Hack@Brown 2018

Hack@Brown is Brown University’s student-run Hackathon that draws over 500 students from all over the world to the Providence, RI campus every year.


Hack@Brown prioritizes inclusivity both as an engine for innovation and as a weapon against the systemic inequalities of tech culture. The organization aims not only to include, but to welcome individuals of all identities and experience levels to the field of computer science.

The design team’s task was to develop an approachable visual identity for the hackathon -- a friendly brand that seamlessly connects all aspects of the hackers’ experience.


I was one of six members on the design team, and together we created an identity for the 2018 hackathon, and used it to design the website, mobile application, posters, publicity graphics, stickers, apparel, name tags, and everything in-between.

Hack@Brown is comprised of 8 teams (Design, Development, Experience, Hardware, Outreach, Sponsorship, Social Good, and Workshops).

We dedicated a lot of time to working cross-functionally with the development team, which was responsible for implementing the website and app.


The theme of 2018’s design focuses on the value of the process. Over the course of several Design Team meetings, we brainstormed ideas for brand elements. These are some of the visions we had for the initial brand of H@B 2018:

  • A soft but bright color palette
  • Organic illustrations showing ‘works in progress’
  • A set of playful shapes to use as visual confetti across all branded material, lending cohesion
  • Incorporating a Serif typeface as another way of breaking from the standard “hackathon brand”


We created our Illustrations in Adobe Illustrator, but used Figma (a collaborative prototyping software) for all Web, App, UX, and Product design.

After iterating through wireframes, lo-fi mocks, hi-fi mocks, and working prototypes, our handoff to the development team was facilitated by figma as well. We used the program to deliver all specifications and components of the site.

This was my first time designing as part of a formal team, and I learned a lot about effective cross-functional collaboration, maintaining aesthetic uniformity through good communication.

Of Hack@Brown’s ~500 participants, 40% were female-identifying and nearly 50% were first-time hackers.

Publicity Graphics