Magazines you can’t judge by the covers.
C Forward was an ambitious programme for pharmaceutical company Abbvie to connect with patients on a 12-week new treatment for Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C (HCV) is a condition that many people from many walks of life have had – often invisibly – for decades. New drugs launched in 2014 suddenly meant that 97% of people could be cured, with a 12- or 24- week course.
A series of 5 magazines and 7 supplements (plus digital editions) are delivered to patients throughout their treatment to both keep their spirits up and keep them taking the drugs (to prevent the treatment failing).
The tone of voice, in every aspect, was critical.
Apart from paper choices and an aesthetic very deliberately at odds with the ‘glossy pharma leaflet’ look, one of the biggest challenges was finding a huge amount of stock imagery that felt genuine and relatable. Once I’d set up a loose style I was able to leave the designer to create spread setups while I surfed Getty Images with a dogged determination to find the best and most honest shots.
Image choices were also themed per issue, to symbolise both the journey and the reality of their situation.
I directed and collaborated closely with a team of copywriter, print designer, illustrator and project manager for 6 weeks, creating mockups and brand guidelines, which were toured around the world to different markets, then later launched in the UK and Ireland.
This campaign yielded two great accolades – a silver at the PM Society Awards in London, and even better, compliments from actual patients about the approachability of the art direction.