So I had a really interesting conversation with brilliant graphic designer Angie Chan at the weekend (thanks for your time and thoughts @angieokchan).
Her comments provoked me to consider in more depth what purpose wearing care labels might serve. And, importantly, how the information on the care labels would be received and understood by others even if they had no prior knowledge of the concept.
For the wearer purposes might include:
- Communicating a specific need without stating a difficult emotions explicitly.
- An object to spark a conversation about the symbols and what they mean.
- Taking a moment to adjust the care labels each day and connect with their emotions.
But how would other people, those unaware of the project, respond to the care labels?
I guess there a few possibilities:
- Recognise the symbol and act as the wearer intended.
- Notice the care labels and ask why they were being worn.
- Recognise the symbol and choose not to act on it.
- Not notice the care labels at all.
Thinking about this helps me to understand the purpose of the care labels.
Primarily this is to create a connection between two people where one person (the wearer) struggles to express their emotions.
A secondary advantage is cause of self-reflection when setting care labels which allows the wearer to ‘check in with how they feel’.
I suppose the point I am making here is that the care labels have intrinsic value, in and of themselves, regardless of whether or not they elicit a response from another person.