Working as the design lead on a membership magazine for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has its challenges, not least because its subject matter is often highly sensitive. But every challenge is a creative opportunity.
This was the case with the November issue of Heart Matters, when our cover story celebrated women who’ve had open heart surgery. The resultant scar is quite a big one, extending up to the neck. Many women describe feeling self-conscious, as though strangers are staring, and consequently want to cover up.
Fortunately, this feeling doesn’t always last. Our cover stars, aged 27 and 61, now feel proud of their scars and wanted to show them off to help others in the same situation. Our challenge was to plan a shoot that would empower these women and celebrate the surgery that saved their lives.
Inspired by the Dove ‘real beauty’ campaign, we suggested a shoot that would show the beauty of each person and the pride with which they wear their scars. After collaborating with our client, this concept evolved into a fashion shoot using clothing from BHF shops, with a focus on looks for the festive season. Neatly, the corresponding feature explains how the BHF uses the money made from the sale of these Christmas looks (and other clothing donated to their BHF shops) to fund life-changing research.
In the end, our photographer Kate Peters produced so many wonderful shots that we decided to do a split-run cover – in true fashion mag style. Together, the two covers illustrate that while open heart surgery affects women of all ages, it doesn’t have to change the way you feel about yourself.
Read about the women featured in our cover story:
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