Alaina Johnson

WTIA Tech Universe

The Seattle Tech Universe


A poster designed for WTIA, illustrating tech community within Washington state. The goal was to capture the complexity and expansiveness of the tech scene while showing the different relationships between companies. 


We found the original poster from 2007 over complicated itself by trying to convey too many ideas at once, making the information too difficult to understand. We chose to simplify the universe concept by focusing on constellations, allowing us to concentrate on shape and lines to convey the relationships between companies. 


In the first round of laying out the data, it was apparent that items were too large and cluttered, making it impossible to see the relationships. In the second round all elements were reduced by at least 50%, and companies that were not in a constellation were grouped together to form a galaxy. 


Once all the companies found their space and relationships were created, it was time to start bringing this constellation system to life. The client wanted to have an illustrative element to tie it into Washington state, but it was important to me to not have anything interfere with the information and story within the poster. To solve this, I added a soft gradient in the background, leading to the illustration anchoring the poster. 


To reinforce the fact that the Washington tech scene expands beyond Seattle, I created a skyline showing landmarks from different regions across the state.