I was lucky enough have the opportunity to freelance for Live & Learn Environmental Education and Assisi India to design their publication ‘Empowering Change’. The 184 page manual was targeting Indian and Cambodian university students to use as a practical field guide when undertaking a community development placement and for community development practitioners from Asia, the Pacific, and Australia to use.
The manual aims to explain working concepts of Holistic Community Development. This theory of development acknowledges the interrelated nature of the social, cultural, political, environmental and economic elements of life. Holistic community development is about facilitating communities to regain their power and resources to be able to make decisions and take action to change their lives in the way they choose, rather than development models where outsiders tell a community what they need.
The client wanted the manual to be inviting and easy to follow as it is not compulsory for students to use. The brief stated the design should be ‘fun, interesting, professional, clear, easy to follow and not too academic…. and as the manual is primarily for an Indian and Cambodian audience, we would like to use elements from these cultures, to embellish the pages.”
I had a great time researching into these two cultures and bought a huge amount of textured and patterned paper from my local asian supermarket scanning them in and using them in the topic illustrations and other diagrams throughout to reflect the colour, vibrancy and life these cultures represent. To me the colour scheme had to be bright as India and Asia and the pacific often is extremely colourful – so the colour palette was inspired by an Indian Summer theme of safron, orange, red and purple, contrasting with deep turquoise and green found in the oceans and rain forests found in these countries.
I also used elements of pattern that I hand drew to represent the combining elements that is found in any community, also to bring life to the B&W internal text pages.