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  • 18 inches wide, 24 inches high
  • Mixed-media analog and digital collage

Publication Date



pandemic, graphic design, digital collage, poster


Art and Design | Graphic Design


For my digital collage, I decided to focus on the causes and effects of the 1918 pandemic and the 2020 pandemic. When doing research about the 1918 flu, a common fact between the resources I was reading mentioned how the flu came in three waves with the second being the most deadly. I researched more in depth how waves are formed and where they get their energy from, learning that their energy isn’t gained from underneath. They get their momentum from the wind above, meaning the cause of the wave is the wind, and the effect of the energy is what happens underneath the surface and determines how big the wave is. I put photos of Woodrow Wilson, president during the 1918 pandemic, and Donald Trump, the president during the 2020 pandemic, beneath the wave along with segments from articles alluding to their poor leadership as a way to show how their poor handling of the pandemics was part of what made the disease spread as it did. The text saying, “Trump told officials to stop panicking,” is purposely placed on top of his portrait to show how the spread of the coronavirus is partially on him, and the text saying, “The flu is increasing,” is purposely placed on top of Wilson to show how the spread of the Spanish flu is also partially on him.

After I had done my research on the two pandemics, I knew I wanted to incorporate a wave but wasn’t sure how I was going to make it. I decided to use watercolor as a way to get the free-flowing movement and texture of the water that I wanted. Once I made the watercolor sheet, I was able to scan it into Photoshop and cut it into the wave shape you see in the final composition. From there, I started playing around with different photos of Trump and Wilson, manipulating them to have a blue, transparent look. I did the same with the coronavirus molecules that I scattered within the wave and the portrait of myself in the top right corner. It was a fun process learning about all the different photo manipulation options within Photoshop and how each element is edited can alter the message and tone of a composition.

Claire Pawlecki: 1918 & 2020 Pandemic Poster



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