Peace piece

Visual identity for a public awareness campaign

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Marches that took place across the U.S. following the 2016 presidential inauguration highlighted an important function of public spaces—as sites of gathering and community as well as disagreement and debate. Urban designers and landscape architects grappled, publicly, with how spaces can best anticipate and foster participatory democracy, while remaining vibrant and safe. Gina Ford FASLA, founder of women-led design firm Agency LP, was among the most prominent and thought-provoking voices in this debate.

Ummo’s task was to give a visual platform for an important social discussion, amplifying multiple voices without drowning out their messages. Different—sometimes divergent—points of view on this complex issue were expressed in a series of images that channel the DIY, crowd-sourced aspects of public gatherings.

Ummo started with the authentic historical record: photos snapped by marchers on their iPhones. Visceral and immediate, these images underscored the theme of participatory democracy. The photographs are overlaid with planning diagrams, rendered by hand. The campaign came to life in the deeply emotional space created in the contrast of grainy photographs and the squiggly lines of designers’ intent. Together with gestural icons and provocative slogans, the campaign delivers a fresh take on traditional “patriotic” imagery. Most gratifying to Ummo was that the visual identity did not merely represent a discussion, but stimulated it: it appeared on buttons and signs, in print and on screens, and—for twelve minutes of fame—in a TEDx talk.

Old GloryOur take on the colors of American democracy gave a sharp visual edge to the familiar “red, white, and blue.”

Colophon

Project

Visual identity for a public awareness campaign.

Scope

  • Identity,
  • digital,
  • graphic design,
  • art direction,
  • experience design

Typology

  • Urban,
  • cultural,
  • campaign

Credits

In partnership with TEDx Beacon Street, completed while at Sasaki

Kudos

Winner, Print Magazine 2018 Regional Design Award; published in Arch Daily and Urbis

The revolution will be streamed

Spend twelve minutes with a TEDx Beacon Street talk about new pressures on legacy public spaces.

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