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    The making of the International Stuttering Awareness Day poster

    Overview   Process   Hi Res  

    Having made it through school and bullied a couple of less typical classmates to near death, people normally embrace humanist values. They start to envy the red-haired people, stop pointing fingers at overweight and mock the stuttering. Serious and mature adults that we are, we won’t be laughing either and instead will try to show our understanding and support.

    Studying the issue. Also watching The King’s Speech about the stuttering George VI right during the working hours since it’s so important for the proper grasp of the problem. We see the overall picture now: we need something delicate and positive, encouraging to relax and not to give up. Reading up on methods of treatment and special exercises. Recalling the stuttering celebrities. Demosthenes, of course. So here, about the perfect audience.

    Art director: Not exactly funny.

    True, it’s not going to crack you up. Maybe, about forbidden tongue-twisters?

    On the other hand, why would they be forbidden? They are quite useful. What if we show the most famous tongue-twisters in pictures? That’s it, we almost have it, the idea is floating around. There it is! It has to be a poster for a thriller movie! Blue-tinted and photoshopped to death. Come on man, chop it up! (the picture is a reference to a widespread Russian tongue-twister “Во дворе трава, на траве дрова” which translates as “In the yard there is grass and on the grass there is firewood”)

    Art director: OK if you add the fence at the back to show that it’s a yard.

    Giving the idea to a team of young professionals who have a suitable male ass, an ax, some firewood and a photo studio.

    While the picture is being made, a heated debate about the text flares up. Our traditional wording along the lines of “Happy Something Day!” looks out of place in the context of this day. Partly because its Russian name—The Stuttering People’s Day—does not exactly match the international one. In the phrase “International Stuttering Awareness Day” the accent is not on pointing fingers but rather on the problem itself and on raising the awareness about it. Which is exactly right since understanding and humanity towards people with speech disorders will help them get over their impediments sooner.

    Ultimately, the chief editor and the art director decide not to go against tradition and leave the Russian name, since it’s neutral enough. Oh well.



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