One of my favorite TikTok creators, Emma Akiko, focuses on the curiously esoteric but eminently understandable topic of nuclear disarmament. I'm drawn to this topic because, like Emma, I believe nuclear weapons are rather useless.
I won't go into the topic in-depth here; I feel that Emma does a much better job of it, and I recommend instead that you check out her content.
However, Emma's focus topic what it is, and with my recent curious obsession with propaganda posters, I thought I would tinker with creating some posters of my own.
Like other recent posts, I will create these posters using the generative AI tool MidJourney. I will be taking some liberties with these regarding color profile, etc. Some will look older, maybe in the WWII era, and others may look futuristic.
- Posters can be wide, or they can be tall. For the sake of this experiment, I will be generating tall posters with an aspect ratio of 9:16.
- The prompt used to generate each poster will contain phrases such as "nuclear weapons" or "nuclear disarmament." The goal, after all, is to get you to agree with the premise that nuclear weapons are useless and should be abolished.
- Propaganda posters did not always contain imagery of people. Neither will mine. But, because the posters seek to get civilians to take action, most probably will.
- In general, color profiles of propaganda posters tend to be inexpensive, especially during wartime. Most of my posters will have a muted industrial palette, perhaps limited to a tetradic collection of hues.
- While propaganda campaigns tend to have cohesive design elements that tie the whole campaign together, I will experiment to discover various looks and styles.
Any good propaganda campaign has an intrinsic reliance on the use of symbolism. What symbolism applies to our goals here? What symbolism is already used for active efforts seeking nuclear abolition and disarmament?
The universal peace sign certainly applies.
Any depiction of weapons being broken or intercepted appears to be a good bet.
Also, depictions of the symbol for nuclear power, combined with the symbol for no/anti, seem to be a common visual.
Some Initial Posters
Getting a peace symbol or any number of approximate variations turned out relatively trivial. This was true with or without image blending or image injection.
Of all these, I most like the third row-middle image. This depiction of a sunrise over a broken small town center with a giant peace symbol resonates best with me.
I did not like the results I received from MidJourney via blending or image injection for the other standard images for nuclear abolition or nuclear disarmament. As a result, I abandoned the pursuit of using that imagery.
These posters all used a prompt similar to one of the following:
Let's try something a little different. I want people in this next set. Something inspiring and more likely to bring us to action or wonder, "How can I be like them?"
Of these 9, I am most drawn to the last image and the top center. I think these have an exciting appeal despite the top center having what appears to be a targeting reticule.
These all used a prompt similar to the following:
Let's go for Niji, a more animation-styled imagining for the campaign.
I played around with the aspect ratio to get what I wanted here. However, I kept all images at either 9:16 or 16:9, as noted were our options.
I am genuinely torn on which of these l like best. There are aspects of each one I find appealing for its unique reasons.
The top-left is more of a poster style or cover for a video. The next three could all be stills from a show, and I love the motion in the character's hair. The middle bottom shows determination and grit. The final image depicts a broader community of support behind the mission.
These were all generated using a prompt similar to the following:
Ultimately, we will see protests related to our topic of focus. What might those protests look like? To capture more of the crowd, we will use a 16:9 wide aspect.
This is a curious set of protesters, but I quite like it.
Inspired by the phrase "hot people abolish nukes," Emma created, I specified only attractive people for this set.
The prompt for these looks like:
I want this next set to focus more on nuclear weapons' emotional impact and devastation and discourage their use.
Of these nine images, the two that speak to me the most are the top left and the center images. The top left depicts a young Indian woman, and the very center is of a young German woman. Each of these bears an expressionless face, but their eyes seem to speak a bit more. I also really like the elderly Palestinian woman at the middle right.
These images were all generated using a prompt similar to the following:
I want this final set to focus more on the thought leadership of nuclear disarmament. We should be left with a sense of hope and awe.
For this set, I am switching the aspect to 16:9, intending them to be seen on the web or television.
For this set, I particularly love the top middle. This image evokes what I most wanted from this Thought Leaders grouping.
MidJourney generated these images with a prompt similar to the following:
What do you think of the final results? Is there a style or image you're particularly drawn to? Let me know in the comments!
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