Desk Lunch

Personal Project
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Desk Lunch is a weekly newsletter for women and non-binary people in the creative industry.

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Early wordmark sketches.

Desk Lunch started when a friend and I wanted to create a project that supports women and non-binary people in the creative industry. While doing research, we realized there are not many platforms that share what it’s like to be a woman or non-binary in the creative industry. We wanted to create something that celebrated, supported, and shared projects and stories that often go unheard.

A key priority of our mission is to be inclusive. We welcome all who identify as non-binary, queer, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, intersex, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, or gender nonconforming. This also includes people of color and people of all ages and abilities.

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Brand moodboard: a mix of feminine themes with bold, gender neutral typography.

We wanted our group to be as open and accessible as possible, and we see digital cultural as instrumental to disruption and change, so we chose to make Desk Lunch a newsletter that's available every week to whoever signs up online.

Currently Desk Lunch releases a new issue every Wednesday morning. We have had contributors such as, Jinjin Sun, Milan Moffat, Carly Ayres, the three women of the Borrowed Interest Podcast, Carinda Roestorf, and Carolyn Zhang. Issues have ranged from being non-binary in the workplace, to commodifying your own culture, and supporting other women at work.

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Early design explorations.

Design Challenges

As the Design Director of this project, I wanted to create a system that stood out from the millennial pink that runs common in this space. I wanted to avoid light, typically feminine pastels and airy typography.

Another aspect I had to keep in mind during this phase was how would this system work with a variety of articles and topics. I knew we needed to have an expansive color palette and imagery that would be flexible and easily replicable on a weekly basis.

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Branding - bold typography with traditionally feminine imagery and gender neutral colors with variants.

Design Solutions

I created a palette using bold, warm colors and with a dark blue for balance. To add more flexibility in the palette, I added secondary colors that are less saturated versions of the primary palette.

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Issues 2-4, left to right - Intersection of Career and Non-Conforming Identity by Rowan, 7 Lessons Learned and Unlearned from my Computer Science Education by Carolyn Zhang, and Permission? No Thanks by Carinda Roestorf.

For the word mark, I wanted a gender neutral typeface that lets readers know that this newsletter is all-inclusive. I used Univers because of how versatile it is. I wanted the type to accompany the stories and imagery rather than take away from it and distract the user.

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Since Desk Lunch is a weekly newsletter, I knew I could not make custom visuals for each issue. To ensure an overall visual language that reflects both our brand and the issue content, I pull public domain images from the art world that match the tone of the essays in each issue. The art world is where our industry stems from and where many people in the creative industry first get inspired to pursue this field.