Behalf Studio On “designing” Emotions With Memos To Make Sense Of Us, How To Make It “easy”?

Sadness, happiness, anger, joy, suffering.. are hard to put your finger on. “Designing” them into shapes and colours, giving out a “right” feeling is even more difficult. Yet, this obstacle is what encouraged the team at Behalf Studio to work on the project titled Memos to Make Sense of Us – one that started as the Covid-19 pandemic hit and affected millions of people and kept them apart.

Inspired by the sticky notes that people use as reminders for each other, Memos to Make Sense of Us digitise them into memos on a digital platform. There, you would not know who is the next person to receive your notes, and you yourself also receive a message from an anonymous person. Behalf did extensive research into how to visualise information for recipients, responding to questions on how to consider and interpret emotions and designing them into images, so that upon seeing the text, people will not only “read” the message, but also “feel” what the other is feeling?

Talking about the project, Behalf said that throughout the implementation process were trials and errors, as expressing emotions in another language (letter, image) is extremely difficult. How to make the letters look… sad? Or how to make the audience, upon seeing the image, understand that it carries anger and confusion? Therefore, they experimented with growing “thorns” on the letters to express fear, adding small bubbles for a feeling of joy, and movement to describe disgust… Gradually, a fairly diverse set of emotions took shape, with which they conducted an experiment in their own office, constantly making adjustments to the parameters to reach the most satisfactory product. The project continues to be under development and is expected to be completed early next year.

The entire process from research to data collection and experiment… were fully explained by the three key members of the project in the talk on the afternoon of 20.11 with visual illustrations. If you adore Behalf and want to learn more, check on the livestream video on VFCD fanpage. Don’t forget to leave your feedback and feelings on the project, as well as VFCD 2022 programme, for us at:


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