Many of those who are lucky enough to not experience mental illness find it difficult to understand the weight and effect it can have on someone who does. It is also often challenging for those that live with mental illness to put their symptoms into words.
To solve this disconnect, I believe that metaphors can be used to describe the complexity of this issue in a simple way that is easy to understand.
INFORM strives to open up and continue the conversation about mental health by doing just that. Further, INFORM is a campaign that uses metaphors and analogies to aid in the expression and understanding of mental illness.
The four mental illnesses that I am focusing on are anxiety, depression, paranoid personality disorder (PPD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Eventually, once professionals with more knowledge of psychiatric illnesses are on board, this would be an all-inclusive campaign.
In order to design the current content, I used my existing knowledge of these four mental illnesses (from direct and/or second-hand experience) as well as information I found online from credible sources.
I referenced articles, discussion threads, and videos that all helped me gather a well-rounded view and understanding of these topics.
Now that you know what’s going on, let’s get into the designs. To start off, I knew that I wanted to stick to a few ground-rules. I needed to be tasteful and intentional with my designs. These topics hit close to home for a lot of the population, and the goal is to make them feel understood and validated. As far as style, I chose to go abstract, kinetic, and modern with my branding and applications.
The applications that I am presenting are symbolic poster designs, metaphor and analogy cards, a social media page, and stickers that would be given out and could act as a catalyst for conversation. I also modeled the small exhibit in Cinema 4D to help share the experience that was once going to be at Hyvee Hall.
Each poster and the elements within them are symbolic of the symptoms of the stated mental illness. You can hear my description of each in the webinar at the end of this page.
[PRESS PLAY] These metaphor cards are to be placed underneath each poster. There are 6 per poster, coming to a total of 24 cards. Keep scrolling to see how these would have been displayed at Hyvee Hall.
[PRESS PLAY] Logo animation for social media
[PRESS PLAY] Paranoid personality social media post animation
[PRESS PLAY] Obsessive-compulsive social media post animation
Due to the fact that we didn’t get to hold our senior show in person at Hyvee Hall, I took it upon myself to use my Cinema 4D knowledge to show how I planned to display my work. The metaphor cards were designed specifically for this display and its dimensions. The laptop in the scene is the only thing that I didn’t construct on my own. If the show went on, the laptop would have displayed the motion graphics that you saw above. On my personal portfolio website, I hope to soon have a video walk-through of the space to bring more of the experience to the viewer.