LET KIDS PLAY
Art Direction, Research-Driven Design, Campaign Development, Photography, Project Management
January — March 2018
Studies show that by the age of two, children already understand socially constructed stereotypical gender roles. It has been suggested that when children are raised without gendered toys, language and activities, they are able to develop without being limited by gender stereotypes and restrictions, and tend to grow up with better physical and mental health.
Our goal was to create a multi-faceted campaign which would become a topic of discussion. We are fascinated by the power of design to start conversations and change perceptions, and we were determined to create a comprehensive campaign that would spark conversations among children, parents, and society as a whole.
Olivia and I wanted the campaign to be positive, and for it to leave children feeling comfortable in their choices of play. Through our research, we learned that children idolize and mimic characters they see in the media that they relate to. We wanted to give children a range of "characters" that varied in age, ethnicity, gender and in choice of play. By making sure we had a variety of gender-typical and gender-atypical scenarios, we hoped that every child would be able to relate themselves to one or more "characters" within the campaign.
This fictional campaign is geared towards schools and daycare facilities; children need a supportive environment which includes their peers and care-takers. Schools and other institutions can register themselves on our website. Once they register, a box of deliverables will be sent to them, giving them the material they need to teach the message of "Play Free" to their students. Our colour scheme deliberately avoided traditional "pink" and "blue", and our treatment of type was inspired by traditional chalkboard lettering and hand painted protest signs.
8 Posters to be hung in the classroom
Informational postcards to be sent home to parents
Stickers and buttons for the children to use to show their support
A little bit about Olivia & Parisa
Olivia and I met just this year but bonded instantly over our (creepily) similar design style and shared passion for design with a higher purpose. In early January, we decided to execute a 'passion project' which would allow us to create something outside the institutional boundaries of our University; and what an experience! This project forced us to be more organized, resourceful and collaborative than any of our school projects to date.
The subject matter of this campaign is one we are both deeply passionate about. The project has opened our eyes to how thoughtful research-driven design can be, and also to all the different ways in which research drives design.
With full course loads and part-time jobs, we were apprehensive about pulling off a project of this size. We have proven to ourselves that with hard work and dedication, we are capable of achieving what we set out to do.
It would be impossible to quickly explain in a little blurb how we managed to pull this all off. If you're interested in finding out more about how/why we ended up creating this project, let me know. Let's grab a coffee and chat! ☕️