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Hella Awkward Instantly Breaks The Ice

by Chloe Gordon on 03/10/2022 | 4 Minute Read

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We all have them–stories of a first date gone bad, the one album you’d happily stream for the rest of your life, or an answer to what we value most in a relationship - personality, looks and money, or, how much we’d spend on a first date.

A COVID quarantine and over many nights spent learning some unknown truths, inspired the idea of creating a card game that facilitates strengthening relationships to talk about what matters most. Born from a series of funny, vulnerable, and awkward conversations held between a close-knit quarantine pod in isolation, Hella Awkward, is a card game made to deepen connections and stimulate memorable moments. Perfect for the early dating stage, long-term relationships, and the best of friends. Hella Awkward, includes 140 thought-provoking questions in four categories to be played by two to six adult (+18) players.

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Gameplay is simple but engaging – players sit in a circle, place the box in the centre and work their way through the 4 categories: real talk, dating, sex, and relationships; each player is equipped with one white "Hella Awkward" skip card to bypass one question in the game if needed, playtime is usually 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Categories are, real talk - dive into these to start getting acquainted; dating - how to find out if your bae is the real deal; sex - the only way to ensure a happy ending; relationships - a guarantee that bonds will be tested

The game isn’t afraid to get players to go deep, get personal, and be honest. Players can stick to one category or choose cards from the entire deck at random during the game. Tangents and storytimes are great, and it’s encouraged for players to ask follow-up questions in gameplay.

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Hella Awkward’s design team worked through multiple iterations before falling in love with a design and aesthetic that fully embraced a warm, vibrant, and yet approachable presence intended for the game. Every element was intentionally considered from the color selection and overall palette of categories, packaging and logo, hand-feel of the cards, unboxing experience, all the way down to visualizing how the game would live on someone’s bookshelf or stand out in a retail space.

To create a card game that facilitates meaningful conversation, it was essential for the packaging to capture the right expression and a friendly and approachable tone. The design wasn’t just about creating a game of cards, but crafting an inclusive space for people to embrace a shared experience of vulnerability, reflection while having some good laughs.

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This approach presents a particular set of design challenges to solve. For example, the color for each card needed to contrast to provide readability and legibility so players can see the question prompts clearly under dimly lit light if playing in the evening. With copy and questions formed to be irrelevant, inclusive, casual, yet thought-provoking.

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A color palette of muted and warm complimentary hues was chosen, constructed from a series of gender-neutral colors. This color palette, of petrol green, deep plum, mustard yellow, light pink, orange, sky blue, purple and white and was picked considerately, to be atmospheric, intimate, warm and tonal and inviting, friendly, approachable – facilitating gameplay and usability. Each card features linen, and a textured finish – the box matte finish to evoke a premium quality and a game that is built to last and be played.

The font, Raisonne, was chosen for its approachable feel, featuring the addition of little kinks and diagonals and some simple jolting, to embrace vulnerability and imperfection through its design. Caps throughout the game were omitted to keep the language copy low key and casual in nature, to simulate a warm and embracing conversation between friends. The logo, staggered across sides of the packaging, conveys an awkwardness and dislocation nodding to the intended outcome of gameplay.

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Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

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