"It was our challenge to continue the end of year tradition to develop and create an identity that would best represent and reflect us as designers, and the graduating class of 2019."

In Real Life (IRL)

In Real Life is a design show hosted by York/Sheridan Program in Design that marks the end of our 4-year long journey. This event is also celebration of conquering critiques, earning our degrees, sharing the awesome projects we have made with each other and the public, and a mark where we start a new chapter as future professional designers.

I had the pleasure to have been selected and take part of developing the brand for my graduating year. Creating and developing the brand was the first step in the year-long process (September 2018–April 2019) of creating the grad show. This is a case study that goes through the process of how our team developed the brand for the YSDN 2019 Grad Show 'In Real Life'.


Co-Director (strategy), User Research, Branding (strategy + identity), Ideation


Livia Widjaja, Jay Lintag, Zachery Eng, Mirabelle Wang, Melosha Ratnasingham, Olivia Rohner, Daniel Kim, Chayoung Lee, Soomin Chung, Lucy Park, Katrina Kuzyk, Isaak Man, Ajay Patel, Melissa Coulbeck


Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Sketch, Lightroom, Aftereffects


Grad Show Images by Zachery Eng

Research & Strategy

We first began our process by individually and collectively conducting research: determining our target audiences and using the SWOT analysis method to analyse and observe previous grad shows, events, campaigns nationally and globally. These were important steps for our team to take as it laid a strong foundation for the brand values. It also helped us understand and determine how we wanted to define ourselves, as well as deliver, convey, and represent ourselves through the grad show brand. 


Casual, Witty, Clever, Engaging, Honest/Authentic, Confident


The Brand

Given that our graduating class is made up of diverse individuals in focus, style, and personality, it was a challenge to develop a brand that had a singular visual style. Instead we embraced the idea and created a copy-driven dynamic identity that encourages creativity and provides endless individual personalization.

The In Real Life brand highlights the realness of who we are as designers and people through. Often times, designers are seen and masked over to portray a serious tone leaving our human and personable side in the shadows. So, through the use of playful and witty statements (relatable to industry and students as well as enjoyed by the public) we decided to label ourselves, giving a better idea of who we are as designers and human beings.

Comp 1_1
Facebook: YSDN IRL 2019
Instagram: @ysdn2019

"The YSDN graduating class of 2019 focuses on the real life connections that are made between designers and the public.

Come to the show. See the work. Meet the graduates. Make connections. Get inspired.
Share your passions, In Real Life."


Final Project Deliverable: IRL—YSDN 2019 Grad Show

Through IRL, we wanted to create an environment where authentic human relationships are made between the graduates and the public, encouraging our audience to experience grad show in person meeting both the professional designer and the relatable human. 

The event was held over the course of 2 days at Free Space in downtown Toronto. It was such a rewarding experience to see how the brand came to life within the physical space and how the brand interacted with the graduates and their projects as well as how the public interacted with the brand.


"Building a brand for where real life connections are made."

© Livia Widjaja 2020