WIKiPhilo is an independent institute focused on nurturing curiosity and self-discovery in children and young adults. We needed flyers advertising our events in public spaces, i.e., parks, over the summer 2020, since, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were not able to continue the dialogue in the classrooms. Bauhaus design was my first inspiration. Like WIKiPhilo, this German art movement is about enriching our daily lives. They combine aesthetic and function to make art a part our everyday world. That often takes the form of simple lines and shapes.
While this aesthetic is beautiful and recognizable, it feels almost too functional and distant. WIkiphilo is about creating a welcoming and warm atmosphere so I shifted focus to a more literal yet familiar expression of philosophy in an open space with people of all ages.
Now I had the concept, but I had to find a way to add all the required logos and text. How do you fit event details for 28 dates, 6 partner logos, AND 14 different coats of arms for Vienna Districts without killing your design? Well, by putting it on the back, of course. I know, it seems like an obvious solution, but even that takes careful consideration to minimize busyness and achieve a balance.
I also designed T-shirts so the Wikiphilo team would look friendly and approachable but also legitimate. One idea I had fun with was a simple Metallica-style band t-shirt. But, even though philosophy is so metal, this one never left the drawing board because it was a little too literal.
Instead, I went ultra simple. Questions are at the heart of philosophy. And a question mark on a t-shirt is a quirky and welcoming look when approaching people to explore their world through pointed questions.
That’s what influenced the promotional flyers for WIKiPhilo’s work and services. I combined that with the gradient fields to reflect how philosophy is about differences — in views, ideas, backgrounds, expectations — but also inclusion. I wove in the question What if we philosophized with children? to add to the intrigue and encourage people to pick up the flyer and find out more. Getting people to engage with the physical flyer was particularly important as one of WIKiPhilo’s key audiences are teachers who like everything in hard copy instead of digital.
Hundreds of people took part in the WIKIPhilo parks initiative promoted through the flyer and t-shirts and led to collaborations with more schools and organizations around Vienna.