As explained in the Introduction, I set out to discover how the modern computer, in the guise of software, has caused changes in the practice of visual identity. The answer, at least in part, came to me in the form of what I have been calling kinetic visual identities. Custom software is in a unique position to take advantage of interaction and motion. My argument has been that a visual identity built, at least partially, with code can leverage the power of software.

The project used as a basis for this thesis (Motley Agency branding 2020: analysis of the kinetic identity) started, from my perspective, as a hack-day experimentation with possibilities in web typography. Those experiments evolved, got more elaborate, and eventually became part of the visual identity of the company I work for. Having participated in the design process as a developer gave me a unique insight into the process and a noteworthy personal growth.

Being involved in the design process early on enabled me to quickly prototype ideas—coming from the designers or even from myself—in ways that the current commercial desktop applications, such as the Adobe package, Sketch, etc., cannot. These applications are created as general purpose tools, and, as such, can not anticipate use-cases of specific projects.

Computer languages, on the other hand, are made to be powerful—they are the ones allowing the commercial applications to exist in the first place. The use of software as a design tool expands the space for visual creation [10] and can be used to achieve results that are difficult or impossible to achieve without them.

One such result is what I have been calling dynamic visual identities, which are, by design, incomplete and flexible. This is not to say that this kind of identity could not be done without software. In fact, it has been argued that they even precede the existence of the static identities [25]. But it is just an acknowledgement that software can play an important part in this area.

Future directions

The kinetic visual assets described in the section Kinetic and interactive brand assets have been employed throughout the visual identity rollout, but currently there is no easy way for arbitrary employees to generate visual assets based on their needs, which range from client proposals and presentations to signage and advertising material. We plan to develop a desktop or web application to enable Motley employees to create such assets with their own input and within their context.

Personally I intend to get more involved in design projects, always participating as a developer. My goals are: to provide the designers with technical possibilities relevant to each project early on; to create prototypes that are difficult or even impossible to achieve with commercial desktop applications.