Paint the Pavement

Studio III: Project 1

What Makes a Happy Healthy Community? (8/30)

We began by compiling a word list of all the elements the class thought would make a happy, healthy community. Kristin encouraged us to cross out elements that were too broad or abstract. Eventually we narrowed down our list and each picked 2 to turn into icons.

Icons: First Iteration (8/30–8/31)

50 thumbnails + 3 enlarged

Word: Apple

Feedback: The bitten apple was marked as “Scary.” The other two were shaped too organicly.

Word: Dog

The dog head was marked as both “Scary” and “Confusing.” The other two were too complex.

In-Class Icon Workshop (9/1)

In groups of 2 and then 4, we helped each other further refine our icons. Many of mine were flagged as too organic, so I tried scaling down to use more simple, geometric shapes.

In the end, I simplified the dog to a representative bone and paw. Not only were these forms simpler and more geometric, they were also enough to convey the idea of a dog or friendly companion. I also chose to draw the full apple because its completeness was more indicative of health.

Icons: Second Iteration (9/1–9/5)

Once we had all our icons together again, the class further narrowed down the list. We now understood that some words were too difficult to make into concise icons, and some felt more important than others. Some were too vague, and some were not universal enough. For our next iteration we were handed a random icon from our new list to further refine.

Word: Carnival

We held a class critique to make sure our styles were cohesive. We set parameters for line weights, sizes, and contrast:

  • 10 pt / 6 pt line weight
  • within 5x5 in. square (8x10 paper)
  • some shaded element
  • rounded corners and line caps
Comparing all of our icons on the board together.
Deciding on parameters and guidelines.

The Assignment (9/6)

Today we received the project description in full — Paint the Pavement: Pittsburgh 2017! Our next step is to start on the wordmark, which we learned should have enough rigor to hold a system together yet also have flexibility for variation.

Kristin also briefly critiqued our collective icons. She said the ferris wheels were confusing and too specific, so I will ideate on different icons.

Icons: Third Iteration (9/7)

Rather than staying on the word “carnival,” I expanded the meaning of my icon to include general fun gatherings and events.

Word Mark: First Iteration (9/6–9/7)

Content Organization (9/7)

We got back into our groups from the icon workshop and discussed the order of the content in the application process that we are going to design.

We tore up the packet and cut up the sections. We grouped them into overarching categories and, using LATCH (particularly time and hierarchy), we thought about the order in which information should be presented to applicants.

We thought we’d want to open with the title and purpose of the project (headings, purpose, TOC), list out the logistics (responsibilities, eligibility), provide some overviews and summaries (shortened application timeline, person to contact) before diving into the detailed timeline and application process information. We put the “Review” section after that because we thought it read like a project rubric, and lastly we listed the special thanks.

The overall flow is, “Here’s what we’re doing, here’s what you do, and (if you’re still interested) here’s how.”

My group wanted the FAQ’s before the application overview, but I want to put it after the detailed info because that placement seems more intuitive to me.

Word Mark: Second Iteration + Concepts (9/8–9/12)

  • concepts (What’s your story?)
  • how does the word mark work with content, icons, etc….
  • brand attributes (who’s using it? how does it show this or that?)

I received feedback on my paint roller word mark in class. The black outline is too strong compared to the typography, and because the stroke doesn’t reflect how paint rollers actually work, it appears to be there more for decoration than any actual purpose. I will continue to expand on this concept.

“Get messy!”

I worked with a paint roller to get a feel for how it “behaved,” and see if I could give the roller in my design more substance and meaning. I also think the texture might add an interesting feel.

With the next word marks I made, I had a concept in mind of the Paint the Pavement program pulling people from different communities together. Pittsburgh is such a diverse city and each neighborhood is distinctive. I want my product to encompass Pittsburgh as a whole, perhaps by creating the feeling of moving through the whole city (a “tour?”) and encouraging people to join in.

If I go with this word mark, my concept is that readers will “walk” along a bridge, symbolic of Pittsburgh, as they move through the application process.


