Sharing the story of cultural exchange
DESIGN TOOLS WITH a BOLD, PLAYFUL, TRUSTING APPROACH
CLIENT – Tandem cross-border collaboration program, Berlin, DE
MY ROLE – Leading research, strategy, and design. Planning and leading co-creation sessions.
SERVICES – Research, strategy, identity, graphic design, illustration, product development, content development, facilitation.
Tandem, a social innovation incubator program based in Berlin, Germany, is rapidly growing, with multiple new programs and partners located in different countries. The team needed a shared design language and a simple way to explain what they do. Over the course of two years of close collaboration, I led the co-creation of a human-centred vision for their visual communications.
From new logos to a new workshop handbook, the new visual identity and storytelling tools reflected Tandem’s values. They also generated new engagement with its community. Our work laid a solid foundation for Tandem’s future projects and the team’s day-to-day visual communications.
I started with three days of immersive observation at a Tandem meeting in Berlin. I interviewed participants about their experiences and motivations for participating in the program. Back in the office with the Tandem team, we developed user stories and used contextual inquiry to consider how Tandem sees itself and how employees use design in their everyday work.
Finding the Story
Working closely with the Tandem staff, I then developed new ideas for ways to tell the Tandem story visually using methods including card sorting, personas, and storytelling. An illustrated book, a presentation with key insights, and perspective cards communicated this vision for Tandem’s design and storytelling.
Developing the Strategy
Through methods such as brainstorming, and pattern recognition, we generated an approach to communicating Tandem’s mission and values. I produced a visual project planning toolkit defining Tandem‘s vision and priorities. I then designed a corporate identity and design guidelines based on this research.
Creating New Tools
We then designed promotional and storytelling prototypes. These included: a booklet about the Tandem process, infographics explaining how Tandem works, a visual language of shapes and symbols to help communicate processes and program deadlines, and a postcard-themed promotional campaign. Our last phase was gathering additional feedback and making adjustments.