Fresh From the Field — Lost Time Project

9 months ago by

To coincide with International Women’s day this week our Fresh from the Field feature’s a collaboration by two Aotearoa creative women which sparks action and conversation around the gender pay gap. Lost Time Project visualises the 15.5% disparity, in stark black and white. “As soon as you see data visually represented, it comes to life making the problem accessible to all. We believe in the power of design to make change. It feels like now people are ready to listen, and speak up, for change. The status quo has been the status quo for too long.” – Alice Murray, Associate partner, Pentagram and Lost Time Project co-founder

The Brief:

After being involved in the exhibition ‘Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa’ by Catherine Griffiths through Designers Speak (Up) we had the ambition to contribute something towards closing the gender pay gap ourselves.

The gender pay gap exists but the statistics sometimes aren’t enough to resonate with everyone, so we wanted to make something physical to visually demonstrate it. As female creatives, and with the gender pay gap being felt keenly in the creative industry, we wanted to use our craft as a way to spark conversations and ignite action.

It’s easy to talk about change, to complain about inequality and feel like there’s nothing you can do to change the status quo. We both believe creativity has the power to make meaningful change – to catch someone’s eye, start a debate, change the way people think. And, graphic design has the power to turn something that’s so everyday (there’s nothing more mundane than a wall planner!) come to life, be beautiful and have meaning.

The Design Response:

Our aim was simple to start with: we wanted to make something as eye-catching as it was meaningful, and give all the profits to charity. And so Lost Time was born.

The project is a large-scale B1 wall print in the form of a calendar, using spot UV to show the days “lost” by women due to the gender pay gap.

Shifting the narrative to be about the time lost, instead of focusing on the monetary difference, was important to us. After all, time is money. We wanted the design to land that message in a simple, provocative way. That’s why we grouped the invisible days as we did, and used Spot UV gloss for the time lost. It’s a simple message, a simple fact – so the design needed to be simple, too.

The print serves as a daily visual reminder of the gender pay gap – a real conversation-starter – that highlights the gap. And what better way to put the conversation on the wall (and the agenda) of creatives, agencies, studios and companies all over the world.

The Collaborators:

We are two NZ-born creatives – Alice Murray (associate partner at Pentagram) and Lauren Priestley (creative director at Redwood BBDO) – who have been friends for more than two decades. We have both just moved back to Auckland and continue to work with our London teams. We’re passionate about being able to use our craft for meaningful change, instead of just talking about it. Over a Friday night paneer curry we came up with the idea of Lost Time. Little did we know 2020 would be such a tough year to launch a personal project (!) but partnering together meant the project never felt like work, only play. We have to give a particular shout out to Catherine Griffiths from Designers Speak (Up), who has been an amazing support to us, as well as Ladies, Wine & Design and Creative Equals. What these amazing nonprofits are doing is so empowering for female creatives around the world, and we wanted to help shine the light brighter on each of them and so all proceeds go to these organisations.

Social handles: @losttimeproject @alicelmurray @laurenpriestley

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