Groups:

GROUP 1: Akshay, Wils, Micah, Andrew

GROUP 2: Victoria, Emmy, Caitlin, Rachel

GROUP 3: Kaitlin, Marcelly, Hanna, Justin

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FLEXIBLE IDENTITY PROJECT PROMPT

Step Two: Let Their Identity Emerge

The Overview

The words “corporate branding” bring to mind solid unwavering marks, accompanied by fat imperious style guides. Participatory culture disassembles such elite singular logos, giving them over to a new breed of designers—namely us— who revel in the fluctuating, unpredictable form of the flexible mark. Using participatory structures, modules and templates, we can build identity systems that empower users, overturning top-down hierarchies long reinforced by modernist design principles.

In Step One of this project, you began to build a community of people by discovering an unusual attribute that they had in common. Now continue that process by giving the community an identity, or rather, provide that community with a system through which they can express their own identities—i.e. a flexible identity.

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The Schedule

Phase One: Research/Sketches I’ve posted flexible identity examples on the Step One project page. More examples can be found in the reading material for today. Check out the posted projects and consider the attribute that your community shares. Begin by sketching out ideas for template, modular and combination approaches for a flexible logo to represent the group. Your design solutions should require content from your community for completion. This content can vary from the original content that you collected. In fact, be prepared that you may need to request new material that fits constraints that you set.

As you work on this mark, come up with ideas for a larger system that the logo fits within. How can you bind together your chosen community through whatever it is that they have in common? Perhaps you develop a concept that revolves around a zine or an iPad App or a website or a product. Anything goes. For class on Wed, Jan 14, bring sketches and roughs of 3 logo ideas and concepts for larger systems that work with them (For example, if one of your identity concepts involves an app, bring in the central logo and detailed sketches or roughs of a few key screens of the the app. If it functions best as part of a print publication, bring the first few spreads of the publication. And so on. We need to see the design of the mark, how it accommodates user-generated content, and where the mark might live to bring the community together. Consult with your community members to see if your concept appeals to them.

Phase Two: Critique and Revise After critique/discussion of your concepts in class on Wed, select one concept and revise for final to turn in Fri, Jan 16. Be sure to consult with your community members as you revise to ensure that you are fulfilling their needs. Specs for these deliverables explained below.

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Specs for Deliverables

Specific instructions for formatting final deliverable: Bring in revised logo and stills of systems for accommodating the mark. Logos should be animated as simple gifs to show how they accommodate different content. (See instructions for making animated gifs in Photoshop at the bottom of this page). Be sure the mark somehow displays the name of each contributor next to their contributions.

In addition to the animated gif, bring in two 11″ x 17″ pages, mounted to white foam core, and trimmed flush (these are for the exhibition). Please upload the animated gif, as well as pdfs of the pages described below, to the class Google Drive. Be sure to label each one with your last name.

On the first page, print out one version of your mark  around 7.4”x 8.” Add, as well, 9 iterations of the logo smaller in areas of around 2.34” x 2.6”. (See layout example). Be sure that the name of each contributor appears with their contribution.

On the second page, display key screens/spreads/products, etc to demonstrate how the identity plays out in a larger system. Include a paragraph that provides the following: 1. The name of the project; 2. The community it serves; 3. How the system works. Set this type in Univers 9.5/13.

Example of descriptive text for printout:

Emma Mesk: Dear ________ Tattoo

A community of people who have tattoos they regret

This website allows users to break up with tattoos that no longer fit their lives. Each user fills in the blanks of a tattoo breakup letter and then officially submits it as part of the site gallery. In addition to adding text, each user also uploads an image of their tattoo. The first adjective in the letter and the image feed a flexible mark that updates in real time to include each contribution.

Be sure to send digital and/or a printed version of your individualized marks and system to all of the members of your newly forged community. Reward them for participation.

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PROJECT GOALS:
1) apply modular and template approaches to build a flexible identity;
2) understand the challenges of soliciting content from users;
3) begin to reposition branding as a participatory act
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USEFUL LINKS FOR LATER
Making an Animated Gif in Photoshop (Scroll down to “How to make an animated gif with still images.”)
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STUDENT WORK
Emily Hennen: Virtual Dumpsters
A community of people who have been virtually dumped
This iPad app asks users to draw the person who dumped them virtually  (i.e. through text messaging, e-mails, social networking, etc.). The drawing process help the user express their anger toward the individual. Each drawing becomes part of a virtual dumpster badge that states “I have no soul.” This badge can uploaded to the offending dumpster’s Facebook page. The goal of the community is to educate the public about the importance of face-to-face relationships/communication.


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Chris Ruppelt: Scar
A community of people who have physical scars
This zine curates a collection of user-uploaded images of scars. Each scar includes a backstory that reveals the narrative behind the scar. The cover perfs off, allowing it to function as a stencil for scarring other items. Each issue of the zine explores a different category of scar.

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