Editor’s Note: This project won Best of Region for the Midwest in PRINT’s 2018 Regional Design Awards. See all of the winners here, and don’t forget to enter the 2019 Regional Design Awards.
Mental illness. Trauma. Homelessness. Places for People took a bold step by embarking on a drastic rebrand to signify the evolution of their scope to meet both the physical and mental health needs of those whom it serves.
This was accomplished by bringing to the forefront portraits of both the individuals it helps and the staff behind the organization that aims to take a human approach to mental illness and healing. “They are working tirelessly to remove the stigma around mental health. Recovery is gritty. It’s messy, and the organization embraces it,” says Nathan Sprehe, Almanac president and executive creative director. “We wanted to paint a dignified portrait of each of these lives.”
A Deep Reading
Judge Nancy Skolos took note calling out the “striking realness” of the campaign, from the graphics and typography to the extraordinary portraiture photography by Jay Fram. “Each and every one of his photos illuminated a unique and deep reading of a person and the entry reminded me of the power that great images have in communicating messages,” Skolos says.
A Portrait of Hope
The images appeared in print and digital communications on everything from posters and brochures to digital applications, alongside personal stories in some instances. Fram used dramatic lighting to symbolize each person’s coming into the light from the darkness to symbolize the road to recovery and rebuilding.
For the staff portraits, the approach shifted to a light background to emphasize the goal of bringing hope and healing to the organization’s clients. Through it all, Fram managed to capture a deeper message with each image rooted in the connections behind them. “Jay has an uncanny ability to tap into his subjects and coax them out. He brings a genuine respect and desire, a sense of duty even, to drill down deep in order to get the real story,” Sprehe says. Through these powerful visuals, Sprehe is optimistic that People for Places now has the tools to help share their vision of hope with more people.
Almanac—Best of Region, Midwest — 2018 Regional Design Awards
Almanac, St. Louis; www.brandalmanac.com: Nathan Sprehe (creative director), Katie Hileman (art director/designer), Jay Fram (photographer); Places for People (client)