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

Italy, Spain, Germany or the UK?

I decided to look at how the different countries in Europe responded to Covid-19, did some put their message across clearer? What could be done better? To narrow down the countries I chose Italy which was the epitome of the pandemic for a while as well as Spain which also went into quite a drastic lock down in comparison to the UK. In addition to this I also included Germany in this, as in my mind Germany is a very pragmatic and effective country.

Looking at the different infographics showcasing the pandemic is interesting. Whilst they all broke the country into regional areas (apart from Italy) They all use different colour coding, and yet they all have the same principle – red is the highest danger. In addition to this most countries use the traffic light system to put their message across to the general public very effectively. Spain does take this a step further and show various other categories for each region using pictograms. Italy also does more than Germany and the UK by giving a list of the most impacted areas and showing the survivors as well as deaths and people who tested positive for coronavirus.

When looking at the general colours used in these official signs in the various countries it’s quickly apparent that the preferred colour for this is blue. Though Spain seems to prefer using yellow, whilst Germany uses both red as well as blue equally. I think this might be due to the road sign rules, where blue means instructions. This makes a question about how effective the Spanish road signs really will be.

Looking at how countries handled public areas & shops the UK seems to be more effective with it than the rest. This is mainly due to the NHS app, though it does rely on everyone having a mobile phone which can scan QR codes, which isn’t always the case… Nonetheless through the app people are more likely to be notified about potential exposure to Covid-10 than in the other countries like Germany, where they have forbidden visitors from entering a public area (shown above) as a precaution. Having said this Germany does have mask dispensers in public areas so no one will have an excuse for not wearing a mask on public transport, shops, schools, etc. Moreover, Italy has got an official government issued template for restaurants. Very interestingly the only word in yellow (the rest is blue) is “DELIVERY” which, as we know, is an english word. This could mean the locals and tourists all understand that they have to call the number listed bellow (once filled in) to order, as they are only available for deliveries. No other government has issued templates as such for shops and restaurants so this might be something worth looking at to implement as well as the mask dispensers.


Another thing I noticed with foreign countries is the hospital and quarantine signs. Whilst I didn’t find english coronavirus quarantine signs the remaining 3 countries are worth looking at. What these signs indicate is that the Covid-19 is in the same area as a hospitals A&E generally, which I think is the worst place. The most vulnerable people in critical conditions closest to the virus? Spain resolved this problem by putting up a temporary A&E tent though this is obviously not ideal, until a better solution is found this is acceptable. Moreover, looking at the quarantine signs Germany opted for stop and no entry signs which very clearly portrays their intent. Italy on the other hand took it a step further. Instead of the everyday stop signs they modified the universal toxic sign into a quarantine sign for Coronavirus, making it highly effective as people will definitely take notice of a sign usually portrays mortal danger. We will make time to read what the pseudo toxic sign says, even if we cannot speak the language the “coronavirus” at the bottom makes its meaning clear to everyone.

Safety signs

I’ve found that there are different categories that are common withing the signs. Overall, most of the signs were yellow to attract attention and to alert people. On some occasion, the use of a blue and white text was used.  I categorized my work with the message of the sign. There are a lot of signs around shops to make sure that people are following the rules.

COVID-19 – Blue or Yellow?

Sue and Emma’s project was all about gathering real-life examples of COVID images around us. Since it’s been months since the first Corona outbreak, it’s fair to say that we all got used to the repetitive posters and announcements that routinely remind us about the laws put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus in the UK. Having said this, a lot of us stopped paying attention to the posters themselves. I highly valued this experience as it’s not often that I look or analyse real-life examples of information design. It has taught me a lot about features found in Covid imagery, from the choice of colour to the specific fonts and typefaces.
As expected all of the imagery I collected using a sans-serif typeface. Most likely, this is a result of sans-serif fonts are often considered as cleaner and more serious, while also easier to read from up close or distance. A lot of the posters and images I have found had a centre alignment and used a very limited number of colours (2-4 at most). ‘Keeping it simple’ is the key fact in information design as you want everyone to understand the information you’re presenting. A lot of the posters were also accompanied by icons and vector images that illustrated what was stated on the posters.
Notably, I have noticed that most of these posters came in 3 colours, blue, red and yellow. Blue is quite commonly used in information design as it is a neutral cool colour. While I agree that the posters in blue were effective, I feel like they are more of a guide rather than enforcement of the law. On the other hand, the yellow posters were combined with a highly contrasting colour such as Yellow (in the examples presented on this page). Unlike the blue posters, yellow draw much more attention, as the combination is known in nature for indicating caution.

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!