YSDN 2017 - Poster Generator

A travelling interactive installation that lets users generate algorithmically created branded posters.

Every year the YSDN Bachelor of Design program hosts an entirely student organized graduation showcase. Students are responsible for designing a brand, developing a website, and organizing the event.

During our grad show (YSDN2017) my role was managing a small team of interaction designers to create a unique in-person interactive installation experience for all of our events. Together, we created 3 interactive experiences that let users engage with the YSDN2017 brand. The YSDN 2017 poster generator, created in collaboration with Microsoft Canada, was one of the projects that I designed and created myself.

Poster generator in action Examples of the posters created for YSDN 2017

YSDN 2017 Poster Generator sizzle video

One of the key visual elements of the YSDN 2017 brand identity was a generative design system that abstracts student created artwork in a homogenous and cohesive form. Most of these graphics were created in photoshop or 3D graphics packages. However, considering that these images followed a distinct and almost programmatic process, I was really keen on creating an application that allows users create these graphics in real-time using a custom interface.

To accomplish this I utilized Unity, a 3D game development engine. Each step of the design process is highlighted in a sidebar on the side of the interface. A custom coded “jogwheel” in the centre of the screen acts as the only input for the entire interface. As such, users can also use the Microsoft Surface Dial to manipulate their designs. See below for a detailed video demonstration.

Unity screenshot

YSDN 2017 Poster Generator product demo

The end product was showcased on both a 43in touch screen kiosk, and on a series of Microsoft Surface Studio computers. Once users had completed their posters, they could either email it to themselves for use as a phone background, or have it printed out locally.

A user enjoying my poster generator for Wild Combination


  • Unity

  • Processing

  • jQuery

  • Photoshop

  • Illustrator

  • Sketch

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