Brand X Project Journal

mariamarinescuduca

MARIA MARINESCU- DUCA

BRAND X


CONTENTS

BRIEF

STEP CARDS

DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES

BRAND DEVELOPMENT

THE NAME

MOODBOARD

BRAND GUIDELINES

DESIGN ITERATIONS

PROTOTYPING

FINAL CONCEPT

THE BRAND IN USE

EXHIBITION

REFLECTION

P2

P3

P6

P9

P10

P14

P16

P17

P20

P26

P29

P31

P32

THE TEAM

ALICE XAO

ANDREW SMITH

MARIA MARINESCU-DUCA


Working in a team of three, Andrew, Alice and I were asked to develop propositions for

a new lifestyle brand aimed at the home of the future, in approximately 10 years’ time.

We were given the space of the dining room as a starting point within the home.

Therefore, we identified and responded to emerging social, cultural, technological,

economic and political phenomena surrounding it.

This enabled us to anticipate how these might manifest themselves in new concerns,

desires and behaviours within the domestic context.

Through a workshop following the project launch we were able to collaborate in

creating a database of ideas which could be addressed within the future and would be

especially relevant in creating the complex factors which form our brand moments.

BRIEF


STEP CARDS


We explored the prospects of our dining experience through

step cards, eventually singling out the ones we felt strongly

about.

Within our group, there was a particular interest on the social

aspects of everyday life, as dining is an activity pertaining to

society, being far more than just consuming food and beverage.


Based on four of the step cards we developed various design opportunities,

presenting our vision of the future with and without the imagined products.


DESIGN

OPPORTUNITIES

My concern lied within a scenario that is

also applicable in present times: eating

alone, together. However, as we discussed

our future moments, we determined that

our brand moments will rather take place in

a dystopia. Thus, this plausible scenario

gained value and momentum for me by

being an almost caricature of the present

moment; the exaggerated scenario of the

tomorrow where people will be so

absorbed by their devices and will stop

from communicating with one another.


At this point we started exploring

who our customer might be and

communally decided to focus on a

demographic of food conscious

people, almost to the point of

paranoia, as it seemed

appropriate to our dystopian

future. How might they enjoy the

experience of dining? How can we

ease that anxiety with our

products? We explored nutrition

as well as the analytic nature of

such a demographic.

We started mapping out potential

areas of use for our brand and

through this decided that

technology should be something

our brand embraces. Fighting its

evolution

seemed

counterproductive, as its

incorporation in our brand came

naturally.


We communally decided that the experience we wanted to portray was one of

deepened human connection as we explored various brand scenarios. We chose to

further explore a moment of extreme usage; a dinner party with complete strangers

as guests, where the partaking members are both nervous and eager to get to know

one another. Our brand can provide that ease, it can consist in the icebreaker and

can build relationships, all using future-day AI, the core instrument of Din.


Our scenario consists of a young couple that just got

married and is moving together into their first flat. They

would like to get to know their neighbours better but are

unsure how to go about that. As such, a dinner party would

provide a fantastic opportunity for the newlyweds to

familiarize themselves with their next-door neighbours.

We considered our product to be a special something that you could

get as a moving in gift or even a wedding present, something

thoughtful, beyond a short-term investment. Similarly, to your nice

china our products would be primarily reserved to special occasions.

This conclusion reflected in Din’s ethos and product family.


BRAND DEVELOPMENT

The definitory point for our

brand consisted in the brand

archaeology workshop with

graphic design expert Pedro

Almeida.

We were asked to compare

two competitor brands,

highlighting the similarities

and differences, dividing their

brands fabric into categories

which we could further define.

clearer in our vision, we were

able to get a better

understanding of what a brand

is and how designers can

create its perception and

evolution.

Our given brands consisted of

high fashion retailer Maison

Margiela and high street brand

Superdry. Both in company

policies and design vision we

found plentiful differences. As

the graphical language was


As our brand identity evolved, so did its name. The

first titles included “Provenance”, “Fortis” and

“Discourse”. However, the brand felt more playful

and light-hearted, thus the contrast between these

names and the brand identity seemed apparent.

FIRST LOGO DESIGNS

PACKAGING MOCK-UPS

THE NAME


After deliberations we settled on the title “Din”. Apart from being a shortened

version of the word dinner, “Din” to us means the sound of chatter, the clink of

glasses and the loudness that comes with an engaging evening amongst others.

INITIAL LOGO DEVELOPMENTS


MOODBOARD


Realising a brand is not necessarily what you want

to portray but how the public perceives that

intention, we surveyed the public to see what

impression it gave them. Based on that we further

refined our name, marks, colour and material

palettes. We found our intention to be better

understood following these changes.


