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Help with 321

UPDATE - New Red Figures At Bottom of the Page
What do you think?

It's been great to see 321 used all across the world. There are translations into 10 languages either completed or in process, with more to come.

One thing though... (and this becomes more and more obvious as it's shown around the world)... white figures turning grey (effectively black!) through sin has horrendous associations if you're at all thinking in racial categories. Hopefully I don't need to say that that was never the intention. The colour of the stick figures was never meant to communicate race in any way shape or form. But given that those connotations are in some people's minds, what to do about it?

Our current fix is to have Adam and his offspring grow grey horizontal lines (like a prison uniform) when they sin - speaking of the slavery of sin. So...

Screen shot 2013-10-04 at 15.15.15Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 11.28.23Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 11.28.37Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 11.28.05Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 11.27.50

In the original video I kept the sinners grey up until Christ's return. This was deliberate since, until Christ returns, we still have Adam's flesh even though we've received Christ's Spirit. But keeping the prison uniform as Christians is problematic (even though I want to maintain some sense of 'simultaneously saint and sinner')

Also the grey stripes might not be the most aesthetically pleasing image in the world...

Can you think of a better way of representing Adam and his way?


1) The grey stripes are the best way forwards, and we should press on with this option.

2) We should pick a solid colour for the sinners that suits the orange background.

3) Perhaps all the figures should be non-white colours.

4) Perhaps there's another way of representing sinners (apart from shading?)

 What do you think?

 Red Might Actually Work??

Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 14.41.21 Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 14.41.34 Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 14.35.59 Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 14.41.46Thoughts?


18 thoughts on “Help with 321

  1. Kevin Allard

    Is this a problem that people have actually raised or something you think might be an issue? Taken as a whole the current presentation is clear that the colours of the characters are not to do with race, so you may not need to do anything with it at all.

    If it is a genuine issue, could you use dark grey simply to replace the black rather than having stripes? I think the stripes look odd.

  2. Anthony

    It would not matter to me whether you portray Christ black or white (or grey) but I see the reason of your concern. May I suggest you put the persons in a shade of brown, this I believe might please most. Surely if readers/listeners get the message it would make no difference how you shade in Jesus?

    3.2.1. gets the message across excellently so I would not worry too much about a colour.


  3. Glen

    Thanks Kevin and Anthony,

    Yes there have been a few complaints both from western contexts and from overseas.

    I think you're both right that solid colours might be better than stripes. We'll have another think...

  4. Randle

    Why not a murky red to represent sin? Or even a black striped with red (which would be more obvious)

  5. Glen

    Hey Randle,

    Yes a few people have suggested red now. Obviously there'd be a big clash with the orange background, but maybe we could find a shade of it that complements the orange. Good thought

  6. Michelle

    I think the stripes could work really well! Even though the Christians are still in their prison uniform, I think just the fact that their heads are raised gives the impression of being changed, and of hope.

    At the same time, I do see how the simplicity of solid colours is more clear- I like the idea of a lighter grey, which would still seem to represent death (shadow, and stone), but not associated so much with race.

  7. Josh VB

    How about no colour in the figures (just a white outline through which you see the orange background)? Sin thus reduces man to nothingness/emptiness as they lack glory/weightiness.

  8. Glen

    Hey Everyone,

    Just updated the post with stills of Randle's suggestion - Red Figures.

    What do you think?

  9. Si Hollett

    What about the Native Americans?!?

    You have to have blue or green or something. And a multi-ethnic human race afterwards, rather than white (or just go with the other one of blue/green).

    This reminds me of the South Park episode "Chef Goes Nanners" - you don't notice the racism until it's pointed out.

  10. Tim V-B

    Red works. Do they still turn white? In which case you have a lovely bit of Isaiah 1:18 going on. Also, the red works well with the debt symbol and the skull and crossbones.

  11. Anselm Hart

    I'd go with red and green people (lose the white as well). Or you could have one colour but two different poses, like shackled and arms stretched up in celebration. My girlfriend, who is black, picked up on the colour issue straight away, so it should be fixed somehow.

  12. Dan Hames

    Hey Glen,

    I think that red works well actually! It's probably the best option theologically, and I think the colours are workable in that shade.

    What's the latest in the deliberations?

  13. Glen

    Ok - Red it is. I've seen some of the new screenshots - looks good :)

    Thanks for all your input guys :)

  14. Tim Brown

    Cool - I really like the red on the orange. Only additional thought - should the green be the same as the green trees earlier on in the video, keeps it consistent and I think would match the red better. Maybe the same with the blue text - is it the same as the sea earlier on?

  15. Andy Harker

    Hi Glen. This issue has been a concern for me in our Kenyan context. I'd meant to get in touch with you before about it. I think the prison uniform one could work or maybe the red version. When I've been doing Adam vs. Christ visuals I've actually tended to do Christ dark grey and Adam red. Is there a revised version up on youtube yet? We'd love to use it. Many thanks for all your work on this. Totally with you.

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