It's time for KOKO

4/3/2020

My Uncle sent a message this morning: "KOKO - Keep on Keeping on."

I've not heard the acronym before, apologies if it's not new to you, but I think it's the right sentiment for what's happening right now because KOKO means to persist in one's efforts, persevere in the face of discouragement or misfortune, hang in there, don't quit, keep on going and keep on keeping on. KOKO.

It's easy to remember and a good way to pick ourselves up whenever the situation starts to get us down as it inevitably does. From the impact on work and all the financial uncertainty onto the ultimate question of life itself and the devastating implications this has for those individuals who don't make it and the families of those dealing with the tragedies that are unfolding before us on every TV bulletin or newspaper report. It's hard not to get depressed but it's important to try and remain positive as we will get through this and embracing the spirit of KOKO will helps us to do so.

As soon as I heard of KOKO and the sentiment behind it, it inspired me to do a quick poster. I just got an idea on how the letterforms could work together pretty instantly and had a quick play around. Then I wanted to bring a human element into it, so overlaid the graphics onto some faces.

Initially I used smiling faces, trying to create a positive vibe, but it looked too lighthearted - as if they weren't taking it seriously? So then I searched Getty for faces that seem to bear more stoic expressions. Determined faces. Faces that seem to be keeping on. Then I wanted a good cross section of gender, age and ethnicity to try and reflect the UK's diversity.

I decided to turn them all into black and white photographs, for that gritty newspaper feel, but overlaid them with these sunny colours to try and bring in some warmth and positivity.

Then I started trying a few individual faces, again with the right kind of confident or even confrontational kind of expressions.

I may try to do some more and craft it better as it was a bit rushed, if I get time - what am I saying? I've got plenty of time at the moment!

Author

Will Bentley