R U OK? Campaign branding with Lisa Vertudaches
The creation of illustrated characters to accurately reflect a sensitive and emotive core message in a way that is modern, relevant, and inclusive of diverse audiences.
Art direction: Dorran Wajsman Co-Med.
Illustrations: Lisa Vertudaches
Stage 1 – Creation of new characters to communicate ALEC for R U OK? Day
R U OK? is a harm prevention charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives. Their work focuses on building the motivation, confidence, and skills of the help-giver – the person who can have a meaningful conversation with someone who is struggling with life.
R U OK? has developed a simple four-step conversation model, ALEC, which is used across campaign resources (including video, print and digital materials) and features a corresponding illustration for each step. ALEC: Ask, Listen, Encourage Action and Check In.
Stage 2 – Creation of new characters for R U OK? Christmas Holiday communications
Building on the newly established character style for ALEC Dorran from Co-Med came back to work with Lisa Vertudaches again, this time to create visuals for RUOK? Christmas Holiday campaign. The charming blob-like characters returned in new form and were again used in various print and merchandise executions and as an animated story remembering that some people find Christmas and the end of year tough for many different reasons.
South Australian artist Lisa Vertudaches was chosen for the campaign for her unique ability to create charming blob-like characters with human traits and who are non-gendered and non-race-specific, easy to connect with and yet are still emotive and sensitive.
“Lisa’s ability to capture the subject matter’s essence in each illustration is magical. In addition, she and Katie worked collaboratively with us to ensure that the images were on brand and conveyed R U OK?’s cornerstone 4-step message in a natural compassionate human way.” Dorran Wajsman, Art Director
“I think the hardest part about giving inanimate or blob-like creatures emotion is that not everyone reads expressions the same way. Something that I’m trying to express as grief could instead be interpreted as anger, or something else. I just have to make sure I’m communicating clearly to my audience, and sometimes that might involve the use of symbols, posture or surrounding detail to ensure a character will be perceived how I intend.” Lisa V
These characters have been used in different scenarios across various markets and applications from print to animation and merchandise. And importantly they do not rely on written words to get the message across for each step of the ALEC conversation model as this could be a barrier for those with literacy challenges or who don’t speak English as a first language.