Hamilton author Nairne Holtz has a new book out, on sale this month — November 2017. She wanted a minimal but playful design with an "instagram or facebook wall" layout, more graphic than text based. I had fun working with type and colour in this boxy framework. A palette of colour blocks unified by tone helps hold together graphics created for the author by a diverse group of artists. Watch for readings and events over the next month for the launch of this lesbian writer's third novel.
We completed another project with The Canadian Civil Liberties Association in the past year, creating a print and web package for promotion of their major fundraising event, with online ticket sales and coordination. This was the first year that they chose to do a large proportion of their promotion and outreach online. We created a website, evites and invitations, ads, support material, and a printed "Act for Freedom" booklet which was a gift for all guests. The event itself included a highlight guest appearance (via live video feed) by Edward Snowden.
We used photographs which I donated from my durational photography exploration, #skyproject, as well as a night-sky image of a shooting star. These images were abstract enough to be suggestive of the organization's uplifting vision, while the many honourees were represented in crisp black and white. Paired with clean, modern typography and a silver and wine palette, the sky imagery creates a vibrant visual reference where it appears in banners and page breaks in both the responsive website as well as the "Act for Freedom" booklet, which, for the first time this year, was presented in a slim, glossy magazine format.
The event was a sold-out success!
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.
Over the past year I have had a series of interesting projects with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. The first project to be completed was Charter First: A Blueprint for Prioritizing Rights in Canadian Lawmaking. This campaign and report were released in September of 2016. I designed the cover and interior of the report, which was made available in a small print run and online as a PDF. I also provided a series of banners and graphics to promote the campaign on social media and on CCLA's website.
Many wonderful projects with writers have come my way this year. Here is a website for the Toronto author and psychiatrist-analyst Ronald Ruskin, whose book The Analyst Who Laughed to Death was published in November 2016. The novel includes playful illustrations by the author, which we chose to use on this webpage announcing the book.