The tsunami came without warning. On December 26, 2004, over 230,000 people died in just 2 hours. For the poster, three concepts were emphasized: first, tsunamis have been a threat throughout history but are perhaps an even bigger threat today; second, the overpowering suddenness of the tsunami; and third, a focus on the individuals who lost their lives.
To create a connection to historical times, a mosaic tile pattern was used, similar to that found anciently in parts of southern Asia and elsewhere. To help communicate the overwhelming power and swiftness of the disaster, the tsunami was given characteristics suggestive of a sea monster. A focus on the individual was created by arranging elements to draw attention to a single human hand raised above the water.
The completed poster convincingly communicates the sudden and devastating arrival of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the historical nature of tsunamis. Most importantly, the poster reminds us of the individuals who lost their lives that day.