Work

You Are Beautiful

Designing a Decade of Art & Community

In 2002, artist and Firebelly friend 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 the message became a movement, the medium evolved. You Are Beautiful has served as the centerpiece for massive murals and public installations. Artists have created their own YAB pieces; galleries curated Beautiful exhibitions. 

After 10 years, Matthew remained anonymous, even while people all over the world had taken and tagged over 100,000 #YouAreBeautiful photos. It was time to put it all together to celebrate the message and the community it inspired.

Industry:

You Are Beautiful Book

I.

10-Year Retrospective Book

As long-time supporters and occasional collaborators on YAB projects, we were thrilled to help Matthew design and produce a book reflecting on the movement's first decade and continued evolution. 

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. Onto phase two: design a book as beautiful as its message.

A Decade of You Are Beautiful

You Are Beautiful Inside Cover

II.

Design & Layout

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. 

"It was really exciting to see things come together and to see the story told visually and with such a beautiful design."  ~ Matthew Hoffman

To introduce each of the book's ten chapters, we created a two-page spread featuring jovial custom type designed 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.

Minneapolis-based Shapco produced the final book. Its launch welcomed a new era for the movement and for Matthew, who has made and shared over two million stickers and continues to receive commissions for public works dedicated to his simple, but powerful message: You are beautiful.

YAB Book Table of Contents

YAB Book Table of Contents

YAB Book Chapter One Opening

YAB Book

YAB Book Close-Up

YAB Book Chapter Two Opening

YAB Book Chapter Three Opening

YAB Book

YAB Book

YAB Book Page Number

YAB Book Chapter Four Opening

YAB Book

YAB Book Close-Up

YAB Book Chapter Five Opening

YAB Book

YAB Book

YAB Book Chapter Six Opening

YAB Book

YAB Book

YAB Book Chapter Seven Opening

YAB Book and Sticker

YAB Book

YAB Book Chapter Eight Opening

YAB Book

YAB Book

YAB Book Chapter Nine Opening

YAB Book Chapter Ten Opening

YAB Book

YAB Book Thank You Page

A Decade of You Are Beautiful

YAB In The Streets

YAB Book Close-Up

"It was a monumental task in many ways, but we did it together. We were able to make something really spectacular."