“Two years of long days and nights have transformed us into a unified and formidable group. Seattle will be moved by our good vibrations as we ripple out beyond the walls of the fifth floor, reshaping the creative landscape around us, and confidently migrating towards unique new possibilities.”
The main challenge was building a brand and theme in a large collaborative group under a tight deadline. The brand had to simultaneously represent the creative class of 2016 as well as brand the creative academy’s show. Lastly, this was my first design leadership position, which included managing a variety of students for a large scale branding project.
In order to best represent our class, I sent out an in depth survey for students as research and data to design against. I appointed a right hand, Caitlin Esworthy, to help project manage and bounce leadership ideas off of. Seeking advice from mentors, faculty, and peers was a major component of my success and the key to our productive brainstorming sessions. Lastly, I appointed the team into smaller groups according to their skill set for efficiency as well as to tackle the deliverables in parallel.
The first step was to compile the data and images from the survey and brainstorm our brand character. In this first four hour session we had to brainstorm a theme and come up with our brand character in order to stay on schedule. We settled on the tectonic shift: a chaotic disruption of the landscape that is inescapable, unexpected, and is impactful. Our brand character was: collaborative, fierce, spirited, and resourceful.
The image gathering was a very collaborative process. After the first meeting, the team was assigned into smaller groups: moodboard, copywriting, logo, pattern, typography, and color. The initial stages were challenging as each team had to develop assets in parallel, without an overarching look and feel to design against. Over the following several weeks, our meetings consisted of large scale crit sessions which we then took to develop and refine the look and feel of the brand.
With hard work, teamwork, and grit the branding team built a theme and brand ahead of schedule, which set up the entire Portfolio Show up for success. Being decisive and managing the team effectively with direct and open leadership made for an efficient, although a little messy process.
The Portshowlio Brand Guide
Reflection and Moving Forward
Above all, the process was intensely collaborative. Each team member worked to contribute and create an expressive, bold, and experimental brand our creative academy could be proud of. We built a brand that could stretch for all the capacities of the show: web, video, and exhibit. This was great learning experience, specifically learning to be flexible and open so the creative process can flourish in all of its approaches.