Project 4

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Ying Luo| meaning


会意字, meaning “character formed by combining the meanings”, is a type of Chinese characters in modern Chinese writing system. For example, if you put “person” next to a “tree”, you get a character meaning “rest”. If you put “no” on top of a “mouth”, the new character would mean “deny”. While some combinations of meanings are quite straightforward, others can be more abstract and can bear some cultural significance. For example, if you put the number “two” next to the character meaning “human” you would get “kindness”. If you put “women” and “owned” together you would get “spouse”.

This project, “meaning” is a collection of meaning behind the composition of 30 Chinese characters in the category of 会意字. Take the character 意, meaning “meaning” for example. The top part means “sound” and the bottom part means “heart”. You would take the sound to heart to understand the meaning! That is how a Chinese character combine and form a new meaning. The front of each card shows the two characters combined to form a new character. The back reveals the meaning of each part as an individual character and the meaning of the new character made from them.





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Daniel Moreno | This is the Procedure: a celebration of the algorithms that define my life

Statement: I exist in a world of algorithms. An algorithm is any well-defined procedure that takes values as inputs and produces an output through a transformation. While this definition is broad, I want to focus on the algorithms embedded in the technology that I interact with on a daily basis. Their invisibility makes them easy to ignore, so I want to find a way to explore them and make them more tangible. I’ve compiled a book of 10 algorithms that are presented in code. Each algorithm has a short description in my own words and some visualization of the input it can take and the output that it generates.

I have included the following foreword that goes into more detail about the creation of the project:

In its purest form, an algorithm is simply the process of transforming a given input into an output that conforms to a certain structure. While the word algorithm evokes the image of a gargantuan computer in a dark room crunching a million numbers and pumping out pages full of gibberish symbols, the idea of formalizing sets of instructions in a step-by-step format has been around since around 1,800 BCE. It was then that the Babylonians started impressing their farming routines on clay tablets that could be shared with neighbors, friends and family. At the top of each clay tablet, they would always inscribe the same words to begin their algorithms: “This is the procedure”.

This book is a brief exploration into the algorithms that I interact with on a daily basis. As an engineer and designer, I strive to find function and beauty in all the systems that surround me. The goal of this exploration is not to glorify or romanticize these algorithms, but instead to expose some of the magic that is hidden behind computer code. The algorithms in this book usually work invisibly in the background of my life and I rarely contemplate them head on. I see these algorithms as living, breathing beasts with far more influence on me than I’d like to admit.

I have decided to include the ten algorithms that I find most important. They are presented in no particular order and written in a variety of programming languages, including pseudocode (which is not a formal language but an abstract way of representing algorithms). Deciding which algorithms to include, how to organize them on these pages and how to design this book have all been algorithms in their own right, which has been a very introspective experience. The final product is only a reflection of my current opinions towards these algorithms, and is bound to change with the ebb and flow of technology.


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Full Document: This is the Procedure – 24 Page PDF


Full code for the algorithms that I discuss in the book, with references to where I got the code for.

The Algorithm Auction

In Pursuit of the Unknown

10 Algorithms that Dominate Our World

The Real 10 Algorithms that Dominate Our World


Helen Nie | Brand Guidelines Deck for Acumen, LLC.

Materials: 8.5″x11″ 80# paper, wire-bound


Inspired by the likes of Silicon Valley‘s Hooli and Dissolve’s “This is a Generic Brand Video,”  my proposal for the fictional company, Acumen, LLC, uses a satirical lens to poke at how easily superficial elements can transform the entire look and feel of a company’s ethos. The proposal takes the form of a “Brand Guidelines” deck which walks through Acumen’s basic brand elements, such as color, type, logo, and voice, all without ever naming what the company produces or does. The components and text within the document have been lifted almost verbatim to create a realistic pastiche of many existing companies, including the Global Ad Agency, TBWA, Cannes Lions award-winning firm, AKQA, and the company I will actually be working at after graduation, Prophet.

As we navigate an ever-saturated visual market, it becomes increasingly impossible to dodge the marketing tactics and enticing ploys by agencies. That’s why it’s all the more important to think critically about how we as consumers engage with the brands that we like—and whether we like those brands for their “skins” alone or for what cuts deeper below the surface-level packaging.

Full 23-page PDF document here.
Letter from the (fictional) CEO, Josh Durkheim, here.


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Andrew Shen | Contacts

Nearly every contacts app displays people in a linear list, yet we never actually remember people by where their names lay in an alphabetized list. We remember them for how we met them and what we associate with them—an organization, a networking event, a mutual friend, a night out. These apps enable us to search by a specific name, but often we can’t recall anything specific—all we remember is a company name or a vague meeting area. I’m hoping to re-think the way we currently visualize people on our phones—to redesign what we call “contacts” today in a way that’s closer aligned to how we actually connect with and remember people.

