Creating a Gun Violence Awareness Brochure

Background of the Project

Gun violence in the United States is considerably higher than in many other developed occidental regions. The country became the world leader in gun violence and ownership. Numerous mass murder incidents, notorious school shootings among them, attract attention to the topic. Currently, becoming a victim of gun violence is one of the prominent citizens’ concerns. This social issue directly jeopardizes innumerable lives and impacts the country’s economy, putting a strain on taxpayers. Yet, the real cost of gun violence cannot be overestimated. Lack of governmental action to limit access to certain types of weapons seems to distress the general public, as existing legislation does not manage to stop gun violence. Thus, the demand for stricter weapon control and more stringent criminal liabilities grows.

Nonetheless, limiting access to automatic or semi-automatic weapons and increasing punishment may not be the most optimal solution. Protected by the Second Amendment, the right to possess and use guns is viewed as fundamental by many and became an indispensable part of personal freedoms. Given the right’s innateness to the country’s history and way of living, more flexible and delicate methods are needed. Accordingly, the project strives to support the action to decrease gun violence by cultivating awareness. The initiative targets Pennsylvania, where a sizable percentage of the population falls victim to gun violence. The project is supposed to be materialized in an informative brochure emphasizing gun-related dangers and augmenting the need for gun ownership restrictions. While the primary objective is to contribute to the decrease in gun violence (even if the contribution’s extent would be minor), the secondary goals include enhancing understanding and education regarding gun-related death and traumas.

Completed Work

So far, the larger part of the work was dedicated to finding and selecting information and statistics to include in the brochure. The subject amalgamated a considerable body of literature that was examined to find the most compelling and relevant data. Nine principal sources were identified – they vary in how they approach gun violence so that a comprehensive picture could be painted in the brochure. For instance, it seems logical to concentrate on the gun-related death and trauma numbers to demonstrate the problem’s scope and gravity. Several of the selected sources provide numbers regarding fire-arm-related mortality, fatal child injuries, trauma rates, and economic consequences. Incorporating such data is an effective method to contextualize the argument, render it more persuasive and credible. On the other hand, individual stories could be more effective in provoking an emotional response, instrumental in initiating change. Ultimately, it was decided to combine statistics with more personalized information to the extent that a brochure allows.

Besides selecting information and its presentation strategy, the brochure’s first outline and its color scheme were established. Visual optimization of the accumulated data is the second step in the project, and it includes choosing colors, fonts, and positioning design elements. Initially, a two-panel fold was selected but later was changed to a three-fold panel to place the brochure’s sections more efficiently. The office publisher seems suitable for creating a standard trifold brochure. Additionally, multiple brochures with a similar goal were analyzed to determine the predominant color scheme: a combination of red, black, and white seems to be commonly used. It was decided to adhere to the same color scheme since it allows text to be more readable. Moreover, a minimalistic design does not eclipse the brochure’s message. Choosing the size and font was the next step – Helvetica 12-point font for the body and 16-point font for headlines would help readers navigate the information effortlessly. Therefore, the main goal of the brochure’s visual optimization was to facilitate information perception.

Work Ahead and Action Plan for Work

Despite the progress made, a significant portion of work is yet to be completed. For instance, the brochure’s design needs further elaboration, particularly its page layout. The gathered information should be divided into sections based on the facet of gun violence concerned. For instance, statistical information, arguments for stricter weapon control and more severe criminal liabilities, and community resources should constitute three separate sections. Subsequently, these elements will be arranged inside the brochure. Visual elements, such as images and pictures, also need to be considered. An array of sites providing free stock photos exists and will help complete this phase; among them are Unsplash, Gratisography, Morguefile, Pixabay, Stockvault, and Pexels. Nonetheless, the content of images and which sites specifically should be used to obtain them are yet to be determined.

When the number of elements and their layout is finally established, the brochure will be shown to several people to obtain opinions on the overall design. This procedure will be done to ensure its usability and that it has the desired effect. If the brochure receives positive feedback, it will be ready for printing. Otherwise, the booklet will be revised according to the comments. Designing and choosing the visual components of the brochure as well as structuring information necessitates one week. The trial, final touches, and printing is one additional week. It should be noticed that depending on the feedback and the scale of criticism, the time to accomplish the project may be lesser than expected. Half a month approximately should suffice to complete the project.

Problems Encountered

The first problem encountered was the need to choose the booklet’s focus. Although concentration on mere statistics is a common and rational approach, it may fail to provoke an emotional reaction, necessary for the brochure to be effective. It seems to be common knowledge that stories are generally more memorable than facts, and faces attract more attention than numbers. Firstly, children’s faces could be notably impactful in this regard, as their lives are frequently threatened by gun violence. Secondly, storytelling is another powerful tool that could help in decreasing Pennsylvania’s gun violence. Thus, the main issue was to find a way for the booklet to tell a story while still relying on facts and statistics. The decision to combine factual information and use images depicting faces to invoke sentimentality was taken to resolve the difficulty. Another problem concerned the booklet’s format – the decision between two- or three-fold panels. Initially, the brochure was supposed to have four pages instead of six. This format seems to be less common and more modern visually. Nonetheless, this design complicates structuring information inside the document; instead, a two-fold format was adopted.

Closing

Conclusively, gun violence in Pennsylvania is a social problem that could benefit from creating and distributing an informative brochure. Up to this point, almost half of the work has been completed. Data and statistics were selected, and some visual and formatting issues regarding the project were established. The two principal remaining stages are design and structuring information inside the booklet. Additionally, a trial run and consequent modification may be required. In this way, to finish the project, two weeks are needed.