My designs are cuter than yours, probably.
Hi, I’m Hannah! I’m a multidisciplinary designer specializing in editorial, branding, and package design. I’m a firm believer in creative problem solving, and I frequently incorporate elements of education, inclusivity, emotion, and playfulness into my designs. In my spare time, I enjoy exploring new places, having breakfast for dinner, and cats!
How would you describe your design style?
Cute, colourful, friendly, and fun.
What is your favourite typeface?
Avenir or Gotham for sans serif, Baskerville for Serif.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
Lilac purple, cause it’s adorable and fun!
What do your parents think you do?
They think I do a lot of advertising, probably. And a lot of photo editing.
Sola Fide: By Faith Alone
Sola Fide: By Faith Alone is the concept for a therapeutic video game that is a metaphor for the isolation, feelings of helplessness, and emotional strain that may be experienced by those who have suffered a trauma. It takes the form of a print booklet, complete with illustrations of the key game elements, as well as informative annotations.
What Is Emotional Trauma?
According to the American Psychological Association, trauma is “an emotional response to a terrible event.” Trauma can have short and long term effects on a person’s mental health, including sadness, anger, fright, anxiety, and depression, or on their physical well-being, with symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, nausea, and pain.
Emotional trauma can affect anyone. As the need for individualized treatment plans increases, alternative methods of therapy are becoming more accepted, including video games.
Over the course of the year, I conducted both primary and secondary research on a few of the conditions association with trauma, as well as the proposed therapeutic benefits of playing games. I then tested a handful of games to determine what aspects were therapeutic and which were not.
What Qualities Make A Game Therapeutic?
Ambiguous or Relatable Characters: Of the games I tested, the ones I found the easiest to become involved in were those who had sympathetic or relatable main characters. Similarly, main characters whose gender or ethnicity were indistinguishable were not only more relatable, but didn’t distract from the plot or journey.
Plot or Thematic Elements: Games that dealt thematically with issues such as grief, loss, or memory, were more relatable than those with abstract or fantasy plots. Games with little to no plot or thematic elements could be calming or frustrating, depending on other factors.
Navigation or Gameplay: Games with user-friendly navigation and simplistic gameplay alleviated player frustrations, while games with hidden controls or non-linear navigation often exacerbated them.
Graphics: Beautifully rendered or simplistic graphics made games enjoyable to play, while clunky or convoluted graphics took away from other elements.
Why “Sola Fide?”
The name Sola Fide means “By Faith Alone,” in Latin. This name corresponds with the player’s journey through the game, as their instincts and judgement are put to the test. The red moon, a key element of the brand, is directly connected to the final level, in which the player must overcome visual and auditory hallucinations, fantasy, and reality. The moon serves as a constant reminder of the unrealistic nature of the game.
Sola Fide takes place in an alternate or distorted reality. The player follows along with the main character, Spera, as she makes her way through three different environments.
The first level, Obscurum (darkness), is set in a dense forest. Here, the player is tasked with escaping an unfamiliar environment without the use of their sight. Secondary character interactions are vital in this level, as the player must decide who to trust, and who to doubt.
The second level, Silentium (silence), forces the player to navigate a series of maze-like tunnels alone, trusting only what they see, while simultaneously avoiding enemies they can’t hear approaching.
The final level, Somnium (dream), takes place in an abandoned town. The player faces auditory and visual hallucinations, and must determine for themselves what is fictional and what is reality.
Although not entirely ambiguous, the main character Spera nevertheless invokes sympathy. Lost, alone, and without resources, the player is her only hope to escape the game’s distorted and often frightening reality. The player’s interactions with secondary characters encourage them to trust in others as well as themselves.