This simple poster pushes the less-is-more concept to the limits.
Twitter user @bushigao shared an image of his 12-year-old brother’s homework assignment for the summer holidays, wherein the young lad was tasked with creating a traffic safety poster. I’m sure many of us have had similar assignments in our school days and probably drew a cheery panda or something reminding kids not to jaywalk.
So, let’s see what this tyke was up to…
武士 (@bushigao) August 12, 2017
As we can imagine the process of creating this poster involved dipping both arms in red paint and then stamping them on the paper. Then it was just a matter of scrawling “help” and he was done in under five minutes minus clean-up time.
Given that the poster doesn’t actually offer up any safety advice, it’s understandable that the elder brother’s first instinct was that his sibling was cutting corners so that he could get back to the finer points of summer vacation like his Nintendo Switch.
However, the younger brother denied and explained his work saying, “Most traffic safety posters are from healthy people to healthy people. I wanted to send a message from the injured people to healthy people.”
Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it? Actually, even before the brother’s explanation I found myself contemplating traffic safety a lot more than usual simply by looking at the poster. It certainly grabs your attention, and it can be interpreted in any number of ways which means it sort of covers all traffic safety concepts without mentioning a single one.
Like with many works of art, public reaction was a little mixed.
“That boy has a bright future.”
“It has impact, but maybe too much impact.”
“Traffic safety? That looks more like the poster to a horror movie.”
“It sends the message succinctly and powerfully. Brilliant, but imagine seeing that hanging on the wall at night.”
“That kid is amazing.”
“That kid is sick.”
I tend to side with those calling this “quite possibly the greatest traffic safety poster I have ever seen,” although admittedly the bar wasn’t all that high to begin with.
However, the question remains as to what the boy’s teacher will make of this work. In Japan’s notoriously stodgy school system where 100 x 5 = 500 can be deemed incorrect, will the minimalism of this student’s work be dismissed as mere slacking? Hopefully he’ll submit it with the Twitter thread full of praise along with the international articles written about it to prevent that outcome.