Designing a deck of (large) cards to capture the meaning of design

Fall 2019
6 weeks

Visual Identity
Typographic System
Develop a visual identity and typographic system across a personal deck of twenty 7”x11” cards that captures and visualizes the question:  What does design mean to you?

The cards interlock with each other to construct a number of structures, but when combined with other card decks, can create amazing architectural forms. As a class, we planned and promoted a pop-up build event to showcase our individual decks and invite other students to construct and deconstruct our house(s) of cards.

01. The Cards

The text provided was Bruce Mau’s 24HRS2 Massive Change Toolkit, a declaration of 24 design principles and manifesto about the role and impact of design to make systemic change. The challenge was to adapt the text, which already presents a very powerful and moving message, to become a more personal statement about the meaning of design.

The critiques I had with Bruce Mau’s manifesto helped to inform my visual and typographic system. I was inspired by the text, but was disappointed that there was little discussion about access and representation. My biggest question was: who is being heard in the design conversation in the first place? I wanted to highlight this visibility, or lack of, in my deck of cards.

︎︎︎Showcasing the visibility of design as a field to non-designers, the visibility in design as an industry, and visibility with design as a tool.

02. The Social Media

Promotion + Brand
One of the parameters of the project was event promotion could only exist on social media—no print communication! I expanded the visual system to animate some selected cards, which were posted on my Instagram story over three days. Every Instagram story closed with “Design is built on.” 

I worked with Jenni Lee and Jaclyn Saik to develop an identity for the event. Using the idea of a ‘house of cards,’ our class brainstormed the name “Design is built on.” By making the title a prompt, every person could individualize their project while staying cohesive as a collective. We wanted the wordmark and branding to reflect the class’ personality and individual concepts, as well as the playfulness in building card towers with no instruction.

03. The Wordmark

04. The Pop-up
our class <3

Pop-up Event!
Our class held up signs that spelled out “Design is built on ➞” and walked around campus, leading passerby to the direction of our pop-up. A successful and exciting way to celebrate our work!

losing some structural integrity... we are not architects