Tulane’s Prevention Research Center launched the Shop Talk Program as part of a study designed to gauge public opinion on health issues, ease people into productive healthcare conversations and raise awareness about serious concerns. Shop Talk’s Feel Good Guide, the accompanying booklet put together by Mudbug Media, explains how 10 small dietary and lifestyle changes can make a big difference in health.
When I was told I would be designing a 24 page book with colorful illustrations, I was ecstatic. I figured, “children’s book!” Then my creative director said, “Oh, by the way … It’s not a children’s book. It’s going to be about colon cancer and high blood pressure. Good Luck!”
The project consisted of designing pieces – a booklet, a poster, and recipe cards to be displayed in social gathering places like barbershops and beauty salons – for adults about serious health issues and brought some interesting challenges.
Design Challenge #1: Captivating the Readers
How do I design an informational booklet with content about colon cancer and diabetes that’s interesting and fun to read? Fortunately for me, the illustrations (beautifully drawn by Walter Wade Welch) are upbeat and colorful. So even on a page discussing the effects of smoking, the pictures are always a pleasure to look at.
Design Challenge #2: Targeting the Audience
How do you make vibrant and colorful illustrations target adults and not children? I struggled with this issue, and found my solution in fonts. I went back to basics and stayed far, far away from overly decorative fonts. Because I didn’t want it to be too stern, I chose Bodoni (which has a combination of thick and thin lines) and Interstate. They both say, “Hey, I’m serious, but not too serious”.
Design Challenge #3: Page Layout
The Feel Good Guide is loaded with information, but rows and rows of text lose readers quickly. So, I worked to break the page up without giving up organization. I used a different background for each health issue to make certain things stand out. I used orange numbers and bullets for lists. The illustrations help break up the text, too.
The Shop Talk Program has received good reviews from the public, the Times-Picayune, and City Business for its novel approach to tackling health-related concerns in urban areas. To learn more about the study, download a copy of the Feel Good Guide or get healthy recipes, log on to Tulane’s Prevention Research Center.
Be healthy and feel good!