an emoji that is popular and friendly to communicate to the viewers.



I found this collection very interesting cause of the use of illustrations to form the outline of masks on faces.

It is very simple and straight with the topic of discussion.

I like the use of pale colours cause I feel like the visuals say enough and the use of the usual bright yellow, red and blue would be too chaotic.


These images are different from the rest as they are mainly typeface with illustrations to support the posters

These are quotes related to covid 19. They are all communicating the basic knowledge surrounding racism

They are straight to the point and witty. They are a play on words and some might find it humorous to read.

UK Government vs Australian Government

These two Covid-19 awareness posters communicate similar messages but use graphic language in different ways in order to present the information. The HM Government/NHS and Australian Government use graphic language to highlight that washing hands is a huge part of protecting ourselves and others from Coronavirus.

Both posters obtain similar audiences in which being the citizens of their Country. Whilst one being for the United Kingdom and the other Australia, they use similar approaches to convey the same message. Whilst the UK poster initially comes off as simplistic in comparison to the Australian one due to the lack of colour background, it makes up for it in a detailed set of pictograms which provide a thorough step by step process of correct hand-washing. This has been made easily identifiable with the use of numbering and green enclosing circles, allowing the pivotal message can be sent across to the audience effectively.

In comparison to the HM Government posters, the Australian awareness poster convey the message with less imagery and more text. The one simplistic image depicts hand-washing and although they just use one in comparison to the NHS six step process, the topic is still conveyed quickly. The audience know it’s about hand-washing due to the pictogram as well as by the accompanying title “GOOD HYGIENE IS IN YOUR HANDS’ in bold san-serif text allowing it to be easily legible.

However, to know the process of hand-washing the audience would have to actually read the writing which is seen comparatively small to the title. The informative text also isn’t detailed either which doesn’t exactly explain what good hand-washing is, only that it needs to be done and you should use soap and water for 20 seconds.

Due to this different approach the UK government/NHS’ poster convey their message better. Along with the step by step process, highlighting how to wash your hands thoroughly, they use text to further explain some key information. They include the 20 second rule along with extra precautionary steps on how to turn the tap off safely. This ultimately allows them to take the audience from A-Z without too much reading. Both posters do successfully present an eye-catching appeal with san-serif, allowing an easy read, with bold text where appropriate. They both nicely include a general message in their own box and bubble that we’re protecting ourselves and others and we can stop the spread through a collective effort.





Covid-Signs designed by University of Reading.

Remarkable is that you can find a generic use of colours and shapes, which create a kind of branding.

You find these signs all over the campus, in every building, cafe or hall.

The strong yellow stands in contrast to the black.

By using these two colours together a message of warning and look of toxicity is conveyed to the adressee.


Shades of blue expressing cleanness, calmness and clarity

In these graphic instruction sheeds, the designer used clear and simple graphics, complemented by two to three words. Also he only works with three basic colours.

Thereby the instructions are easily to understand, they appear calm and create an educational message.


How is Coronavirus represented in the internet?

Creating an alarm signal by a small yellow box popping up on top of the screen.

The message to the receiver is warning and demands a reaction.

The real looking virus makes a dangerous and serious impression.


Fresh blue is catching attention

The fresh blue is used to bring the advise to keep distance out of the ground and to get the attention of people waiting there.

By implementing some more colours in the illustrations on the left the advices appear more friendly to the recipient.

Impressive how different colours can be used to create different types of messages for the adresse!


Varying amounts of formality in Covid communications

One of the interesting things about the pandemic is the wide range of graphic responses to it. Prom the government, to companies, to families in their homes, there is a massive variety of notices which have been put up, both formal and informal. Companies such as Tesco and Next will probably have their own in-house graphic designers while smaller businesses and families won’t. This means that some notices look very professional and on-brand, whereas others will appear more handmade and thrown together. Two noteworthy examples I found where those of Tesco and one at a shop in the oracle.

