Trigger Warning

Editorial . Experimental . Typography . Creative Direction .
Told through the combination of writings, drawings, and photography; Trigger Warning is a provocative one-edition editorial piece grounding itself in the topic of Mental Health.

The project’s intent is to bring awareness and emphasis to the on-going everyday battles, struggles and debilitating consequences of mental illness. It represents real life situations and stories from people I've met through my own personal journey: going through the agonizing decline, healing rise, and eventual re-collapse into mental illness. It aims to vocalize and allow its audience to step into the constant feelings of uncomfortability, uneasiness, and vulnerability that follow the daily lives of those who suffer.

This editorial is very experimental in its layout and design choices, using and manipulating type, shape, colour and photography in order to create symbolism, analogy, emphasis and metaphor to best represent their partnered stories. Accompanied by a yellow and black motif to create consistency, brand, and atmosphere; Trigger Warning combines contrasting, and graphic images with real stories and writings that resonate with its audience. The editorial is printed on flimsy newsprint, bound as a 80+ page saddle stitch with very rough and intentional creep, using a weak and delicate sewing thread; with the intent to mimic the ignorance and misunderstandings of mental illness struggles by the majority. Involving its audience in a reality that is difficult to describe and understand, Trigger Warning forces its readers to handle with great care when flipping through, paying extra attention when reading as the text has intentional low readability - addressing the problem of few people truly paying attention and listening to the victims of mental health and what they are trying to say.

Photography: Jordi Mora & Jan Marquez

Content Contributors: Kristy Corcoran, Rachel Dos Santos, Kendra Emani, Melanie Forbes, Jessica Ly, Megan Morra, Carly Pearce, Laurie Policarpio, Chrissy Roopnarine

Models: Kristy Corcoran, Melanie Forbes, Megan Morra
7" x 10"
Spread 14" x 10"
October 2018 - December 2018
2.5 months
Textured Drawing Paper
Sewing Thread
I began my research for this project by first looking at what current mental health magazines were putting out, grabbing inspiration from several that truly resonated with me visually, and created similar visual stories and aesthetics that I wanted to create. I then drew more mood and visual inspiration from several other pieces including image and video.

At this stage I began gathering the initial voice of the editorial, wanting to touch upon many of the negatives in the mental health community, the romanticization of mental illness, the ignorance towards the effects of poor mental health and/or trauma, the lack of compassion of effort in trying to understand the complexities revolving mental illness, and to effectively showcase the voices of the content throughout the editorial. After both doing visual research and collecting my written content, I was able to begin finding motifs and colour palettes that set atmosphere and told story. I began the initial spec-board layouts; including size, type choices (interesting and/or intentionally un-typeset rag), and yellow or yellow undertones in contrast with darker tones or black which were all motifs which when more refined, were carried into the completed editorial.
Through this process I truly allowed myself to push my own design boundaries and create an experimental piece using many unconventional methods and breaking many rules, much in thanks to my professor Paul Sych. In accepting that this was to be an experimental piece, I allowed skies the limit in the way I wanted to visually showcase and compliment the writings, stories, and other visual content I received. I also took this project as an opportunity to try art direction; as it would be more realistic to rent a studio and take my own photography than to attempt to find and source the specific images/imagery I wanted. I was excited to art direct my first full day photoshoot, and I wasn't disappointed; working with a team of people with a like minded goal and passion for this project was extremely fulfilling and satisfying, though definitely stressful and demanding. What I didn't expect but really appreciated was how my vision of the editorial changed and morphed a lot throughout much of the process; this editorial taught me the lesson of fluidity in process and really loosened me up, allowing me to fully go with what I'm feeling and experimentally create.
Art Direction