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HIDE & SEEK

In the natural world, sometimes a species’ self-defense mechanism is the ability to not be seen by predators.

Photo of mariah jochai
14 18

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Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

I looked at the opportunity areas through the lens of the natural world. Using this metaphor makes the concepts accessible to viewers of many languages and cultures, as nature is all around us. I decided to focus on Digital Privacy and Encryption by showing a moth camouflaged on a tree. The process of encryption starts with an unencoded file, then it is encoded, then it is decrypted for authorized viewers. I wanted to show the moth mostly camouflaged but have both wings overlapping the edge of the tree to show that it can be seen if it wants to be—it is only “encrypted” when over the tree bark.

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

Another way of looking at this same idea is a frog jumping over a green leaf that camouflages its body.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

I really enjoyed pushing past the default visuals I'm used to seeing in infographics and articles discussing cyber security.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I'm an art director based in Portland, Oregon. I went to OTIS College of Art & Design and have worked in fashion, and tech industries for over 10 years. I love the concept side of advertising and marketing and often look to the outdoors and travel for inspiration.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

I've freelanced in the tech industry for a few years and am all too familiar with the default, fear inducing, images often used to describe cyber security. I'm excited for a different language to discuss these ideas.

Website(s)

craftograph.com, instagram.com/cogclub

What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a professional visual creator affiliated with an organization.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • In the news

Location: City

Portland

Location: State / District

Oregon

Location: Country

  • United States of America

What opportunity areas are you covering with this final portfolio? (250 characters)

Internet of Things, Hackers and Hacking, Digital Privacy + Encryption, Cyber Conflict

Final Portfolio (1,500 characters)

Before I began illustrating any one of the opportunity areas, I looked at them through the lens of the natural world. Using this metaphor makes the concepts more accessible to viewers across cultures, as nature is all around us. My goal was to illustrate familiar ideas from nature that when paired with headlines describing the complex concepts of cybersecurity, would spark intrigue and inspire viewers to read on or learn more about the topic. 1.To model encryption, we see a moth in flight who is exercising it’s ability to not be seen by predators. Just enough of the moth is visible to our eyes, as we have the key to decrypt the image. 2.The Internet of Things and its 26 billion devices has huge implications for cybersecurity. My goal was to convey the scale of this challenge by illustrating an immense slice of the earth’s core and the connected world on top of it, balancing on a wifi symbol, one of the most universally recognizable icons for internet connectivity. 3.My goal was to depict a hacker without depicting a person, rather to emphasize the point of infiltration. The “hacker” looks very similar to those who surround it and the image plays on the familiar image of a hacker and endless lines of code. 4.In this image I’m showing a leaf that has been damaged by a caterpillar. I’m using this metaphor as it’s relatable across cultures as the leaf can represent the food chain or food industry. The caterpillar is a metaphor for a computer worm. 5.My original concept.

How would you summarize your final portfolio in 100 words or less? (650 characters)

Before I began illustrating any one of the opportunity areas, I looked at them through the lens of the natural world. Using this metaphor makes the concepts more accessible to viewers across cultures, as nature is all around us. My goal was to illustrate familiar ideas from nature that when paired with headlines describing the complex concepts of cybersecurity, would spark intrigue and inspire viewers to read on or learn more about the topic.

Briefly describe your imagined use case for the work in your portfolio. (250 characters)

I designed the images to be used by journalists or activists, in social media or to accompany articles.

What was the most useful feedback that you received? (1,000 characters)

The most valuable feedback came from our mentor during the mentorship call. I was urged to revisit the illustration and to convey the moth in flight to better convey the idea of a transfer of information during encryption. This feedback altered the illustration for the better.

How have your concepts evolved since the Ideas Phase? (1,000 characters)

I have added several concepts to the portfolio since the original phase and have refined the original idea I submitted. I believe the image I refined from phase one is more technically accurate having gone through the mentorship phase.

How have you been able to incorporate technical accuracy into your concepts? (1000 characters)

Working with the mentor has helped to make my first idea more technically accurate.

How do your concepts expand the conversation on cybersecurity? (1000 characters)

My goal was to illustrate familiar ideas from nature that when paired with headlines describing the complex concepts of cybersecurity, would spark intrigue and inspire viewers to read on or learn more about the topic. I can see these graphics being used across media and in many industries.

