“Welcome to the future of death,” reads the landing page of The Order of the Good Death website, which has been effectively designed to be approachable and inviting, as well as mysterious and intriguing. Responsible for crafting the visual aesthetic is Yay Brigade, a design studio co-founded by CalArts faculty and alum Roman Jaster (Art BFA 07). Fellow CalArtian Jessica Peng (Art BFA 20) created the website’s illustrations and collaborated on the design.
The newly revamped website is home to the death-positive advocacy group, The Order of the Good Death, founded in 2011 by author and activist Caitlin Doughty. The Order tackles injustices of the funeral industrial complex and provides resources for people interested in creating a more meaningful, eco-friendly, and equitable end of life.
Several CalArts alums are also founding members, including animator and illustrator Ariel Hart (Film/Video MFA 10), and composer and designer Stephanie Smith (Music MFA 11), who built the original website for The Order.
The Order’s website features articles, videos, and podcasts on how to talk about death and face your fears and anxieties around death. It also includes a section on how to practically prepare for end of life, covering topics such as home funerals, funeral costs, and how to choose a funeral home.
The Order of the Good Death has more than 1 million YouTube subscribers and has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Marie Claire, Vice, and Nerdist, to name a few.
Yay Brigade is based in Los Angeles and provides a number of design services including website design and development, print design, publication design, identity design, illustration, and content strategy. One of their most recent projects includes the website for thurs.night, an online communal art experience created during the COVID-19 pandemic for CalArts.