Tesco’s poster keeps the Tesco typeface and colour scheme as well as a fitting illustration. As a sidenote, I think it’s also quite interesting how a face mask has become so widely used and recognised. It’s as if simplistic representations of face masks have entered our vernacular. While the poster clearly mimics the Tesco styling, which the designer evidently intended, I would argue that this makes it too easy to ignore. In a Tesco store, there may be many similar posters with this styling, which means this porter may blend in to the point were it’s not actually paid attention to. This makes the design unsuccessful. I think mimicking the official Tesco aesthetic too much runs the risk of appearing too cold and official. I don’t think this design really speaks to the customer in the exact same way as intended as it’s styled almost more of an advertisement.

The other shop (which I unfortunately can’t remember the name of)  on the other hand, has appeared to have taken a rather different approach. They have included two guinea pigs with a rainbow between them. This is quite bizarre, but I think it actually does a lot to maybe make the company’s communication more informal and friendly. The rainbow has come to symbolise the NHS recently, and the guinea pigs may just be being used as symbols for a softer approach. I’m not sure if this is intended, but the rainbow between them makes it appear as if they were socially distant. It’s not exactly professional, but I think this actually communicates to the customer better by doing a lot to humanise the business and its effort for the pandemic. The guinea pigs almost give the business a vulnerable quality.

To conclude, I think the more personal, if less professional communication involving the guinea pigs is actually better, because it humanises the company and is less likely to be ignored.

Covid in Britain

With the design brief , Britain in mind, I thought , as opposed to depicting Britain in a traditional sense, such as with big red buses and telephone boxes, i would display Britain in its current climate during the coronavirus pandemic. This image is a recreation of the British £5 note , with a covid 19 era Boris in place as the key figure on display , using a Great Britain facemask. As a famous landmark, always featured on notes , Big Ben can be seen , this is also to further familiarise the audience with its setting on Britain .The base on Big Ben transitions into the chart for infections on the rise. Further alterations to the original £5 design are the , 2m instead of £5 , in referance to how people had to keep a 2 metre distance from each other during lockdown. The rule of six text replaces, the Bank of England.The final element of text ‘ DOnt go to work ‘ has colour to emphaise how the quote can mean either do or do not go to work , a reflection of the confiusion caused by the Prime ministers speeches.Colour i used sparingly as a display of the dark times we are living in , however, some colour shows that there is still hope . A final addition i wished to have made was to feature a map of Britain in the background behind Boris and Big Ben in the upper half of the note .

From Political to Social issues

For this project I split my collection into 5 different categories:

  • Magazines
  • Posters
  • Social distancing
  • PDF downloads
  • Covid-19 street art

For magazines I focused on Vogue and Time, as I found that they both covered controversial views on covid-19. I particularly liked these two covers from Times. (I found both images below in the vault for Times, under covers from 2020









If you are following the news at the moment you will find that America seems to believe that they are immune to covid-19. Or a better way to put it, is that it is a myth (according to their president Mr Trump).

I found the Trump cover ironic as when it was published (14th May 2020) it states “over the past 14 weeks 84,000 Americans died of Covid-19.” Yet America did not seem to be doing much to slow down the death toll. I found this magazine cover portraying the political     side of covid-19. Bar the controversial message the image is portraying. I particularly liked the graphics and typography that was being used. It’s a fairly simple image with type and an illustration of Donald Trump with a mask (that is not being used affectively), yet it is clever. I like the message of the mask not cover his mouth, as he believed masks to be stupid; yet we all sat here wearing them everyday.

The second magazine cover, covers a social issue during the pandemic. Of the youths of this time and how this will shape their life forever. I found this one a good one to use, as we right now are in education and we are the youth being affective by this. The photographer Hannah, has been virtually photographing her classmates in quarantine. This imagery was done by a student which is why I think it is a good one to study. The issue Hannah wanted to portray was that she found that she was stuck in limbo due to covid-19. These years are the ones she’s meant to be transitioning into adult hood, yet she’s feels like she’s going backwards being stuck in her childhood bedroom for the past several months. I found this topic interesting as I don’t think its normally portrayed. I found a lot of social distancing and instructions graphics for covid. But this was the only ‘generation pandemic that I found. Which you would think there would be more off with the amount of students and people being effected in education by this.

For both these topics, I believe that the target audience is meant to be different, yet has ended up the same. They are both a cry for help to the general public of this issues following this pandemic; outside of the deaths.