Vivian Chen

Industrial Designer

Reimagine EXPO


Reimage EXPO is a complete sustainable branding solution for Newell Brands’ writing brand, EXPO, which consists of 3 individual concepts.

The project is sponsored by Newell Brands, and was completed during a 14-week time frame.

The project was a group project with Michael Zhu and Yuning Tang. My responsibilities were: industrial design, branding strategy, graphics and packaging.

Branding strategy
Industrial Design

Current EXPO Products are NOT Sustainable

After disassembling and studying the current EXPO products, we made a lifecycle analysis, and it shows that:

  • Product lifecycle is linear
  • EXPO is unable to systematically recycle due to commingled materials and ink contamination


EXPO pro is a professional kit for creation. It increases EXPO’s value and breaks the conception of EXPO being cheap disposable markers

The sustainability strategy is to prolongate product life time by enabling refills, and increase the psychological value of EXPO products

Premium Markers

The shape and curves of EXPO Pro markers tell the story of elegancy. The Pro markers are premium and worth keeping

4 in 1 Nib

4 in 1 multi-functional nib achieves all one need for writing and drawing with just one marker, reducing the number of markers needed to draw professionally


EXPO Pro is no longer single use markers, a refill dock allows Pro markers to be refilled whenever they are dried out. Just like a fountain pen

Special Editions

EXPO Pro partners with artists and museums to introduce special editions that include colors used by famous artists, further increase the psychological value of EXPO Pro

EXPO Collective

EXPO collective is a system designed for large quantity of EXPO use. Currently, a large percentage of EXPO products are sold to large quantity buyers such as institutions and corporations

The sustainability strategy is to enable recycling, reduce manufacturing process and material use

Collective Box

EXPO Collective targets large quantity users, as a result, EXPO Collective comes in boxes. There are different quantity options, 50, 75, or 100 markers in each box

Shipping Box

The Collective box is not only a shipping box, but also a marker dispenser. Push a used marker in from the top, and a new marker comes out from the bottom. If new markers no longer drop from the bottom, it’s an indication that the box is full and ready for a return

The shipping box is made to be shipped back. Peel off the shipping label, and underneath is a paid shipping label to ship the box back to EXPO’s factory, where markers would be collected and recycled

How it Works

The inside of the cardboard box forms a simple mechanism that separates used and new markers

No Printing

The new marker design eliminates the printing process. Rather than printing each color on the barrel, the translucent body shows the vivid color that EXPO ink has in itself, which reduces manufacturing process and cost, and makes recyling much easier

Different material treatments—translucent and transparent clearly shows the logo, and leaves one side with clear and accurate color

One Body For All

No additional printing needed to indicate the color of the markers, markers of all colors can share the same barrel

EXPO Remote

EXPO remote is a remote working toolkit that combines digital experience with the analog method of quick doodling. As remote collaboration is becoming a future way of working/learning, EXPO remote expends EXPO’s market

The sustainability strategy is to use minimal and sustainable material in shipping and reduce price

Digitalize the Experience

Jotting down ideas with markers is quick and easy, but it’s temporary

EXPO app allows users to put quick creative sparks into a permanent online bank for safekeeping

Minimal Packaging

4 markers, a marker case, an eraser, and a whiteboard are all folded into a small package

Flat package uses minimal shipping space and energy. The cover to protect the whiteboard during shipping can be easily folded into a marker case and an eraser

Design Process

Product Disassembly

Disassembling each product to understand how were they made, and what materals were used

Brand Matrix

Currently EXPO has a very competitive price range, the proposed new EXPO branding strives to be the most eco-friendly brand while maintains its low price to stay competitive

Mood board

Concept Ideation

Generate solutions in the directions of:

  • Saving material
  • Changing material
  • Refillable
  • Recycle
  • Packaging
  • Digital
  • Professional set
  • Experience store

Pitching to Client

Our client from Newell Brands made 3 visits, on week 1 to kickoff the project, on week 7 to select concepts and give feedback, and on week 14 for the final presentation. We were able to present our ideas and communicate with our client directly

A Better and More Sustainable EXPO, Reimagined

Disconnect. • EXPO • ictusLight Symphony • Ceramics • Graphics NikePlus AR Fender Speaker

Copyright © 2023 Vivian Chen - All rights reserved.