The purpose of this research is to explore how the process of creating visual identities can be revisited to actively adopt an explorative practice and encourage intuitive decision making. The project is a critique on a designer’s role of creating and presenting identities as well as producing and contributing to visual culture. Further, it is a critique on corporate culture and its detrimental influence on an individual's creativity and purpose for creating identities of significance. This research seeks to develop a comprehensive design process that caters to moments of serendipity, intuitive lead decisions and to create unique visual identities through experimentation.
The potential of an identity is often constrained and dictated by the conservative corporate environments in which it resides. A designer’s growing accessibility and exposure to visual references, driven by influx of social media use and design specific accounts, has resulted in visual landscape of homogeneous concepts and imagery because so much of what we see is recycled. This often makes outcomes become predictable, unimaginative and somewhat insufficient at producing a unique and engaging narrative. Subsequently, the role of designer has been shifted from a producer of visual culture to a reflector.
Accordingly, a designer’s unique perspective and ability to solve problems can be overshadowed by the influx and reference of existing visual solutions. This highlights the need to explore alternative processes when designing visual identities in a way that not only critiques and challenges existing solutions, but to place confidence in a designer’s individual ability to create new ideas and solutions, both visually, conceptually and intuitively.
Three primary research methods have been employed to drive this investigation. The initial research adopted a auto critical reflection on practice (research through design). The insights generated were then tested and critiqued via workshops (Ethnographic). This was generated data was then used in the development of a proposed design process which was tested and refined through two case studies.
The primary methods can be summaries below:
︎ Critical Reflection on Practice (Research Through Design)
︎ Workshops (Ethnographic)
︎ Case studies (Autoethnographic)
The insights gained using these research methods highlight the significance of designer’s adopting a comprehensive design process when developing visual identities. By encouraging intuitive, logical and emotive decision making, designer’s can benefit from an explorative design process that not only produces unique narratives and visual imagery, but resets the initial problem to allow for a range of solutions to blossom. As such, it highlights that experimental venture and creative freedom is paramount to the development and depth of a visually communicated topic.
Left: Think Feel Know Framework (Appendix 5)
Right: Immersion Framework (Appendix 6)
As a result of this research, two frameworks were proposed to assist designers progress through The Double Diamond Process. The First Framework (Appendix 5 : 5. Think Feel Know) encourages a designer to acknowledge their subconscious thoughts (Intuitive, Logical and Emotive) to facilitate an intuitively led design process. While the Secondary Framework (Appendix 6 : Immersion) further explores this concept and highlights that by crafting a process that nurtures intuition, designer's can benefit from an enriched decision making process.
In conclusion, this introduced frameworks reconsiders the design process of being a linear and conformist. The research highlights that by a designer placing confidence in their intuition, it can successfully drive a fulfilling design process. By adopting these frameworks to The Double Design Process it can host an experimental and exploratory process to produce unique outcomes.