White Elephant: Beta App
OAFA ― Before any good people run from a buzz word like beta (and the tech-talk that is sure to follow), there are fifty invites for early supporters who get behind the scenes in wildlife art, and who want to take part in a beta group that sees and reviews the comic book and app before its release. Part of the goal of the beta is to share the app with a broad demographic, to gather a balanced range of feedback. The idea of a focus group at the prototyping stage of a project applies in particular in the design of an interactive application, and the standalone comic book as a feature of the White Elephant companion app is to come to a point where select pages are ready to share. This presents an opportunity to invite you to preview the art and story before the project as a whole is released for the rest of the world to see. This open invitation to see the app in beta (while invites last) is an opportunity to provide constructive feedback to help make a better experience for everyone who sees the project later on. We invite you to join the journey at animathabitat.org.
And one more thing.
Icon, Companion App Icon
Elephants are a keystone species in Africa. They are an iconic symbol of the continent, and a universal symbol of strength and wisdom. This is a reason why they appear in the logo of so many corporations, and that is why the projects that are uniquely focused on such an iconic animal are imposed to establish an alternate graphic style in order to stand out in the noisy marketplaces. The White Elephant companion app icon is designed in part in opposition to the clarity that comes with line-art and vector graphics, which pervade the visual world of icons, logos and so on. The look instead draws from the texture and contrast in the art of the White Elephant comic book. The sand-covered, and in part dissolved, silhouette of an elephant shifts the focus from a corporate attribution of the characteristics of elephants to a graphic abstraction of the plight of elephants in the wild: to the strength and wisdom that is faded, year after year, lost with the hundreds of thousands of elephants that are killed for their tusks.
UPDATED 2016.09 ― In a book of photographs of the life of elephants: Remembering Elephants (2016) by Margot Raggett, in the foreword written by Virginia McKenna OBE, founder of Born Free Foundation, the tragedy of the ivory trade is put simply: “The life of all elephants simply must have more significance than a small sad fragment of carved tusk on someone’s mantelpiece.” The goal of the app and the art of White Elephant is most simply to share this message.