Select Page

{ONE} DESIGN: an identity, a design language, and a movement

My role: influencer of culture, design language leader, relationship builder

The Beginning:

In 2014 the digital design teams at Capital One were combined into a single department under a new VP, Scott Zimmer. There was a long history of federated design teams allocated and aligned to specific lines of business and with a single leader identified all design functions would come together under a single department. As this coming together kicked off and as the 10th designer hired to join the team, I was asked to present a ‘History of Design’ with my fellow peer Richard Kuhlbars. Together we showcased the course of design over the past several years and as the presentation ended, and in attempt to unify the team, I simply presented the following:

As the team grew from 40 designers to hundreds the One Design culture took hold and grew beyond what I could have expected; after all this was never intended to become a team identity…it just happened. And this grass roots campaign complete with stickers, posters, shirts, and baseball cards to the Capital One campuses by storm like.

the One Design Language


At the time the Capital One brand guidelines were defined to support legacy print needs and we saw an opportunity to improve the digital design standards by optimizing the current standards for backlit and micro digital displays. Based on my history and success creating a pattern library and component system I was tasked, along with a small team, to create a new design language that would be used by all of the One Design team to deliver consistent modern designs within all products and digital properties.

The Outcome:

While this effort challenged the Brand organization the result was a stronger partnership not only with Brand but Engineering as well. The influence of One Design spawned One Brand and was followed by One Code.

Our partnership with brand specifically inspired and introduced new identity guidelines that considered digital usage, the creation of a new custom type face & font, as well as a shared approach to creating universal standards and guidelines.

As One Design expanded across the U.S. campuses it also introduced us to much stronger partnerships and collaborations with our peers in Canada as well as London and Nottingham designers and engineers in the U.K.