Educate InGraphics WWII: Part One - The Battle of Britain
World War II was THE most destructive conflict in human history. No continent escaped its wrath and ALL the world's peoples were affected. Since it ended in 1945, books have been written, films have been made and stories have been told of heroism, tyranny and destruction. Lessons have been taught, and learned, or not. Skip forward from then to the late 20th century, and the internet came into being, and in doing so became one of the central and most powerful sources for spreading the information and knowledge about and teaching the lessons of this, and many other episodes of human conflict. However, after years of research and study of materials on the subject, I feel very strongly that the INTERACTIVE, VISUAL nature of the internet has yet to be exploited to it's fullest extent to bring history teaching to the current generation and that an opportunity is being missed. It is being passed over by a lack of creative insight, a previous lack of available tools, and an over exclusive and/or badly concieved thought process which ignores what is possible and who is being served. Through this project, I intend to provide a different, more attractive way to tell this most compelling of stories.
It is said that, "Those who don't remember the past, are condemned to relive it". Not to say that we run the risk of WWIII through poor education resources, but the education of this and future generations is undeniably crucial. In an age where such huge issues are touched upon only fleetingly by state education curricula and largely avoided by the media (unless commercial gain is involved), this is more important than ever. In a concerted attempt to push back against this state of affairs, I will create a learning resource, that is visually both interesting and engaging, and is based on the principle that "A picture, speaks a thousand words". Using my experience as a graphic designer, web designer, artist, photographer and author of military history, I will design and launch a website for all ages that is full of attractive interactive content and important data that is impartial and functions as a centre for those learning about the greatest conflict faced by humanity. As well as professionally designed graphics to illustrate the events and issues of the day, there will be meaningful and accurate stats, infographics, comparisons, stories, animations, sound and photography which illustrate the history of the war and hopefully outline it's futility and impact, in a way that is appropriate to the younger audience that the site will be aimed at, but that will be attractive and useful to all, from those with a casual interest in military history, to educational institutions who seek an appropriate resource to use with young children upwards. I must impress that I will endeavour to make this and all future related projects as impartial as possible. This, and all future 'InGraphics' sites will be usable by all people and nationalities, with data from all of the major powers involved in the conflict (translations being within the extended scope of the future, umbrella project). This will be THE departure away from lists of data, insipid prose and dull, boring 'design' that does nothing to invoke interest or further study.
This site (Educate InGraphics WWII: The Battle of Britain), will be the first of what I hope will be a number under the 'InGraphics' banner, each of which will share a common design philosophy primarily driven by simple but attractive graphical representations of events and data, and will illustrate each of the major events of World War II from the points of view of all sides. This, THE FIRST, will look at The Battle of Britain from it's factual, military, political and local perspectives, but will bring it to life for the current generation in a manner that intrigues and compels the viewer to learn more and share their new found knowledge. Future sites will be focused on other events such as Pearl Harbour, the invasions of Poland and France by the Wehrmacht, D-Day, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Atlantic, The Holocaust and so on until we have a suite of websites that can be recognised by the 'brand' that is generated by the designs we come up with. This will then represent a cutting edge source of information, learning and discussion for current and future generations and in doing so help to ensure that the exploits and tragedy inherent are never forgotten in this, the year of the 70th Anniversary of the Allied invasion of mainland Europe in 1944.
Using the latest techniques in web animation, HTML5, PHP, jscript coding and Adobe Creative Suite software, (as well as others, as appropriate) we will bring together the most modern of design, alongside the historical information, archive photography, footage and sound to bring World War II to life on the computer screen. I will recruit the help of the Imperial War Museum, London, The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, and the Bundesarchiv, Berlin all of whom I have previous associations with, via my book "D-Day Normandy Revisited: A Photographic Pilgrimage", http://www.amazon.com/D-Day-Normandy-Revisited-Photographic-Pilgramage/dp/1904449298 in my search for the relevant material to bring this and all the other sites to life.
As well as raw data, stories, infographics, animations, sound and video, we will create discussion groups, newsletters and other learning resources. In the future this will include historically accurate graphical novels and cartoons, and potentially educational trips to teach how the tragedy of the past, has created the relative peace we enjoy today. This is part one of a passion project which I hope will have multiple episodes and bring this, the most fascinating of subjects to many more people young and old.
