A Master’s Thesis project is a year long exploration of a chosen topic that identifies a problem in the world around. The purpose of the thesis is to find ways that graphic design can be used to address the problem and implement a possible solution that demonstrates unique design thinking. This includes a variety of in-depth research techniques, strategies, explorations, development and execution of deliverables.

MFA Thesis: Upright

BACKGROUND

 

In my thesis journey, I was intrigued by the role of emotions and strength of character in children’s academic and life success and explored tools that parents and caregivers can use to teach these crucial life skills to their  early elementary age children and help them lead happy, healthy and very successful lives. Introducing Upright —Stand tall for good!

Early childhood is a critical period for social and emotional learning. Social-emotional learning refers to developing the skills and attitudes for effectively managing emotions, and building positive relationships. Skills like patience, grit, self-esteem, empathy, resilience, willpower and many others, collectively known as character building. All latest brain science and research suggests strong corelations between character building and future positive outcomes. Children are believed to have a strong foundation for future development if they learn these crucial skills early.

PROBLEM

 

However, in the contemporary society living upto this ideal is difficult. The existing academic workload pushes character building to a backseat. For busy parents, and educators with a lack of time, adequate tools and clear guidelines teaching these skills is challenging.

STRATEGY

 

I used my ability in graphic design to build a suite of tools that can turn daily life situations into character building opportunities for parents. The goal was not to make it another subject for parents and children, but to build a lot of little moments to start a conversation about character, while engaged in play.

Upwords: Activity Books

OBJECTIVE

 

Handy resource for parents with illustrated lessons, hands-on, and easy to implement activities for character building at home.

Upboxed: Learning Kits

OBJECTIVE

 

Learning kits with a fun to use product line that promotes one skill and can be used during the character building activities.

Upland: Game Application

OBJECTIVE

 

An educational game app that teaches kids character skills through a narrative gameplay and allows parents to track their child's progress

Curious for More

PROCESS

 

Check out the entire process of building the brand Upright —right from identifying and defining the problem, research, ideation, creating the brand, identity, visual system and standards,  along with more in-depth look into the design solutions. 

June 17, 2015

MOOD AND COLOR

My initial exploration of mood and color for this topic had two directions. One adressed the background problem of violence and children. Since there is nothing more sad and dark than violence against children, I chose to use dark tones of black and greys with neutral tones and photography representing the human aspect I wanted to capture. 

In contrast, for the other color palette, I chose desaturated pastel tones that gave the audience a feel of calmness, composure and balance. Since I am talking about character building, the skills that help children manage their emotions and help them become calm individuals I chose to work with this palette. The tones would resonate with adults and not make it look childlike.

It was important to pick a palette that was not too childlike since. I was addressing adults. The visual language helped maintain the seriousness of the topic through its sober tones of photography still keeping the playful elements of interest.

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