IXD103 – Exploring Identity
This module focuses on the design of a considered and cohesive personal identity. The module’s subject matter, is to focus it… on you, with the intention that you all have a well-designed (and well-branded) portfolio site up and running by the end of Year 1.
My goal, if you work hard enough, is to ensure you’re the next generation of celebrated designers shaping the web. (No pressure.) To do this we’ll need to consider your personal brands, ensuring you present yourselves to the world in a carefully considered manner.
We’ll look at all aspects of a personal brand: tone of voice; typographic and visual identities; developing a set of brand guidelines; and finally considering how these come together in a personal portfolio web site, your home on the web.
Week 01: Module Introduction; Overview; Who are you? & Content Audit: Craft of Words
Week 02: The Shape of Letters; Focus on Form; Monogram I
Week 03: A Touch of Colour - Monogram II
Week 04: What’s in a word? - Wordmarks
Week 05: Making Your Marque
Week 06: Style Guides and Corporate Identity; Brand Guidelines
Week 07: Group Critique + Content Audit and Skeleton
Week 08: No Class (Off St Patricks Day)
Week 09: Falling in Love Again
Week 10: You are a Channel
Week 11: Group Critique
Week 12: Open Book
IxD Drawing Studio
Week 01 - Module Introduction; Overview; Who are you?
29 January, 2018
I don’t know you, and in our first week I’ll rectify that. We’ll explore who you are, starting to develop content you can use online (for example, bios you can use at Twitter, Instagram and other sites). My key questions are:
- Who are you?
- Who do you want to be?
We’ll use the answers to these questions in a Twitter Bios exercise so that, during Week 01, you can begin to consider your personal brand and put it into words.
It helps to look at others’ work to shape your own. Gathering inspiration will shape you as a designer, giving a clearer sense of direction. As Austin Kleon puts it Steal Like an Artist:
You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.
This process is similar to the concept of ‘negative space’: defining something, by defining everything around it. By looking at how other designers define themselves, a picture emerges – in the positive and negative space – that defines you.
This should run in two passes.
The first is the macro view, identifying ‘heroes’ - Who inspires you? - that will very quickly give you a sense of where you see yourself fitting in the landscape. By looking at the picture from a bird’s eye perspective it helps you define a ‘flavour’.
The second is a micro view, a much more detailed analysis of your different heroes. How are their sites structured? How is their content organised? How often is their content posted? These questions help you shape a much more detailed strategy.
To get the ball rolling, this week I’d like you to set up a Tumblr and start gathering and reflecting upon your discoveries. Tell us why what you’re sharing inspires you. A few lines will do. Please tag all posts that apply to this module IXD103 so I can tease out the relevant content when I do the assessment.
Tasks this Week
- Follow some design-focused Tumblrs. (Monogram, Greatness.)
- Explore Monograms (Hint Instagram)
- Pick three interaction designers and talk about them on your tumblr blog. (How are their sites structured? How is content organised? How often is content posted?)
- Identify three businesses (products, or services) that inspire you. (Choose your top three.• What about them is different? Why do they stand out?)
- That’s it...
Week 02 - The Shape of Letters; Focus on Form; Monogram I
05 February, 2018
This week we’re looking at monograms, exploring how we can create bold and dynamic brands by combining letterforms. We’ll explore the history of monograms, setting them in a historical context, before exploring some contemporary examples.
At this point we’re focused on form, no colour. We’re considering letterforms - positive and negative space - and just working in black and white.
Your task this week is to create a personal monogram - combining two or more of your initials - as the first part of your personal identity journey. Before you do this, please create a moodboard- analogue or digital - to gather some inspiration. Please post your development work - research, screenshots, scans and photographs - to your Tumblrs.
Remember, the Tumblr is allocated 40% of the total marks, put in the requisite work here.
Tasks this week
- Research! Create a Physical and Digital Moodboard
- Start to explore combining your initials into monograms
- Focus on paper only with black and white
- Want to see lots of ideas!
The deliverables and weightings are as follows:
- Deliverable 1 - Module Deliverables (60%)
Demonstrate a considered approach to the development of a cohesive personal brand identity. This should include the design of the following: a monogram, a wordmark, a visual identity marque, and a set of brand guidelines delivered as a pdf.
Portfolio Web Site
Demonstrate an understanding of personal brand identity, as applied to a portfolio web site. This should include: a consideration given to brand identity through voice and tone, considered content and visual cohesiveness. Home, About, Portfolio (3 Items) and Contact sections.
- Deliverable 2 – Research, Discovery and Supporting Material (40%)
Demonstrate an understanding of the importance that research, discovery and supporting sketches play in the design process. This should include: weekly reflection demonstrated through a Tumblr, and be supported by sketchbooks and paper prototypes.
Formative feedback will be provided throughout the semester – by Dr. Kyle Boyd and the Interaction Design Team – providing an opportunity to re-visit work submitted before the final deadline (at the end of the semester).