Reframe The Square

Communication Design


For the last project of our MA Studio I course we had an opportunity to create a design communication system for a business or organization of our choosing. Amongst all of the organizations that we considered for our project, we gravitated towards the Market square for its enormous potential as a community building space. The square, located in downtown Pittsburgh, brings to it over 200 thousand monthly visitors. It is a place to eat, shop, and enjoy the various events hosted there throughout the year.

Design Research, Visual Design, Motion Design
4 Weeks
Figma, After Effects, Adobe Aero
MA Studio I


Brand Identity
Website Redesign

The Research

Desk Research

Having converged on the Market Square, we conducted desk research to discover more insights about the space. We discovered that the Market Square experiences spikes in popularity during various event seasons, especially during the winter village event.

Competitor Analysis

We conducted a competitor analysis on related spaces such as Bryant Park and Bakery Square, during this analysis we discovered that Market Square lacks a unified design language and presence.

Field Research

We conducted extensive field research at the Market Square. During this phase of the research we interviewed visitors as well as shop keepers in the area. We observed that Market Square is an ever changing space with a diverse public. On weekdays it is home to local office workers and residents, and on weekends the square welcomes families, and out of town visitors. Aware of the diversity within the square, we pivoted our field research to capture these unique and diverse stories. A memorable highlight of our research was the use of free polaroid photography to attract participants. Our story gathering initiative was so successful that it prompted authorities to remove us from the space)

Affinity Mapping

Having established these initial qualities about Market Square, we created three how might we statements to help foster our design process.

The Design(er)(ing)


We employed the concept of Brand Archetypes to help narrow down our visual inspiration research. The two archetypes we landed on were Jester and Everyman. We believe the two archetypes best reflect the meaning of the Market Square. The square is Jester as it is can be a fun and funky space. The Market Square is also Everyman, as it is a diverse space that attracts an equally varied crowd.


When designing a logo for the Market Square, we chose to embrace the diversity of the space. We reframed Market Square as a dynamic container for various ever changing narratives. The logo changing and evolving to reflect the ever changing events and opportunities in the square.

This concept of the Market Square as a container for various dynamic narratives became the unifying principle in all of our deliverables. The website would act as a container for the diverse events, local shops, and restaurants within the square. The way-finding would bring awareness to all the diverse events and businesses in the area. The merchandise would create a sense of unify for the various shops and restaurants in Market Square.

Brand Guidelines

Website Redesign

The Website Redesign connects visitors of the square to the various events, restaurants, and shops in a singular online presence.


For way-finding within the square, we decided to make use of an innovative projection system. Projections would be an interactive solution that notifies the visitors of the square to all the exciting things that Market Square has to offer. This projection is a medium to help communicate events, local shops, and experiences to the visitors of the square in the physical realm.

Motion logos and communication graphics are changing and in motion to reflect the ever changing nature of the Market Square.

The way-finding system for the square shows distance as well as direction of the specific business or event displayed.


For our merchandizing, we decided upon using unique door tags for the local businesses. These door tags are shaped to reflect the specific city block the business is located at. The door tags are color coded to reflect their hours of operation: daytime, nighttime, or all-day operation.


In conclusion, with the help of an iterative design process, we created a design system that embraces the diverse narratives that are the Market Square. We hope that our deliverables help communicate this new inclusive identity for the space. Through this project we discovered and grew to appreciate the downtown Pittsburgh area. Reflecting on the past four weeks, this project brought our team closer together.

Huge thanks for my teammates Jiwon and Sandra for all your creative synergy.

Reframe The Square
Reframe The Square