Hand Book

Daughter Creative Produces a Haptic Annual Report for Calgary Foundation

January 14, 2022


The past three calendar years have been traumatic in many ways, however, one extremely tangible manifestation of this pandemic-era has been the absence of touch. From handshakes, to fist bumps, to elbow boops, to nods behind masks, casual touch has become a thing of the past. Being “a hugger” may have been low-level annoying pre-pandemic, but now it is positively criminal.

We’ve endured a lot, and Calgary Foundation’s Vital Signs is an annual report measuring the city’s quality of life. The report is widely circulated with politicians, media outlets, corporations, non-profits, and Calgary’s general population. Daughter Creative was challenged to find a design language that would reflect what the first year lived entirely through a global pandemic was like, and their solution was both heartfelt and haptic.

Per their website:

For many of us, 2021 wasn’t defined by what we had, but what we missed — each other. It was the year we didn’t hold our parents, embrace our friends, or touch the hands of strangers. Our shifting feelings about the physical touch of others, how we both yearned for and were afraid of it, became the fundamental visual language. 

We leveraged the new meanings and associations we now have with touch and contact—from the longing absence of simple affection to the visceral repulsion we might now feel from a surface or object touched by many strangers—to frame the unusual context this year’s report has over previous.

This special edition of the report features a black foil-stamped thermochromic ink cover activating and becoming transparent upon contact, bringing a sense of immediacy and reality to the effects of our touch, and providing a tactile experience to contrast a year where most have been made virtual.