BROTHER is a project that I undertook as my thesis requirement for the Master of Science program in Integrated Digital Media at NYU Poly. I received my degree in May 2013. The project concerns itself with the creation of a multicultural marketing vehicle by way of a digital/mobile media channel that is aligned with the proven advanced digital media usage habits of minority men, gays and blacks specifically.
I compare the negative media treatment of minority men of color with the inclusive and identity affirming media treatment of gays in order to justify a media outlet that attempts to redefine the American male mainstream in the face of our rapidly changing population demographic.
In creating this outlet, men of color could enjoy the media legitimacy (and subsequent political/social benefits) and minority identity affirmation that gays have been able to achieve in recent years, and advertisers would have a means of accessing literally trillions of dollars of untapped economy.
Along with scouring a variety of scholarly articles concerning media representation of young men of color and gay men, I spent several months digesting a variety of marketing statistics from sources including AdAge, Global Hue, Google, e-marketer.com, The Heinz Foundation et al... concerning digital media usage, education, earnings and goods consumption habits of African Americans, Latinos and Gays. In an effort to corroborate some of this information I sought out feedback from several of my peers by way of a brief survey. Please feel free to access it here.
I used this feedback in conjunction with my research to create a set of fictitious personas (ProtoPersonas according to the LEAN UX methodology) that would allow me to get a better grasp of the variety of potential users, their individual goals, a brandable design aesthetic, and content requirements that were unique to my particular endeavor.
The logo design references historical American slave auction bills using contemporary fonts that are similar to the typography employed in these in antebellum advertisements.
The final logo incorporated seven different fonts (Bodidly, Bodoni, IFCRailroad, Rosewood, Showboat, OldNewspaperType, and LTNutshell) all of which were very similar to the look of the typography in the Antebellum advertisements.
My thesis paper compiles the UX research and design that I completed with the years worth of academic, marketing and psychology study to explain how the dearth of positive and enlightening portrayals of African-American men in the media is a detriment to our society, but the reversal of this is very simple.
I discuss how inclusion of African-Americans in targeted digital campaigns and products will not only stimulate economic growth as a whole, but can act as a means of validating positive black identity. This point is illustrated through an analysis of treatment of gays in advertising and editorial media and the positive effect that this inclusion had on the formation of popular gay commercial and social identities.
Please feel free to read my thesis in its entirety here.
Using the Cubrik plugin, I set to building a simple prototype in Wordpress.