The days following the Boston Marathon bombing were at once tragic, mesmerizing and confusing. As a Boston-based design agency, Tank wanted to create something in remembrance. And as designers who pride themselves on simplifying expression and messaging to the core, the team at Tank knew that whatever they made had to be as simple as possible. Their research on visual storytelling turned up the wordless novels of Frans Masereel, as well as Stephen McCarthy’s England’s Burning, which uses pictograms to document the 2011 riots in England. The designers began with a timeline, which they filled with photographs and quotations. This became the basis for the icons that tell the story of 102 Hours.
Simply creating a book in remembrance of those troubling days, however, doesn’t guarantee that anything will change, and Tank wanted to contribute something more profound. There are plenty of ways to build a stronger community, but as designers, writers and marketers, the Tank team believes they can have the biggest impact by mentoring and teaching others their craft. They decided to donate profits from the book to Youth Design, a Boston-based nonprofit that mentors teens using design as a medium of expression.