Design for Identity: How to Design Authentically for a Diverse World | Publish Your Purpose
Design for Identity

Design for Identity

Design is expression, a service, an act of creativity. But if designers design for everyone, how can there be so little diversity in the profession? In this book, Jessica Bantom examines the implications of design in everyday life, from spaces and products to images and the fashion industry. Too often design concepts are based on assumptions and stereotypes that don’t necessarily reflect customers’ lives and values. Certain company symbols and brands, such as the image of Aunt Jemima, have stirred controversy for years but only recently has there been a corporate social awakening. The demographics of our society are changing and becoming more diverse, yet different perspectives are often ignored unless there’s fallout from public backlash.

Bantom explores the concept of human-centered design that taps into an understanding of identity: how people live, what’s important to them, and what informs their perspectives and experiences. Engaging directly with customers to identify their challenges and working with them to test ideas and solutions is the foundation of human-centered design. It’s vital for businesses to get on board and change outdated mindsets if they want to be successful.

Bantom explains the six habits of culturally competent designers that can make this shift happen, and result in design solutions that resonate with people of diverse backgrounds. She offers a Design for Identity blueprint that honors humanity, celebrates diversity, promotes equity and inclusion, and ensures that the design profession mirrors and keeps up with the realities of our evolving world.

Jessica Bantom

About Jessica Bantom

Jessica Bantom is a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) practitioner and workplace strategist whose mission is to enable individuals to take immediate actions that create meaningful outcomes for historically excluded people. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Marymount University, Bantom is a skilled management consultant with over 20 years of experience, a compelling speaker, and a certified facilitator and coach with a passion for helping people and organizations activate the values of DEIB to become more culturally competent and thrive in our increasingly global economy. Bantom is also active in the interior design industry as an interior design and color consultant and as an engaged advocate committed to promoting DEIB in the industry and in practice. You can learn more about Jessica and her blog, ‘Start Where You Are’ at JessicaBantom.com.

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