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Community Building and Awareness Through Pop-up Posters

Forest-PLUS (Partnership for Land Use Science) is a five-year technical assistance program of USAID India and India’s MoEFCC (Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change). Set up with the purpose to help India successfully implement REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), an international mechanism for climate change mitigation, livelihoods improvement, and biodiversity protection, Forest-PLUS has established demonstration landscapes in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim, representing four important and distinctive forest types where it tests in practice the effectiveness and appropriateness of its approach and associated technologies, tools, and methods.

Forest-PLUS commissioned us to develop posters as part of their outreach campaign on climate change and forests with a focus on tree plantation. Himachal Pradesh was the special focus of these posters and accordingly, the brief required us to explore cultural symbols and flora and fauna from the state to create a connect with the local people, especially children. The posters were expected to be educational, simple to understand and easily relatable for school children. The distribution of these posters began with local schools in the Rampur district of Himachal Pradesh.

The idea we suggested was to create interactive pieces of communication that can bring entire classrooms together in discussion and problem-solving. The audience being children we didn’t want to create text-heavy posters that would end up boring young minds. Since the mind assimilates more when it enquires than when it is fed information on an auto-pilot, we wanted to create a product that makes the children wonder and also ask questions. 

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Forestplus Pop Up

Pop the question

The posters come with questions hidden on the back of certain elements of the design that can be popped-up by pushing them from behind. As part of workshops and classroom assignments, these questions must be asked, discussed and answered. Programme coordinators/teachers are trained to answer the questions if and when some go un-answered. The final look of the posters after all the elements have been popped is reminiscent of school projects all of us made during the summer holidays.

Forestplus Poster 1

Poster 1: Plant More Trees

To understand and relate to issues larger than us and our immediate surroundings we often need to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. Taking that cue we decided to illustrate the posters from a bird’s eye view that looks at the world through a fish-eye-lens! The illustrated landscape takes references from the overall geographical features of the state and also local flora & fauna. The posters are created around a circular structure, the beauty of which lies in how it can be looked at from any angle, hence allowing discussions among a group of children sitting all around the poster. 

The overall landscape is shown to be bright green flanked by mountains on all sides. The centrepiece is a crystalline lake that is fed by a glacial stream and at the same time births a smaller stream that flows down the mountain. Life (animal and plant) is shown to be flourishing around the lake.

The poster ‘Plant More Trees’ is a great hit and we are extensively using it in our extension programs. Thank you very much.”

Dr. V Dakshinamurthy,
Communication Specialist
Forest-PLUS Program

Forestplus Poster 2

Poster 2: Climate Change & Forests

The second poster shows the same landscape, but with the addition of urbanisation and resultant deforestation. We replace a large part of the forest with a town full of people, buildings and vehicles. The mountains have lost a lot of its snow and become brown. The river has a dam built on it, garbage is seen everywhere and the animals have been pushed further into the mountains. A very visible change is the decrease in the amount of greens and disappearing waterways. Overall it shows the impact of population growth, rampant construction and deforestation as some of the major causes of Climate Change. 

The reason to keep the overall landscape and structure the same was to create an immediate visual comparison between the two posters. The questions behind this poster were related to climate change and deforestation.

Forestplus Cd Sleeve 1
Forestplus Cd Sleeve 2
Forestplus Cd Case 1
Forestplus Cd Case 2

CD label, sleeve & jewel case

Following the posters, Forest-PLUS developed an album of folk songs around forests sung by local folk artists.

For the label, we retained the central motif of everything revolving around a circle. The design for the label was inspired by the local folk dances prevalent in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh.

The overall mood is of celebration and community building. The illustration creates a sense of energy with a minimalist aesthetic.

Forestplus Footer

In the field

Local women holding posters on Plant More Trees. It is always delightful to see our work making any bit of impact in the lives of the local people and being used and appreciated by the people they are meant for.

Photo by Dr. V Dakshinamurthy

We were so much delighted to work with Tiffinbox, a creative professional agency that understands clients’ challenges and delivers the best. We appreciate their work process, their style is unique, original and attention grabbing. The IEC materials on forests and climate change designed by Tiffinbox facilitated our outreach communication education through print media. The designers at Tiffinbox are wonderful to work with; they are very committed and have a high passion for communication and offer diverse workable options which celebrate their out of the box thinking.”

Dr. V Dakshinamurthy,
Communication Specialist
Forest-PLUS Program