I fell in love with Jay Asher's novel TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY when I first read it back in my senior year of high school. I still love the novel and continually recommend it to my students. It tells the story of two people. Hannah Baker, a high school senior, takes her own life, but not before recording 13 cassette tapes explaining why she ended it. Clay Jenson, a former coworker and crush, becomes a firsthand witness to her pain and suffering as he listens to her tapes. What he discovers changes his life forever.
The Netflix adaptation was released the first day of my Spring Break. So naturally, I did the sensible thing and binged watched all 13 episodes. Talk about ALL THE FEELS! As I relived the story through a different lens I could not stop thinking about the importance of taking the time to be truly invested in the lives of people around us and to show we deeply care.
A week and a half later and the emotional hook of Hannah's story continues to pull at my heart strings. Many aspects of the episodes continually replay in my mind as I contemplate how the story would have ended if at least one person took the time to stop and listen to Hannah. To show that they truly cared, and cared enough to let her know. I thought about how if Hannah's school had better policies, programs, and practices in place she might still be alive. So I took all the feelings, thoughts, and emotions swirling around and got to designing.
1. Inspiration Board
I created a secret board on Pinterest and began pinning images and quotes that captured Hannah's story. I then selected my five favorite to create an inspiration board. This phase was a helpful starting point for the rest of the project.
2. Logo and Brand Elements
I was drawn to buttons on a cassette players and knew I wanted to incorporate them into the logo design. In thinking about Hannah's story, had her friends stopped to see the changes in her behavior, actions, and mood, her life could have ended up different. There is a second part too. They needed to actively listen when she called out to them. The same should go for anyone regardless of what they might be going through in life whether it be anxiety, depression, addiction, or suicide.
Along with the logo design I created a Stop & Listen emblem for individuals to make the pledge to be invested in the lives of the people around them. The icons capture the message of caring and careful listening.
3. Website Design
If there was one word I could use to describe the website it would be community. The purposes of the site are to provide:
- Help for people, like Hannah, who might be struggling
- Support for individuals who might not know how to help a friend in trouble
- A safe space for people to be real and honest and share their stories
- Resources for schools and community members
Stop & Listen is a logo, brand, and website design inspired by Jay Asher's novel TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY.
What are your favorite aspects of the project?