These are a few pages from a zine containing general germ advice and hygiene hacks. My zine, “A dirty mag”, is a compilation of posters with terrible advice on how to stay clean and healthy. This was the outcome for my Final Major Project, for which my chosen theme was “Germs”. I made this series of posters to present the topic of germs in a positive light, with the aim of reducing general fear surrounding germs, particularly since Covid. Most germ-related posters contain forceful warnings and consequently make many people over-anxious about germs. My ironic hygiene “tips” aim to quietly mock the warnings and strict advice that seems to shout at us from posters on every corner since Covid. My exaggeratedly bad advice hopefully puts the over-the-top measures we take to stay healthy into perspective.
To come up with these hygiene “tips” I had to change my view on germs, as I looked for possible “benefits” of doing the opposite of everyday hygiene practices. This process of entering a different mindset around germs reflects my broader aim to trivialise their hazards to help others who worry about them unnecessarily. My project questioned whether an extreme preoccupation with germs might be more detrimental to overall health than not caring about them at all.
I presented the theme of germs with tongue-in-cheek humour, which is effective in combatting fear. The bold graphics and bright colours reflect the simplicity of childhood when our blissful ignorance of germs meant they weren’t a constant cause for concern.
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