Data as Narrative
For years I've been concerned with how little we know about the health impacts of marijuana. It's a widely used substance, but is it safe? Can it cause long-term damage? We know so little. The lack of research is a public health issue.
But, why is relevant information so difficult to come by? To explore this question, I spent several weeks researching the history of cannabis in the united states. The results exposed me to wider issues relating to big business, fear tactics, and laws in favor of corporations like Dupont and Insys Therapeutics. Whether or not cannabis is safe for us, was no longer the most relevant question. The contrast of the DEAs classification of cannabis alongside the classification of "safe", legal, and "tested" opioids is the most alarming. Opioids and cannabis are both used to manage chronic pain. One substance is connected to nearly 200,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, the other substance—zero. Something is incredibly unbalanced in our health system, and needs to be addressed.
This is the basis of my newspaper and my design approach to this significant health issue.
I chose newspaper as my medium in order to reach a wider audience, in an accessible and low-tech method. Because laws and information are forever evolving, I also wanted the information to feel temporary, and specific to one point in time.
The typeface is my own personal revival of No. 500 die-cut wood type by William H. Page in 1887. It references a time before our medical system was overrun by big pharma. This font plays an enormous role in my immersive studies of wood type and typography. Therefore, you might be seeing it in several of my projects within this portfolio, where appropriate.