A Soft Design For A Strong Message: New Talent 2023 Latest Entries

This week’s new entries for the New Talent 2023 competition are united by different, yet very admirable, goals to bring awareness, understanding, respect, and even appreciation to traditionally underrepresented causes and communities. These designs aren’t shouting for change, but are gently beckoning us to contemplate our own understandings of what we think regarding certain topics and serve as meaningful proponents of radical social change.

ArtCenter College of Design student Yan Yan created and designed an entire campaign for “Mental Health for All” (above), the largest grassroots mental health organization in America. Yan actually worked with MHA to develop the new branding, enriched with stronger visuals, to champion the messages and work done by the organization. From website layout to posters and lanyards, the resulting designs aren’t obtrusive to their surroundings but are more a gesture towards self-education and kindness. Yan’s design blends photos of people‘s faces emerging from water with soft hues of green, blue, yellow, pink, beige, and gray. The typography is easily recognizable to the viewers, though its message being in all capital letters aids in the urgency of its delivery. Throughout the physical and digital works presented in Yan’s designs, the purpose of MHA remains clear. 

Fellow ArtCenter student Grace Cai emphasizes the works of contemporary Alaskan artists Nicholas Galanin, Brian Jungen, Da-ka-xeen Mehner, Allison Warden, Teri Rofkar, and Susie Silook in “From the North” (above), a hypothetical exhibition in which these artists and their Indigenous cultures are thoughtfully and respectively represented. With webpages, an exhibition pamphlet, flyers, and various merchandise, the design uses a soft green to convey the spirits and messages of the artists’ Indigenous cultures. Additionally, viewers are able to understand and connect to the culture with ease, thanks to Cai’s minimal layout and straightforward text. The limited color palette, coupled with the diagonal lines and visual reading aids, is an enticing design choice, one that is as beautiful as it is approachable to all viewers.

As evidenced by both works in this week’s New Talent entries, there is an extreme delicacy and care to be taken when creating a brand and working in design. Furthermore, the designs we make can help educate wider audiences and bring those who are traditionally underrepresented into the spotlight. 

For more information on the New Talent 2023 competition and to submit your own work, click here.

Author: Graphis