Often during the darkest of times, artists are only able to find refuge in their work. This was exactly the case for Toronto designer, Matthew Blackett, who picked up his creative tools following a tragic vehicular attack that shook his city to its core.
The van assault, which occurred this past Monday afternoon, terrorized the neighbourhood of North York and eventually claimed the lives of 10 people, leaving 15 others injured. Blackett, who has ties to the Yonge and Finch area, felt an immediate need to show solidarity with the victims and their families, but also desired to create something that would bring the city together.
Blackett took to his twitter account to express grief and promised to generate something positive to help combat the city's sadness. "I grew up & came of age along that strip of Yonge. My mom still lives up there, just a block away from where the horror started. I was frozen in disbelief; graphic design was my only outlet."
Shortly after his brainstorming, the artist and creator of Spacing, tweeted out his initial message, "Yonge and Strong". The simplistic, yet powerful tone struck a chord with many of those online, but Blackett soon wanted to generate a more inclusive series that would celebrate Toronto's important multicultural makeup—something that pulses through the grieving North York area.
The talented graphic designer soon returned to Twitter with a plethora of multilingual options, all of which represent the Ontario capital's vibrant community. "The diversity of the area is the most striking change & the reason it has become such a dynamic part of Toronto," Matt said online. "With that in mind, I felt my English-only YONGE AND STRONG graphic was limiting. So I made multiple language versions. If there's an error I'm happy to correct."
You can take a look at some of the designs below, and be sure to visit Blackett's page to see the rest.