Saram – A brand that gives the people of North Korea a face

The good triumphs - even at the ADC Awards
KW43 celebrates its many awards with the human rights organisation SARAM:

One ADC Bronze Nail in the art/culture/event poster category, one ADC award in the Collaterals category and one ADC award for Visual Identity.

To authentically demonstrate the human rights situation in North Korea and to call upon the public to act, people worldwide need to be educated. This is the goal of human rights organisation »Saram«. With its involvement, the Saram team devotes itself to a highly relevant political and humanitarian issue. In order to communicate this clearly in the logo, KW43 Branddesign has developed a design emphasises the individual, clearly visualising Saram’s work.

Saram – the Korean expression means »human« and represents Saram’s commitment to the people of North Korea. When discussing or reporting on the totalitarian and isolated regime, its people are too often unmentioned and disregarded. This makes Saram’s work all the more difficult, with its employees repeatedly encountering a lack of empathy and little interest for the people of North Korea. »The world will not show solidarity and genuine commitment to the people of North Korea until it understands and accepts the tragic plight of the people. Over the past 70 years alone, 100,000 people have suffered in concentration camps – how much longer are we going to keep looking on?« says Nicolai A. Sprekels, founder and spokesman of Saram.


The story of the self-critisim book

»Don’t trust your own back!« (an old North Korean saying)


The story of the self-critisim book

»Don’t trust your own back!« (an old North Korean saying)

Human rights violations, oppression and hunger are common practice in North Korea. Many therefore wonder why there is virtually no resistance against Kim's regime. To build opposition or resistance, absolute trust is needed, since discovery by the regime would result in deadly repercussions – for the offender and his whole family. Knowing this, Kim Il Sung uses a weapon that destroys trust, one that Mao had used in China to great effect: »The system of self-criticism«. This means that every North Korean must keep a diary of his »wrongdoings« even if only in his thoughts.

Wrongs committed by family members and colleagues at work must also be noted. This diary is accompanied by weekly self-criticism sessions. All entries must be read out under supervision.

Those who have too few entries in their self-criticism book are particularly suspect. This state-sponsored mutual denunciation effectively prevents the formation of trust, even within the immediate family – and thus nips any resistance in the bud.

For KW43 Branddesign, the challenge was to find a design that created an understanding among viewers and made it possible to experience the fate of the individual.

»With this highly sensitive topic, we had no way to create real emotions with authentic faces or photos of real people. Kim Jong-Un’s regime prohibits any form of authentic photography.
We also cannot use the few secretly taken photographs because they would endanger the lives of the people in the pictures and those of the photographers.«


Services: Logo, Corporate Design, User Experience Design, User Interface Design, Touchpoints

The task was to create compassion for people who couldn’t be shown. That is why the corporate identity and design experts at GREY Germany developed an idea that shows emotion on a different level. The answer was a generative logo that in turns shows different North Korean names, metaphorically representing an individual in North Korea. »This way we give them an emotionally tangible personality and platform. At the same time, the first name makes people more accessible and yet preserves their anonymity, since it cannot be clearly assigned to one individual,« emphasises Prof. Rüdiger Goetz.

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The Awards
Corporate Design Preis 2018: Nominee Saram ADC 2019: Bronze Poster Award Corporate Identity Award Collaterals

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