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Softus Hugs

Personal Project 

About Softus Hugs

Softus hugs is a project that is created as a way to bring awareness to mental health in a subtle yet relatable way. As one can see a cactus is chosen as the face of Softus Hugs is because no one wants to hug a cactus because its prickly and wouldn’t be the most comfortable thing to hug and that’s how some people dealing with mental health may feel. Like a cactus, in need of help or comfort but feel that if they were to seek help or come out and tell someone they may feel/fear that their friends or family may treat them differently, won’t wish to give them the comfort they need, almost like they are too prickly like a cactus to hold and hug

Why a Cactus?

For the character design  I didn’t want the main product, the plush, to be like any normal teddy bear or stuffed animal so after a many weeks of ideation and sketching I came up with a cactus. Why? Well it's normal for no one to give hugs to a cactus because we all know that it's prickly and not so much fun to hug. With this in mind I realised this could be a representation of someone who was in need of help where they feel afraid to ask for help or open up to people about their issues because there are times when people may not give them the hug or comfort they need, Thinking they might be too “prickly” to hug. Like a cactus.

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Logo Design 

For the logo I knew I include the Softus Hugs mascot peeping up from the bottom and used red tones to create contrast between the cheeks and flower to create a more interesting look for the character. I also arched the text above the mascot. The goal was to create a cute and friendly looking logo that could be used anywhere and was easily adapted to fit into different styles of application.

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Softus Plush

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For this plush I wanted it to have long arms that could wrap around a person, it has snaps attached to its hands to allow the hands to clasp to together and embrace anyone in a comforting hug. It also comes with a soft fleece blanket that is bright and colourful which gives off happy, comforting vibes. The plush and blanket can then be stored in a pot that has a phrase 'I'm here for you' embroidered onto it to show that even if it feels that no one is there to comfort you, there will always be something that you can find comfort in.

Softus Cards

For the cards I created a set of 5 4R sized cards that have different designs of the Softus mascot that also have different phrases on the cards as a way to bring comfort and motivation as well as still feel like a hug to anyone who receives these cards. These cards can be given to someone as a way to show that the receiver is loved and cared for.

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Softus Keychain

Softus Keychain

For the keychain I wanted it to be acrylic because this would make it durable and it is made to look an illustrated version of the Softus Plush. I wanted people to be able to bring a version of the plush around with them and still be able to feel/ have a reminder of comfort with them so I decided to create this keychain in order for that to be done, so that when they feel sad or in need of some form of comfort they could look at the keychain, which also has the same phrase as the embroidered pot for the plush, and be reminded that there is someone there to comfort them if they need it.

If you're interested to learn more about the project:

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Click on the sleeping cactus to learn more about the process!

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