Minors Facing Major Debt

Design of Project Report
2020 | Client: Michigan Center for Youth Justice

The Proposition:

Design and layout the Michigan Center for Youth Justice’s (MCYJ) report examining juvenile court fees.

The Plan:

Create a compelling design that brings MCYJ’s words to life, adding emotional weight and emphasizing key points.

The Particulars:

After reviewing the report text, I did additional research, reading through major media coverage of the subject matter to gauge social awareness. This context helped identify what quotes, facts, and figures would have the most impact and, therefore, should be pulled out and emphasized in the report design.


For the color scheme, I employed a muted green throughout to keep the central focus on money. I also applied vibrant pops of color, like the pink of the broken piggy bank, to communicate the emotional pressure associated with debt. Much of the report’s visual weight emerged through the photos, which communicated the damaging impact of court fees and fines on young people and their families. When selecting photos, I focused on the diversity of models, juxtaposing depictions of emotion with stark stock images of money. For the typography, I found a balance of clarity and character with Lineto’s Circular Standard, which also offered enough distinct weights to work for body copy, titles, and call-outs.

More reports I've designed for MCYJ

Click on the report to download it as a PDF