February’s Still Kickin Poster: The Importance of Now

In the hardest times, we need each other. It’s something Nora Purmort knows from experience, and it’s why she founded Still Kickin. Nora’s organization helps build an emotional and financial safety net for people going through their toughest moments. We were so inspired by Nora’s work that we launched a six-month collaboration. Some of Adobe’s most talented designers from around the world designed posters that reflect Still Kickin’s impact and message, and Still Kickin will use the profits from poster sales to continue their work.

Our sixth and final poster is by Marco Mueller, Germany-based experience designer. We asked Marco to give us the inside scoop on the meaning and creative process behind this month’s poster, available here.

Why did you volunteer to create a poster for Still Kickin?

All of the designers in the Adobe Hamburg office received a copy of Nora’s book, so that’s how I got to know her story. I related to what she wrote—I know how quickly people can find themselves in awful situations, like illness or accidents. Nora’s husband battled cancer, and we’ve had to deal with cancer in my family, too, so I know how important it is to have as much support as possible when things get hard.

When you learned about Still Kickin’s mission, what meant the most to you?

I think it’s especially meaningful that Still Kickin doesn’t just give financial support; they are also a community of people who share similar experiences. To know that you are not alone with your struggle helps to get through rough times.

What was your inspiration for your poster? What did you want to communicate?

I was inspired by a line in Nora’s book: “It’s just one tiny word that helped me do the biggest things in life, like getting married and buying a house and having a baby or getting my ears pierced at age thirty-two. I look at it every day, to remind me what time it is: now.”

This meant a lot to me—my girlfriend is a nurse in intensive care. Sometimes we talk about people who come to the hospital and tell her about their regrets, and the regrets are things they didn’t do, like visiting someone or reconciling with their children. It makes me think about Nora’s “now.” If you’re not doing the things that mean something, you may regret it, so this is what I wanted to communicate in the poster.

Tell us a little about your creative process for this project. Where did you start? How did your work evolve into the final product?

I usually start by scribbling ideas. This works well for me because it helps to get the ideas going without letting me get too attached to one design. As I thought about Nora’s idea of “now,” I knew I wanted to create something spontaneous to represent seizing a moment. To do this, I recreated the movement of a brush stroke in Illustrator with different custom brushes that were masked and layered. I especially like that the design is digital, but has an almost analog feel because there are lots of fine details.

Do you think designers can play a role in making the world a better place? If so, how can they best use their design superpowers for good?

To be honest I am not really sure if we can change the world simply by design. But if a great idea and a great design come together, that can certainly help to push things forward. I wouldn’t rely only on designers to make the world a better place, but I don’t mind if somebody proves me wrong!

Other stories in this series: