Trellis: Design Collective Branding


Identity, Story, Visual Design


One Week - March 2018


The concept of the Trellis collective stems from the idea of pair-programming.  Where two engineers plan to work in tandem for certain parts of the project when they can achieve more together than when they work separately.  Why not apply the same concept to product design and essentially create design unicorns? Designers who together really do have all the skills required to design a full product and who already have the skills to work as a team, and get hired as a team. 


Trellis teams can create the structure to help companies grow, and well as provide a framework for members to gain more experience and hone their skills.  How do we convey the symbiotic and collaborative approach to growth that Trellis represents in our branding?


To create a logo and business card for individuals who are part of a design collective providing services for the tech industry. The collective features working teams of 2-3 designers with compatible skills.  Whether a client is looking for any or all of the following technical skills; visual design, research, user experience design or front end engineering, the designers of the collective pair up to offer the full spectrum. 


When brainstorming names, I thought of "framework, structure, system, process, collaboration, symbiosis, mutualism, partnership" Then eventually diving in to the synonym maze led me to "Lattice, Infusion" then finally, "Trellis" which my cofounder also liked.



The concept central to is that working as a pair results in increased productivity and higher quality of work.  With this format which offers more support, there is also assurance in the knowledge that the members will support one another and maintain the momentum essential to keep a project on track, as well as the accountability for their individual roles.


Trellis addresses the transitional period many startups experience, when they have grown to a size where design can be considered more thoroughly, or when they are scaling and working on rebranding or redesigning their product and services.  For the designers, they are also in transition, whether changing careers, or augmenting their skills with new skills or improving on current skills.  For both parties, the partnership is a opportunity to fulfill potential.



Referenced trellis patterns and trellis structures.

Use complementary colors, red and green, gray yellow orange


Similar to the phases of the moon, are phases of design iteration, research and testing. I also considered the Service design perspective of stream-lining transitions, designing the backstage as well as the front stage.  Like the dark side of the moon, these internal systems are at work whether users are aware nor not.  

The rectangle/box is represents a view of the empty space yet to be filled. The “framework” given for innovation to happen.

I played around with an interactive business card design, where it entertained the feeling of touch screen actions on a physical card, referencing stages of low fidelity prototyping to test a concept or design direction.  It was an interesting challenge to work within the confines of standard business card dimensions to create a quick and engaging visual representation of gestures.



I printed out a 5 different designs, 2 from the interactive design direction and 3 from the moon phases direction.  I observed the reactions people had when they were given the cards and also asked for feedback.  I also tried giving an option between the two directions and seeing which one people preferred.


There was generally delight once the person understood the humorous nod towards interactive prototyping, but visually it was not as compelling as the other designs below.  It evoked a more fleeting emotion rather than a more memorable or lasting interest.

The visual familiarity of the phases of the moon and the subtle futuristic style reminiscent of technological advancement and outer space was generally positively received.  From a story telling perspective, the concept of the moon was much more engaging and had a feeling of a larger vision overall.  I also found I enjoyed telling the story of the moon as a metaphor for the design process as a way of sharing my knowledge and learning what other correlations people have involving technology, space and progress.