BORED. Museum

Freelance Art Director, Website Designer
Responsibilities and skills
Branding and logo design
Web design
Style guide, & identity system
August 2021 - Novemeber 2021
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Section 1 // Background Information

Figure 1. 2D Logo explorations (see 2D: the 2nd element in the 2nd row), Figure 2. 3D Logo explorations

Project Overview

In a project that began the summer of 2021, I directed the concept for a digital art museum. BORED. Museum was a new organization that aimed to freely share art and donate to support burgeoning art creators. Rather than the clean white edges of giants like MoMa, my brief asked for something strange, wondrous, filled with grit.

In this project, I delved out of my comfort zone and learned how to create a unique visual identity that sticks. The goal of my branding was to be futuristic and memorable— a web presence that would reflect BORED's title as an explorer in a developing field. After all, how edgy is too edgy?
Initially, I had issues with wordmarks being too boring (haha), angry, or grungy; and ended up playing around with the 3D tools in Illustrator.
None of the early 2D logos were quite perfect, but the vertical rectangular one (second row) struck a chord with me — this was when I started heading in the right direction.

Guiding principles

Being an ode to a digital reality, I found that 3D elements gave everything dimension— adding a skeuomorphic element to a completely online experience. 
The brand components I designed represent the unique experiences and core values of BORED: experimentation, diversification, and distinction, as well as its brand personality: contemporary, innovative, and empowering. These traits stem from the diverse NFT community, built upon all kinds of art styles (seriously, see Peter Tarka, then Weird Whales).

There are a wealth of artists creating NFTs, and with the medium being so new, things are ever-changing. The degree of experimentation present is reflected in the oddity of BORED’s brand identity, being distinct and completely unlike what is expected of a museum. Gone are the headings in helvetica-esque typefaces; my intention was to create something that represented experimentation: something striking that both looked and felt bold. I thought black accented with red encompassed this best because of red's extremity, and its associations with strength.

Section 2 // Design for dark mode

Figure 2. Condensed version of Bored's visual guidelines
The actual execution of this was a tricky subject because the possibility of using pure white or black is eliminated in dark mode due to eye strain (Jason Harrison, 2019). Furthermore, colors need to be a lot less saturated to be readable.
After a lot of tinkering with the HSB system, I still made my color system minimal to place more emphasis on artwork. 

Section 3 // Applying the branding

Figure 3. Instagram post concept (Happyland Gummy Bear NFTs)


My primary typeface for headings was Monument Extended by Pangram Pangram (shameless plug I love their fonts). I thought the sans-serif embodied the empowering and distinct personality of BORED because it is uniquely broad and stretched. I added a lot of tracking to make it readable, and paired it with Acumin Pro Wide— a neo-grotesque readable on web and print. Both are sans-serifs possess powerful presences and little contrast, perfect for my type heavy designs. 
Figure 4. Landing page design concept, created with Figma

Prototyping a landing page

I was asked to create a design system and several variations of UI in a way that featured the 3D museum. Disclaimer: none of the website designs were used and I did not take any part in designing the current website. 

Section 3 // The takeaways

Figure 5. Ticket designs for NFT.NYC

Branding, in the wild...

The final logo was featured in ticket variations I created for the NFT.NYC conference. The annual event features workshops from leading names in blockchain, recently attracting a record crowd of 5,000, plus a 3,000-person wait list. 
Figure 6. Venn diagram of the UX intersection
2 years later

My learnings

Since this project, I’ve grown enough to admit a lot of my website UI needed improvement. Although my designs were very pleasing to the eye, the UX didn’t necessarily drive conversions like increasing session duration, or adding value through information.

Some of the other fallacies my work suffered from include not driving engagement or being responsive. Users were able to navigate the information architecture, but the website wouldn't necessarily have performed well if shipped.

Even in terms of UI, there are a lot of places with room for improvement (and spacing tokens). I feel my website was a wasted opportunity to showcase art, instead of tucking it behind a secondary interface. The design essentially forces users to keep exploring, but it's missing a primary hook to captivate them.

Section 5// My conclusion

Figure 7. Thanks for scrolling! *Project concept was never used other than NFT.NYC

A happy ending

The branding in this project is something I’m still proud of today— I'll continue challenging my style in years beyond, albeit with a bit more consideration towards product thinking. Where freelance design briefs usually limit my potential art direction, I’m grateful to BORED for handing me a blank canvas and telling me to inspire.
(c.) 2021—2022
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(c.) 2021—2022