For World Suicide Prevention Day 2020, Grassroots Suicide Prevention has teamed up with renowned graphic artist and screen printer Anthony Burrill to launch a new digital and T-shirt campaign: Ask Now Save Lives. Anthony combines simplicity with craft skills and powerful, positive messages. He’s collaborated with forward-thinking projects across music, architecture, education, and more. Now, we’ve joined forces to launch this lifesaving campaign.
He took some time out to chat with us about his work and what the Ask Now Save Lives campaign means for him.
You have worked with charities before, including British Red Cross, War Child, Oxfam, and now Grassroots Suicide Prevention. What do you think makes a good visual campaign?
A strong message that connects with people and plants the seed of an idea. Visual communication is about getting your idea across in an engaging and thought-provoking way. Making memorable work is difficult in this age of visual saturation. I work primarily with words and typography. It’s endlessly fascinating for me. I love how a few simple words when carefully chosen can connect with people.
Is less always more?
I think it is. I am drawn to simplicity in all aspects of life. I like to keep things simple, there is less to go wrong. Simplicity is hard to achieve, it is a temptation to add too much information. To get your message across you must be concise and clear in your thinking. Words connect in such a powerful way with people.
What is your favourite use of text over the years?
There are so many examples, from the Suffragettes a century ago, through the civil rights protests in America in the sixties, May ’68 in Paris, through to the more recent era of street protest. Visual wit and a clever use of language always stands out.
What made you want to work with Grassroots Suicide Prevention?
I have had personal experience of suicide. A good friend I was at art college with took his own life five years ago. I still think about him and wonder if there could have been any way to reach him and help him. Just a call or text could have started a conversation that might have helped his situation.
What does the Ask Now Save Lives campaign mean to you?
It’s a simple message to simply make contact with a friend or loved one who might be having a hard time.
Grassroots sends a big thank you to Anthony Burrill for his ideas, time, art, and support!