Rebranding and building a future for women in tech at Western University

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Introduction

About Women in Technology Society

Women in Tech Society (WITS) strives to build a pipeline to enter and succeed within the tech industry. At WITS, we empower forward-thinking women to rapidly learn, test new skills, and gain valuable experiences through our events. Our inclusive community allows women to share wisdom and key industry insights with each. More so, we aim women with resources, opportunities and mentors to achieve success, levelling the playing fields for all women+ to come.

 

Working with the WITS team has been one of the most life-changing experiences in my lifetime. The WITS community really encouraged me to take the leap of faith and pursue my interests in product design. The type of creativity I exercised as a business student was different from the creativity I used to cultivate ideas for my personal passion projects. WITS provided me with the opportunities to do what I love the most: create delightful human-centred experiences.

 

As one of three designers on the team, I had an opportunity to further develops WITS's brand, including redesigning the logo. In my role, I ensured brand identity was consistent across 6 communication platforms, 5 events, and our annual hackathon, SheHacks.

 

WITS Design Team: Estelle Chung, Meghan Lo, and myself.

Visual Refresh

The number one redesign goal was to achieve consistency. Upon browsing the WITS website, SheHacks website, and WITS Facebook page, it created the perception that WITS was a siloed organization; this perception emphasized the existing branding inconsistencies.

 

We needed to remind ourselves what WITS's purpose is: the organization recognizes that there is a lag for women in the tech industry to progress in their careers. WITS responds by growing a community for members to find access to networks, skills, and opportunities which advance women, together, in the technology sector.

 

 

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In framing WITS's purpose in our minds, we could develop a better brand identity that communicates the club's many productive and proactive pillars that work tirelessly to deliver these goals to our membership. Some buzzwords which we wanted to convey were: welcoming, smart, empowering, and more than a little fun.

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Mood Board

We put a mood board together inspired by retro colour-blocks, gradient overlays, and iconography using symbols and variations of lines. For the logo re-design, we gathered images of circuit boards and considered how that could be incorporated in the "W" in WITS. The loud colours entertain the viewer's attention when scanning a page. Alongside this, the uses of gradient and image overlays present a futuristic aesthetic while communicating the transition to a more transparent and fluid future for women in the industry.

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Style Guide

One reason we noticed the inconsistency in our previous branding was the use of different colours for each respective pillar of WITS. Our new colour palette represents WITS as a whole organization, but combining specific colours will yield you the colours of one of WITS pillars. For example, Indigo, dark and light pink represents SheHacks. 

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Marketing Materials

A Byte of Series
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Integrating Multimedia and Motion Graphics

One design element that I was extremely enthusiastic about introducing to the WITS design portfolio was motion graphic videos. Video and motion graphics communicate information, mood, and aesthetic in a way that a regular graphic poster can't. I find a lot of personal joy creating the storyboards for them, and it's fulfilling to know that it's effectively marketing WITS's opportunities in an entertaining and engaging way.  

Work to be done

Reflecting on the past year, I see many areas that can be improved. From a design perspective, there were a few missed opportunities to maintain strong brand consistency throughout the year. 

 

In terms of branding and visual design, WITS has been the more enjoyable projects I've worked on to date. For myself, it's been truly special to be able to curate a brand for a movement and cause I care deeply about. The design team and I still get giddy and excited when we receive positive feedback and comments from our seniors and corporate partners. 

 

WITS Design 2018-2019 was the year we took branding to a bolder, and more dramatic direction.