Personal Branding Glyph Project
The objective for this project was to make 6 glyphs or images that represent me and to make a habitat for them to live in.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved playing board games. I grew up in a family that loved bonding over games, and it’s a fun way to spend quality time with people. I ended up naming the project “Monopoleigh,” combining my favorite board game with my unusual name spelling. We did a personal branding exercise, where we picked words that we thought described us, which helped guide us in our choices for the project. My words were geeky, clever, analytical, energetic, conventional, and curious.
I keep accidentally making cheeseburgers my muse because they’re a favorite food of mine. I made a “Batman Building”/TN flag mashup because I’m from Nashville and identify heavily as a Tennessean. The pencil with the label on it represents my weekly bar trivia group, “Scott’s Tots.” I have a hiking boot with mountains in the sole because I’ve taken up hiking and can be found hitting the trails when it’s warm outside. I’m a wordsmith with a soft spot for bad puns, and I enjoy solving crossword puzzles— in pen. Finally, I have a Coca-Cola IV drip because it’s my favorite drink.
After a suggestion from my classmate, Hannah Theele, who said that my glyphs would be cute as miniature board game pieces, it all clicked into place. I had been wanting to do a game of sorts, and reframing the glyphs as pieces made so much sense. I ended up laser cutting them (fun fact: they say “Monopoleigh” on
the backs of them).
Since this isn’t actually going into production, I figured I would keep the property placements, rules, and other game dynamics in place. I wanted to use the glyphs as alternate Monopoly pieces, but I felt weird stopping there, so I gave the game a facelift to help fit my mission. However, I tweaked the layout of the cards to showcase an easier way to sort them at the end of the game. I tend to be Property Manager when I play, and it’s a tiny pet peeve of mine when the cards are out of order. I made a color-coded system at the bottom of the cards so that you can sort them based on where the darkest squares are colored in.
Formerly Atlantic Avenue, Ventnor Avenue, and Marvin Gardens, I revamped the set to reflect on New Orleans’s best local eats. My parents are both from New Orleans, and I have grown up eating Po’Boys (like subs but better), Beignets (like funnel cakes and doughnuts but better), and snowballs (like snowcones, and as you guessed, way better). In this example, they are property cards 19, 20, and 22 (because the cheeseburger/ “Water Works” is on 21).
Board and Spaces
Here are the streets and the themes I picked. They are predominantly from Nashville, with nods to Knoxville, New Orleans, and Gulf Shores. I wanted to showcase places I love, but I thought the streets they were on were less descriptive, as a whole, than the buildings themselves. Additionally, I selected my four favorite hiking trails to serve as the railroads (”trail roads”). I wanted to feature all of the glyphs on the board, to help unite the project, so I used the shoe as the symbol. I also made burgers and soda the new Water Works/Electric Company because it’s a classic combination. Furthermore, I made the Free Parking square
bar trivia because it’s a reliable part of my week where I can relax, no matter how hectic the rest of the week is. “Go to Jail” is now just “Go Home,” utilizing the Nashville glyph. Finally, the crossword puzzle is the new “Chance” square. I made a few extra glyphs to tie the board together, like my childhood home, a backpack, and an exclamation mark, parodying the question mark in the original version of the game.
For the novelty places on the board, I tried to pick places and events that gave off the same sentiment as the original. “Go” became “Take a Hike” since the game has a rugged, explorer feel. “Luxury Tax” became “Gear Up!” in keeping with the tone. I have “Lost in Thought” and “Existential Crisis” as Community Chest and Chance. Finally, I have my childhood house as jail (and “Get out of jail free” cards are free gas money) since I visit frequently and stay over breaks occasionally.
Houses and Beach Houses
I visit the same beach house annually, as a family reunion, so I made that instead of hotels. Houses seemed like an okay thing to keep because I wanted to focus on the construction of the beach houses specifically and adding stilts to them.
I cut rectangular dowels into cubes, and I angled the saw to get the diagonal for the roofs, which I glued onto the cubes. There are a ton of houses (32) and hotels (12) in the game, and I wanted to make extras to choose from.
I copywrote the rules, pulling content from the original and sprucing it up to match the tone I set for the game. I did the same for the Community Chest and Chance cards, where I kept the values and rewrote the events to match more closely with events that are more relatable.
It bothers me that the plastic money caddies that come in Monopoly sets don’t have enough slots for the different types of bills. I decided I would make a collapsable caddy that had room for houses and beach houses, meticulously organized in rows. Underneath the money are laser etchings of the denominations of the bills.
Overall, I had fun fine-tuning details in the game. Even if no one ends up reading the street names, organizing the cards by location, or appreciating the money caddy, I made this project the way I wanted. More than anything, it was a challenge to bring something so multi-faceted to life.