Behind the design: Zoo protestposters

Published on 8 March 2021 at 11:33

The reason

I designed this poster series after a visit to the zoo. I hadn't been to a zoo in a long time and had forgotten how unnatural it is for most animals to live like this. I also noticed how many people completely ignored the animals in the park: screaming, trying to touch animals. Most notable was a monkey with her cub. Her outside hide away was set up in such a way that she had really nowhere to get out of side of the gazing people. She was in a tube (laid out so that you could see into it from both sides) with her cub. Her interior was locked. It made me sad and angry. As an outlet, I used my creativity and designed a series of posters.


The scetches

Developing a concept often arises for me by simply starting with designing. I occasionally use a smooth sketch on paper, but in this case I immediately started on the computer. Gradually it became clear what I actually wanted to communicate. I immediately knew I wanted to make a poster with a lion. It soon became clear that this had to be a lion that was locked up in the frame of the poster. The lion had to fit exactly into the frame to create a stuffy atmosphere.


The concept

At the first poster I didn't know that it would be a serie of 3. The text I added (One for the money) gave me the idea to make the other two (Two for the show, Three to get ready). As I said, my idea gradually develops in the design process. The idea for the eye and the bars also came during the design process. I also wanted to incorporate the role of humans in the design in one way or another. The eye therefore stands for observation. We who observe the animals. The lines of the eye also immediately form the bars of the cages. Our need to observe animals forces us to lock them up in a cage.


The text

The text is built up in 3 phases, based on the lyrics of Elvis' Blue suede shoes. One for the money was a phrase that came to my mind, because ultimately keeping animals in zoos also has a commercial aspect. The first poster therefore has 1 lion. The second poster says 'Two for the show' and shows 2 elephants. The third says: 'Three to get ready' and shows 3 monkeys. The smallest text tells 'the why' of the poster series: The wild, cruel beast is not behind the bars of the cage. He's in front of it.



I also see that zoos make a valuable contribution to protecting and preserving animal species that unfortunately do not survive in nature (often due to human action). This series is therefore not aimed at zoos that put the welfare of their animals first. However, it is an attempt to hold up a mirror and ask ourselves: how do we treat animals and do we consider our interests and needs more important than the welfare of animals?

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