The TRUE2YOU identity handbook creates a space where audiences (10+) may learn and embrace identities such as ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. Along with the TRUE2YOU pencil, the user may fill out identity activities throughout the book with the ability to go back and change answers as feelings develop through their lives.
IDEATION + SKETCHES
The initial challenge of this class project was resolving an alternative scenario in history. I chose to resolve the alternative scenario of who I would be if I were the person my community wanted me to be. This alternate person would have a lack of awareness and respect to those different to how they identify; they would have no regard to identities with options, such as gender and sexual orientation. Contemplation of that situation inspired me to create a work that would aid children in having an open-minded upbringing, who are at a stage of life where they gain awareness of respect and tolerance for others.
My concept for accomplishing this challenge was to create a paper doll book, where children would learn about identities through activities and personalize their own paper doll selves. There would be a great variety of options for the paper doll book in terms of hairstyle, clothing, and hobby items and options for identities that are fluid, including gender and sexual orientation, so that no child would feel limited by how they could be or present themselves as people.
As the audience for the TRUE2YOU Paper Doll Activity Book were children, I chose playful and fun branding with an earthy-leaning palette to exude a more natural aesthetic. The illustrations are cartoony and textured to appear traditionally rendered. The text is minimal and worded for audiences ages 5–10 to easily interpret. Each of the paper doll components were done as line art so that the user could color them in with the TRUE2YOU Crayon Set (a 24 color set including multiple skin tones).
This project did not need to be neither a paper doll book nor just for children. No matter how many options I could ever come up with to include as paper doll accessories, there truly would not be an option for everyone's hair, clothing, and hobbies. Identities are something people may struggle to fully embrace into adulthood, so why not heighten the audience's age?
The audience's age minimum would rise to be for ages 10 and up. The book dimensions are increased to 8"x10" in order to optimize space needed for the identity activities. Inspired by workbooks I would use back in grade school, I reworked the branding to be monochromatic and simple.
The people featured in the illustrations are now of all ages. The style is sketchy and not each figure is fully developed—this incomplete rendering is figurative of people who have not yet fully realized or embraced their identities. They are sketches awaiting full awareness of self.