IN-House

Ford Foundation:
Making a New Reality

A thrilling book of over 150 pages, detailing strategies and examples of inclusiveness in emerging media; full of illustrations, infographics, sidenotes and much more.

In 2017 we helped the Ford Foundation, in partnership with the Sundance Institute and Immerse, to create the visual brand of a series of research and data-centered articles about inclusiveness in emerging media, published online.

The success of this series was such that 2020 our studio was commissioned again, this time to create a 150+ pages book, full of illustrations, sidenotes, infographics and more. The result, “Making a New Reality: A toolkit for inclusive media futures” was published in the Fall of 2020 and has been widely distributed in universities and colleges across the United States.

Print & EditorialInfographicIllustration & Lettering

Making a New Reality is a research project that investigates strategies for achieving equality and justice in emerging media. New technologies and the emerging media platforms that they are generating are still in their infancy. This moment is an opportunity to establish representation and inclusiveness in new media.

Researcher and writer Kamal Sinclair set out to explore how to make that happen. The result was “Making a New Reality,” an 8-part series of articles supplemented with research, armed with data, and filled with a clear vision of a fairer future; published in 2018. The initiative was funded by the Ford Foundation, with supplemental support from the Sundance Institute and was produced in partnership with Philly-based research studio Dot Connector. Additionally, the articles series was published in conjunction with Immerse, an initiative of Tribeca Film Institute, MIT Open DocLab and The Fledgling Fund.

The topic of discussion is one that’s close to our hearts. So we were thrilled that we got to develop a brand, visual language, and a series of illustrations for the next step on the development of the Making a New Reality project: a massive book, of over 150 pages, outlining strategies for inclusion in emerging media.

Representation, diversity, technology vs humanity, and change are the central themes of the series. Naturally, they were also the central themes in exploring visual directions for the project. The series (and eventual book) beckoned for flexible, human-centric, and futuristic branding to apply to the articles, event materials and other media. They needed to be simple enough to be versatile, and powerful enough to command attention. The message is straightforward: the future is diverse, the future is human, the future is not all about technology.

We developed a a digital mixed-media illustration system, built using a collage of cut B&W portraits over small tech and nature images overlaid with RGB glitch effects. The project also needed a logo to tie everything together. The typemark had to retain some of the dynamism of the illustrative style, while remaining simple and versatile as a logo. So we built a typographic, single color logo with a twist. The Making a New Reality logo morphs and twitches into dozens of different shapes, guaranteeing that no two uses will look dull, yet keeping a consistent brand experience.

The success was clear: the original logo and character designs were extended from the original eight, to twenty-four illustration, providing each article with three distinct illustrations. And the success of this series was such, that in 2020 our studio was commissioned again, this time to create 150+ pages book, full of illustrations, sidenotes, infographics and more. The result, “Making a New Reality: A toolkit for inclusive media futures” was published in the Fall of 2020 and has been widely distributed in universities and colleges across the United States.

“Working with In-House International was one of the more joyful processes I’ve experiences in developing a brand identity. Firstly, the creative process was a delight, because they did an incredible job in listening, then delivering exciting options that reflected our needs, passions, and ambitions. We really felt that they were partners in our mission. Secondly, In-House operates at the highest level of professionalism in their production process. I was especially impressed by how they set clear expectations and delivered on those expectations in a timely and efficient manner. Finally, they were flexible when the dynamics of the project required course corrections or timeline adjustments. I highly recommend In-House International.”

Kamal Sinclair

Project Author Director, New Frontier Lab Programs Sundance Institute