"SJUOK?" is a campaign at St. John's University focused on promoting positive mental health. This project started in the Fall of 2015 as part of a federal grant to universities for messaging around mental health. As part of the design team, my responsibilities included branding, type design, illustration, graphic design, layout, presentations, and more.
The research for this campaign was conducted by the Healthy Minds Study from 2014 to 2015. The study was very thorough and in the first section covered the basic numbers of the campus based on degrees, majors, demographics, etc. Following this were percentage breakdowns as to the number of students reporting depression, thoughts of suicide, positive mental health, and the impact of mental health on their studies.
Based on the research results, and what we thought were the most important topics to address, we decided that the campaign must be approachable, friendly, and fun, while still being serious enough to discuss the matters at hand. For the identity we came up with multiple ideas that we then narrowed down to 6 names. We thought that the round type seemed friendlier, but the sharper one seemed modern and more mature for a college audience. Liking certain aspects from each of these, we redesigned the logo to address these issues.
SJUOK's brand utilizes Montserrat as its primary typeface, followed by Roboto Sans and Aleo as supporting assets. These typefaces were selected for the friendly and approachable sensibilities.
MEET THE CHARACTERS
Our biggest decision was to use characters for a majority of the messaging. During brainstorming sessions, we anticipated situations we wanted to message around and considered the reactions to photos of other students versus illustrations of characters. We all felt that using photos makes it harder to relate to the emotion being expressed due to the lack of similarity between the viewer and the person in the photo. Using cute, colorful, and simple characters will move past appearances and allow each student to form a relationship with that emotion, making the materials more effective and more approachable.
Definition Series // This series encourages education around terms used in the world of mental health and how they can apply to situations that students may find themselves in. These were used as both print material and digital content used on Instagram and Facebook.
Faculty Tools // This series of posters was designed to be helpful tools for faculty. The How Are You Doing poster is an interactive poster that can be used to help a student 'check in' and better understand their feelings. The Do & Don't poster is meant to provide faculty with helpful bits of information on how to help students in need. The prompts of information give quick and easy tips for faculty to guide a conversation about mental health.
Angel or Devil Series // After understanding that sometimes mental illness can feel like you're fighting yourself, this series was created to illustrate such situations, where students are faced with having to make a choice related to their emotions or feelings.
Meet The Character Series // To introduce the campaign to the student body, a series of printed posters, lawn signs and digital content was produced. The concept was to combine the characters with students to reinforce the idea that we live and carry our emotions with us everywhere we are. Therefore, if you're in the library, stressed over a paper, you may be feeling a lot like Ned, our anxious friend.
SJUOK Brand Guidelines