Designing with words

Design is such a fascinating word. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “to plan and make decisions about (something that is being built or created) : to create the plans, drawings, etc., that show how (something) will be made”

The other night I was thinking about my grandfather’s law firm, which specializes in divorce mediation. What would it look like if I decided to rebrand the firm with an updated and modern identity?

To do this, I first needed to understand what his business means in words. I opened up my Moleskine notebook, turned to a blank page and started writing down keywords that I believe accurately represent the business.

Image: Keywords I wrote down in my Moleskine

The words that stood out the most are: center, middle, healing, progress, compassion, honesty and neutral.

Divorce is an intimidating topic and an emotional journey for all parties involved. It brings up sadness, uncertainty and makes it difficult to seem hopeful for a positive outcome. Those looking for a divorce are emotionally damaged and in need of great healing.

A mediator is someone that attempts to make the people involved in a conflict come to an agreement. They are the man-in-the-middle who should remain neutral and show compassion. They should also provide an environment where everyone feels safe when they are feeling the most vulnerable.

I believe it is crucial for the identity to portray a story of teamwork and progress. Most importantly, it should communicate a sense of trust.

By designing with words, I’m able to develop a deeper understanding of the business. The identity is what will make a strong connection of resolution for those seeking help.