thirteen23 Personalities

Information & System Design

An exercise in branding evolved into a way to present employees’ unique working styles in a visual system.

In 2011, Shea Cadrin and I examined the culture at thirteen23. Responding to the equal emphasis the company placed on both design and technology, we extrapolated the concept and devised a system of further “polarities” that we felt defined the company. After our exploration concluded, I advanced the concept by designing a way for each employee to express themselves using the system in a visual diagram that spoke to their role at thirteen23. Shea designed a set of icons for all eight attributes, seen below.

Icons for code, design, science, and art

Icons for method, freedom, logic, and imagination

I asked everyone to rank their own working styles and interests in terms of all eight attributes, then asked everyone to rank everyone else. After weighting the averages, I drew a line for each person that showed how they stood in relation to these brand characteristics. The lines became an informative, personalized brand mark, functioning similarly to Edward Tufte’s sparklines. For example, Alyssa’s line (far left) shows that she associates herself more with “right brain” attributes — interested in the arts and design, and favoring a flexible working process. Mine (far right) shows that I am also design-oriented yet favor a more methodical approach.


I used the Raphael.js JavaScript library to turn the design into an interactive widget where users could mouseover to compare employees along an animated graph. Though the site has since been redesigned, the company still uses the widget on their About page.

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