Are things getting on top of you? An illustration from the tough stuff journal
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Tough Stuff Journal

Interactive diary for children going through family separation or divorce

a dozen eggs created the Tough Stuff journal for At A Loss, a charitable organisation that comes alongside those who have suffered a bereavement or loss in their family and friends. They asked us to design and develop a workbook that could be used with children who’s parents had recently gone through a separation or divorce. Existing booklets were often smartly printed and professional to look at, but this actually made it harder for the children and young people to engage with them – and far too pressurised to write on!

With this fact in mind, we decided to go in completely the opposite direction, and At A Loss trusted us to make it work. Taking inspiration from the current wave of reflective colouring books and interactive diaries, we wanted to create a book that was ‘made to be destroyed’. At the forefront of our minds was that meeting the needs of the client is the most important part of any design. Deliberately simple hand drawn artwork, instructions to mess up pages, and a cheaper matt paper rather than a glossy brochure made the Tough Stuff book less intimidating and encouraged the users to engage with it.

Tough stuff journal designed by a dozen eggs

The young audience also meant there we had a free rein on creativity, so we came up with a range of activities to guide them through the experience of exploring and coming to terms with their emotions. Some pages could be serious, others were deliberately silly, and lots of space was left for the children to write, colour, stick and even tear up the pages without the pressure of needing to keep the book looking nice. This was an unusual project for us, but so enjoyable to make, and the kids who have been giving feedback really like it too!

Tough stuff journal for At a loss, support people who have experience loss.

You can purchase a Tough Stuff journal by navigating to the At a Loss website using the link below or email us and we will put you in touch with Pete, the creator.

buy the journal