Lest we forget.
I must reiterate that this is in no way intended to be a commercial enterprise, nor is it intended to be a technical catalogue of the machinery and materials used. It is a learning resource based on teaching the social, demographic, and political history and the impact of events in the most appropriate, respectful and visually engaging way possible.
Your pledges will enable me to obtain the most historically significant and appropriate material through licencing (Photos, Documents etc.) from the organisations mentioned above , enable me to travel to the Imperial War Museum, London (and others) when necessary and make sure that we can maintain our efforts day in, day out until we have an exceptional resource available for launch in SEPTEMBER 2014.
I hope that you are willing to be involved and contribute to this endeavour, I hope that you see something in what I am trying to achieve and the rewards I am offering and I thank you in advance for your engagement and understanding. Our projects plans will be added to this profile very soon and our production blog will go live imminently. In the meantime, I have set up a facebook page - www.facebookf.com/InGraphicsWWII, which is where the intial communications and discussions will be taking place including, such things as What should the URL be?
Time taken to research/obtain the necessary material.
Being discerning in my selection of material, clearly there is a VAST swathe of material available.
Marketing/messaging the intent of the project. This is NOT intended to be a catalogue of technical specs of ALL machinery used in the fighting. It IS intended to outline the human cost of this, the most globally significant conflict in HUMAN history primarily via graphical means and teaching in the process. Setting this expectation and maintaining it will be key to managing the workload.
The retrieval of first hand stories to help illuminate the stage from the archives will be a time consuming effort.
This is a stretching task. The time and effort commitment to carrying it out is large, whilst I will be largely working alone (aside from friends and family when possible), there will be many long nights!
Meeting the launch target of September 2014!
I'm certain there will be many more, and I'll keep you up to date with them as we go through by maintaining a Production Blog and on the InGraphicsWWII facebook page (Search Ingraphics WWII or see link above) during the design, development and implementation of InGraphics WWII Online: The Battle of Britain.
My thanks and the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from helping a complete stranger achieve their dreams and success while ensuring that our history lives on in education and learning for this and future generations.
A £10 pledge includes all benefits up to the £5 pledge, plus exclusive access to the InGraphics WWII: Creative Blog, enabling you to contribute thoughts, ideas and material to the production of the website.
A £20 pledge includes all benefits up to the £10 pledge plus a signed 8"x6" digital fine art print of an infographic or scene from the finished site AND an A3 poster featuring InGraphics art work from the website..
A £50 pledge includes all benefits up to the £20 pledge plus a quality, professionally printed, limited edition A2 poster featuring artwork including a Spitfire, Hurricane & Messerschmitt based on the site's graphic design principles..
A £100 pledge includes all benefits up to the £50 pledge, plus a professionally shot, mounted and signed, limited edition (30) FINE ART 10"x8" photograph featuring a Spitfire, Hurricane or Messerschmitt ME109.
A £250 pledge includes all benefits up to the £100 pledge plus a, PROFESSIONALLY FRAMED, signed, limited edition (15) fine art print of a piece of digital artwork/graphic design from the site (10"x8" print).
A £500 pledge includes all benefits up to the £250 pledge plus an ORIGINAL, PROFESSIONALLY FRAMED & SIGNED, limited edition (10) fine art 10" x 8" print of a watercolour featuring a Battle of Britain scene.
A £1000 pledge includes ALL benefits up to the £500 pledge plus an ORIGINAL, ONE OFF, PROFESSIONALLY FRAMED & SIGNED, 12"x10" WATERCOLOUR, featuring a Battle of Britain scene chosen from the following list (First come, first serve).
1. 'Don't just yell, ring this like hell!', featuring Spitfires and Hurricanes scrambling at dawn.
2. 'Der Adlertag'. The Luftwaffe taking off for the 'decisive offensive' on 13th of August 1940. Featuring Messeschmitt 109s, Junkers Ju88s and Heinkel HE-111s.
3. 'The Calm Before the Storm'. Featuring RAF Pilots relaxing at dawn, waiting to be scrambled into action.
4. 'Fighting like Dogs'. A Spitfire Mk1 in action against an ME109.
5. 'Trails from the ground'. A view of an aerial battle from the gound in the English countryside.