Category Archives: Identity

Index—a magazine for the Harvard Art Museums

Index_01-01 Index_01-04 Index_02-01 Index_02-08 Index_03-01 Index_03-05


Index is a magazine for the Harvard Art Museums. Each printed issue (three so far) features a different color, determined by the date on which it’s published. Online the color changes every day.


U.S. Campaign Design System 2012

Election day in the U.S. has come and gone. Over the preceding months, the focus of the presidential race was of course on the nominees from our two main political parties—a dichotomy visualized as blue/red and vocalized ad nauseum. Just as predictably, the branding of both campaigns centered around red, white, blue and stripes (What, no stars this year?), amounting to a lot of eloquent graphic equivocation. See my previous post, Recto Reverso, for evidence of the tradition.

As a hypothetical solution, this design system suggests a way of creating political-position-based visual identities for all candidates. The approach eschews red-white-and-blue and stars-and-stripes (We know what country you’re campaigning to lead.) in favor of more diverse and individualized representations.

The design is built on a biaxial spectrum known as The Political Compass, which uses both economic and social scales as an alternative to the more simplistic left/right model. The Political Compass has plotted seven of the 2012 presidential candidates on the spectrum by comparing a series of propositions with the voting records, statements and actions of each candidate. I’ve added a color spectrum to The Compass in order to derive a color specific to each political position and have also created a basic typographic treatment which skews text toward that same point on the spectrum. A combination of the two could produce any communication materials needed for the campaigns. In this post are brief examples for the top five candidates from this year’s election:

1. Barack Obama, Democratic Party, 61,713,086 votes
2. Mitt Romney, Republican Party, 58,510,150 votes
3. Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party, 1,139,562 votes
4. Jill Stein, Green Party, 396,684 votes
5. Rocky Anderson, Justice Party, 34,521 votes
*Roseanne Barr of the Peace and Freedom Party came in fifth place, ahead of Anderson, with 51,714 votes. However her position was not identified by Political Compass™ and so she was, unfortunately, also excluded here.

process clipping

I’ve always liked this image from early sketches for the Patagonia Footwear identity we worked on at JDK in 2006.

Harpur Palate

Ben and I are working on a whole new design for SUNY Binghamton’s literary journal, Harpur Palate. The first issue of our design is coming soon! For now, here’s the new mark.

YALE G.D. MFA ’11 Reception












Here (finally) are some pictures and a video of our show from the day of the reception. First photo is Ruby‘s. All the other photos with people in them, as well as the video, are courtesy of Glen Cummings. The photos without people were taken by (and copyright of) Sandra Burns. See more here.



REBA (Recreation, Exercise, Brisk Activity) was a group of four games temporarily installed in the Yale School of Art’s Green Hall building.

REBA (Rejuvenating Engagement for the Bemoaning Aloof) was a semi-public intervention meant to instigate playful social interaction between the building’s users.

REBA (Really a Euphemism for Beseeching Action) used athletic graphics and activities in reference to the building’s original function as a gym.

REBA (Radical Exercise for Bashful Artists) included a scoring system which acted as cumulative evidence of ongoing activity and competition.

Designed and Produced in August 2010 by Lauren Adolfsen, Zak Jensen, Mylinh Nguyen,  and Lindsay Nordell for a Graphic Design MFA Workshop with Antenna—Masamichi Udagawa & Sigi Moeslinger—at theYale University School of Art, 1156 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT.

Recto Reverso

G.D. MFA ’11

Animated GIF promoting our grad show. Website designed and programmed by Brian Watterson, Brendan Griffiths, and Juan Astasio.

Campaign Color System

Campaign Typography System