SOF: Women's Healthcare & Design Where Least Expected
Art has so much power. The beautiful creativity rooted in the simplest of things renders an often overlooked importance. Art, being more than just a uniquely crafted display, can capture the attention of all, stamp a thought into one’s mind, and stand out in a warehouse of the expected-- art is always outside the box. From the world’s crevices to everything up-front and extraordinary, art is life’s light.
While the creation of design cannot always directly solve problems, it can eliminate obstacles and have an indirect impact. No, art cannot cure cancer or remedy all diseases, and it is by no means a panacea, but art can raise awareness for what it cannot solve. It can tug at heartstrings-- and the corners of smiles. Art can help fight.
When asked what one of today’s most influential issues are, the answers are varied and extreme. Among many others and highlighted often, however, are concerns of healthcare and women’s rights. These, of course, when combined zoom into another matter altogether.
SOF, Sisters Overpowering Fibroids, marries the two contrasting focuses together, art and women’s healthcare. Founded by designer Hamba Al Naimi, SOF fills a void and leaves a footprint that shines light where art and design have not been before.
In the workplace of medical professionals, information sources come in two forms: by way of the actual nurse or doctor, and through easily written explanations found in brochures and on flyers. The brochures found in these offices are often similar to stale bread, not full of flavor or excitement, and definitely not worthwhile. However, through the eyes of an artist, Hamba Al Naimi in particular, this stale bread was just an empty canvas awaiting the opportunity to be transformed into cinnamon raisin toast (or an everything bagel, or really whichever delicious bread you prefer).
SOF began when designers began to recognize the struggle of women’s healthcare, particularly in the delayed treatment of uterine fibroids. Often, patients had waited too long to be treated, and the reason was not apparent. Fibroids appear small at first, pushed aside, and ignored up until the moment when difficulties occur. What was the basis for the lack of urgency?
Walking into a doctor’s office almost draws back a curtain, revealing the answer. Simply spelling out the circumstances of a diagnosis is not enough to sort its priority high enough. The lack of urgency materialized amongst the lack of color, expression, and importance in the source of information. Without something making the brochures and the posters and the signs pop, no firecrackers are set off in the minds of a patient. Without that spark, there is no flame.
Being one of the very common medical struggles in women, fibroids abnormally grow and continue to do so over time. Hence, without treatment, patients have very heavy menstrual bleeding and are in ongoing pain. To stress the importance of Women’s healthcare and fibroid treatment, SOF proceeds to work towards not one, but many goals. The project provides information with vivid design, typography, and branding.
Their graphics, bright and artistic, are furthermore as symbolic as they
are striking: the designers’ intricately harvested color pallet intentionally expresses multiple features. Each tone not only coordinates beautifully with one another but they each, on their own, signify an emotion portrayed to the viewer. A vibrant burnt reddish-orange indicates urgency; a bubblegum pink, compassion; a grey-black, strength; and a light blush, calm.
Women’s healthcare is undoubtedly a significant hurdle in today’s world that has yet to be perfectly cleared. However, it is yet another crucial matter for which art and design continue to advocate. Art stands when all are seated, sparks indomitable light in the darkness, and is always absolutely anything but irrelevant.