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School of Hard Talks

Thinking about the creative brief and the audience in a slightly different way.

A children’s story?

I took a copywriting class at the School of Visual Concepts, and the instructor gave us an assignment to write a children’s story over the course of the next week. Other than that, there were no constraints. So, naturally, I decided to prototype an interactive learning resource for kids and their parents.

A conversation starter

The idea behind the project is that there are a lot of things that children might encounter in life which are difficult to discuss. Ideas like body image, alcoholism as well as death and dying are likely to affect a child’s life at some point, but we typically avoid talking about those subjects.

I think we give kids too little credit and I think we shelter them from these topics rather than allowing them to process their feelings and thoughts and ask questions. The School of Hard Talks is an approach to starting those discussions.

Setting the ground rules

Because of the time constraints I was under, I decided to set some rules for myself: I’d give an introduction to the topic rather than a full explanation,  I’d do it in couplet form, I’d create simple, themed illustrations for each topic and I’d make it all interactive.

A learning resource

I chose an interactive presentation because I think it accommodates the non-linear nature of the material more effectively, and because it allowed me to link to additional online resources so parents and kids could explore topics further.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list of topics or resources because I only had a week to write, illustrate and build the site, but it was a decent start.

Check out the interactive site here. You can navigate through the topics using your right and left arrow keys (or by swiping if you’re on a tablet or mobile device). Some topics only have one slide, but some have additional slides. Use the up and down arrow keys for those.