Making an effective graphic language and studying how viral content can make it a trend


Breaking the language barrier for millenials all over the world: creating and spreading a new language that can be used by all.



Research, Communication Design, Marketing
Freshman Studio
Courtney Pozzi, Albert Topdjian, Kaleb Crawford,
Jillian Nelson, Lea Cody, Praewa Suntiasvaraporn
Spring 2014

My role in this project (apart from designing my own symbol) was to facilitate communication and organization between my group members, a liaison for contacting outside organizations such as the University to reserve public spaces to interact with the CMU community, creating and monitoring content on our Facebook page and giving out tattoos at our booth. 


CODE: A Language for Millenials

The CODE project started off with our professors giving us the prompt of creating our own language - a language that millennials all over the world would understand and use. As a class, we narrowed down several slang words and abbreviations that we use with each other, picked one each, and designed a symbol for that "word" each.

This exercise taught us about how to create graphic symbols that communicates well and is intuitive to all - this was an important aspect that we had to make sure each symbol had, since this language should be understood by millenials all around the world.



From the 40 symbols that we created as a class, my group and I narrowed it down to the 20 most commonly used words by millennials. Our next challenge was: how do we get our work out there? How do we convince people to learn about our code? 

We did research on how and why millenials were interested in things like celebrities, and what motivates millenials to learn. We soon realized that millenials are really sensitive to trends and peer pressure - this lead us to looking into why some things go viral.

We reserved tables in the University Center all throughout the week, and created a Facebook page in which we promoted to our friends, and on the Carnegie Mellon Class of 2017 page. The event that we were promoting was called "Free Tattoo at CMU", and we did not explain any further on what our project was about, or why we were giving out free tattoos. 



This method of viral marketing turned out extremely well - we caught the interest of many students from all the different disciplines at CMU. They learnt about our code through the process of picking a tattoo they wanted, and also reflecting on why they personally picked a certain tattoo. This also spread even further, since their friends and also just other people on campus saw these temporary tattoos on the bodies of the people that came on the first day.







I received "Goodbye" as my prompt word for creating my symbol. From this, I started off by brainstorming different words that can be used instead of goodbye, and all the different scenarios where someone would say goodbye online.