Charlie Smith Design has designed Unicef Next Generation's 'Words By,' a collection of poetry from 138 diverse voices. The book and accompanying website bring together experiences from individuals of different backgrounds, creating an equal platform for voices to be heard.
Visiting refugee camps across Europe, Unicef Next Generation was inspired to publish stories by different people about their experiences. Contributors had the creative freedom to write the rawest poetry and prose that mattered most to them. Through their words and on their terms, the collection finds beauty in differences and celebrates the similarities between human beings.
"We needed an agency that understood the importance of a simple and impactful brand that would beautifully represent the story we set out to tell," said Bethany Gill, Co-founder, Words By. "From the offset, Charlie Smith Design led us in the right direction."
With extensive experience designing and producing books, Charlie Smith Design mapped out the content cover to cover, placing the purpose of the collection at the forefront of their design concept. The logo mark doubles as the book title and uses an underline device to create an open space that can be filled with the author's name, their background or experience - artist, rapper, novelist, refugee, etc.
"To remove distinction between experienced and untrained writers, we deliberately left out the contributors' surnames," explained Charlie Smith, Charlie Smith Design. "This created a level platform for all voices to be heard equally whether refugee, recovering addict, migrant, sex worker, lawyer or author."
Charlie Smith Design used a handwritten approach in the open space next to the Words By logo that could shift and change to honor the range of contributing poets. Each writer's identity, be it musician or rapper, has been individually hand-drawn with its own unique character. These marks have been animated for the website to display the diversity of voices and sit boldly alongside the strong brand typeface created by Søren Varming of Punktum Design and Henrik Kubel of A2-TYPE.
The color palette is pared back; black, stone, and a vibrant orange that alludes to the life vests often worn by refugees on turbulent journeys. This added an important visual connection to the content of the book and the sensitive experiences it contains while reinforcing the purpose of the overall identity.