This idea was inspired by data visualizations in Nick Feltron’s Feltron Report.

PDF Documentation:


Video Demo:




Sarah Holland | Exploration of Public Typography

I used Project #4 as a tool for developing and testing my Visual Studies senior thesis. Through my senior thesis, I intend to explore the potential role of critical typography in the public sphere by examining its past and current roles, investigating aspects of social psychology and marketing that might influence it, and creating pieces around Philadelphia that address issues at the intersection of mental health and gender.

For a little background, domestic violence affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men. 1 in 5 women will be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Half of trans-identifying individuals have experienced sexual violence. 65% of women have experienced street harassment. Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. I question why these events, which happen so regularly, are met with quiet indifference. I question how to facilitate unity in the prevention and response of such issues. To make this happen through critical typography in the public sphere, I will investigate the history and theory of public typography and social influence. I will learn about techniques used to manipulate the public and the individual through communication in the public and domestic spheres. I will look into Public Service campaigns created by the government and social action groups. I will investigate psychological phenomena that cause a person or group to change and adapt. How do I best convey my message to my chosen audience? Who should be my audience? What exactly will my message be? These are all questions to address by studying the history of public typography and the discipline of social psychology.

The creative portion of my thesis will consist of the manifestation of this message and its medium. As these issues are widespread, I intend to proliferate the message throughout Philadelphia, and perhaps New York. I will attempt to condense my findings, primarily using typography.

For Project #4, I explored the placement, style, and material creation of public typography. I chose to play with the phrase “If not now, when?” because of its broad range of potential meanings and applications. The actual message is not critical to the success of this project. Rather, I used a formulaic approach of type treatments to affect the impact that any phrase might have on the viewer. I implemented changes in bold, italic, and regular fonts, left, right, and justified alignments, sizing, and other type treatments to change the meaning of the message through form. 







Mana Sazegara | Advertising Campaign: Capsulate

Medium: GIFs


Illustrations play an enormous role in communicating the ideas. They have the capability of empowering the message more than words do. Today, this role has been magnified tremendously as the result of digital and social media. Each advertising campaign put out fresh colorful illustrations quite rapidly to remind its users and of course themselves, their goals and services and to promote their brand. They try their best to broadcast their missions and ideas through the simplest shapes.

Animated Graphics has added a new layer of amusement to the pictorial shapes, for now only on your cell phone and laptop screens; we don’t know what the future holds, maybe the word of animated photos in newspapers wouldn’t stay in Hogwarts.

In this project, I made an animated storyboard by creating a set of motion graphics, to promote the missions of a startup called Capsulate. I tried to practice sharing my ideas and thoughts with the most straightforward illustrations and to narrow than my ideas into a single image and to be as clear as possible.

“Capsulate, is a service which allows you to drop off the item(s) you want to mail, in one of their Smart Lockers, without worrying about putting it in a package or even print the stamp or label. The only thing you have to do is to open the Capsulate app, find the closest Locker, enter the size of your package, and the receiver’s address. Drop off your package with us and we will take care of the rest while you will get update notifications.”

You can find the animated graphics on Capsulate Homepage as well.






Kate Jeon | Memories from the Four Seasons

Medium: GIFs

Inspired by motion illustrators such as Markus Magnusson, Kwenkwen and Nick Buturishvili, I brought my static illustrations to life by animating parts of the image using Adobe After Effects. I had no previous knowledge of After Effects so the process comprised of many YouTube tutorials and Googling. Utilizing the subtle movements found in cinemagraphs, I aimed to invoke nostalgia in the four illustrations of my memories. The illustrations were created as vector artworks in Adobe Illustrator, which was then imported into Adobe After Effects and turned into GIFs using Adobe Photoshop.

The project with memory descriptions can be found on my online portfolio.

The gifs are included below in greater detail:

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Esther Jeon | How Are You?

Medium : Cardstock in Accordion Fold

Statement : I’ve always been interested in how type plays a role in conveying meaning and a feeling to the viewer. This project is an exploration of how form, style, and arrangement of type impacts meaning. I created a google survey that just asks “how are you today?” and posted it on social media for friends to answer. I got a wide variety of answers and from those I chose about 30 1-3 word phrases to include in the small book. The book is created with a “never-ending” accordion fold to convey the idea of how our mood and how we feel is constantly changing throughout the day. Also, everyone doesn’t feel the same when asked the question, each person is experiencing something different in their day. I wanted to express that by not just having one phrase on each spread, but by having two different feelings on one spread. With each phrase, I try to interpret each one by translating those feelings through typography and form, without explicitly illustrating the letters.

Inspiration : Type Only, Wolfgang Weingart, and Mira Schendel