Graphic Design in Process: Brand Matrix

Angie W
6 min readOct 30, 2019


We were stuck together again. Angela and I. UGH. Just Kidding. We love working together. But now we were smushed with another duo, Sarah and Jiayi. Together with the power of four, we decided to tackle the essay, Brand Matrix by Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio.

Scanned Pages from Graphic Design: Now in Production

And so we embarked on a journey to explain this essay to our peers and what we wanted to do for our upcoming exhibition. Our main source of inspiration was Christopher Doyle’s Identity Guidelines. We were drawn to the absurdity of treating a person like a logo and creating a strict set of guidelines and wanted to apply this to ourselves in our own distinct way.

We created a set of questions that guided our concept creation:

  • Are people brands?
  • Do we all have our own personal brand?
  • How do we identify our own personal brand?
  • Do other people see your personal identity different than you do?

And then pushed into the idea of how we can create our own brand identity system for ourselves. We were interested in how the concept of corporate identity but juxtaposing it against our own personal identity, and how it works as a projection and reflection of the consumers/viewer/audience.

Our original concept contained these main goals in mind:

  • To showcase our own personalities in a visual system.
  • To show where we as individuals overlap in the brand matrix.
  • To show how we are different, and how we are alike.
  • To use humor and irony to highlight how we came to be today.

With all of this in mind we created specific mood boards for each one of use to represent the different categories we wanted to display in our brand guidelines.

  • Color Palette
  • Incorrect Use
  • Lockups
  • Size
  • Secondary Elements
  • Personal Space / Clearance Space
  • Type specimens
  • Type that resembles person
  • Common sayings
  • Video: moving/alignment- stop motion
  • Packaging guidelines
  • User Flow- how we got here
  • Safety guidelines- “how to approach, how to talk to”
  • Pixelation/Resolution
We’ll let you guess which mood board corresponds to which person.

But now we had to move onto drafting and sketching and into real exhibition work. We had to focus on all the different components of this installation: book, posters, video and vinyl.

First, we had to get content for our book. With all our busy busy schedules the only time we could meet was at the crack of dawn. 7AM on a Thursday, Oct 10th to be exact.

So on that fateful morning, we all strolled up to 808 with duffel bags full of clothing and props. Ready to take 10000000 photos.

Now that we each had our Gorgeous modeling portfolios, we started to think about how we were actually going to use this content in our project. After a lot of denial of having to cut ourselves out of these photos, we pen tooled until our little hearts gave out.

In order to keep our book cohesive, we created a simple system for each of us to drop our images and texts in. THE FILES WERE SO LARGE THAT NONE OF OUR COMPUTERS COULD HANDLE IT.

And so we began to work. work. work. and work.

After our brainstorm session. Feeling a lil tired.
After a fun group mini crit to figure out our exhibition space. GOT ENERGIZED AGAIN!!!!
he he he.
Hard at Work!
Happy Sarah reaching new heights!
I like big buns and I cannot lie.
Sad moment Sarah realized it was past midnight.
Throwin’ it back to when Jiayi realized she printed A0 instead of A1.
And that’s when Angela started to work on our beautiful brand guidelines cover. Look how excited she is.

In the middle of creating our book, we also had to focus on creating the video. We wanted to take the absurdity to the next level. Singing and all. Using after effects, we put our cutout versions of ourselves into motion.

Layers on layers on layerssss

After printing our books and life-size posters for what seemed like an eternity, we were ready to begin installing. Our fav, James, gave us some advice about the dimensions of our posters, and how we can organize them to better reflect the vinyl. Since our content was out of the ordinary, we wanted to create an orderly composition in Gallery 5 so viewers would feel more comfortable approaching. The installation process was quick and easy, thanks to Command Strips!

Getting nice and intimate with the floor and the dust on the floor.
After our first attempt to install.
The hardest thing thing we thought we could actually do but in reality didn’t.

We were all confident in how the installation looked before revealing it to our class. A majority of the feedback we received during crit was that the absurdity of our book and video didn’t really translate to our installation. Some people were confused on which part of the project to approach first. Although our neighbors had crowded us in the corner, and took up some of our space :( we did our best. This was a little out of our control, but we were able to see the confusion after stepping back and looking at the composition from afar. Overall, everyone got a good chuckle from our book and video, and it was so great showing all our friends what we do when we disappear into the night. Although we all might have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from using the pen tool 1000 times within the past two weeks, we thoroughly enjoyed the process of putting together this show. (Shoutout to our favorite future designers Joy and Flora!!!!!) toodle.

-angela, angie, jiayi, n sarah