(Updated!) PDS Final Project: Logos For NIME (Ronan)


For my final projectm I decided to create a logo and posters for NIME. NIME stands for New Interface for Musci Entertainment, which is not only a popular class at NYU but also an international organization. The concept of NIME is to explore creative, non-traditional ways to make musical instruments and performances. However, NIME doesn’t really have a unified logo and the international website does not really express the meaning of NIME either. This is why I wanted to mske this design.

This is the NIME website:


As I said before, NIME people are building instruments using computer-related tools. They are trying to connect music with color, light, water… Besides, every year NIME will hold a worldwide conference and we have different performers. All these variations are good to be done in code so that we can have generative or rule-based logos/posters.


At the very beginning, I created a typography for NIME, which was made into teh NIME poster for the NIME concert this year. However, because of the limit of time I didn’t really polish the design (shown as below):

When I was designing this typography, I wanted to make something that looks like electric signals, which is really important for NIME instrument. However, lots of my classmates thought this looks like stars instead of singals before I explained it to them. And several of them asked me:” Isn’t NIME something about music? Why don’t you make something about signals?” I took their advice because there are still a lot of people who don’t know what NIME is and I want them to have the impression that NIME is a music thingy the first time they see the posters. Later, I remembered that the posters for NIME concert 2010 at ITP look like these:

Therefore, I had the final idea that I want my designs to have two elements: soundwave and record. I used soundwave for the logos and the record as the visual on the posters.


All logos:

Perlin Noise:

Animated curves:

Somehow, I couldn’t upload short videos onto this blog and the user has to download to watch them.. so I will just upload screenshots of them.


This was inspired by one of my NoC midterm sketches which looks like this :

Record + ?

When I talked to different people, some suggested me to explore more with the shape of the record. Because NIME intruments are often connected to different elements such as taste or smell, I want the record shape to be related to different elements as well. Here are the outcomes:

Play with colors:

https://www.openprocessing.org/sketch/402961 (This is the inspiration)

These are all the finished designs for the NIME logos/posters!


Every year, there are NIME concerts in different locations and every performer has their own creative musical instrument. Therefore, I want my design to be used as posters for the overall concerts and for individual performors.

For instance, the pizza one can be used for one performance from last year. One student wondered what sound it will generated when she “eat” and “licked” her guitar. So I hope this poster can express the combination of taste and music.

In this year’s NIME concert, one of my classmates aslo made a digital piano and the sound will be generated when people touch hands. (photo is below). Therefore, I hope the music notes one can express the combination of music and piano.



If the reader can remember, I explained that the very first design I had, aslo the one which was actually built into the poster for NIME concert this year at NYU Shanghai, was supposed to represent electric signals. NIME is not only about music, but also about “New interfaces” of music. Therefore, I really want the designs to also express the creativity of NIME. One exploration I did is the circuit diagram, because every NIME class I connected circuits and this inspired me to wonder how can circuit symbols be made into NIME logos. Here is what I have for now:

I googled some symbols that looked like letters NIME and drew it in p5. Each of the letters has their own function so whenever the user wants to choose one of them , they can easily copy and paste the function into their own sketch.

In the future (hopefully this winter break), I want to further develop it!

Self-reflection and lesson learned:

First, I really want to say this class and the process of building my midterm and final projects are really really amazing experience. As a student who never designed anything before, this class really teached me a lot. All the designing experience allowed me to comfirm a specific direction of where to go as an IMA student — visual design! I have to say that this is my most productive year (four projects) and all my projects can be connected to each other. For instance, for my Nature of Code class, I built sound visualization for both midterm and final projects. For my NIME class, I actually built musical instruments. And for my PDS projects, I designed logos and posters for NIME. And for my VR class projects, I also made 360 VR videos with music.

Then what did I actually learn from this specific final project?

When I was designing these logos/posters, there was one thing I kept telling myself which is “always keep the record element in it so the design can make sense as concert posters”. This is the lesson that I got from my midterm, because two of the logos I created for trash isles didn’t really represent the “trash”. Therefore, I told myself to explore as many variations of musical records as possible. Besides, since we have four weeks to work on this project, I also pushed myself to have at least 20 different sketches. And I’m actually really happy that I did explore many possiblities!

The second thing I got from this experience is that although I have many variations, some of them may not make sense as logos or posters. Personally, I think connect the message with the form is really important for me at this stage because I don’t want my designs to be just “pretty”. Therefore, when I choose the variations,  I focused on giving them a meaning so that they can become posters for individual performers.

Amplification through simplification:

Last but not the least, something I didn’t realize until I saw my classmates’ presentations in class and heard more feedbacks on my project from my professors: sometimes the simpler the design is, the better it looks. I know a lot of people including me want to create impressive designs so that they include as many techniques as possible in the sketches. This may work with some cases, but as for logos, the important feature (personally) is how to express the meaning with just the right amount of visual, not too much and not too least.

I was actually quite surprised when people say the neon ones (as below) work the best among all variations. And these two were actually done as my last sketch and I didn’t put too much energy to it.

In a word, as a people who just entered the design world, I really learned a lot from this class and all the exercises we did. Although my work and my thoughts may seem pretty childish and cliche to people who are more experienced and professional in visual design, I’m still proud of myself because I did explore as much as I can and tried to apply the lessons I learned to my final. And I’m really looking forward to my designing future as well as more lessons to learn and more things to experience!




All coded has been uploaded in Github!


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