VCD Alumna Designs Mantra Coloring Book

by Sarah Matthews

Kent State Visual Communication Design alumna Katie Daugherty co-illustrated a coloring book titled img_5098-1You Got This: A Mantra Coloring Book.

Daugherty teamed up with Lora DiFranco, owner of Free Period Press, to create the coloring book. DiFranco said she began Free Period Press in 2013 because she wanted an easy craft to do after her nine-to-five job.

“Our whole mission is to create products to help people unplug, relax and reignite their creativity,” DiFranco said.

According to the Free Period Press website, the You Got This: A Mantra Coloring Book “is as meditative as it is motivational with 30 pages of illustrated inspiration.”

“Coloring is so relaxing, but it struck me that it could also help people get motivated if they were focusing on a positive phrase,” DiFranco said.

During her time at Kent State, Daugherty worked as a graphic designer at Signum Design, which is a student-run design studio on campus. She said illustrating a coloring book was challenging because it wasn’t like any other project she had worked on before.img_5099-1

“It was hard thinking in black and white lines when typically I like to work with tons of color, so there was a lot of sketching I needed to do,” Daugherty said.

Despite the challenges, Daugherty said her education and work experience at Kent State helped her accomplish this task.

“My education at Kent State helped every step of the way,” Daugherty said. “I learned everything about the process of working on an illustration project and how to think creatively to find a solution that is both effective and interesting.”

DiFranco said the coloring book has been well received and exceeded their expectations by raising twice their goal amount via Kickstarter. It was also featured in a Buzzfeed article.

“A couple of people have reached out to say that they’ve given the book as a gift to their friends and families who are going through chemo, and that it’s really helped them,” she said. “Some have even posted their finished pages around the hospital. That’s been amazing to hear.”

Daugherty said she is very satisfied with the end result of the coloring book and is currently working on a new project.

Daugherty said, “I’m actually in the very early stage of developing a new coloring book with Free Period Press, and I couldn’t be more excited.”


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