( Art Center College of Design 2022)
Instructors: Michael Neal, Jennifer Sorrel
Earshot is a political campaign to advocate for making a more hearing-friendly public space by making inclusivity the design baseline.
After decades of “encouragement” for more inclusive design, it is shameful that the disability community is still waiting for meaningful inclusion. Responsible design is still treated as secondary/optional in standardized design practice. Whether they intend it or not, each of their design decisions could result in blocking certain groups of people out – and what is worse, it is still normal.
Earshot challenges the status quo by reflecting on what is perfect (normal), what is broken (abnormal), and what if we rethink the two as different.
Earshot then prompts the question: “How is normality constructed?” In other words, if we cannot universally define normality without doubt, are there alternatives to the way we look at ourselves and others?
The Earshot font originates from the same concept of the logo system. The fragmented typeface is designed to keep questioning: what is normality?
Through dramatically varied line weight in a single character, it also represents the incomplete information that a hearing loss people can experience in life.
This design’s principal part is a logo system featuring variations based on the shape of the lower case letter “l” and “a” to simulate the alphabet in different languages. It serves to elevate the voice of the conference. The logotype acts to provide a foundation for more diversified moments.
The colors, Earshot Refresh, Earshot Space and Earshot Sunburst, emphasize the strong and fresh vibe of the political campaign.
How can Earshot interact with people as a political campaign?
We are inviting the hearing loss community to tell their stories, especially designers with hearing difficulties, and creating an opportunity for a meaningful conversation between the community, designers, and the decision-makers to push the change of the new standard.
Earshot will pop up with petition events, where we deliver the petition forms to people, and the package will also be mailed to residents, or have survey representatives reaching out to the residents, inviting them as part of the voice.
People can represent Earshot with pride. We have got volunteers, advocates, and speakers stickers for everyone when they become a part of Earshot.
Earshot does not stop at the petition campaign. It also pushes the more meaningful conversation to happen within the industry we want to change, through Designer's Thinkshops.
It will invite speakers from design for disabilities, and the hearing loss community to empower the audience by giving them the information to bring awareness and spread the advocates. It will be streamed through Zoom for people who can not make it offline.
The stories, researches and information about Earshot are available on the website. You can see all of the events and speakers coming soon to the local location.
Keep up with what Earshot is doing next on Instagram and other social media channels.