David Broderick [student portfolio]

David Broderick [student portfolio]

Updated Mar, 3rd 2013

Hello! My name is David and I'm currently working on building a "student" portfolio that will get me an internship. I say "student" because I was in design school (communication design) and—after 3 years of study—dropped out of the program, switching my major to philosophy. I've now finished my major and minor courses and will be graduating this spring.

Although I changed my major, I never lost my love of design. For the past few months I've been working really hard to get back into the game, adjust to the current industry, and sharpen my skills. My goal in this class is to take the few student projects I have and find ways to repurpose them, better explain them, and make my body work presentable.

In addition, I'd like to try and develop the way I explain my sudden shift from design to philosophy and it's relevance. From my perspective, the two fields are actually extremely complimentary for user experience design in that, design taught me creative thinking methodologies, visual story-telling, and overall visual design theory. Philosophy expanded my linear thinking and logic skills, while also giving me a relatively balanced understanding of ethics, existentialism (which seems highly relevant in the contemporary), and hermeneutics (the study of understanding, often dealing with the way we read works of art and language).

Okay, enough background. Here is some of my work which I'm currently revising:


Archiscape is a minimalist sustainable architecture firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Their mission is creating memorable buildings and spaces that become unified with their location.

As a student, I was asked to create an identity system that reflects the beliefs fundamental to Archiscape’s brand. I created visual boards, client profiles, mind maps, and employed numerous creative thinking methods which allowed me to define three  primary attributes—minimalism, unity, and sustainability.

With this, I drafted hundreds of iterations for possible identities before arriving at the final solution. The final identity mark incorporates a tree created in isometric perspective, and minimal form that allows interpretation as interior or exterior space. The whole of these elements communicates the brand's line of work, their commitment to sustainability by use of local materials, and their seamless integration of space and form.

When the time came to apply the identity mark to a larger system, I felt that the printed mark was too apparent to successfully communicate the brand's minimalism and unity. Rather than printing the mark traditionally, I decided to solve this problem by blind-embossing it into the paper itself. In doing so, the mark literally exists as part of the space it occupies, minimizing the attention it draws to itself, and focusing the viewer on the totality of the system.

Identity mark for Archiscape; a sustainable minimalist architecture firm in Santa Fe, NM.

Archiscape letterhead

Blind embossed identity mark on Archiscape letterhead.


Discovery Magazine is a small fictitious publication that educates people on various science related topics in simple and easy-to-understand ways.

For a student project, I was asked to create a set of two-page spreads that gave an educational overview of lightening. After much research, I decided to organize the publication into four sections: 1) the causes and formation of lightning, 2) interesting insights and statistics related to lightning strikes, 3) the five basic types of lightning, and 4) lightning safety. The goal was to present the information as simply as possible, incorporating heavy use of infographics and strong typographic hierarchy.

My visual decisions were heavily informed by the energy and form of lightning itself. All block shapes are presented as a series of thin parallel strokes angled to imply electric rhythm and form. The color palette is built from a highly saturated blue-green found in lightening and a desaturated brown-grey to imply the haziness of rain clouds and storms. The display typefaces feature sharp geometry enhancing the rhythm communicated elsewhere, and are condensed imitating the altitude of cloud-to-ground altitude. This issue is printed on recycled newsprint because of its naturally desaturated brown-grey color, further enhancing the overcast feel of the spreads, as well as it’s reduced environmental impact.

Two-page educational spread explaining the physics of lightening.

Another spread from an educational publication explaining the physics of lightening.

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