AUTISM IN LOVE is a feature length documentary about how adults with Autism find and manage romantic relationships. After watching and discussing the project, two primary themes emerged. At its core, the film explores the complexity of finding and interpreting love in the world of Autism. While all four characters have experience with some aspect of love, it becomes clear early on that it isn’t always an easy topic to navigate and deal with. However, it’s also a beautiful film that shows us that everyone has the desire and capacity for love, and showcases that using two of the film's protagonists, Lindsey and David, and their story of obstacles and ultimate triumph.
Initially, we presented two distinct paths for the artwork. One that tackled the dramatic, complex subject matter of the documentary head on, and one that skewed more towards the hopeful and light-hearted side of the film.
Our primary concept showcased the core message of the film, the complexity of navigating love in the world of Autism. By utilizing close up portraits of our characters, but taking an abstract approach, the goal was to create a clean, minimal design that incorporated a complex image, but crafted in a way to make it easily digestible. Using a series of geometric triangles, we pitched creating a puzzle-like interior of the heart shape, made up of fragmented and isolated portions of our four characters.
Our secondary concept skewed more towards the hopeful and light-hearted side of the film, using the image of David and Lindsey kissing to celebrate love. This concept would have a more upbeat and romantic quality, but would also utilize puzzle pieces to align more closely with the Autism community. We also wanted to be conscience of being too “on the nose” or obvious, so the plan would be to create a more abstract representation of both the puzzle pieces as well as the heart shape they form. We would accomplish this using a rubber stamp and organically arranging the pieces so they would overlap, not interlock.
After a few short conversations, we decided to move forward on a design that landed somewhere in between both concepts. Focusing on the heart as the centerpiece, but using a more organic (less geometric) approach.
Using a rubber stamp, we created a puzzle-like interior of the heart shape, made up of fragmented and isolated portions of our four characters. That allowed us to organically arrange the pieces so they would overlap, not interlock. Creating an abstract, complex approach to both the puzzle pieces as well as the heart shape they form. In addition, we worked with a vibrant and diverse color palette, capturing the range of emotions of our four characters. Red to illustrate Lenny’s energetic and urgent pursuit to find love, blue to capture Stephen’s tranquility and loyalty and green to showcase Lindsey and David’s growth.
For the title treatment, we decided on a clean and modern sans serif font. We also made sure there was enough negative space to create simplicity around the heart shape. This lets your eye really focus on the centerpiece of the artwork.
Like the film, the first impression of the key art celebrates the concept of love, but upon further inspection, it becomes clear that we’re dealing with a more complicated issue. The end result is art that pulls the audience in and asks to be closely examined.