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To bind is to tie, confined by any ligature. Many designers use type without thinking about it. Without type, how can a design aesthetic be formed? Designers use it without having a clear understanding and it goes beyond just knowing the psychology, you need to know how it should be used. It’s an overlooked part of design.

This was the motivation I needed to create a resource designers would be able to use to reach a deeper understanding of type and help them form connections with the characters. I wanted users to be able to not only learn type but also be able to work with it and discover how they can experiment. In the current market there’s plenty to read but when it comes to applications there isn’t much. Adobe’s ‘Typography Insight’ was the only thing I found similar to the idea I had for ‘Bind’, the app store consisted of editing apps or gamified experiences. This highlighted a gap in the market that I could fill.

‘Bind’ focuses on visuals. It's designed by a designer, for designers.

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The Process

The process with Bind was a long one, mainly because I struggled in the beginning to even come up with an idea. Though once the inital idea of Bind started to materialise things took off.

The backbone of this project was understanding, without understanding of my topic how am I supposed to create something for other people to use? This resulted in a lot of research. I read a lot of articles and books to figure out exactly what I needed to cover in Bind, it also served as a learning period for myself to expand my knowledge on typography even more. With my idea researched I needed to figure out what's been done before so that lead me into market research.

The market research highlighted what I needed to do differently and helped me narrow a focus on who I was making Bind for and what device i was going to create Bind for. I settled on designers starting their design journeys OR those curious to know more. My device of choice was an iPad to allow for learning on the go, a change in interactivity and utilising more devices. After settling on these I moved on to the fun part, branding!

For my branding I knew I wanted it to reflect what Bind is aka focusing on a lot of typography, which was not easy to narrow down I journeyed through so many colour and font combinations until I finally found one I was happy with.

The branding set Bind in stone and from there I was able to take the next step, which for me was working on paper. This process helped me figure out the flow, I decided that my app would have a beginning and an end, meaning users need to journey through the entire app before they reach the end. Because of this kind of flow it resulted in a lot of wireframe sketches, but it made lo-fi prototyping easier as I just had to digitise them!

The final destination of Bind was the prototype, my lo-fi prototype took shape from my wireframes and my hi-fi prototype took shape from my lo-fi. Compared to the lo-fi the hi-fi did a much better job of utilising the space on the screen, taking full advantage of how typography can be used.

Check out Bind's final prototype here!

Why not also check out the lo-fi prototype here! (See how far it came)

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The Outcome

This project changed my outlook on design and my own skills. When I started I saw only negatives, I felt my ideas weren’t good enough for a major project, but with the help of my lecturers I was able to get there. ‘Bind’ is a creative idea that I was able to expand on and reshape depending on my research, which was something I enjoyed. I also had complete creative freedom with design. I broke the rules of conventional app design because I was designing for designers, they have an eye for something regular people don’t.

I entered this project with the mindset of ‘How can I be the one to teach something to designers?’, but as I delved deeper this mindset changed. Why couldn’t I be the one to help people understand type? As a design student I understand the hardships of trying to learn new things, they can be intimidating or scary which is why ‘Bind’ is here to make it easy and fun.