Jenna Butler is a scholar, poet, teacher, and eco-critic, and homesteads in northern Alberta. Her off-grid experience the resonates with my own early childhood back-to-the-land experience in rural Nova Scotia, thinking about resilience and resourcefulness and connection to landscape. I had the pleasure of creating a website for her this summer, in advance of the launch of her latest book, Magnetic North, which draws on her adventures aboard a schooner in the far north of Norway. Inspiring!
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The Peer Privacy Protectors Project was a two-year project run in Canadian high schools by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and funded by the Office of the Ombudsman. Over that period, teens learned about online privacy and security, and then collaboratively produced the content for a guide to online safety — "by teens, for teens." CCLA reached out to Visual Creative in Spring 2017, for help creating the printed guides and web presence that were the final deliverables for the project, in both official languages.
We wanted the design to be colourful and fun, and not too lengthy. The booklets came in at 38 pages, per language. There were some elements of the content that loaned themselves well to information graphics (lists and maps) and some did not, in which case we used colour, shapes, and pattern for visual interest.
I chose quirky, playful fonts, and cheerful, jewel-bright colours. Each chapter has a different colour scheme, and different iconography. Each page was a custom layout, and required finessing to make both languages match in page order and page count. The design we established allowed for this with a very slight adjustment in text kerning and leading in French.
Junior designer, Brynn Schandall-O'Donoghue, took some of the graphic concepts the teen participants had come up with and developed them into a more polished form. The thumbprint / key logo used on the booklet covers is one of several concepts that came from the students, which Brynn rendered and gave professional polish. A tiny sticker was created with this logo as a webcam cover to prevent unwanted surveillance; these were distributed at the project launch event. We really wanted buy-in from the teen participants, and there was. They were very proud of how we presented their work, and to know it will be shared widely over the next few years.
Besides printed booklets in both languages, we developed a Squarespace website with a page for each booklet chapter — again in both languages. We used the same design elements as we had in the booklets, and made each section easily shareable. The booklets can be downloaded in PDF format from the website, and the site itself is full of useful tips and strategies and links to related material.
Not long ago we had a brutal heatwave in this part of the world. And then it broke, in a most glorious, dramatic display of thundering light show quickly followed by the strangest, most colourful sunset storm clouds I have ever seen.
Complementary forms, complex and smooth, in a simple palette.