What is The Compliment Project?

In today’s political climate, moments of joy, kindness, and happiness are all the more important. When San Francisco-based artist Anna Sergeeva started The Compliment Project in late 2016, she was hoping to create a way for people to share something positive together.

These seemingly simple posters packed a big punch, and before too long, the word had spread. “Being constantly bombarded by messages of division, hatred, and anger was simply exhausting, and I felt a strong need to intervene in public spaces with words of kindness,” says Anna. “I think a lot of people felt the same way I did, and it was really beautiful to see the posters spread around the world!”

This past year, Anna partnered with Chronicle Books to create a poster book of her encouraging posters, and Take A Compliment was born. Take A Compliment features 50 gorgeous, vibrant, and positive posters people can tack up anywhere to bring a little cheer to someone’s day. We sat down with Anna to talk a bit more about The Compliment Project and the design process behind the new format.

#TakeAComplimentDay is February 6th! Download this page, print it out, and tack it up to make a stranger’s day a little bit brighter.

Note: We suggest pre-cutting the tabs to make tearing easier.

Take A Compliment

It’s been over a year since you launched The Compliment Project. Since then, what has left the biggest impression on you with how this project has spread?

It’s been so incredibly special to see the project spread around the world. I think it’s quite easy to feel alone and helpless with everything that is going on in, so to see that there are so many other people who feel the way I feel, who want to spread kindness and believe in the power of simple gestures, is truly comforting. And empowering to know that we are in this together!

What was the design process like when working with Chronicle Books to formalize the posters?

The design process with Chronicle was awesome! It felt great to know that the design team took my feedback seriously and incorporated it into their designs. It was also cool to see how different people with different visual styles took a compliment and added their own flavor to it. I believe that nothing worth accomplishing can be achieved alone, so I enjoyed the creative exchange. I know that it broadened the way I was thinking about this project and art in general.

Take A Compliment

What inspired your poster designs?

The original posters? To be honest, just speed! I designed them the day after the November 9th [2016] election and was posting them the day after that, so it was really just about getting a simple design done and out into the world.

What do you hope people take away from the “relaunch” of The Compliment Project?

I hope that the project can continue to spread and reach different demographics. I feel it’s a starting point for thinking about small ways that you can be kind in your everyday life. It’s just one example, but I hope that it inspires acts of kindness that extend far beyond this one gesture.

Photo by Hillary Grigsby

Photo by Hillary Grigsby

Anna lives in San Francisco with her husband and adorable pup. You can find Take a Compliment here.

#TakeAComplimentDay is February 6th! Download this page, print it out, and tack it up to make a stranger’s day a little bit brighter.

Note: We suggest pre-cutting the tabs to make tearing easier.

Alexandra Brown

Alexandra was the Lifestyle Marketing & Publicity Manager at Chronicle Books. She collects original editions of Hemingway books, owns far too many fleece onesies and aspires to be an accomplished gluten-free baker. She spent a year traveling around the world and documented the experience on her blog:
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