Ogilvy Created A Visual Diary Of The Lockdown Experience We Know All Too Well

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In the darkest days of quarantine, my mom, much like other moms throughout the world, encouraged me to write down everything I felt. She said that I was living through history, and one day I’d want to look back, or my future kids would want to look back and hear about the most inner workings of quarantine. Thankfully, I listened, and I have endless pages of thoughts and reflections of what was going through both my mind and the happenings of the world as they both slowly and quickly unfolded.

Ogilvy, the renowned advertising agency, encouraged people to practice a similar exercise through photographs and writings throughout lockdown. They have now documented these collected reports in a 272-page book that reflects the nitty-gritty of different people’s feelings, views, emotions, and outlooks throughout the depths and unknowns that lockdown brought with it.

Ogilvy requested the participants to reflect upon three Tiers, including:

  • Tier 1: Coping (or not) with quarantine anxiety – exploring the rollercoaster of emotions that lockdown brought
  • Tier 2: Fending for myself – exploring how we operated in our homes with nowhere to go and nothing to do, without a hairdresser or a restaurant available to us
  • Tier 3: Working from home – exploring how we managed the elusive balance while our homes morphed into our workspaces.

The pages range from hilariously sweet to bitterly sad. Moments we can all relate to, from leaving groceries in the garage to “air out” the virus to clingy yet happy pets curled at our feet, to solo backyard drinks trying to make ourselves feel more alive. Dave Anderson, Senior Creative, Ogilvy UK commented in a press release: “I was fed up with seeing images of deserted streets, an empty Piccadilly Circus always with that sad piano music. I wanted to see the real lockdown. How people were coping, what they were doing in their own houses, the silly and sad, the poignant and the practical, cakes and cats, home haircuts, and dirty mugs. Booze and Barbies. Home gyms and homeschooling. Makeshift desks and death.

The layout of the book focuses on the content as much as the design. In fact, on some pages, the typography style overwhelms the contents of the pages in artful and impactful ways, and the photography feels as though you’re peeking into a good friend’s family photo album. The color choices throughout the book are vivid, with striking greens, rich yellows, bold reds. The book design is robust, and it feels as though a raw, personal kind of history is getting documented.

As you live through history, it’s sometimes difficult to see the shifts being made. For example, don’t you feel awkward when you get closer than six feet to a stranger? And who knows what the future of office spaces even looks like. Ogilvy’s documentation and time capsule collection of these moments will be looked back upon for years to come. And while my mom was right in having me keep a journal, Ogily’s book is more museum-worthy than my probably self-deprecating emotions.

Ogilvy UK’s clients have received a copy of the book, which is now also part of The London Museum’s Permanent Library Collection. Images from the Lockdown Book are available on a dedicated Instagram account.

Project Credits

Ogilvy UK

Designer, Editor, Curator: Dave Anderson

Chief Creative Officer: Andre (Dede) Laurentino

Chief Executive Creative Director: Jules Chalkley

Executive Creative Director of Design: Dave Towers

Online Designer: Dane Neill

Head of Strategic Innovation: Sarah Blackman

Offline Production: Justin Cairns, Sue Streatfield

Online Production: Sasha Dunn

Art Buying: Jodi Woodhouse-Ward

Social Strategist: Edward Perenyi

Artwork: Hogarth@Sea Containers