If you were provided with additional time and resources, are there additional ways that you’d wish to reimagine the visual language of cybersecurity? (1,000 characters)

I could see creating a wealth of imagery in a variety of mediums, that continues to communicate concepts of cybersecurity through the lens of the natural world.

What resources did you find most helpful? (optional, 1,000 characters)

The community of participants and those who commented on my image were inspiring from the start of the process. It was helpful throughout to go back and re-read some of the comments.

Commitment to Creative Commons License (CC BY 4.0)

  • Yes, I ensure that my portfolio is in compliance with CC BY 4.0.

14 comments

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Photo of Kasim Bajramovic

So can someone please explain to me how this beutiful images are going to help explain cybersecurity?

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Photo of Ray Lagesse

Congrats on making top 5!

I love your style of art, it is very attractive to the eye :)

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Photo of Dima Boulad

I'm so glad to see the progress of this idea and the sketches into your final portfolio mariah jochai  .As the review team is going through all submissions, I would like to take this chance to thank you for your participation in this Challenge and your dedication to this important and complex topic. Watch this space as we announce the top picks!

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Photo of Bronney Hui

Holy moly!! What a great concept using the natural world. Well done!

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Photo of Ivana i.troselj@student.adfa.edu.au

mariah jochai  - I am also drawn to the natural world as a symbolism for online threats. This is just beautiful!

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Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

I absolutely love your first piece. It's got so much potential for peaking curiosity; the concept of opsec coming naturally from an environment given the right conditions is a wonderful one and I think has the ability to open up the conversation regarding good security under the right conditions.

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Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

I think the first image is poetic and is a strong symbol. As someone who knows a bit about encryption, I am uncomfortable if the intended idea is "security through anonymity", that is, blending into the background in order to be overlooked, but in collaboration with a knowledgeable cybersecurity partner, I am sure that any refinements about encryption technology could be worked out. I wish you the best of luck. I am a fellow entrant. If you have the time and any thoughts about my contribution, I would love to hear them. https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/cybersecurity-visuals/review/what-is-appropriate-encryption

John Messing

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Photo of mariah jochai

Thanks Yane. I wasn't familiar with the term opsec until you posted. I'll do some research to help inform my revisions. Cheers!

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Photo of Rebecca Wang

The first image has great visual appeal! I love your use of natural imagery, I think it really brings a sharp contrast to the otherwise "sleek" tech look that a lot of cybersecurity visuals have. I'm excited to see the idea refined!

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Photo of Claudio Rousselon

Great design! The camuflage theme is great when it comes to encrypted data, I really like the idea that 'cracking the code' is a matter of perspective.
Simple and elegant colors too, congrats Mariah!

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Photo of Dima Boulad

Hello mariah jochai  Happy to see your contribution to the Cybersecurity challenge. How would you consider pushing this idea further? We've had a large number of very interesting creations, have you had a chance to browse other submissions? There's a very interesting conversation around cybersecurity going on!

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Photo of Ash Gardiner

I also think your leaping frog idea is a strong one where it is camouflaged on water (in transit) and naturally coloured on the starting pad (Source) and naturally coloured on the destination pad. That very much sums up the idea of encrypting a message between two endpoints with the message (frog) readable at both ends.

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Photo of Ash Gardiner

Hi mariah jochai - I like your use of natural world analogies. With Sketch 1 the challenge I had was that I saw this as an image of someone's arm, where the skin was missing, like when it has been plastinated. The moth's feelers were the crease in the elbow. So I saw it as something frightening like a parasite. Clearly no the intention of your work and that may just be me and my warped miiiind. If I ruled the world I would make this image look more like a tree colour scheme. Best of luck with the challenge. Ash

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Photo of Patrizia Russ

Hi Mariah, I was thinking of a similar approach for encryption. :) Cuttlefish can change color in rapid patterns that make it look like ripples of color are rolling over their bodies. The mesmerizing "light show" effect is a strategy that can help cuttlefish catch prey. This detailed color-changing ability is even more impressive when you consider that cuttlefish are colorblind! (source: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/5-amazing-facts-about-strange-beautiful-cuttlefish). Just in case you want to develop the idea further / make an collection.