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“You have the power to change the world.” Though this statement may already resound with designers who firmly believe in the discipline’s capacity to shape the world for the better, it’s also the opening line of the United Nations’ inaugural Global Call Out To Creatives – an international open brief launched with the World Health Organization this week that looks to halt the spread of COVID-19.

The UN and WHO are asking designers to devise innovative visual and audio solutions that help disseminate one (or more) of the six key messages concerning health precautions that prevent the virus’ continued growth: personal hygiene, physical distancing, know the symptoms, kindness contagion, myth busting and do more, donate

“The United Nations needs your help in translating critical public health messages into work that will engage and inform people across different cultures, languages, communities and platforms,” reads the brief. “The shortlisted work will reach everyone, everywhere.”

The organization has also provided expanded information on their six central catchments, as well as given access to their existing messaging and research for use in their project. Similar campaigns, such as the Ghen Cô Vy video circulated in Vietnam, have been successful in presenting key measures to slow the disease’s spread.

“The creativity of the responses must match the unique nature of this crisis,” says António Guterres, UN Secretary-General. “The magnitude of the responses must match its scale.”

Open to designers working anywhere in any medium who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry, submissions can consist of pre-existing material or entirely unique proposals, conceived in a number of diverse languages. The international call was officially released on March 30 and submissions will be accepted until April 9, with selected entries available for download on a special microsite shortly following.

The brief’s key aim is not only to make these critical health advisories easily accessible, but also to combat the spread of misinformation about the disease. Therefore, each submission will be approved by WHO before being released for download.

“We are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply,” Guterres adds. “We cannot resort to the usual tools in such unusual times.” Now, it’s time to design like you give a damn.

Full information on the call can be found here.

Stay up to date with the latest innovations for the COVID-19 pandemic here.

More information about the COVID-19 outbreak – and how to best protect yourself – is available via the World Health Organization at this link.

United Nations Calls On Designers To Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

An inaugural open brief launched by the UN and the World Health Organization solicits innovative solutions to share critical public health messages about coronavirus.

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