Role: Designer, Art Director
Year: 2021
Company: IBM

Identity System, Illustration, User Research, Branding, Project Management

The Linux@IBM team offers the tools, processes, and support IBMers need to set up and use IBM-provided Linux computers. Over 50,000 IBMers use the Linux@IBM app and dashboard.

I worked with the Linux@IBM team to create a toolkit to brand their app, dashboard, and website. The toolkit included a logo, wordmark, email banners, site banners, illustrations, and more.

Problem Statement

The challenge in the Linux@IBM project lay in crafting a distinctive visual identity for the Linux desktop platform within the constraints set by IBM's design guidelines and legal limitations against the use of the Linux penguin. As the sole designer, the goal was to create a cohesive brand, including a logo, website banners, and desktop graphics, tailored for IBM developers and software engineers using Linux. The key hurdle involved striking a delicate balance between IBM's branding requirements and the incorporation of Linux elements, culminating in a logo that symbolized Linux and resonated with developers while adhering to IBM's criteria.

Research methods:

To address this challenge, a comprehensive research approach was adopted. First, I conducted interviews with Linux users, specifically developers, to gain insights into their workflow and preferences. These interviews served as a foundation for understanding user needs and desires. Additionally, a design activity involving word mapping was employed during the interviews, enabling the extraction of meaningful keywords that guided the visual design process. This user-centered research approach ensured that the final design not only met IBM's criteria but also resonated well with the developer and designer community.

👋🏾  Hi, I'm Janiel (she/her), a multidisciplinary designer and Creative Strategist living in Brooklyn, NY  🗽  Open to new opportunities (full-time & freelance)  👀  Hit me at if you'd like to work together  😌️  Until then