Audience Engagement

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My mindset when approaching a brief is always focused around the underlying objective, to engage the audience into having an emotional reaction. It might sound like the obvious starting point, but sometimes this can easily be lost in meeting clients bizarre demands. Because let’s be honest, sometimes the client doesn’t always care about the meaning behind the design. Regularly I find, it’s just about looking ‘on trend’.

As an example for discussing audience engagement, I want to talk about my favourite piece of design. Because in most cases, that’s the whole point right? At the root of having admiration, stems how it engages with you and it’s relationship to your emotions at the current time. So… Introducing… ’50 Must-Do Things in Asia’ by Tiger Beer. Now I know what your probably thinking. But hear me out. 




Firstly, however much I would like to be, I’m unfortunately not endorsed by Tiger beer. And you will be happy to know that, I am in no way deluded in thinking this is the most beautifully crafted piece of print design i’ve ever seen. In-fact I even thought it looked a bit tacky when I first picked it up in 2010. But personally for me, that’s not what it’s about. 

At the age of 20, I had spent around a month traveling South East Asia during in what’s commonly known as a ‘gap year’. Yes, I was one of those 20 year olds. I was on the Thai island of Phuket, famously known for the full moon parities, where nostalgia took over and I ended up in a English pub for a fry up to cure my hangover. It was at this point I picked up the book, and from then on it inspired the rest of my four month trip. It’s still unknown whether it was myself or the previous nights alcohol left in my system, which found this so inspiring. Nevertheless this simple idea, picked up the pace in my relatively sluggish stroll around Thailand and lead me to break free from the typical backpackers trail.

It was my engagement with the idea behind the design that made it so influential on me. In the days before hashtags were a thing, they created a whole social network on their website for people to share the experiences. It’s a concept I completely bought into and ended up living. It created a really interesting viewpoint because the majority of the locations and activities were identical, yet the user generated content gave so many different angles and experiences, created through the eyes of each individual.







                                         

Something has to be said for the way this book flows. Each separate page has it’s own visual identity which defines the experiences into individual chapters and this related perfectly when living the book, each experience was unique and different in it’s own right. And culturally it felt like it fitted in perfectly with the current design trends in South East Asia at the time. 

In this instance it’s definitely the classic case of, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Of course you can question the ideas originality, it’s definitely not the first time this has been done, and it won’t be the last. But I always feel if you can take the theory of making that sort of connection, into your design, aimed at your target audience, then that’s not a bad place to start.







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