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Tearing Down Stigma

This semester, our designers took on an important project for Kent State University’s Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS). The client tasked IdeaBase students with creating an interactive poster to raise awareness about sexual assault and decrease the stigma around reporting relationship violence.

This project began with research. IdeaBase employees worked with the client to gauge students knowledge and interest in SRVSS.

From that research, designers Austyn Benyak and Cory Sutter began brainstorming concepts for the client. The concepts centered around communicating with students when they least expect it.

  • Mirrors: Feature posters on bathroom mirrors to encourage viewers to consider their personal role in sexual and relationship violence.
  • Tear down: Allow viewers to rip down certain pieces of a poster to reveal more information. The destruction of the poster would symbolize the destruction of the stigma around reporting sexual and relationship violence.

Austyn and Cory presented these ideas to the client, who quickly saw value in the concepts.

“Clients don’t always feel the same excitement we do,” said Austyn, “but SRVSS definitely does.”

After gaining the client’s approval, our team started designing. They had to focus on many different elements of the design that are unique to this client, such as:

  • When designing, our team had to be aware of possible triggers for viewers and steer away from those ideas.
  • Our team focused on simplicity in the designs to avoid distracting the viewer from the key messages provided by the SRVSS office.

The “Tear Down” posters were then hung in three out of four dorms in Eastway on campus. The fourth dorm served as a control group. Once the posters were hung, the client measured increase in awareness in the other three dorms to determine the impact of the posters.

Within two days, most of the posters had already been destroyed, revealing the messages underneath.

Learn more about the Kent State University SRVSS Office here

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