For the major project, we were assigned the word “Unleashed” to interpret and use for our major project. On the first week we were put into groups, and my members were Ashley Broadhead and Denise Reina. We discussed ideas, such as a drinking game and how it ‘unleashes’ you and relives you of inhibitions. We also discussed a theme of animals in cages, since “unleashed” reminded us of a dog on a leash. But it was only when Denise shared her experience with a bad group project that she was in, back in the Netherlands, and the ‘anxiety’ it caused her, our idea clicked.
We wanted to provide people with the intent to ‘Unleash’ their fears, and it was decided that we were doing a diary format with three ways of encouragement for each day- Quotes, Goals and Reflections. I would find 52 quotes (For each week of the year) from famous people for “Quotes”, Reina would do goals and Ash did reflections. It was fun to find quotes that were inspiring and fit the theme of the diary that we wanted to create. “Leaders and their words–inspirational quotes–affect us on a primal level.” says Scott Sobel. Words can be passed down through generations because they appeal to our aspirational nature and can be a force to overcome something that we want to do. Quotes are a powerful incentive to try harder and improve at an objective.
I gathered quotes from various websites and well-known people and franchises, like Mohammed Ali and Harry Potter. Once it was all done after a week break, we came together and realized that it was going to be a big effort to piece every single Quote, Goal and Reflection together on the same diary page, and make enough room for the days of the week on top of that. We chatted about the format over messenger and brought up the idea that it might work better as a calendar, to incorporate the visual aspect of CAOS202- Word and Image.
Deciding on Calendar
The calendar idea stuck in our minds since it was the easiest and best solution to our problems, as putting down 52 quotes for every week, and trying to find a pairing with Goals and Reflection was just going to be time-consuming. So, we decided to reduce the number of quotes, goals and reflections we would have. We would instead have 12 of each, for each month of the year. So, we had the word part down, but we still needed 12 illustrations for the calendar covers. So, we divided our workload, I would focus on getting the 12 illustrations done as soon as possible, while Ash and Denise would focus on the typeset and layout of the entire piece.
Typography and Design
The typography and design were done by Denise and Ash, and they made the typography in a specific way so that it feels homemade and personal. The intent was to have a personal feel to the design of them, rather than feeling ‘mass-produced’ and that anyone could buy them. The typography is the same, the ‘handwritten’ typeface makes it feel less mechanical than a regular serif or sans-serif font. The words were also coloured in different colours to empathize different months, as well as the month itself being in a large font
The Quote was put at the very top, so the reader would look at it first and be inspired, and then their eyes would go to the illustration and hopefully be motivated by the illustration. Then it would go to the goal, which was placed underneath the illustration, and provided a benchmark for the month. The final one was a monthly reflection, which was underneath all of the dates for the month and had a prompt for you to reflect on. There were lines underneath to write your reflection, as a way of releasing anxiety and thoughts. An article in the Harvard Business review by Jennifer Porter says that ‘Reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos and sort through observations and experiences.’ She said that ‘this meaning becomes learning, which can them inform future mindsets and actions.’. Reflections are crucial parts to self-awareness and a healthy mentality, as without reflecting on our behaviours or actions, we lose sight of our morals or what we personally want to achieve out of life.
The placement of the quotes, goals and reflection were carefully considered, such as posting encouraging or ‘turning a new leaf’ statements would be better suited for January and February. A similar trend appeared for November and December, as we focused on reflective statements. We had a table on our google drive document and we sorted the quotes, goals and reflection by month, and had a prompt for the drawing for each month to reflect to the words said.
It was vague sometimes, but I tried my best to make the images calm and serene or to inspire some action from within. As a result, most of my illustrations turned out to be landscapes, and I tried to vary them as much as I could in terms of colour and tone. As suggested by Ash, I also kept all the drawings very consistent throughout, using lineart and simple shading.
Each drawing took me around 2-3 hours to complete and I kept them relatively simple as I had to do around 10 illustrations in a week, since we started our idea of a calendar late. Each illustration was fun to do and fit the themes of the project, which is inspiring confidence in people to help them. I focused more on the landscape being ‘beautiful’ or as a way of escapism to go to a different place. On ones with the gloves or donation I focused on a call to action instead.
By doing the calendar for all 12 months, the aim was to reduce anxiety and stress, and the hope that the three parts- Quote, Goal and Reflection would enable people to feel better at the end of the year and feel mentally healthy.
Porter, J. (2017). Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It). Retrieved on … of October 2019, from https://hbr.org/2017/03/why-you-should-make-time-for-self-reflection-even-if-you-hate-doing-it
Moran, P. (2015). The Science Behind Why Inspirational Quotes Motivate Us: We all have that favourite quote. But what makes some turns of phrase so resonant? Retrieved on … of October 2019, from https://www.fastcompany.com/3051432/why-inspirational-quotes-motivate-us