Project Strategy: Nick Adam + Dawn Hancock
Design Direction: Nick Adam + Will Miller
Design Execution: Nick Adam + Will Miller + Colleen Tracy
In 2002, artist Matthew Hoffman
printed and gave away 100 small, silver stickers with rounded corners and a simple message: You are beautiful.
First spotted all over Chicago, soon enough, they spread to the coasts, across oceans and eventually, to every continent—even Antarctica. As a decade long collaborator on YAB projects, Matthew reached out to Nick Adam and Firebelly to design and produce a book reflecting on the movement’s first decade and continued evolution.
Part manifesto and part retrospective, with plenty of how-to for the artistically inclined, the book helped Matthew take ownership of the project while acknowledging the vital role of every YAB collaborator and supporter.
To introduce each of the book's ten chapters, we created a two-page spread featuring jovial typographic compositions to suit the spirit of each section. We found ways to includes the many voices, styles and photos of YAB artists, showing that You Are Beautiful is truly a public art project for the people, by the people.
produced the final book. Its launch welcomed a new era for the movement and for Matthew, who has now made and shared over five million stickers and continues to receive commissions for public works dedicated to his simple, but powerful message: You are beautiful.
To fund the project, we set up a Kickstarter page, just like everyone else with an idea and some wifi. Then we threw a (really good) party. The 10-year YAB anniversary show and campaign launch even caught Oprah’s eye; as we all know, a little Oprah goes a long way. After a 3-minute piece about the project aired on OWN, we quickly raised $30K for production and publication.
“It was really exciting to see things come together and to see the story told visually and with such a beautiful design. It was a monumental task in many ways, but we did it together. We were able to make something really spectacular.”
In the 6 years since the release of the book, You Are Beautiful has grown from 100,000 stickers sold to five million. The organization has grown from a project run out of a residential garage until 2018 when YAB HQ was opened, featuring a warehouse studio, a retail store front, and rotating gallery.