ashley bock

ibm design

ibm design

2018 + 2019


Being a part of IBM Design means being a part of a team 1000+ designers strong and stretched across the globe. That’s huge. And while I work with quite a few of those designers daily, I often don’t get to interact much with those outside either my product team or those at my home studio.

IBM Makes is an initiative that came out of both the desire to collaborate with other designers across IBM and to get the chance to work on projects outside of our usual product work. Ultimately, IBM Makes is about fostering a larger culture of making and creativity within our tech-focused design organization. IBM Makes started at the Austin studio, but has since branched out in various forms to other studios—including our very own Make Lab in San Jose.

wild ducks: a collaborative deck of playing cards

One stand out project out of IBM Makes is a collaborative deck of cards, organized by Russell Huffman. I participated in the second iteration of this project, which gathered 55 artists across IBM to design each part of the deck, including the different card fronts, the card back, and the box.

We completed this project over the course of about a month—posting our progress and iterations on our card designs on Slack for each other to see and give feedback. Each artist had to create a unique design that referenced either the number or suit of their card.

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Draft of my card design

Draft of my card design

For my card, I picked the 8 of diamonds. I based the illustration on loops in highways, particularly the diverging diamond interchange pattern. (And if you look close, you’ll start seeing hidden 8s.)

The final card I contributed to the deck

The final card I contributed to the deck

Once completed and printed, the cards were then distributed to all the designers who participated. The studio in Austin also had a release party to showcase all of the cards.


sticker exchange

I also participated in a sticker exchange, organized by, Jenny Sanchez and Shelby Aranyi. They selected a handful of designers to each create a sticker based on the theme “questions we have about the future.” We each had to incorporate a question mark into our designs.