Case study:
Communicating Safety Guidelines Without Words

How to communicate safety instructions in an internationally understandable way? Preferably without using text or voice-overs? That is the question AOC approached us with, challenging us to develop media to help them to reach the goal of zero safety incidents per year worldwide.

Context

AOC is a global supplier of specialty resins used for making car components, wind turbine blades, water pipe networks and boats. With plants and offices all around the world, AOC developed international safety guidelines for the visitors coming to its manufacturing sites, to guarantee save visits (both for the visitor as well as for AOC personnel).  

Challenge

Zero incidents at any plant or location around the world is a pretty ambitious goal. To reach it, AOC needed to make sure that every single visitor clearly understands the safety risks and follows the safety guidelines at any time. But how to communicate the guidelines to all visitors ahead of their visit to prepare them? That was easy: We needed to develop media to be distributed via mobile devices so visitors could see them in time. But visitors, truck drivers and contractors coming to AOC plats are often from different countries. And they all needed to be able to clearly understand the guidelines, regardless of their native language. But how could we possibly efficiently communicate complex and specific safety guidelines without using texts or voice-overs? 

Visual Storytelling

Guidelines are often described with simple symbols. But after the first meeting, it became clear to us that these typical symbols were not sufficient for AOC. The instructions were rather formal, and people would not fully understand them with symbols. At the same time, AOC wanted to emphasize the importance of following the guidelines to all three target audiences. But how? To make sure visitors from all around the world understand the guidelines clearly without further explanation in text, we made an animation using visual storytelling.

Recognizable Situations & Guidelines

To make sure everybody understood the guidelines clearly, we needed the animation to be recognizable to every target audience. We created three different characters, one for every group: a visitor, a truck driver, and a contractor. All three characters make their way through the visit of a plant during the animation, encountering typical situations from real life. Visual storytelling and a high level of detail in an extended style animation made the situations recognizable and underlined the importance of the safety guidelines.

Result

The result? In the end, we made one animation addressing all three target audiences for AOC. The high level of details in the animation made the situation and the plant recognizable throughout the animation. All safety risks and instructions were communicated clearly to visitors. With the basis animation, AOC had the possibility to split it up into three different ones that were more specific for one target audience. An easy modification with a big result! Now, AOC can send the animation to all visitors before they come to a plant and use it as an entrance control. That way, everybody is aware of the safety guidelines throughout their entire visit.

Team on this Case:

Niels
Art Director
Danny
Lead Illustration
Onno
Account Manager

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