Dancing elderly couple design selected to reframe how older people are viewed in society
A fun image of two elderly people dancing across a road has been chosen as the winner of a competition to redefine how older people are represented in society.
Launched by the Centre for Ageing Better and supported by Public Health England in September 2020, the competition saw over 120 submissions from designers’ keen to change the symbols and icons used to depict older people.
The aim of the contest was to change the negative imagery – typically illustrations of ‘hunched-over-stickmen using walking sticks’ – which the Centre for Ageing emphasised reinforces harmful stereotypes of the elderly.
The winning entry, as chosen by the judging panel, was from brand agency SwaG Design, subverting the original design of the couple crossing the road with a playful update.
Rather than the two older people struggling with their mobility, as highlighted by their hunched postures and walking sticks, the new image reimagines the icon with the two individuals dancing across the street instead. It also swaps the walking stick with a dancing cane.
According to SwaG Design, the idea was inspired by its work with the organisation Intergenerational Music Making.
“We chose to evolve the current UK road warning sign for older people hunched over by providing a positive reason for the posture,” said the design company.
“Dancing is one of the things that people of all ages love as it promotes physical, mental and emotional health, as well as a chance to be sociable, expressive and uplifting.”
The judges praised the design’s ability to capture the diversity of older people, portraying an active and social pair while breaking out of the triangular road sign shape.
Garnering national media attention, the competition saw more than 120 designs submitted, from abstract concepts such as tree rings to reimaginations of the walking stick.
Now, the Centre for Ageing Better, Public Health England and the judging panel of influential figures will work with SwaG Design to produce a final design and wider set of icons and illustrations that depict the diversity of people in later life.
It is anticipated that the age-positive icons will be made publicly available for unlimited use by any individual or organisation from February 2021.
The new design may also provide mobility marketers in the industry with a unique and engaging image to share over social media to spark a conversation with their target customer groups.https://thiis.co.uk/dancing-elderly-couple-design-selected-to-reframe-how-older-people-are-viewed-in-society/https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/winning-age-dancing-elderly-people-featured.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/winning-age-dancing-elderly-people-featured.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1NewsroomSector NewsThird Sectorageing,changing perceptions,Design,elderly symbols,older people,Public Health England,SwaG Design,The Centre for Ageing BetterA fun image of two elderly people dancing across a road has been chosen as the winner of a competition to redefine how older people are represented in society. Launched by the Centre for Ageing Better and supported by Public Health England in September 2020, the competition saw over 120 submissions...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine