Responses by MullenLowe
Background: Change The Ref’s The American Shamecards Collection was created to demand gun law reform directly from Congress. Subverting the traditional greeting card, which depict landmarks and memorable places of each city, we created a new collection focused on what cities are becoming known for: mass shootings. As a target, we focus on communities affected by gun violence, and we designed at least one postcard for each state, covering the whole country.
Reasoning: To get to this solution, we touched on something that’s very particular of Americans: the pride of their land. By showing Americans what their cities are becoming known for, something no one can be proud of—mass shootings—we engaged with each person seeing our postcards on a very personal level. Then, we gave them the option to send the postcard to Congress and demand gun law reform with us.
Challenges: The most challenging part of the project was the articulation of 30 artists spread all around the world, each one in a different time zone, working on this uniquely American issue. All of this during the pandemic and with everybody working from home. We needed to find a new way of working, and fortunately, we managed to deliver these amazing results.
Favorite details: For us, the whole process of illustrating the postcards with artists from around the world is a reason to be proud. We worked with people we always admired and the results are more than amazing, especially giving the COVID situation.
Visual influences: At first glance, we wanted the postcard to look beautiful and colorful, but after looking at them again, people would realize how horrible it actually was. To do that, we decided not to follow one style of illustration; we wanted variety, which made the campaign richer.
Specific demands: We did a lot of research to be able to design the cards. Learning about the stories and details of the shootings was the most challenging part of the project. All the research made us more aware of the gun violence problem in America, but, at the same time, made us open our horizons to new solutions in each postcard.