The Pixel Project is a volunteer-based organisation and we are always happy to talk about the wonderful people who donate their time to the cause of ending violence against women. Today we talk to graphic designer Gina Yap Lai Yoong.
Tell us about yourself and how you came to be The Pixel Project’s graphic designer.
Some people know me as a graphic designer, others know me as a copywriter. The bookworms know me as a novelist while clients know me as a branding/marketing strategist. In short, I am a communicator who always has a story to tell. Thus, when the president of The Pixel Project, Regina, approached me to play the role of graphic designer for the organisation, I quickly agreed. Why? Because the message is already there. All I had to do is creatively incorporate it into stories (specifically visual designs) that would be able to engage the audience emotionally as well as effectively.
What is your favourite artwork or project that you have done for The Pixel Project?
A favourite artwork? I’ve got to say, the word ‘favourite’ doesn’t resonate well with me. Each artwork creation is like giving birth to a newborn. It’s unfair to have a favourite child, therefore, it is certainly unfair to have a favourite piece of work. Every piece is unique in its own way as it brings forth different message, purpose and life. As long as each piece achieves its purpose of creation, then it is a good piece. That’s what matters to me.
You have always devoted some of your time and talents to helping charitable causes. Why is ending Violence Against Women an important cause for you?
Because I am a woman. Because violence, in general, is not healthy for us, regardless of gender, age, race and nationality. Because we all deserve the freedom to live life the way we are destined to and violence should never rob us of that freedom.
You have done design work for many years. In your opinion, why is good branding and design an important part of raising awareness about Violence Against Women?
A good branding/design is important, not only as part of raising awareness about VAW, but in any communication campaigns at all. Communication is most effective when it is consistent. What’s repeated and consistent can be easily drilled into our minds and remain there when we need to recall information as such. The trick is to add a dash of new elements to keep that attraction power on each new communication piece without compromising overall corporate branding so that the audience can always associate the message back to the brand. I am not only talking about design: branding includes copywriting consistency as well as the overall tone and manner of the communication piece.
Why do you think more creative types such as yourself should get on board campaigns to raise awareness about violence against women?
Every cause needs a voice and that voice can only be carried out when graphic designers, writers, photographers, videographers—you name it—come together to build the vehicle on which the voice can ride to reach out to its audience. Let’s come together to empower good causes to communicate effectively.
In your opinion, how can we encourage young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help stop violence against women?
We need to help them discover their role as the male figure in this movement. It’s essential that males see their role in society as the protector, not the predator. They are capable of protecting the people they love or harming them – it’s their choice. But if they don’t step up and protect their loved ones, who will? True love is never about hurting others; it’s always about protecting and caring for them with tender love. And that means no violence (no matter what the excuse is).