Donating Time Can Be As Impactful As Donating Funds
Practice donated their Fridays each week to design and produce a guerrilla print piece intended to raise awareness for online anti-racism community Outer Work’s practices and ideology of sustaining change through joy. The brand building studio updated the organization’s visual identity and applied it to a newspaper that will be distributed digitally and physically nationwide. At Practice, Fridays are used as development days for non-client work. As founder Michelle Mattar explains, “So often we don’t realize how inaccessible [design studios] can be to initiatives that can really use it. Donating time and expertise can be just as impactful – and feel even more meaningful – as donating funds.”
The Outer Work Newspaper is being distributed in libraries, schools, cafes and bookstores. The newspaper comprises a range of content: from an article that acts as a guide on how to approach racial issues to pieces highlighting the initiatives of seven BIPOC community leaders. With Outer Work being rooted in the idea that anti-racism stems from individual action, Practice also included space for self-reflection within the design via worksheets created with Lenéa Sims, founder of Outer Work.
Shaping the the idea of anti-racism around growth, the color palette and surrounding imagery is rooted in references to community gardens – seedlings, soil and droplets. “The result,” Mattar says, “is a joyful palette featuring a rich brown as opposed to an inky black typically used in offset print pieces.” Similarly, the Outer Work logo consists of an organically drawn O and a W, which stack to create a flower.
The sense of play and approachability is mirrored in illustrations. The back cover features illustrated character icons, labelled Ashamed, Acknowledged, Included, Overwhelmed, to “help normalize the many complicated feelings one might experience when committing to social change,” explains Mattar.
Practice also looked to balance familiarity with the serious nature of discussing anti-racism, sourcing a type family which could do both. The publication has been intentionally set in type created by Black designers “to highlight the work done by individuals like Tré Seals and Joshua Darden.”