Message design starts with this: Make time for honest discussions about ‘purpose’

Update: What is the difference between design and brand identity design? The keyword here is ‘identity.’




It starts with a blank notebook, every single time, for us here when we start a new design project for a client interested in re-thinking, re-imagining, and re-designing his or her identity. The identity is the big part of this work, to be really direct about it. I don’t know that many designers who care that much about helping people figure out, ‘Who am I?’, and what do I want to say, as much as I do and a handful of designers whom I got to know through twitter conversations, nerding out about process, back in the 2000s when I used to use twitter quite a bit. I quit using it with all the algorithms making it unfun around 2013 or so, after making the best use of finding new people in new cities with whom to collaborate on co-creating popup salons (Gangtok< Bangkok, Phnom Penh) and thne making my account that was for Design Kompany private. I think part of identity design is formulating how you want to share your thoughts and ideas, and through which channels, besides, because the feedback that comes can really influence you especially when you’re in your 20s or 30s, I think. I have seen a lot of pandering or trying to get ‘likes’ (and thereby, validation), which, to me, is the opposite of doing the important work of finding self-expression through actually listening to yourself, first and foremost.

In 2013, someone I was working with at that time had shared a link to this video, which she said reminded her of things I was saying. The video is the incredibly famous one that started a kind of miniature revolution when it comes to opening up about ourselves, I think, as it has been quoted and linkedto and Brene Brown is a sensation in the self-help universe now, too.




My personal opinion. Of course I think it’s beautiful to engage and connect with others and figure out what you believe along the way by letting to of things, accepting things that can’t be changed, and all that. But you know, what’ shappening, I think, is people are bypassing the hard road to Self Knowledge because it’s so much easier to get on a bandwagon and do what other people say they think is good to do and feel like you’re doing something but then you get to a point where you’re like, What the. And the time. You can’t get the time back.

So focusing with intention, I feel, is one of the starting-points for a strong design process for Identity. Self-identity. That’s a big deal.

Below is the post I had originally shared about purpose, and I want to keep adding to this, as I go, based on what I’m observing here and there in the field.



‘Make personal reflection a business priority’

‘By creating a space for honest discussions about purpose—including your own—your team will hopefully be more willing to explore the topic for themselves… A “purpose audit” can help. Create the time that people need to consider how their work is fitting into the bigger picture, using the nine types of purpose as a starting point to explore what elements resonate and why. When people can articulate a purpose, do they feel they are living it? What barriers prevent them from living it more fully? How—if at all—have recent* events changed the way they think about purpose? One deceptively simple ice-breaking question that we’ve seen elicit rich conversations is: “When do you feel most alive?”



Dipika Kohli · Making a Magazine