Valerie Damen
BottlePattern-01 2.jpg

Family Resilience Project

Client: iSMSS, University of Alberta

Services Provided: Digital Illustration & Print Media

 

Although the client requested that some sort of rainbow graphic be included, I made the decision to steer away from cliche imagery and take the rainbow concept to an elevated conceptual level.

 

Family Resilience Project

Client: iSMSS, University of Alberta
Services Provided: Digital Illustration & Print Media

Overview

While working in-house for Technologies in Education, I was approached by iSMSS with the task of developing conceptual and bright visuals for their annual Family Resilience Project.

Challenges

I faced three main challenges during the production of this project:

1. Creating visuals that celebrated inclusivity and acceptance while representing the LGBTQ community.

2. Developing captivating imagery that spoke to both a youthful and older audience.

3. Reinterpreting the cliche rainbow in a unique and interesting way.

Solution

Before I began the design process for the Family Resilience Project, I was approached by management to review the project's brief via email. The client didn't have much conceptual direction or stipulations to follow, just that I incorporate some rainbow graphics of some sort and that I complete the design work as soon as possible.

Although the client requested some sort of rainbow graphic be included, I made the decision to steer away from cliche imagery and take the rainbow concept to an elevated conceptual level. I reviewed the client's provided body copy and highlighted keywords that I thought would translate into strong imagery for the campaign. One word that struck me most from that body copy was: Therapy. The whole idea behind the Family Resilience Project was that iSMSS was offering free therapy to LGBTQ students, so I wanted the illustration to tell that story visually — I wanted the audience to understand that help and support were readily available and on its way. I began researching symbolism found in therapy, and one idea caught my interest most: Message in a Bottle. I began sketching potential layouts that melded both themes together and landed on a scene where a bottle with a help message inside, was floating upon a body of rainbow waves.

When I had a strong sketch fleshed out, I sent off that rough proof with a detailed design rationale to the client and once they approved the concept, then I brought it to life digitally through color and texture.

Production

The client was absolutely floored with the witty concept that I was able to create under such a pressing deadline. The message in a bottle theme was applied and visually expanded upon for postcards, annual reports, and social media advertisements on a yearly basis.