Ambient® —  Music as Medicine

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PROJECT DETAILS

A branded, packaging system for ambient music as an alternative to medication.

As we progressively get busier and busier, our work/life balance can become difficult to balance, and levels of anxiety and depression can rise. 9.7% of people in Britain will suffer from mixed depression or anxiety.

Aside from taking medication that can cause drowsiness and lethargy, anti-anxiety techniques are all self administered. Listening to ambient music is a simple daily method that can induce calm - ambient music actually pushes the brain into the “ambient mode”, allowing the listener to be immersed in the calm soundscapes of the music, whilst still being conscious and grounded in the real environment.

 

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Ambient music
A legitimate alternative

Ambient music is known for relaxation and chilling out, but it can be used as therapy for people with many different needs. It is a known fact that ambient music can assist with afflictions, for instance, improving sleep quality of people with acute and chronic sleep disorders. It’s not a kooky genre of music listened to by parents and hipsters - if listening to it can actually help solve daily issues plaguing people, then it’s worth marketing efficiently.

Ambient music is known for relaxation and chilling out, but it can be used as therapy for people with many different needs. It is a known fact that ambient music can assist with afflictions, for instance, improving sleep quality of people with acute and chronic sleep disorders. It’s not a kooky genre of music listened to by parents and hipsters - if listening to it can actually help solve daily issues plaguing people, then it’s worth marketing efficiently.

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The problem
More common than you think

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common issues plaguing life. Common treatment involves medication, with varying levels of success and side-effects. Many people instead opt for drug-free solutions and treatments, including mindfulness, meditation and exercise. 

depression

322m

people worldwide suffer from depression

anxiety

264m

people worldwide suffer from anxiety

no-treatment

76%

of people suffering receive no treatment

medication

23%

of 40-60 year olds take antidepressants

increase

64%

increase in medication taken from 1994 - 2014

woman

2x

women are twice as likely as men to take antidepressants

Hazard awareness
Guide cane alternative

As part of the design process, a graphic book recording design decisions and the history of the project was created. Each page was designed in such a way to be a piece of design in itself, taking inspiration from the Swiss Typographic Style movement.

As part of the design process, a graphic book recording design decisions and the history of the project was created. Each page was designed in such a way to be a piece of design in itself, taking inspiration from the Swiss Typographic Style movement.

THE TASK

Using the proven power of
music, can we tackle mental issues without medication?

A very common solution
Music and mood

Music has an effect in everyone's lives - from background noise at work to high-BPM tracks to work out harder. Listening to standard, enjoyable music can increase anxiety, not allowing the brain to process the sound input, but ambient music does the opposite, putting the brain into an 'ambient mode' and calming the listener while still being perfectly conscious.

relaxing

Music can slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and induce an overall sense of calm and wellbeing.

meditation

Music can act as a distraction, aiding with meditation, relaxation and exploring emotions

reduce-anxiety

Listening to music before, during, or after surgery can lessen patient's experienced pain and anxiety

brainwaves

A brainwave
α, β, θ, δ

The brain has four main brain states, ranging from deep sleep to excitable mental acuity. These are affected by external stimuli, which means that by matching the rough oscillation of the desired brainwaves with music, the chosen mental state can be reached. 

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The medium
Music on plastic

The medium
Music on plastic

The medium
Music on plastic

To facilitate the 'music as medicine' theme, a tactile and physical representation of the music is necessary to encourage the listener to take time out and make a ritual of listening, rather than just turning on Spotify. A USB drive was concealed inside a custom pill-shaped receptacle, with each pill colour-coded to the brain-state level of music inside.

To facilitate the 'music as medicine' theme, a tactile and physical representation of the music is necessary to encourage the listener to take time out and make a ritual of listening, rather than just turning on Spotify. A USB drive was concealed inside a custom pill-shaped receptacle, with each pill colour-coded to the brain-state level of music inside.

To facilitate the 'music as medicine' theme, a tactile and physical representation of the music is necessary to encourage the listener to take time out and make a ritual of listening, rather than just turning on Spotify. A USB drive was concealed inside a custom pill-shaped receptacle, with each pill colour-coded to the brain-state level of music inside.

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Brand and type
Clean and clinical

The type of the brand is important to truly capture the clinical and sterile feeling of a medical product. Most, if not all medicine packaging is sans-serif - clean and black text. After experimentation, and even though it’s famous for being commonly used, Helvetica was used in this case for its Black Oblique font which injects a little personality into the notoriously sterile font.

The type of the brand is important to truly capture the clinical and sterile feeling of a medical product. Most, if not all medicine packaging is sans-serif - clean and black text. After experimentation, and even though it’s famous for being commonly used, Helvetica was used in this case for its Black Oblique font which injects a little personality into the notoriously sterile font.

The type of the brand is important to truly capture the clinical and sterile feeling of a medical product. Most, if not all medicine packaging is sans-serif - clean and black text. After experimentation, and even though it’s famous for being commonly used, Helvetica was used in this case for its Black Oblique font which injects a little personality into the notoriously sterile font.

Ambient-logo
Ambient-logo

Packaging
Colour and shape psychology

Packaging
Colour and shape psychology

While each box share many of the same features, the pattern offers room for a more fun and illustrative method of communication. Attributing colours and shapes to moods provide an immediate subconscious understanding of the function of the product. For instance, Theta is meditative, so the packaging portrays blue and purple organic shapes.

While each box share many of the same features, the pattern offers room for a more fun and illustrative method of communication. Attributing colours and shapes to moods provide an immediate subconscious understanding of the function of the product. For instance, Theta is meditative, so the packaging portrays blue and purple organic shapes.

While each box share many of the same features, the pattern offers room for a more fun and illustrative method of communication. Attributing colours and shapes to moods provide an immediate subconscious understanding of the function of the product. For instance, Theta is meditative, so the packaging portrays blue and purple organic shapes.

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The system
Music as medicine

As an extra interaction point, the pills are inside the plastic outer packaging, sealed in with a foil coating. When the pill/music needs to be used, it’s popped out from the packaging, giving it a single-use, explorative feel. Of course, the pill can still be kept in the packaging inside the box, but this adds another level of tactile and physical interaction with the music

As an extra interaction point, the pills are inside the plastic outer packaging, sealed in with a foil coating. When the pill/music needs to be used, it’s popped out from the packaging, giving it a single-use, explorative feel. Of course, the pill can still be kept in the packaging inside the box, but this adds another level of tactile and physical interaction with the music

As an extra interaction point, the pills are inside the plastic outer packaging, sealed in with a foil coating. When the pill/music needs to be used, it’s popped out from the packaging, giving it a single-use, explorative feel. Of course, the pill can still be kept in the packaging inside the box, but this adds another level of tactile and physical interaction with the music

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© 2020 Emilios Farrington-Arnas