Fresh From The Field — We Need to Talk About Dying by Gusto Design

1 year ago by

This Fresh From The Field features an awareness animation as part of a Hospice campaign by Gusto. If you have new or recent work that you would like to share in Fresh from the Field email Louise for details.

The Brief

Death is not something a lot of us like to discuss, nor is it something a lot of us know a lot about. Hospice New Zealand wanted to remove a lot of mystery and stigma around the topic of dying by launching their “We Need to Talk About Dying” campaign. As part of this campaign they wanted to release an animation that educated the public about the most common process of dying.

The Response

From the very beginning, we decided that an appropriate tone for the animation was integral. Sensitive subject matter such as this can sometimes come across as either too clinical, too saccharine, or too patronising, and it was important that we respected the audience as much as we respected the message.

As the topic centres around a very personal experience we thought that the look also required a human quality. We achieved this by creating the animation from hundreds of individual pencil drawings. While this approach is much more time consuming, it possesses a raw quality that is difficult to achieve using entirely digital methods. The result is a unique aesthetic that uses imperfections rather than hides them – an appropriate style to accompany a message about such a human experience.


The goal was to have people talk about dying and so far the animation has had over 40,000 views on social media, been shared over 600 times, and is successfully prompting many online discussions. We’re proud to have created such a vital piece of collateral for Hospice New Zealand’s ongoing campaign and be able to help spread the word that ‘We Need to Talk About Dying’.

You can watch the full animation here.



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