Design outcomes: a reflection on our outputs

We aimed to promote change through the distribution of brochures that were written, photographed and designed by us. The brochure detailed a how-to guide for those wanting to build a food garden. It formed part of our social marketing initiatives (together with the children’s audio slide), and strongly advocated the use of food gardens.

We had not anticipated the need to design a DVD cover for the DVDs which were going to be distributed at local primary schools. Upon realising that the covers were completely blank, and would probably end up in the back of a dusty cupboard, we decided to print covers that would carry bright colours and symbols to promote the continual use of the DVD. We designed the cover to match the design of the brochure, as in some instances the two would be distributed in conjunction.

We did not create a paper-mache or graphic mascot as planned, as one of the audio slides featured ‘Mr Carrot’, a food-gardens mascot. We felt that since the DVD was going to be distributed at all primary schools in Grahamstown (our primary audience being children), we need not feature the mascot in our print output as the target audience for the print productions was our secondary target audience.

We designed three Grocott’s Mail inserts, which were published every Friday for three weeks. This formed part of our advocacy journalism initiatives, in conjunction with the other audio slide (which profiled a student who made use of a food garden), as well as the news story and Public Service announcement produced by the TV students.


About Ukulima Grahamstown

Ukulima means 'to cultivate' in isiXhosa and we felt it was a very appropriate name for our project since we are exploring how food gardens are a local and sustainable solution to the global crisis that is food security.

We are a group of third year journalism students that were given the topic 'food gardens' as part of our Critical Media Production course. We are a multimedia group consisting of writers, designers, TV, radio and photojourn students and have been working together, as well as with various civic organisations and community projects on a number of media outputs.

Even though this project will only last six weeks, we hope to 'cultivate' some change in our community and make our media outputs sustainable in that we wish to leave behind knowledge that will benefit people and hopefully lead them in the right direction in creating a food garden that will make them self-sufficient.

We are creating a DVD of all of our visual outputs, which will come with a 'how to' brochure and packet of seeds. We plan to distribute these to various schools, clinics and community centres in the Grahamstown/iRhini area in the hopes that we can encourage people to build food gardens of their own.

We are exhibiting all of our work at Barratt Lecture Hall, Rhodes University on October 22 2008, and hope that members of the community take a look at our efforts in promoting the idea of food gardens.