desktop
Sofa Underground
Brand Identity & Strategy; Creative direction; Product Design: user research, business model creation, information architecture, prototyping.
WINNER of the Ironhack Hackshow

Challenge

Inconsistent Brand Identity. On facebook, Sofa Underground is listed as an NGO, community, a business, and an event venue at the same time. Furthermore, nobody used the same logo. Many people missed the events because they relied solely on facebook which as we know doesn’t post uniformly onto one’s followers feeds. Despite its amazing spirit in creating those intimate spaces for creators and art lovers alike, there was no real business model in play and little communication with the other cities.

Solution

Create a website that no matter where one is and what events they join in on, they will receive consistent branded experiences with a clear way for artists, guests and hosts to get connected.

concert
clapping
gentconcert

01. Define

From personal interviews with Jameson Whiskey Branding specialist Dave Lynch to sending out a survey I began by exploring what our users needs and pain points were. Where do they find out about cultural activities, what’s important to them when it comes to cultural events and what do they value as they share these experiences with others?

Overall our users we found to be cultured 25+ year olds, who are involved in the art scene whether as artists or art advocates and are looking for alternative experiences.

To further diverge our exploration of ideas around the problem, we used the Business Model/ Value Proposition Canvas by Alex Osterwalder. This activity helped us further identify specific needs of our five user types: The artist, guests, hosts, city ambassadors, and sponsors.

artist
10988484_827982987286877_6137351784319480601_n
“As a host, I need a guarantee so that in the event anything breaks I can replace such items.”
“As an artist, I want to create a real fanbase over mere likes so that I can have an authentic following in the long haul.
“As an artist, I want to create a real fanbase over mere likes so that I can have a real following in the long haul.
ambassador
the-guest
sponsor
“As a sponsor from Jameson, I need our brand to appear in the photos so that we can increase exposure.” 
“As an ambassador, I need clear communication & guidelines so that we can put on events smoothly.” 
“As a guest, I want to make sure I’m always informed so that I don’t miss any of the latest events.”
Information architecture, Site flows,
Value Proposition Canvas & Paper wireframes.
content strategy
brainstorming

02. Design

Content Creation & Strategy. I tend to mix moodboard creation and Information Architecture at the same time as they help inform each other. Here are four focal points that help define and give purpose to my design.

Newspapers & Microfilm. Time capsules of the past. I love the idea of microfilms and the historical documentation of events in newspapers. Why not document our events and consider them stories of the locals?
Newspapers & Microfilm. Time capsules of the past. I love the idea of microfilms and the historical documentation of events in newspapers. Why not document our events and consider them stories of the locals?
Humans of New York. Brandon Stanton’s "Humans of New York" reminds us that we all have extraordinary stories. No one is a spectator. Welcome to Sofa stories.
Humans of New York. Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York reminds us that we all have extraordinary stories. No one is a spectator. Welcome to Sofa stories.
Black & White Portraits. B&W photos are timeless. They give this eternal like quality to mere human beings. Also practically speaking they help create consistency when taking pictures in low light situations.
Black & White Portraits. B&W photos are timeless. They give this eternal like quality to mere human beings. Also practically speaking they help create consistency low light situations.
Math Logic Puzzles. Each dot has its place and purpose on the paper. Each is essential to the puzzle. Sofa seeks to be that pen & connection between artist & pilgrim.
Math Logic Puzzles. Each dot has its place and purpose. Each is essential to the puzzle. Sofa seeks to be that pen & connection between artist & pilgrim.
Math Logic Puzzles. Each dot is essential to the puzzle. Sofa seeks to be that pen & connection between artist & pilgrim.
moodboard1
moodboard2

When we merge the content with our sources of inspiration, what we end up with are pictograms that depict the importance of connection, black & white photographs splashed with millennial colors, and a serif body typeface paying tribute to the era of the printed newspaper.
All of this with timeless stories to tell.

When we merge the content with our sources of inspiration, what we end up with are pictograms that depict the importance of connection, black & white photographs splashed with millennial colors, and a serif body typeface paying tribute to the era of the printed newspaper. All of this with timeless stories to tell.

When we merge the content with our sources of inspiration, what we end up with are pictograms that depict the importance of connection, black & white photographs splashed with millennial colors, and a serif body typeface paying tribute to the era of the printed newspaper. All of this with timeless stories to tell.

When we merge the content with our sources of inspiration, what we end up with are pictograms that depict the importance of connection, black & white photographs splashed with millennial colors, and a serif body typeface paying tribute to the era of the printed newspaper. All of this with timeless stories to tell.

typeface1
typeface2
sofa stories
typefaces
typeface4
Color2
PAYNE'S GREY
#3C3A55
Color
FUZZY WUZZY
#D47067
Color3
ASPARAGUS
#8BA171
2
JUNE BUD
#C9D165
mint
MINT GREEN
#91FF9D
Group-21
_MG_8057 copy.jpg
concert2
concert3
mockup1
mockup2
mockup3

03. Refine

At this stage Sofa Underground has yet to be pitched to investors. Before doing so of course, we’d need to refine our designs with some usability testing among other audits. Here are some success metrics for the second phase. 

AMBASSADORS: Essential for the spread of the vision and values of Sofa Underground. We’d like to see ambassadors from other cities and countries join the movement and start their own culturally expressive Sofa Undergrounds.

PARTNERS: We can’t do this alone. We’d love to create an interconnected community from entrepreneurs, artist collectives to sponsors giving their time and financial support to helping spread this vision we have for the arts.

FREEMIUM MODEL: Our Sofa events at home will always be free but why not launch a freemium model which could include things such as Sofa talks, Artists in Residencies or Sofa Tours.

sofa talks
sofatourss
Quick Fact #1: Sofa Underground has been hosted in seven cities so far: Madrid, Cracow, Ghent, San Francisco, Barcelona, Seville, and Budapest.
Quick Fact #2: As I mentioned in my “About” page, I helped found this microfestival back in 2009, when I was playing music full time. Little was I business savvy nor product design concious at the time. This created a few of the challenges mentioned in this case study.

Like my work?

Like my work?

I’m currently available for consulting & product design work.
☞ hello@cpdesignery.com
I’m currently available for consulting & product design work. 
☞ hello@cpdesignery.com
I’m currently available for consulting & product design work.

☞ hello@cpdesignery.com
I’m currently available for consulting & product design work. 
☞ hello@cpdesignery.com