PlaceSpeak: A Visual Identity Analysis


For our first community project, my teammates and I were assigned to PlaceSpeak, a location-based citizen engagement platform. In particular, our task entailed us to work together to create an intuitive and easy to use mobile app where users could interact with on-going community discussions.


There are two main colours that are found within PlaceSpeak’s website: teal and lime green. The colour palette chosen could be seen as loud and boisterous however, the colours a muted which give a friendly and inclusive appearance. The teal and green align with the company’s goal to engage, influence, and shape the community from the participants and organizations perspectives.


The overall composition is simple, structured and organized. There are clear visual indications of the sections however, there is very little language (sub headers) stating such. Every section is organized by rectangular boxes yet, these evident markers have very little cohesion as a whole composition and lack seamless transitions.


The icons, logo, and illustrations found within PlaceSpeak have a flat characteristic. This flat characteristic found throughout the website presents itself to be informative and educational. Most of the icons used are found within Microsoft word, which gives a sense of familiarity. The flatness is instructive however, I think it doesn’t quite represent the dynamic process involved in community discussions for innovative change.

Similarly, the typeface too gives the impression of an educational platform. The Arial font is clean and simple. The clarity of the type lets users focus on the content but, I believe it I see an improvement for the type to engage and entice the user to read the content. Once one does sign up for the discussions, there is an inconsistency in font as it changes to a more modern type face.


I could understand the designer’s and PlaceSpeak’s choice for the structured components like the commonly used typeface, and icons. The current visuals effectively communicate how PlaceSpeak works. However currently, it lacks an interactive and responsive element which is significant as it is how the company functions. It too has a lot of information which I see a opportunity for further simplification.

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