Tokens4Change is a fundraising programme to teach students about the issues of homeless youth and to raise awareness with the public. Students are invited to express themselves in performances at transit locations on this single-day event, where coins and tokens are collected from passers-by.
Our role was to capture the attention of transit users in advance of the event, with simple messages highlighting the daily challenges of living on the street. We began by brainstorming what would really resonate with people. We created extra-large illustrated posters that asked the audience to ‘remove rose coloured glasses’ and ‘insert silver lining’ – highlighting our fortunate lives in comparison to the homeless, and preparing viewers for Tokens4Change Donation Day. We connected our headlines to meaningful statistics from the shelter to drive the message home.
We also developed a short animated video, and designed online ads with images of real homeless kids attempting everyday tasks with larger-than-life obstacles in their way. These ads were created with a built-in function of generating a Tweet with just a click, helping to broadcast the messages even further.
The high exposure of our work has helped to break down the stereotypes surrounding homeless youth and contribute to a successful fundraising campaign. This project is an excellent example of plain language and imagery used effectively to elicit immediate action.
The campaign captured the attention of not only the target audience but also the Association of Registered Graphic Designers where it won a 2013 So(cial) Good Design Award.