DEGREE SHOWS '08: Ben's New Approach to Tackling Gun Crime

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 DEGREE SHOWS '08: Ben's New Approach to Tackling Gun Crime

Date posted: 27 May 2008

Shock tactics to tackle violent crime appear to be wearing thin with the public, according to research carried out by the University of Derby.

BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Ben Edwards undertook a survey with the public in the East Midlands as part of his final year degree project at the University.

Feedback from the majority of the 200 respondees, mainly teenagers and young adults, was that shock tactics such as graphic posters to curtail gun crime are not working.

As a result, Ben has produced a poster campaign called Peace, reflecting a softer approach to getting over the dangers of gun crime to young people.

His work will be on display at the University’s end of year Arts, Design and Technology Degree Shows, at the University’s Markeaton Street site which starts on May 30.

Ben, 23, from Rowditch Avenue, Derby, said: “The general consensus is that people are becoming almost immune to shocking images and the anti-gun crime message gets lost as a result. By choosing a more delicate theme, in response to my feedback data, I hope to get the message across more effectively.”

Ben studied high profile anti-gun campaigns such as the Metropolitan Police’s Trident campaign, which displayed some graphic images on posters, as part of his research. His survey was undertaken in Derby and Nottingham; the latter city which in the past has suffered from a series of high profile shooting incidents.

He added: “With my main intention being that of counteracting the glamorisation of gun crime in popular culture, my focus was in creating imagery that would not feel out of place within areas of popular culture where this glamorisation can be seen to occur, for instance, clothes shops, music shops and the like.”

There has been more success for Ben as he entered a competition to design this year’s Degree Show logo and won, meaning hundreds of visitors will also see this work on display.

Ben’s tutor, Tracy Allanson-Smith, who specialises in Graphic Design at the University of Derby, said: “The illustrations and animations Ben has produced are visually intriguing and relevant to the audience and message. Creative wordplay on peace/piece is a subtle but poignant reference to the notion of a ‘gun’ and offers the audience the choice and recognition of peace.”

Degree Shows:

Check out this work and that of all of the other students exhibiting at our annual Degree Shows in Derby.

The event is a showcase of talent across the Faculty of Arts, Design and Technology, and will be hosted at our Markeaton Street site.

The degree shows 2008 will be officially opened by Debbie Williams, Chief Executive of EM Media, at the Private View evening on Friday 30 May 6pm – 9pm.

The shows will then be open for public view from Monday 2 June – Wednesday 11 June.

  • Weekdays: 10am - 4pm
  • Saturday: 11am - 3pm
  • Sunday: closed.

There’s also a Graduate Fashion Show at the Assembly Rooms in Derby on June 4, and a Film and Video Screening is on Friday 6 June at Markeaton Street.

For more information, to book tickets for any of the events and to see some of the student work, please visit the degree show website:


For more information about this news release, contact Deputy Head of Press and PR Simon Redfern on 01332 591942 or 07748 920038.

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