Enabling City Volume 2

Create a vibrant and professional look for the second volume of the Enabling City series.



To create an authentic, whimsical aesthetic balanced with a professional tone to reflect the organization’s role as an important contributor on the topic of social innovation. It also needed to complement the Volume 1 design and to be adaptable for the translated versions.


Policy makers, citizens, activists, experts.



I wanted to recreate and build on the clean layout and bright, energetic colour elements by using the colours to visually represent the layered complexity of the topic. The fonts use would be more grounded with more traditional typography to balance the playfulness and not interfere with legibility.


To achieve this, I created a unique cover graphic that used brightly coloured gradients and transparency in skewed rectangles to symbolize both the community and collaborative elements of Enabling City and the structures—building, policies, etc—that define spaces. I also reused a illustrated map from the cover of volume 1 as a background element throughout this volume both to tie in with the original and also to subtly reinforce the place-based focus of the content. I kept type treatment fairly conventional for legibility and to ground the design.


Since the book needed to be both whimsical and professional, I was constantly checking and rechecking the visual elements to walk that line and find a good balance that both myself and the author were happy with.



The project was very well received by the both the author, her peers, and participants and contributors internationally. The cover graphics were also re-purposed across a variety of additional media (PowerPoint presentations, social media graphics, eNewsletters, etc) to promote the book.

Team & Role

Client: Enabling City

Team: Juni Xu, Designer

My Role: Lead Designer

Time: 2013.11

Tools: InDesign. Illustrator. Photoshop.

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