Calgary Foundation’s Quality of Life Report is a “pulse check” on our city. The report is driven by a study surveying residents on key issues that impact their well-being. It’s intended to spark conversation around critical issues most relevant to Calgarians, and inform donors about areas of need.
2022 offered Calgary a very cautious sigh of relief. With the city slowly beginning to open back up after the pandemic, our social and work lives have been returning to what they once were. Meanwhile, the cost of living has not seen that same return, and in the wake of COVID-19 we’re left with sky-high prices and inflation pushing up every transaction — along with our stress and anxiety levels.
This year’s report sought to explore that new sense of tension, highlighting statistics pointing to the effects of higher financial stress in the city.
We dove into the report head-on, with an aesthetic pulled from the heart of retail.
The report begins with a cover designed to truly evoke the chaos and unrelenting feeling of compiling costs. We see layers of stickers upon stickers, initially appearing as discounts and reductions, but on closer inspection we instead see prices increasing.
Inside the report, we developed a design language built by the visual fabric of everyday transactions; bills, receipts, tickets, pricing, even hand-painted grocery signage — anywhere money is spent. This language, page after page, loud and chaotic, symbolizes the compounding stress of the rising cost of living.
The book utilizes a contrasting two-part typographic system; a hefty, shouty Futura Oblique, representing the hard-sell Point Of Sale, and a mono-space body style referencing printed receipts — the completed sale. These are supported by a blazing, bright, retail colour palette.
Photography was also a key consideration; hard-lit for a raw, immediate, and uncomfortable feeling, suggesting towards the tension of financial stress.
The content of the report remains somewhat objective; we don’t want to leave readers feeling too heavy, and there are still many positives to talk about in the city. It concludes with a dazzling, full-page neon Pantone to ensure the bright side of life and report highlights aren’t missed.