Queen's 180 for 180 Initiative

Back in October we got a call that anyone would be floored to receive - a custom order for the 2020 graduating class for Queen's University. The plan was to create a piece that wasn't just a nice gift in place of in-person convocation, but something that would start a conversation and inspire new grads to make a 180 degree change either for themselves or the world around them. This was the essence of the 180 for 180 Initiative.


In the words of the letter to the Class of 2020

We know that the Class of 2020 was touched by something that was unimaginable just a short time ago, an event that has changed the way we see ourselves, and each other. We hope that part of that change is about change for good, and change that can have meaning for our community — locally and beyond.


In 6 weeks, we were able to conceptualize, design, print, assemble, and deliver the full suite, which included a custom-printed journal, bookmarks on handmade paper, prize tickets, and a custom box to ship it all in.
We invite you to read Inspiring Design - our interview with the Queen's Gazette about the process and the impact of the project. 






The notebook featured vintage as well as custom illustrations done by yours truly.
In line with the intent of the project, the notebook featured 8 printed pages, designed to mimic documents in Queen's University archives from 1918-1920, when the world persevered through the Spanish Flu pandemic. It seemed not only appropriate to include this historical throwback, but essential to recognize the past, while looking to the future. The design of the book features layout, font choices and decorative elements from 100+ year-old publications, acknowledgement of the indigenous lands the university is built on, and custom illustrations showcasing renovated campus buildings where old structures have been beautifully modernized. Following this content are 180 blank pages for grads to record their ideas and inspiration to make a 180 degree change and have an impact.




The cover was foil stamped in black on a leather texture cardstock, which is 100% paper and does not use any animal products. The binding is an exposed Smyth bind with handpainted edges on all 4 sides. We airbrushed the edges with classic India Ink. 


As a final step, the custom-printed ribbon bookmark and elastic closure were inserted by hand. 


Accompanying the notebooks were bookmarks printed on our antique press using the handmade golden paper. Each bookmark was signed by a team of 180 alumni with words of encouragement for recent grads.





An incredibly important part of this project was giving back. $2 from every book sent to every graduating student was set aside for donation to an organization chosen by the student body. On February 1st, we were honoured to donate $14,500 on behalf of the Class of 2020 to Food Banks Canada
You can read more about this here.