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Viridian Design

Process Document
Fall 2022

Project Statement

This project was meant to help develop visual problem solving skills given a piece of text. After defining an audience, I had to think through the interaction of that audience with a piece of design which helped to inform my solution. The solution for this project came in two parts, one defined as the document and one as the promotional piece. The document needed to include the full text of the manifesto as well as a preface or postscript, visual elements, and informational graphic. The promotional piece is meant to supplement the document and serve as a way to help the document reach the target audience. 

Background Research

The background research for this project consisted of a lot of visual research on aesthetics of the ultrarich. I looked specifically at items that fell under the categories of architecture, home decor, fashion, and appliances. Overall I noticed the themes of neutral colors and minimalism as well as the use of many custom designed items. The main source I used here was Architecture Digest which provided insight on specific websites where I could find more information on the pieces of home decor within the celebrities houses. Many of these pieces were found on the website FirstDibs. 

Another source I looked at was the web page for Aman Resorts. I took notes of key phrases used in the advertisement of their resorts which are designed for the very wealthy. 

Discussion of Concept

My intention with this project is to convince high end luxury designers that following the Viridian Manifesto and implementing its principles into deign will be beneficial to society as a whole. Through reading the manifesto, designers would be inspired to create products that are marketed towards the ultrarich that would drive society to a more environmentally friendly future.


In my document, I made a book and an accompanying poster that doubles as a stand for the book. The book is hand bound using a stab binging method to give it the feel of a unique artist book thus increasing its status to something obtainable to only higher members of society. I implemented gold leaf to further this luxurious motif and embossed the title of Viridian to give the look of higher end printing. Overall the design is meant to look clean and simple with a color palette that is neutral but also highlights the deep viridian green. I chose this to stay consistent with the style I saw during my visual research. 

For my promotional piece, I chose to design an email campaign that would allow people to subscribe as well as enter their information in order to get a copy of my document piece. Other emails would speak on Bruce Sterling's blog posts attached to his manifesto as well as highlight different brands and companies that are already using sustainable methods that align with the viridian message. The fern imagery is carried over as well as the general color palette and type faces in order to connect the two pieces. 


Physical Roughs - Experimenting 

Before starting any digitized designs, I experimented with different forms with paper. I tried many different ways of folding and cutting the paper and tried to visualize how the text of the manifesto would fit with that. 

Physical Roughs - Digitized Layouts 

After finding a few of my experimental roughs that I thought worked, I began to design for those layouts and printed out a few versions in full color to check for readability and to see how the manifesto would fit on it. 


This design used the element of gold to tie in some themes of luxury. This part of the design did end up making it to the final version. I also experimented with the typography and made it into a sort of maze which connects to the complex environmental issues discussed in the manifesto. 

This triangular design that folded out into a poster worked well for a few reasons. The triangular shape references the socio-economic pyramid which plays a large role in the discussion of the manifesto and its audience. It also made a large poster into a compact and mailable item. This issues I ran into were fitting the entirety of the manifesto on the document and getting the document to stay shut on its own. 

At this point I realized that the entire text of the manifesto would not fit on a single sheet of paper, so I tried making a very simple book just to see how many pages the manifesto would take up. Set as simply as possible, it took up four sheets of paper, or eight pages. I though this layout was pretty boring though and I didn't think it really tied in to my audience or to the themes of the manifesto. 


After setting the entire manifesto into this fold layout, I realized upon printing that it would not be a practical way to display the manifesto. The document would have been very small, long, and hard to read and interact with. 

Development of Visuals 

While developing visual elements, I had to think about what would fit with the luxury aesthetic while also referencing the environmental aspects of the manifesto itself. I first made a mind map in order to get a few different directions to think about. Then I did a few sketches to see what felt right with the structure of my document. 

I did a few more paintings and drawing of the visual that seemed to fit best; a fern. I experimented with watercolor as well as embossing but ultimately decided that it would be a good way to tie in the gold leaf. I used a paint brush to brush on the adhesive and then added the gold leaf in a simplified version of a fern. 

At this point I was still feeling pretty conflicted on how to best arrange the text of the manifesto so that it would all fit. I decided to print out the entire manifesto at 11 point font, filling four tabloid sheets of paper. i then cut it into small sections and arranged it on a larger group of tabloid papers. This was very time consuming and after getting through one tabloid sheet of text I realized that I would have to abandon the idea of sinuous text. 

Final Images