Carmichael’s tummy text

Handlettering artist Alison Carmichael has applied her considerable skills to a new medium in an ad for charity The White Ribbon Alliance

Handlettering artist Alison Carmichael has applied her considerable skills to a new medium in an ad for charity The White Ribbon Alliance

Carmichael, who we profiled here, was asked to paint a message on the stomach of a pregnant model by agency Karmarama. It’s part of a campaign for The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood which campaigns for more investment for healthcare for women in Africa.

Once Carmichael’s part was completed, the model was shot by Rankin for the final ad (bottom).



Project name: African Union maternal mortality campaign

Client: Betsy McCallon, Director, White Ribbon Alliance

Brief: Urge African leaders to invest in healthcare and cut maternal mortality

Creative Agency: Karmarama

Creative Directors: Sam Walker, Joe De Souza

Photographer: Rankin

Illustrator/Typographer: Alison Carmichael

Exposure: Print, Outdoor, PR



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  • Ted

    Lovely, really nice idea. (Phew, good job someone noticed that errant apostrophe.)

  • PatrickBurgoyne

    @ Ted

    Great spot!

  • Really nice – i would have assumed it was a comp job from the final piece but good to see the ‘behind the scenes’.

  • Jimmy
  • A

    Nice, I also agree the final thing looks too much like a comp job, even though it wast.

  • Nice handwriting – I wonder if it tickled the model?

  • love it!

  • KT

    What a shame all the lovely imperfections in the handwritten text are lost in the final over retouched result. It might has well been a comp job.

  • IH

    Agree with KT. Less retouching, more realism and detail would have had greater impact.

  • Mac

    Lucky Sagmeister wasn’t art directing…

  • Kirsten

    Brilliant! This is really striking – great idea.

  • Roger Mann

    All that effort then incorrect punctuation – huge shame. Nice idea though and good to see this as non-CGI.

  • Yeah, great idea and beautifully painted but heavy handed retouching spoils the end result. I thought the warmth of the behind the scenes shots was much better.

  • Roger Mann

    Sorry peeps, missed the correct actual application of ‘its’. It’s been a long week.

    @Chris Hannah
    This is typical of the fashion industry retouch brigade which in years to come will no doubt be seen as typical of a period. The eventual model’s skin colour obviously matched a concept that the art director had of African woman whereas the real thing wasn’t good enough. Ironic really.

  • Bob

    The missing apostrophe is in ‘mother’s’ I think.

  • grammar nerd


    The punctuation is correct in the final piece!! It was incorrect in the paper the artist was copying from–luckily she knew to leave out the apostrophe in “its.” Remember it’s=a contraction of it is. Its = possessive. As in “the cat licked its fur.”

    Also please, there is no apostrophe in “mothers”–it’s a PLURAL. As in many mothers. Not mother’s–mother’s what? Mother’s apron? Mother’s car?

    The misuse of apostrophes has gone far enough.

  • Roger Mann

    Go for it grammar nerd, I’m with you all the way.

  • Bob

    Mother’s bellies! lol I don’t know anyway.

  • MLA

    I’m confused as to why the model is looking away from the camera?

  • Great idea. Really like the finished result, and it’s always good to see a bit of the making!

  • parusha

    This idea is just like this but also nice

  • guerilla republic

    This has a touch of Brazilian artist Seleron and his staircase in Santa Teresa, Rio

  • Jasmine Farahat

    This is a great idea. Hand painting the message directly on the belly of an expectant mother is truly a strong way to hit the message home.