Researching the Cranes

In school, I was one of those odd ducks who loved writing research papers. Even if the topic was one I thought boring, I could easily angle it to encompass my interests and learn something new. My favorite part of the assignment was always the research.

I’m currently in the research phase for a fundraising campaign called “A Thousand Cranes.” It’s for the International Crane Foundation (ICF) and it’s far from boring. Think conservation, history, culture, art—no angling needed here!

So, hey, you know those origami cranes, known as peace cranes? I can now fold one in two minutes flat. Okay, maybe not two, but certainly less than ten. And the history behind them? That’s something I’ve learned as well. It’s a meaningful story.

My own peace installment hanging in our pine grove.

In 1945, when the United States horrifically dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, two-year-old Sadako Sasaki survived with no apparent injuries. However ten years later, she became ill with leukemia, aka as “atomic bomb disease.” While hospitalized, Sadako set forth creating a thousand origami cranes so that, according to Japanese legend, her wish to be healed would be granted. Sadly, she died her sleep on the morning of October 25, 1955. Sadako and thousands of child victims of the atomic bombing are now memorialized by the Children’s Peace Monument, which stands in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Research is a critical component of graphic design and one I take very seriously. For this project, it’s important I understand the cultural significance of the origami crane and how it relates to the ICF’s campaign. I need to know for whom I’m designing. What emotions will motivate them to donate? How will my designs be used and for how long? How can I honor both the ICF and the history of the crane?

Speaking of honoring, are you interested in commemorating an important occasion or someone you love? Perhaps a crane for A Thousand Cranes outdoor installment will be a meaningful gift. Watch for more info as we complete the project.

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