It was Spring 2014, when Prof. Scott Thorp of my creative thinking strategies class randomly told us that we are building a story book out of song lyrics of our choice.
At that time, I was hooked to Pink Martini, a multi-cultural latino/world music band. They still remain to be one of my favorite artists. I was particularly in love with "Hang on Little Tomato", and I chose this song to start out with, especially because mental health awareness was booming at the time.
As per instructions, we picked out some of the key, thematic words from the lyrics, and employed the "Lotus Blossom" technique.
With lotus blossom, we use each keyword as a provocation tool, and combine with other words to see if we can make connections.
Although the photographs have disappeared, I can tell you that the outcome of the project initially was quite mediocre. I essentially lifted some parts of the lyrics, and some other encouraging words, and printed them on chocolate wrappers. There were 12 bars in a box, each with different sayings printed on them.
By the time I started re-working the design, two years would have passed.
I wanted to re-visit the concept because although the final execution was poor, there was still some potential to it. I decided to really focus on the journey and experience of the recipient. The key considerations I had to make was that the emotion the recipient would have upon reception would not be pity, but rather love and care, instead.
Hence, I scrapped all those motivational one-liners and focus more on aesthetics and simple branding that gets the notion of love out there.
I decided to experiment with traditional and digital media to create a calm, but modern aesthetic to accompany this particular emotion. After some time experimenting and coming up with 3 solid prototypes, I just decided to use all three, and package them into a nice, pretty box. At the end of the day, it was the notion of caring that mattered, and the chocolate, the wrapper design, even the tactile experience of opening the box, seeing the content, unwrapping the candy, and eating it was all just part of that caring.
The sun has left and forgotten me
It's dark, I cannot see
Why does this rain pour down
I'm gonna drown
In a sea
Of deep confusion
Somebody told me, I don't know who
Whenever you are sad and blue
And you're feelin' all alone and left behind
Just take a look inside and you will find
You gotta hold on, hold on through the night
Hang on, things will be all right
Even when it's dark
And not a bit of sparkling
Sing-song sunshine from above
Spreading rays of sunny love
Just hang on, hang on to the vine
Stay on, soon you'll be divine
If you start to cry, look up to the sky
Something's coming up ahead
To turn your tears to dew instead
And so I hold on to his advice
When change is hard and not so nice
You listen to your heart the whole night through
Your sunny someday will come one day soon to you