Here is the final rendition of my symbol.
How is HIV/AIDS visualized?
As I dive into exploring and researching the visualization of HIV/AIDS, I felt it would be necessary to document the progression of my research. Through creating a visual narrative of my findings, I hope to of capture the depth and broadness of this heavy topic.
Here is the last portion of experimentation in Illustrator.
After making hundreds of sketches, I continued my exploration through Illustrator. In using a different medium I was able to approach the symbol with a new emphasis and breadth of experimenting with form, counter form, and color to name a few.
This is the further development taken from my previous sketches of making a symbol based on the way the word ‘AIDS’ is formed. I wanted to see the power not only of the large level but to explore if the smaller version held the same impact. Then I did a color study based off the literal interpretation of HIV/AIDS as well as organic, baroque and industrial interpretations (topics pulled out of a hat).
After studying the symbols I found in Afrikan Alphabets, I chose to approach designing a symbol for AIDS that was based on the way it sounds. While in Starbucks I repeatedly sounded out AIDS for a couple of hours, and based on the way my mouth and tongue opened, closed and moved was what I based each line off. At the top right of the page is where I began my study, developing further in trials down the page.
While researching pictorial languages, I came across the book Afrikan alphabets : The Story of Writing in Afrika by Saki Mafundikwa. I am captivated by the powerful forms whose meaning transcends such wildly different cultures (such as my own and the Bantu people). The way these simple symbols communicate despite cultural differences is intoxicating, informing my understanding of the purpose of a symbol.
During brainstorming I found myself repeating the same concepts and struggling to approach the problem with fresh eyes and an open mind. The geometric forms I was choosing were based in the roots of my research. I pulled from the iconic Gran Fury pink triangle and focused on how other international symbols were effective, which were generally simple while concrete in form (such as the Red Cross symbol). But I wasn’t completely satisfied, as I believed there were other routes I should explore before finalizing the symbol. Wanting to expand on the beautiful geometry I was so attracted to, I decided to research pictorial languages.
Here are some sketches while brainstorming from a few weeks ago, around the middle of my search after the second round of critiques.