Calm Down


Majority of my words typeset on the press.


Carbon paper proofs made in order to align text with image.


First print of text around image.

IMG_1128.jpg IMG_1146.jpg

Press ready to print title type.


Final Print

My broadside, Calm Down, acts as both a personal statement regarding my treatment as a woman in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and a larger comment on the overall disdain for emotion and the negative perception of subjectivity in scientific communities.

In my personal experiences, I spent all four years of high school participating in robotics and found that my ideas were often overlooked or directly rejected on the basis that in expressing them, I was being "too emotional", and therefore my ideas, regardless of their content, weren't worthy being listened to because I wasn't being entirely objective. This was bothersome for two reasons, because on one hand, I was frequently being just as calm and rational in my discussion as everyone else, but because I'm a woman I was viewed as inherently emotional, and when people spoke over me and I had to raise my voice to be heard, it was seen as aggressive and bossy rather than self-preservational and reasonable. On the other hand, even when I was legitimately emotional and not just being stereotyped as such, it seemed unreasonable that being emotional was so widely regarded as irrational and innapropriate in scientific settings. 

I would like to fight against the notion that science is devoid of feeling and robotic in nature, and instead propose that scientific communities only expect this lack of emotion because scientific communities are largely male-dominated, and stereotypically, men are supposed to be unemotional, viewing emotion as a weakness. The scientific community's aversion to emotion is entirely a result of innacurate stereotypes and societal expectations.

This is the basis with which I approached the creation of my broadside. I wanted to fight back against every time that someone had told me to "Calm down" when they merely believed that my emotions (or perceived emotions) rendered my point of discussion moot. I then came to develop the words for my piece: "DO NOT TELL ME TO 'Calm Down' WHEN YOU MEAN MY EMOTIONS NEGATE MY OPINION". From here, I decided on an image combining the symbol for female/woman and the commonly used symbol for an atom to represent the existence of women in the scientific community. I decided to integrate this into my text by using the bottom half of the symbol as the 'T' in 'NEGATE' to bring my image and text together, and emphasize the fact that being a woman in science is the main factor in why the opinion is being ignored. 

In my first draft of the print, I had three colours, three fonts, and a much more detailed version of the image. Upon talking with my professor, Tia Blassingame, I realized how my plans were entirely too much work, and narrowed the scope of my piece by using only two colours, two fonts, and a simplified version of the image seen in my final product. The colour choice for my piece was also very intentional, with the words "Calm Down" in a baby blue, reflecting the pacifying tone and intended calmness, and the rest in a bright pinkish red to reflect the frustration felt in being ignored so blatantly.

In creating the print, I began by making my image with cut vinyl, a relatively easy process with a result that would be sharp in image and striking in colour, as I desired. I then picked out my metal type for the words, using large capital letters for most of the words and a swirly script for the "Calm Down" as the person saying it would usually hav an heir of superiority for staying calm and rational themselves.

-Avalon Feiler, Harvey Mudd '21