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Itty Bitty Steel City

October — November 2020, 8 weeks

Asphalt art + campaign to promote Bloomberg Philanthropie’s Pittsburgh Asphalt Art Project on May 2021.

Friendship, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA, has been selected as one of Bloomberg Philanthropie’s Asphalt Art Initiative projects for 2021. Taking on the role of a designer and an artist, I created the artwork and the painting-day promotion assets for Itty Bitty Steel City: A unique map of the steel city (Pittsburgh) using the iconic city shapes. This concept invites people of all ages to find their favorite city locations in the artwork and the campaign material. The event will bring the community members close as they discuss their love toward the city and the memories associated with each place.

Skills ✨ 
Brand design
Design system
Tools 🖇
Adobe Creative Suite, Figma  
Collaborators 💖

The Asphalt Art

The home of the asphalt art is the intersection of S. Fairmount St., Roup Ave., and Harriet St., a five-way intersection without a traffic light. This asphalt art is designed to reduce the number of accidents at the intersection and promote a sense of community in the neighborhood.

The asphalt art revolves around shared experiences. By centering the design on the familiar locations and shapes of the city, the community members can have conversations about their favorite memories associated with each place. For the design of the art itself, the roads are labeled with the respective names to guide the driver, as well as a big compass to direct the orientation. On the open community area where the roads meet, iconic Pittsburgh shapes are placed on coordinates. If you are familiar with the area, you would be able to tell that they are the shapes of Dippy the dinosaur at the Carnegie History Musuem, the PPG Place, the Duquesne Incline, Cathedral of Learning and more.

The Design System

The Design System
As the concept of the artwork revolves around the city landmarks, the wordmark for the campaign materials also contain such shapes. The color for the campaign materials were selected to bring in the sense of community and reveal the bright, cheerful side of the city. This design system is carried through out the campaign material which promotes the people in the city to come and paint the art on May 8th and 9th of 2021. 

Design Collateral

The flyers were designed to individually reach the community members living in Friendship; the posters were designed in two scales to reach various audience. One of the posters is designed in a scale to be taped on a wall and the other one for bus stations. These designs push out the idea of mapmaking to shape the world. Through the use of colors and simple shapes, the posters draw the audience into the world of Itty Bitty Steel City.

Painting Day Collateral
On the day of the painting project, the volunteers would check-in using the sheet above and recieve a name sticker for other to know who they are. This event is hopefully going to provide an opportunity for the community members to get to know their neighbors. 

Kiosk to Inform the Artwork
After the painting event, this large-scale poster will be up at the intersection to inform the concept and the intent of this project. It also provides short historical descriptions of each location for those who are interested in learning more about the steel city.

Home Print-Outs
For those who may not be able to participate in the painting event but want to keep in touch with the community events, a monthly calendar is available on the event page to print out at home. A print-out map it is also available for those who are interested in creating their own Itty Bitty Steel City.

Final Thoughts

Through this project, I learned how to develop a typographic system and use consistent visual language to convey an idea. I really enjoyed coming up with the concept as well as designing the maps — I found that I am interested in design cartography and infographics.  I was thrilled to learn that there is another world in the design of which I did not know before this project. It was an exciting experience to design a campaign and its cohesive assets for a community-centered event like Bloomberg Philanthropie’s Asphalt Art Project. 

Thank you for visiting ︎ Have a great day