CMYK Designathon

CMYK Designathon

CMYK Designathon

Deliverable: redesigned marketing campaign with 3 design artifacts
Role: product designer, product manager, user researcher
Methods: user research, empathy mapping, persona development, whiteboarding, design ideation
Artifacts: CMYK Designathon
Outcomes: Won 1st Place – CMYK Designathon


Games of Berkeley, a local business in Berkeley, is moving locations. They have a new larger space close to campus, but they want to incorporate more Cal students into their events, and want to be a staple in the community. Most importantly, they do not want to change their brand. We were tasked to design 3 artifacts that would address their marketing strategy need and incorporate them into the community as a local staple.

CMYK Designathon:


Our team started by brainstorming words that we felt described Berkeley, and compared them with the words Games of Berkeley used to describe themselves. We found that the words we described also fit the brand of Games of Berkeley (“GoB”). This led us to the idea that “The true Berkeley Experience is Games of Berkeley” – we had to design a marketing strategy around making Games of Berkeley a “must see” experience of the Berkeley community.

From these descriptors, we started conducting user interviews with participants at the designathon – the perfect demographic for our users: Cal students interested in fun experiences and a new place to show guests when they’re in town. After some discovery research about what students enjoy spending their time doing with their friends, what their frustrations are, if they do play games and what barriers they face when they try to engage in gaming events or community events. From this, we did empathy mapping and created some sample user stories which informed our persona: Laura Mipsum.

Interactive Posters

One thing was for certain with our user research: we wanted to embody the fun and eclectic spirit of Games of Berkeley that the City of Berkeley also embodies. Since Games of Berkeley at its core is about interactive gaming experiences, particularly tangible board games, we were inspired to design a flyer that could also serve as an interactive game. This could also be a way to connect with the audience that the descriptors of Games of Berkeley also match those of the City of Berkeley and that GoB is an essential part of the community experience. The incentive to complete the flyer was to earn a “Free UberEats delivery” code upon completion of the game on the flyer, in order to promote the “Stay and Play” mentality of Games of Berkeley and the new policy of allowing outside food in the store. The first game we explored on a flyer was a crossword puzzle, which translated nicely into facebook promotional media for events. For the next iteration, we explored another game: a maze puzzle.

Deck of Cards

Along the lines of the interactive posters, we explored creating new ways for multiple people to connect and share an experience over Games of Berkeley, while also promoting the different “Theme Nights” of Games of Berkeley. For this, we explored a deck of cards – something where we could have each suit or each kind of card be a different featured theme, like “Dungeons and Dragons.” Our team created the designs on each card, and made sure to prominently feature the new address of Games of Berkeley on each card. This could be a deck of card handed out to students on the main campus, or given to students to play while they are exploring the store to encourage them to play a game and enjoy the new location. It is easy to be reused for different types of events, not just the grand opening: community-based events, theme nights, etc.

Origami Flyer

Lastly, our final design artifact was a tangible, interactive experience. We wanted to create an experience that could be shared between two strangers that really promoted the Grand Opening event to students while also addressing common misconceptions in a fun way. For this, we reflected back to grade school games we played as children, and we decided to pursue an origami promotional item. We first made a prototype and tested it with our team members, and it was a fun and interesting way to get people to start talking about Games of Berkeley. To ensure this design artifact was easily reproducible and inexpensive, we drafted a template that could easily be updated and reprinted on paper. For the price of a simple paper flyer, Games of Berkeley now has a fun and interactive promotional item.


From start to finish, our team was very conscious of how our design decisions would impact the client, and we regularly asked the client about their opinion and feedback which guided our design process and ideation. One of the biggest points of feedback we received early on was to consider how to make our artifacts interactive. This resonated with our team since we were designing for a game shop, the embodiment of fun, and we iterated through design ideas from monopoly boards to chess boards, but we were ultimately drawn to inexpensive and easily replicable and reusable designs to benefit the business. We were able to discuss the pros and cons of multiple different design ideas, and even test some of these designs (origami flyer) on users, but we ran out of time to truly improve the template and prototype design.

We found that by focusing on the client and really embodying the fun and interactive nature of Games of Berkeley allowed us to excel in the competition, and we ultimately won two awards: Illustration Wizard and First Place!