Fathom Mag

On Designing and Storytelling

We asked designer Kim Goulbourne about her take on modern storytelling.

Published on:
February 8, 2017
Read time:
2 min.
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I originally found Kim on Twitter after some other designer tweeted something by her. I don’t remember what. The thing that first caught my eye was her project Election Rewind, where I thought, “What a cool way to show context with animation and storytelling.” It’s something we think about a lot at Fathom, thinking through how we can better tell stories using design. (Shout out to our designer Jeremy Cherry for Fathom’s look.) So, I reached out to ask her a few questions about her stories.
—Brandon Giella

Do you have any favorite stories? It could be a novel or a story your grandmother told you over a pot of mashed potatoes.

I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction stories lately that are written in a loose autobiographical format. My favorites so far have been #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, and Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I’ve particularly enjoyed these stories because I love learning about the lives of successful women before they got to where they are now since you don’t get to hear that version often. I’m a sucker for stories that inspire and motivate me to keep pushing toward everything I want out of this life.

Kim Goulbourne

How does design shape how you communicate on the web?

Design to me is like writing to a blogger. It’s the way I express myself, which seems obvious, but that’s why I love designing and coding. Since I’m not much of a writer, my alternative to writing a blog post about my learnings from a particular experience or to share knowledge in a particular area is to use design and/or code to create an experience to share those discoveries with a wider audience.

What’s most difficult about creating context and action using these tools?

The most difficult part of of this process has been choosing the appropriate medium, content, and format to deliver the message. I could easily build a website that’s simply a visually more interesting blog post, but I’m always more inclined to go beyond that and find interesting ways to relay an idea, thought, or opinion while engaging the user.

Kim Goulbourne

Where do you see the future of web-based storytelling?

The format of storytelling has vastly improved because of the ever growing capabilities of the web and technology. Storytellers are going beyond simply laying out text on a screen and creating interactive movies, 360-degree videos, and virtual reality to share their stories. I think creatives are going to keep testing the boundaries of the web and explore more interactive experiences that really immerse a user in the storyline, leveraging new technology along the way.

Kim Goulbourne

If you had to tell a group of people one thing, what and how would you want to tell them?

I’m currently working on a sweatshirt line called “More” that will feature little reminders to do the important things—more. Simple things we often forget like laughing, smiling, sleeping, and loving.

Kim Goulbourne

All too often we get so caught up in our day-to-day that we forget to do some of things that are essential to our growth and well being as humans. In this case I’m using clothing as a way to inspire people in a small way.

Kim Goulbourne
Kim Goulbourne is a chronic creator, designer, and self-taught full stack developer originally from Kingston, Jamaica. She currently works as a designer at thoughtbot in New York while crafting purpose-driven experiences under her creative alias, Bourn.

Cover image is Kim’s project Send Thanks To.

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