I Own My Future

Go deep into how we designed and rolled out the lifestyle brand Future Fab

When it came to designing the actual posters, logos, t-shirts, and events that define Future Fab, the design team came back to one of the most fundamental elements of all the work we do in our Health XO program: Talking to teens.

“We find ourselves coming again and again to the same insight around needing an entry point into the conversation of contraception,” says Health XO program lead Jessa Blades. “That entry point can come in a lot of different forms and with Future Fab it came in the form of associating contraception with an aspirational lifestyle.

“We’re giving contraception a makeover, trying to turn it into more of a lifestyle brand than a consumer product."

The logo for Future Fab had to live in a variety of formats, from t-shirts to banners to Facebook. Program lead Jessa Blades said that the aim was to design something “bold and edgy, like a cool street brand.” The bright green grabs the eye, and the arrows suggest empowered teens who think about their direction, choices, and what they want to achieve in life.

A key insight from the design team’s work was that though lots of teens consider contraception a girl’s issue, boys are often the key decision makers when it comes to actually using it. So if we’re not talking to boys, we’re not having the right conversation. All of which meant, pink was out. And the bright, bold green that defines the Future Fab brand, and appealed to both genders, was in.

A key piece of prototyping the Future Fab offer, and understanding what kind of outreach would really resonate with teens is the magazine that the design team made. One of the primary goals of the magazine was to highlight real life stories of girls who are achieving their goals. “In a climate where you can’t really talk about contraception openly,” says Blades, “fear spreads. I mean, you never hear the story about the girl who didn’t get pregnant and then finished high school. But you do hear totally ill-informed myths about a girl who dies of a heart attack and people think it was because of her IUD.”

The Future Fab magazine’s goal is to get teens excited about what they love, then share aspirational real life stories of their peers achieving their dreams. The team focused on Kenyan teens’ talents, dreams, and stories, and then eventually led the reader to the message that contraception is a crucial part of achieving their own dreams. By starting with a magazine aimed at teens’ hearts, and then delivering real and actionable information about reproductive health, the team experimented with what it means to bring a brand and campaign to life.

Future Fab's live events are all about celebrating the potential of youth. So instead of making Marie Stopes Kenya the center of attention, the team was certain to highlight young troupes of dancers and singers, hosting talent shows and fashion shows. By creating a positive, youth-centric feeling, and a place where aspiration and energy are on full display, the design team was able to channel that good feeling to protecting their futures.

“Within every event we have a station to which we’re funneling people so they can learn about contraception,” says Blades. “We’re not making it the spectacle, but everyone is leaving having learned that contraception is for everyone and where to go to learn more.”

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