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You Are Beautiful

Designing a Decade of Art & Community

In 2002, artist and Firebelly friend Matthew Hoffman printed and gave away 100 small, silver stickers with rounded corners and a simple message: You are beautiful. First spotted all over Chicago, soon enough, they spread to the coasts, across oceans and eventually, to every continent—even Antarctica.

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As the message became a movement, the medium evolved. You Are Beautiful has served as the centerpiece for massive murals and public installations. Artists have created their own YAB pieces; galleries curated Beautiful exhibitions.

After 10 years, Matthew remained anonymous, even while people all over the world had taken and tagged over 100,000 #YouAreBeautiful photos. It was time to put it all together to celebrate the message and the community it inspired.

You Are Beautiful Book

10 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE BOOK

A Decade of You Are Beautiful

As long-time supporters and occasional collaborators on YAB projects, we were thrilled to help Matthew design and produce a book reflecting on the movement's first decade and continued evolution.

To fund the project, we set up a Kickstarter page, just like everyone else with an idea and some wifi. Then we threw a (really good) party.

The 10-year YAB anniversary show and campaign launch even caught Oprah's eye; as we all know, a little Oprah goes a long way. After a 3-minute piece about the project aired on OWN, we quickly raised $30K for production and publication. Onto phase two: design a book as beautiful as its message.

DESIGN & LAYOUT

Part manifesto and part retrospective, with plenty of how-to for the artistically inclined, the book helped Matthew take ownership of the project while acknowledging the vital role of every YAB collaborator and supporter.

You Are Beautiful Inside Cover

“It was really exciting to see things come together and to see the story told visually and with such a beautiful design.”

— Matthew Hoffman
YAB Book Table of Contents
YAB Book Table of Contents
YAB Book Close-Up

To introduce each of the book's ten chapters, we created a two-page spread featuring jovial custom type designed to suit the spirit of each section. We found ways to includes the many voices, styles and photos of YAB artists, showing that You Are Beautiful is truly a public art project for the people, by the people.

YAB Book Chapter One Opening
YAB Book
YAB Book Close-Up
YAB Book Chapter Three Opening
YAB Book Chapter Two Opening
YAB Book
YAB Book
YAB Book Page Number
YAB Book Chapter Four Opening
YAB Book
YAB Book Close-Up
YAB Book Chapter Five Opening
YAB Book
YAB Book
YAB Book Chapter Six Opening
YAB Book
YAB Book
YAB Book Chapter Seven Opening
YAB Book and Sticker
YAB Book
YAB Book Chapter Eight Opening
YAB Book
YAB Book
YAB Book Chapter Nine Opening
YAB Book Chapter Ten Opening
YAB Book
YAB Book Thank You Page
A Decade of You Are Beautiful
YAB In The Streets

“It was a monumental task in many ways, but we did it together. We were able to make something really spectacular.”

Minneapolis-based Shapco produced the final book. Its launch welcomed a new era for the movement and for Matthew, who has made and shared over two million stickers and continues to receive commissions for public works dedicated to his simple, but powerful message: You are beautiful.