This is my most personal typography design project to date, and I’d like to talk a little about why I created it and some of the ideas behind how it looks.
Based on my personal issues with mental health, I wanted to create a design that encapsulated some of the key elements but also actually worked as a piece of typographic art that people would want on their walls.
This was a tricky task, as I didn’t want to design something that came across as too motivational or a singular ‘positive’ word that should portray how you’re meant to be feeling once better, but more of a journey that highlighted the feeling. Obviously it would be impossible to cover everything, and also even more of a task to create, so I focused on a few key points.
Those words are the outcome, those words are what drives you to overcome where you were to move forward to where you are.
live, love, life or love, live, life it doesn't matter in which order you read those three words, in fact it’s better that you don’t, as everyone is different and everyone’s journey and interpretation of what those words mean to them will be personal. But you need to embrace all three to complete your journey.
Hopeless, helpless, lost, no motivation, low-esteem these are just a few of the words that describe ‘living with depression’. Now I didn’t want to create a design that focused on highlighting these words (it wouldn’t make for the best image to have on your wall), but I wanted to try and visualise how it felt through the design.
This is why such a huge percentage of the image looks a little confusing at first, you’re not sure what you’re looking at, it’s just a mass of black (the darkness) words, all jumbled up. You don’t know which way to turn, or who to turn to?
It’s not until you reach the bottom, that you start to see what is actually really important, which in turn then becomes clear to you. This is the only time that the words are clear to read and you also realise that they are in fact repeating.
Although there is no start or end to the words, I wanted them to be housed within a large sharp white border, it didn’t matter where it cut the letters off, in fact the randomness of what I was left with made for a more interesting composition.
So why the folded paper?
This was the last piece of the design puzzle that came into place.
For me, opening up was the biggest thing in my life, if I didn’t open up I don’t know if I would be here today.
I was that folded up piece of paper, so afraid of what would happen to me if I opened up and talked to someone. Things that seem so simple, are actually the hardest, so showing this process as an open piece of paper felt like the right finish.
So that’s a little insight into the design, I hope it still feels like a piece of typographic artwork that can be universally enjoyed and appreciated as that was very much its intention. I wanted to show and portray certain feelings that maybe others can relate too, but still be a typography print to have up on your wall!
Yes, there is a journey behind the idea, but it’s also a design that embraces progression. I mentioned at the start that I didn’t want to design something based around a singular positive word and I haven’t, but that doesn’t mean that this piece of work isn’t all about working towards positivity. It really is it’s key and defining message.
The print is called: Life (repeat) and is available in 3 sizes (A4, A3 and A2) click here.
I'll be donating 5% from each sale of this print to the charity mind.