Redesign as Reflection - Reflect, Parti & Create to a new Digital Persona
It's my 4th redesign of my website, my fourth experience creating a new logo for myself but it's my first time sharing my process.
If you're thinking about redesigning your website or creating a logo for yourself I hope you can take something from my process to add to yours.
Pockets of Reflection
If I start a redesign without doing some deep self-reflection, the beginning will feel like I discovered a star, but I won't be able to map it to the constellation it should belong to. That star this time would be the logo.
It's January 2021, the new year always gives me a pocket of time and space to briefly reflect who I've been, who I am and who I want to be. But for all that has happened, this moment — is simply a pocket.
I set aside a day and use my passion planner to map out goals for the next 3 months, Year, 5 years — lifetime. At the end, I always change the 3 months into 1 month, a year into 3 months, 5 years into 1 year, a Lifetime into 5 years. It brings clarity and intentionality. I come out of the process with the intent to refocus my life to be aligned with working in SMART Cities.
My first concrete goal was to rebuild my digital persona so that I could align it with my goals. And so I began my journey with creating a new symbol for myself.
In the past I made pictorial marks as my logos — they were attempts to provide visual representations to personal philosophies, dreams and ambitions. But this time — I wanted to be the philosophy. I wanted to be the direct driving force that propels my logo into existence.
No metaphor, no pictorial mark, I wanted to peel back the layers and show the most direct representation of who I am by starting with my name in the form of three initials — CFM.
I open Figma and use every single System font installed on my computer along with the fonts that have followed me along over the years, from Chivo to Inter — I drill it down to 48 LogoTypes.
48 Logotypes. I can only choose 1. But I couldn't. Something was missing. I stopped.
7 months later — it's my no code summer — instead of working, I took my own summer sabattical to recharge, reflect and explore my interests.
My pocket of time and space that I had in the beginning of the year suddenly expanded into the sea of conciousness that I needed to explore.
And so I began with interests — I always wanted to make movies — so I started with watching iconic films. And then I asked myself "wait...if life is a movie and I am the main character, what would the script say?"
If we are the stories we tell ourselves everyday, what were the stories I was telling myself everyday?
The Writers Room
It's July 8th 2021 — over the next two days I immediately learn everything I can on how to write a screenplay. Not for the purposes of creating a movie, but to write a script for myself, one that I would want to step into every single day of my life.
While there are limitations of framing one's life as a movie — what is limitless is that this idea lends itself as a framework that provides me with agency over life itself. And that my friend is enough to start a new chapter in a life.
Diving into my sea of conciousness, I begin the process of deep self-reflection. I start with character developement — I define everything about myself. What do I believe in? My wants, my needs, my strengths, my weaknesses, the lies and truths I believe in.
Then I wrote different "story" arcs for my life — internal changes that I must go through, to become who I want to be.
I was in my own personal writer's room.
I finished rewriting my reality. I had a deeper understanding of who I was, who I've been and who I want to become. I was finally ready to embark on the redesign.
1 in 48
It's July 26th, 2021 — I revisit the sea of 48 LogoTypes and within a heartbeat I chose the "one".
Donning Bangers font, embodying the style of superhero comic book cover lettering — I chose this as my Logo for the next chapter of my life.
Welcome to The Parti
I then start playing with concepts of how the website will look like, from having my initials on a flag in space, to an interactive chaotic doodle as a metaphor for my journey in life so far.
But then I looked up from my desk and there it was — The Clapperboard.
Staring at me in the face this whole time since July 8th 2021. I didn't need to come up with something new, I only had to continue the process that I was already on by asking myself again — if my life is a movie and I am the main character, what would the script say?
If my personal plot of digital landscape is an extension of that idea, what would it look like, what would it say?
In that very moment — if I may borrow a term from my architecture friends — I found my Parti, the idea that would organize, generate and inform every aspect of the redesign — from assets to content.
My life is a movie, I am the main character and it starts with a Clapperboard paired with its own screenplay.
I quickly sketch the parti before I sleep. I wake up the next day and a Figma prototype is born.
The parti orchestrates and generates the designs and decisions in real time. It's a manifestation of the deep self-reflection I've done.
I begin an inner mologue — I ask myself how should I communicate my work experience? A screen play! But how will vistors navigate to those screenplays? Well, what if each screenplay had it's own movie poster as a way to establish wayfinding for the screen play content itself? What about the projects I've worked on? Since those are projects that everyone can see, let's do movie tickets based off of an old AMC movie ticket.
From July 26th 2021 to August 21st 2021 — the Reflect, Parti & Create Process becomes recursive — each project, smaller in scope, has a parti of it's own, preceded by some form of deep reflection to create what you see today.
Deep self-reflection is paramount when creating a new persona, from logo to redesign.
Choose a process that you're comfortable with to do a deep self-reflection. Just do it. So long as it gives you agency over your reality, you are on your way to create your own Parti. Once you have your Parti — all you have to do is create.