Poster for the National Centre for Missing & Endangered Children (NCMEC)
Inspired by the work of the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children (NCMEC), a non-profit dedicated to finding abducted children and tackling child sexual exploitation, I designed a digital poster for them that encapsulates their work within one illustrated image. The piece is meant to evoke emotions of safety and uncertainty at the same time.
About the Organization
NCMEC plays a crucial role in combating child sexual exploitation and locating missing children under various circumstances. They are famous for their facial aging software, a revolutionary tool that assists law enforcement and the general public. This technology generates updated facial images of missing children, showing how they might look currently, which significantly improves the chances of finding and safely returning these children to their families.
Ideas I went through
Given the complexity of the work that NCMEC does, I had a lot of trouble finalizing an idea for the poster, as well as figuring out how to create a colour palette for this piece that also helps carry meaning to the work they do, and what symbols should be incorporated in the piece to help make their organizations work easily understood within a glance.Many of the ideas I had that I discarded revolved around wanting to spell out the work they did into something very obvious, like illustrating a looming figure over an innocent child but ideas like those felt be representing only a specific area of their expertise whereas I wanted to represent more of NCMEC and less of defining them as a reaction to a specific event occurring or being prevented.
Constraints I gave myself
I wanted to give myself a few constraints for the final outcome that would help me narrow down ideas and give my poster a sense of much-needed direction. The constraints included:
The colour scheme to be yellow, white, and black for the main part
There to be a representation of NCMEC being a motherly figure protecting her children
There to be some form of danger or unease surrounding the motherly figure or her children
The piece to be minimal with no text, and a rotation of the same three main colours through the whole piece
My final idea
For the poster, I envisioned a central image of a mother embracing her two children, embodying protection and care. Around them, I depicted hands reaching out, symbolizing the external threats they face. This design is intended to capture the essence of a mother's love – a powerful force safeguarding her children, keeping them safe and away from harm.
I wanted to create for NCMEC a poster that they could display that people could immediately associate with the incredible work they are doing and successes they achieve. When researching the nonprofit, the more I learned the more I could compare the work they do with a visual of a mother that protects her children from the bad in the world with a protective hug, while the hands that are reaching out for the kids are meant to represent different things that leads to NCMEC's involvement; one hand represents kidnappings, the other represents trafficking, etc.
I wanted the obvious colour palette to be minimal at first look, but as your eyes go through the illustration you can see different highlight colours across. I used a yellow glow around the mom and kids, that goes a bit into the background, to represent the safety sort of bubble they created for themselves, as well as keep the girls hair stark white so it represents that they are unharmed and safe, and the background colours are mixing in with the foreground but then cut off by the yellow glow coming through still.
To add a bit more depth so it doesnt look flat, I used a slight textured brush in the background to create the dimension in the piece. All done within Adobe Fresco.