Pattern on this Pittsburgh poster
Popville: Narrative of growing, building a community.
With this concept, I imagine a narrative of continuous painting with the roller, maybe with paint streaks or using icons. I want to give the reader a feeling of moving through different areas of Pittsburgh as they read and continue to “paint.” This form mimics a paint roller and rolls to reveal instructions.

Feedback (9/13)

Kristin encouraged me to use a more graphic, less illustrative representation of the paint roller and really simplify the word mark.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Cut out the small things, like the person, and reduce the sheer number of thin lines.
  • Give the paint roller more believable proportions
  • Find typeface for word mark (keep cursive handwriting)
  • How will the word mark translate digitally? with color? in scale?

Word Mark: Third Iteration (9/13–14)

Process Board (9/13–9/14)

Typography, color palettes, aesthetic inspiration, concept ideas for form


  • Colors clashing (all palettes)
  • Clean up word mark
  • Figure out narrative, touch points

For next class:

Sketching in Content in Grid/Structure

  • typographic style sheet
  • image treatment, icons, color, grid

Process Board 2 (9/15–9/19)

I explored many different concepts to determine my narrative. I considered adult and children audiences, digital and physical media.

I tried to incorporate what would be effective with what I enjoyed. I decided to mix the clean digital aspect (like the letters in the word mark) with a more organic, personal touch using painted textures and hand-drawn visuals.

Make short video with murky dark picture, then roller sweeps over with bright picture? Then user doesn’t have to exert effort, and can see effects from farther away.

This could be the physical piece that grabs attention and leads to an information booklet or packet, maybe sitting right below.

Content: First Iteration (9/15–9/21)

The other piece I worked on was putting content into a grid system.

I tried making the cover’s color palette based on the dark city in the roll-up form.

Page spreads, first iteration:

Feedback (9/22)

Key points from talking with Kristin:

Content: Second Iteration (9/22–9/26)

I also started to design the tear-outs and forms.

Group Feedback (9/27)

Today we got into groups of 4 and quickly gave each other feedback. It helped me see a lot of issues in my spreads and also gave me different ideas to play with.

Two Spreads + Feedback (9/27–9/29)

Giving my text more of a “kick”
Uphill vs. downhill

Content: Third Iteration (9/29- 10/3)

Design Sprint! (10/4)

Just a full-on work session in class today. I went back to the concepts I had been working on before — the touchpoints, the paint rollers, the hand-painted things. I thought the long dimensions might lend well to billboards or ads in bus interiors (or exteriors?).

Design Sprint 2 (10/6)

Picking up from Tuesday, I switched to poster dimensions because I needed more space to incorporate more secondary information

Poster Critique & Booklet Inspiration (10/11)

Received feedback on poster design.

Kristin also showed us a lot of books that display unique and interesting binding techniques. How does the intention show through the form?

My system will consistently use the grid in the background, meant to feel like an unfinished project which applicants themselves complete.

Content: Fourth Iteration (10/11–10/12)

Content: Fifth Iteration & Poster (10/13–10/

I was reading over the writing in my book when I suddenly thought more about who I was talking to. “Hey, Pittsburgher” — I was talking to random members of the community. I felt that my target audience should be more focused (parents? community leaders?) when it suddenly struck me that the group of people who would have interest in PTP would be of a certain type and activeness already. It suddenly struck me that I should hang these posters not just in art stores or museums, but community centers, schools, summer camps — places where active adult figures would be present.

Poster changes

This informed and changed some of the language I was using, especially in the poster which was going in the public space. The posters would hang in community centric places, and a stack of booklets would be placed near it so people can grab one.

Pre-application changes

I had a couple extra pages to fill to correctly print a booklet from InDesign, and I remembered the application form that I hadn’t included yet. If individual community members grabbed booklets, I thought it wouldn’t make sense for there to be so many forms. Instead, I thought they could use the pages for notes or instruct them to fill it out together, if it’s a team.

I also tried constructing a little device for the checklist, which the user would slide down the list as they completed tasks to frame the next task. In the end, I decided not to keep it because it was too much.

Final Content (10/20)



Context Photos