September’s Still Kickin Poster: Andy LeMay Designs with Heart and Data

by Adobe Communications Team

posted on 09-08-2016

In the hardest times, we need each other. It’s something Nora Purmort knows from experience, and it’s why she founded Still Kickin. Nora’s organization helps build an emotional and financial safety net for people going through their toughest moments. We were so inspired by Nora’s work that we launched a six-month collaboration. Starting this month, some of Adobe’s most talented designers from around the world will design posters that reflect Still Kickin’s impact and message, and Still Kickin will use the profits from poster sales to continue their work.

hereWhy did you want to create a poster for Still Kickin?
As you might already know, Nora was inspired to start Still Kickin to pass on the support she felt from family, friends and the community as her husband, Aaron, was undergoing treatment for terminal brain cancer. Aaron was a designer here in Minnesota, and even though I didn’t know him personally, our creative community here is very tight-knit. Aaron and I shared a lot of common friends, and we followed Aaron and Nora’s fight, amazed by their grace, dignity, power and positivity through it all. I’ve seen how their story continues to inspire people, and it’s touched me, too. Since Aaron was a designer who loved to make posters, this seemed like the right way to honor one of our own.

What does Still Kickin’s mission mean to you?
It’s a reminder that many of the most important circumstances that we find ourselves in are completely out of our control, but that true power and agency reside in the ways that we react and adapt to those circumstances.

What did you want to communicate through your poster?
I wanted to do something to honor Still Kickin’s first year, and create a piece that used meaningful data to drive the aesthetic.

Can you give us a behind-the-scenes peek at your creative process for this project?
My poster is coming out right after Still Kickin’s first anniversary, so I thought it would be fun to represent how they’ve grown in the digital world during the year, and how many people around the world are supporting their work, so I collected data about their 3,150 Instagram followers. I also asked Nora for a favorite picture of Aaron, which I used to develop the poster’s color palette. After quite a few iterations, I landed on a design inspired by a classic Spirograph set, using the data from Still Kickin’s Instagram users to drive the creation of a hypotrochoid shape at the heart of the piece. Around the outside of the hypotrochoid, I incorporated skylines representing the cities where Still Kickin held events this year. And there’s a dot at the center—it’s central because it represents the new hero that Still Kickin helps each month.

What do you love most about the piece you designed?
That it could not have been made by a human being from a technical level because there are tens of thousands of anchor points, and it could not have been made by a computer from a creative level because it has meaning.

Do you think designers can play a role in making the world a better place? If so, how can they use their design superpowers for good?
Definitely! Design is, at the end of the day, about solving problems (in my opinion), and there are plenty of problems to solve (and there always will be). Design is bigger than rendering an aesthetic–it’s a process, a mind frame, and a collection of stances that can be used as a scaffold to tackle any problem or issue.

Learn more about Adobe’s collaboration with Still Kickin here, dig deeper into the technical feats behind Andy’s design here, and buy a copy of Andy’s poster to support Still Kickin here.

Topics: Design, Sustainability