I am the same

Once upon a time a child was born. This was no ordinary child, this was a child who was trapped inside a body she didn’t belong in. For the next thirty something years this made her wonder; would who she was, who she truly was, be accepted by others in the kingdom? Or would she be doomed to live her life forever as someone else?

As years went by and she aged, Ariel began to lose pieces of her authentic self. She tried hard to suffocate her true feelings, but that just made things exponentially worse for her and everyone around. Piece by piece, she became thinner, until a day arrived, when she couldn’t take it anymore.

She knew there was no magic spell that could frankly help her. And that this was perhaps the greatest risk any of us could take. Having the courage to unpeel, to get rid of our stringencies. To be seen as we truly are. To shed our past lives, the expectations of others, and become something new.

As frightening as it felt, Ariel knew this was the only way forward. And in this update, she decided to share this to you, dear reader.

Ariel Salminen Illustration: Eric Habich

The Unpeeling #

For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt like I’m somehow incompatible and different. I never used to quite grasp what was causing it, except that I knew that I always associated myself with women instead of men.

Because of a conflict between what I may have seemed like externally and how I actually felt inside, my life has — for the most part — been quite the struggle. It got so bad last spring that I was planning to end my life because I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. I was so distressed due to the mismatch between my gender identity and the sex that I was assigned at birth that I felt like I had no other option left anymore.

I was tired of pretending and living my life for other people. Honestly, thinking about it now, it felt like I was trapped in an invisible prison while someone else outside was living my life instead.

Being different and not fitting into the shallow gender norms that our society has created felt exhausting to me.

During the past year I’ve started to realize that I don’t have to live my life like this anymore. I’ve figured that I’ve got the freedom to be a woman and also be open and proud about it. And that it isn’t the end of the world, but the beginning of a new and beautiful chapter in my life.

Of course, not everyone will understand, but for the most part, the people I have in my life have been genuinely supportive and have made me feel like I’m a better person because I’m different. Not because I’m trying to be the same as everyone else.

So hey, my name is Ariel.
My pronouns are she/her.

I hope you can accept me for who I am, because, nevertheless, I am the same I’ve always been. Opening up about all of this helps me to be myself with you. It also helps me to show how wonderful personality I have without having to cover things and pretend to be something I’m not. ❦

New Identity #

To support this new chapter in my life, I’ve been working on a new visual identity that you can see on this website. I’ve got some help from a few friends including Ilkka Janatuinen who designed the new logomark. The illustration here is by Eric Habich.

The typeface used on this website is Nouvelle Grotesk combined with Adobe Garamond Pro.

Logomark #

Ariel Salminen logo

Color Palette #

Accent (3.45)
Accent A11Y (4.61)
Text (14)
Text link (6.71)
Text dimmed (4.52)
Border (2.06)
Pixels (1.08)
Background (1)
Surface (1.06)

Typography #

Quick Red Ariel

Nouvelle Grotesk Fat

Quick Red Ariel Jumps

Nouvelle Grotesk Fat

Quick Red Ariel Jumps

Nouvelle Grotesk Fat

Quick Red Ariel Jumps

Nouvelle Grotesk Light

Quick Red Ariel Jumps

Nouvelle Grotesk Fat

Quick Red Ariel

Adobe Garamond Pro Regular

Quick Red Ariel

Adobe Garamond Pro Regular Adobe Garamond Pro Italic

Elsewhere #

You can find me from various platforms on the internet with a new username. Happy to talk more. And yeah, I’m still very much obsessed about design(ing) systems and working towards programs that will do the design work for us. ♥️🌺