Nurturing Resilience & Joy:  The 6-Minute Diary for Kids

services: product development, Graphic design concept, layout, illustration, E-Book

Nurturing Resilience & Joy:  The 6-Minute Diary for Kids

services: product development, Graphic design concept, layout, illustration, E-Book

Our mission was to develop a product rooted in the tools of positive psychology, aiming to positively transform families' daily lives, empower children, and assist parents in their educational roles. 
The result was the creation of The 6-Minute Diary for Kids (age 6-12) in 2020, as part of the 6-Minute Journal series for the German and English market.

After the book was published, workshops were organized in German elementary schools, involving teachers and their young students. The ultimate goal was to integrate the product into daily lessons and promote topics such as mental health care, resilience, and growth mindset as crucial components of daily education.

The main challenge during development for us designers was to transform and present a large amount of informative and textual content in a visually engaging and playful manner for children, while also ensuring it remained comprehensive and effective. In response to this challenge, our interdisciplinary team conducted research on educational or topic-related products for children, consulted with teachers and psychologists, and continuously prototyped and tested various versions within families. 

Thanks to some very engaged teachers, we conducted tests with 100 students in elementary schools, utilizing the prototypes over a period of time in their lessons, and providing us with feedback for further iterations.

Collaborating with children, parents, teachers, and positive psychology experts was vital in during the development phase, ultimately ensuring the effectiveness of the final product.

My Role 
The project was a collaborative effort between the editorial and graphic teams, resulting in worldwide publication by Rowohlt publishing house. My role encompassed a wide array of tasks, including design concept, page layout, providing handmade and digitized graphic elements, visual content structure, character development and illustration, and final print production supervision. 

The design concept and visual content layout realization were created in close collaboration with Sevenur Acar-Spenst.

Tools: Brush & Ink, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign

Contrast for Expressive Impact
The color palette we chose involved a high-contrast combination of warm and cool tones: the lively yellow-orange palette translated the liveliness of daytime, while the blue-petrol tones represented evening-time. A scale of tones within the main colors, supported by the use of black lines and white spaces, gave us additional flexibility and the ability to organize the information hierarchically.

Our typographic choice was determined by the need for structuring and emphasis in the textual content. We opted for a high-contrasting combination of the minimalist and neat Futura font along with the handwritten and childlike Draft Brush. Futura was mainly employed in the body of text and subheadings, while Draft Brush came into play in headlines, quotes, and spoken word content.

The graphic elements provided layout hierarchy and structure. I created them by hand, as cutouts or brush drawings, and vectorized them for serial use. It was important to maintain an imperfect, childish form character, which translated creativity and playfulness on a visual level.

Visualizing Emotions: Minuti's Journey from Sketch to Digital

Particularly challenging was the development of the main character - Minuti (Ger.) / Jiffy (En.). The focus was centered on creating a character unique and charismatic enough so as to easily become part of every childs´ world. Its stylized form facilitates the representation of various emotions and postures and can easily be traced by the children. 

In order to visually distinguish Minuti from the other graphical elements and underline his particular role, a distinct, rough, and lively hand-drawn outline highlighted his cheeky character. 

The character was drawn by hand, with post-processing and coloring done digitally. The majority of the remaining graphic-illustrative elements, which later filled a structuring form, were equally created in analog form, scanned and digitally post-processed.
Where Playfulness Meets Information: Child-Centric Book Structure
The book's content was divided into 4 components: daily tasks, stories, fun pages, and explanatory / quote pages, embodying core themes of growth mindset, compassion, self-love, and gratitude. Each page was structured individually according to its function, having the impression of the whole be guaranteed by the repeating graphical elements, color, typography and, most importantly, the main character Minuti himself.
The large amount of textual content was translated into a child-friendly layout that is expressive and playful, while informative and structured simultaneously. Every new page aims to bring surprise and joy to the children. 
Empowerment Through Communication: Additional E-Book Resource for Caregivers
In addition to the book, buyers were also provided with an e-book. In this e-book, six tips were given to adults on how to support children's growth mindset through effective communication. I was responsible for the design and illustrations, working within the typographical and color frame provided by the design concept of the children's book. The illustrations were created entirely digitally. After extensive research, I selected existing stock illustrations and either composed them into new arrangements or optimized them to effectively visually reinforce the text's message and ensure they seamlessly fit within the visual language of the 6-Minute Diary for Kids.

Tools: Illustrator & Indesign


Note: Photographs of the book (by Cathy Bisenius), owned by UrBestSelf GmbH / 6-Minuten Verlag


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