Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SecretPenguin and the RavelUnravel Project

by Project Interfaith's RavelUnravel design partner, SecretPenguin
(sidenote: we LOVE working with them!)

Click here to visit SecretPenguin's blog

The SecretPenguin team has had a fantastic time working with Project Interfaith on the branding of RavelUnravel. The project is so fascinating -- linking people together through the simple act of listening -- and it's been exciting for us to explore ways of representing these concepts visually.

Project Interfaith came to us with the name of their project already figured out. The talented crew over at Oxide went through tons of work with Project Interfaith to nail down a name that properly elicits the whole feeling of this project. The first thing we did was make a mood board together. Everyone contributed both images we liked and didn't like. We had a discussion, separating out our favorite images. The pieces with handmade elements and little imperfections had strong positive reactions from all. Those details made things feel genuine and human. We also liked the idea of woven fabric being incorporated in some way, to drive home the concept of people of all kinds entwined together.

We went to fabric stores and thrift shops and got a mess of swatches of different types of fabrics. We then cut them up and scanned them into our computers, and played with lots of treatments and shapes. At the same time, we experimented with the typography. All caps felt too authoritarian. Letters with straight edges and angles felt too pointy and harsh. Hand-drawn type was the clear answer -- again, feeling genuine and human. We wrote and scanned the cursive handwriting and paired it with an icon of a circle of woven fabric, which had different colored threads interlaced with each other.

We were really happy with the way the logo turned out, and excited to show the Project Interfaith team. They loved it, and with that we started the web design. We picked a rounded sans-serif typeface, Cubano, for sub-headlines, while also writing many headlines by hand. Backgrounds were kept minimal, letting the videos take center stage, but with lots of little details and subtle textures. The few illustrations on the site are also hand-drawn. The overall effect is a simple aesthetic but with well-cared-for details and human elements.

Working with Tom, Beth, and Sierra of Project Interfaith has been a great experience. They are so excited and passionate about the project, and they bring excellent ideas to the table. Side note: they are so sweet when asking for adjustments -- they really don't want to offend us, but we completely value their input. They put their trust in us and are excited about design.

We hope to see the scope of RavelUnravel continue to extend as they collect interviews, acting as a catalyst for better understanding between people everywhere."


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