Our way of life in Minnesota—land of 10,000 lakes and the waterways that connect them—is under threat by invasive carp. These huge fish (up to 100 pounds) threaten to destroy the biodiversity of our lakes and, since they can jump up to ten feet into the air, are a physical threat to anglers, boaters, swimmers, and other waterway users.
That’s why we were thrilled when the StopCarp Coalition asked us to wield our design skills in the battle to raise awareness. The problem? People were getting a bit ho-hum about the issue. They’d seen the videos of carp leaping into boats—pretty alarming—but otherwise seemed to know little about the damage these carp can do to native wildlife, or practical ways people can help stop carp from spreading further upstream. Our approach was to move away from photographs and use illustration to convey the danger and immediacy of the issue. This campaign specifically focused on ways to inform boaters about the danger of using river locks—one of the major ways invasive carp move upstream.
The process involved researching carp graphics and working with the coalition to make the illustrations accurate and realistic. The design shows the impact invasive carp have both above and below the water line, and uses the universal symbol of warning or alarm to draw attention to the critical need for the public to get on board.
The initial project involved posters and bumper-stickers, followed by a more detailed info-graphic providing more detailed information on the dangers of invasive carp and what the public can do. Posters are being distributed electronically around the state and posted at boat launches, resorts, boating and angling clubs, bait shops, and other public places—and will make a big splash at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair.
ThinkDesign is proud to be part of the solution—and to show the impact that good design can have in getting the message out.