BRAND GUIDELINES

TYPEFACE Barlow

VALUES Reliable Fun Technological

FIFTH ELEMENT Rainbow

Holding a dinner party at home has never been easier. Through technology-based products,

Din takes the stress out of hosting. Relax and enjoy the atmosphere, leaving you and your guests

able to enjoy the experience every single time. We aim to build and deepen relationships during

dinner in an increasingly disconnected world. All you need to do is just follow our lead.

Din: Connect, over dinner.

MANIFESTO


As a starting point for designing my product I chose to observe the small subtle interactions between

people around the dinner table. The clink of the glasses, the choreography of slicing your food; all whilst

conversing with the ones around you. A particular shape seemed timeless to me; the archetype of a glass.

Social drinking in western culture (and in many other civilizations) is seen as a ritual around the dinner

table, an act of vulnerability and celebration, going beyond its traditional value.


DESIGN ITERATIONS

For my first product exploration I designed a drinking

system, using a bottoms-up serving method.

PROCESS OF ALIMENTATION

The glasses would be alimented by existing liquids or by

pigments that would reflect the guest’s preferences, as

picked up by the AI technology analysing their behaviour.

Thus, every guest will have a drink tailored to their

preferences, as well as their behaviour that evening- and will

be able to share this beverage with the guests around them.

ALIMENTATION OF DRINKS

BASE OF VALVE


Following the product family’s presentation, I realised that whilst this product might create a fun moment in time, it does not

fully belong in the futuristic scenario. It is more plausible that such a mechanism would be innovative rather in present times.

STORYBOARD


PROTOTYPING


Through tutor feedback I felt

it would be more appropriate

to research a set of various

networked products that can

intensify the technological

bond of our dining scenario. I

felt as if simply providing a

new perspective towards

drinking was not relevant

enough to the functions of my

colleague’s products.

evolve in ten years’ time.

Through model making,

working primarily with

thermoplastics I started

designing a centrepiece

around these networked

items. The centrepiece would

serve as decoration and

output for data that is

gathered through cutlery.

I analysed current tableware

and dining décor trends trying

to predict how they would


MATERIAL AND FORM SAMPLES

INITIAL CENTERPIECE DESIGN


The centric form of this iteration

was based around the concept

of the dinner becoming its own

separate entity. What if your

interactions around the dinner

table could be summarised

symbolically through a fictional

planet? Designing in mind with

that the surprise feature of

Alice’s app could be, I prototyped

how these fictional planets could

evolve in the digital medium.

QUICK APP RENDERINGS

EVOLUTION STAGES OF THE PLANET


THE NUDGE

With the design still feeling removed from our brand core, we decided to repurpose Andrew’s cone

design “The Nudge” (representing AI receptors) and carry it through to the centrepiece.


INTUITIVE MODEL MAKING

After some simple desktop modelling observing and recreating my colleagues design in different

scales, we landed on a proportion we were all pleased with.


FINAL CONCEPT

RHINO RENDERING FOR 3D PRINT


In pursuit to convey the feeling of blossoming, the Hub is both a centrepiece and a system of

lighting, directly representing the conversations that are being held around the dinner table.

Every light and pulse of the device represents you and your guests’ interactions in a positive

light- encouraging curiosity from other members of the dinner party, as well as affording

communication.


FINAL MODEL

Using 3d printing I achieved the central shape of the cone. In the centre 6 glass tubes are inserted and lit with led bulbs in our

corresponding brand accent colours, representing each of the guests of the dinner party. The tubes are moved by a servo

using a rotating motion, attached to a mechanism and to the base of the tubes, affording the movements.


Branding colourway taken into materiality and visuals of products

DOCUMENTING OUR BRAND IMAGE

THE BRAND IN USE


PRODUCT FAMILY


SETTING UP


FINAL POSTER

THE BUSSINESS CARDS

For the exhibition we felt it was important to fully embrace the role of a brand

ambassador. We chose to go for a light top and dark bottoms, utilizing shades of black,

white and grey. We wanted to present ourselves in smart but approachable clothing,

leaving the brands trademark rainbow accents steal the spotlight.

EXHIBITION


Brand X proved to be a very fulfilling project

when it came to exploring form through both

physical and digital making. Ultimately it was

an important experience to compromise my

artistic vision towards the communal brand

vision. I feel as a team we were ultimately

very successful in creating a cohesive

language of materiality whilst respecting the

brand guidelines. In the future, I would like to

develop the level of detail in the model, as

well as refining its purpose outside of the

dining space. The Hub could be found as a

mediator in a business meeting, or could be

used in quantifying conversation in a

professional sense outside of the fun

escapism of the dining experience.

REFLECTION


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