We were approached by AYA to design a journal for young people between 12 and 24 who have been diagnosed with cancer. This was to be an update of the Patient Held Record which was highly institutional in flavour and out of date. The requirement was to produce a visually inspiring journal that could serve as a keepsake. In addition to the basic information required such as personal details and information about their patient plan, we included blank spaces for patients’ personal reflections throughout their treatment as well insights and wisdom from other young cancer patients, colouring in pages and links to a useful or uplifting website.


Given the range of ages involved, we held a focus group with some current and past patients to ensure the design direction would be appealing to them. Called Stuff, the journal has no external reference to anything medical or clinical. The stuff theme is carried throughout its sections — Stuff I Need to Know, Weird stuff, Worrying Stuff, Stuff That Might Help — with strong visuals supporting each.Printed on a range of colourful and mixed weight stock with thick covers and spiral binding making it highly tactile as well as giving a very ‘now’ feel. The word stuff was die cut on the front which allows the coloured inside cover to show through — users can choose from a bright orange or a bright green. However, they can also opt to add their own design, making the journal highly personal. A final touch was including an envelope with a tie fastener for storage of additional treasures.