Tourette’s Action

Everyone’s heard of Tourette Syndrome, but no one really understands it. So when Tourette’s Action asked us to explain it to the public in an attention-grabbing way, we jumped at the chance. 

A lot of people think Tourette’s is ‘just’ swearing. It’s not. A lot of people think Tourette’s is funny. It’s not. Being compelled to say the most inappropriate thing in any given circumstance is extremely alienating. Having your body be shaken by hundreds of involuntary tics is absolutely exhausting. Tourette’s is so physically and emotionally painful that people with the condition are four times more likely to die by suicide than the general population. To bring to light the gravity of the situation, we created the campaign #TourettesHurts.

The idea was to dramatise the pain of daily tics by quantifying it, using language that everyone could understand. We landed on powerful headlines such as ‘My skin catches fire every day’, ‘I’m in a car crash every day’ and ‘I get beaten to a pulp every day.’ We photographed real members of the Tourette’s community and put the headlines at an angle, as if they were colliding with the person, amplifying the sense of discomfort.

The work stands out for all the right reasons. Which you can see for yourself on station platforms across London from Monday, and at roadside sites nationwide. Hopefully it will challenge misconceptions and lead to greater funding for a condition that’s much mocked and misunderstood. So this Tourette’s Awareness Month, it’s time to break the stigma – not people’s spirits.

Find out more.