CATEGORY: Design Work
Following my previous post, Logo & Branding Design Recap of 2019, here is a post dedicated to some of the layout projects of the past year.
Late 2018 and into 2019 I had a chance to work on some of my largest layout based projects yet, which I am so very proud of; the UNA program guide full re-design, as well as designing the first-ever print issue of The Narwhal Magazine and lastly, a 90+ page workbook for a new client (sneak peeks below!). Some of my favourite projects are usually also the most challenging ones, whether it's a complicated concept to tackle, there are budget or format restrictions, we are limited in terms of printing options, the design always feels ten times more rewarding after a healthy dose of problem-solving.
Although a lot of designers probably think annual reports are super boring, they are actually one of my favourite types of projects to work on. I've had the chance to design a total of five this year, both for previous and new clients.
Next up I would really love to work with someone looking to publish a book. I've already dipped my toes into this field, designing a zine for a photographer, as well as a book for a comic artist, but I would really love to work on an actual book, that features not just imagery, but also a healthy amount of copy throughout.
But in the meantime, here is a small collection of some of the projects I got to work on this past year.
University Neighbourhoods Association
Working with UNA, the University Neighbourhoods Association at UBC for over a year now has been so great. Although I've worked on a variety of assets with them, the biggest project has been working closely with their team to tackle the re-design of their main project, their seasonal program guides for the community centres.
UNA produces three themed guides every year, Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall. Our first goal was to come up with visuals for the years theme, something that felt local and seasonal. Overall we really wanted to upgrade the design of the programs, making them more sophisticated, while still speaking to a varied audience of children, and more importantly, their parents who would be purchasing the programs, as well as seniors. We decided to go with an abstract theme using colours to reflect the seasons. Once the visuals were sorted; Vancouver's blue mountain range for winter, colourful abstract flower field for Spring/Summer, and fall coloured overlapping panels for the changing leaves, we proceeded to create the artwork by physically overlapping textured paper and scanning it. This made the covers stand out and gave them a very textural feel. I've since already designed the three themed programs for this upcoming year as well, but you'll have to wait a little longer to see those!
Next up was re-designing the whole inside of the program guide, which featured a lot of information and didn't have a clear hierarchy. We met in-person a number of times so I could get very familiar with all the content, understand it's purpose and priority and then start re-organizing it, creating a new legible type hierarchy and start colour coding and labelling information in a way that makes things obvious and easy for the readers. I also completely re-designed the grid and layout structure of the guide, aiming to fit as much content as before on every page, but in a much more efficient manner, by making more use of white space and allowing the content to breathe. The guide is laid out across a multi-column grid throughout that is extremely flexible and allows for plenty of room to play. Graphic elements, pull quotes and photography help break the grid, giving the program guide an almost editorial feel.
To see more of this project pop over to my portoflio here.
I love that I have an on-going relationship with UNA now and am looking forward to sharing more of the work we've completed together.
Peter Wall Insitute for Advanced Studies
Earlier in the year I had a chance to work with UBC's Peter Wall Insititute for Advanced studies. The Peter Wall Institute draws together scholars from UBC and around the world to engage in deep and unconstrained research into some of the most profound questions and challenges facing humanity. The Institute seeks to encourage highly innovative, creative and unexpected scholarship through wide-ranging explorations between disciplines. We worked together on designing their previous years' annual report, taking a less corporate, more fun approach, making use of the brand colours, patterns and shapes throughout.
Since this project has wrapped, we've already started working on the next annual report, which is much more extensive in size, triple the length of the previous one, taking a slightly more scholar design approach. It's really fun when clients are open to trying out new and different design aesthetics for projects, while still staying true to the core brand.
The Mindful Wardrobe Project Workbook
The Mindful Wardrobe Project, I don't even know where to start with this one. Over the past year I've been working with Meg on-goingly, primarily re-branding her previous business and creating all the visual assets and branding materials for her new venture The Mindful Wardrobe Project Workbook, an online and in-person workshop. The workbook is so valuable, 90+ pages full of really great information, plus accompanied by videos, worksheets and more assets. I'm really excited to share more about this project but will wait until I get it up on my portfolio, hopefully sometime this spring.
This was another very special project for me. I got to collaborate with past client and friend Jackie Dives. Jackie is a photographer and recently went through some major life changes and loss and after which she decided to take a cycling trip through South Korea. I helped her put together a little book featuring Jackie's words and photos of what she captured along the way, as well as what it felt like to go through this journey. The book feels relatable and emotional, beautiful and oddly comforting. The initial print run was of 50 copies which sold out within a few short weeks, currently entering its second print run. Jackie's work is so special and vulnerable and I very much look forward to working with her again. If you don't already follow her on Instagram do so now! If you'd like a copy of the book for yourself reach out to Jackie directly before this second run sells out too.
Forum for Women Entrepreneurs: FWE
Another great local charity reached out to me this past fall to work on their annual report, the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. The FWE energizes, educates, mentors and connects women entrepreneurs to be wildly successful, promoting strengthened economies and thriving communities. They support 650 women entrepreneurs annually and have a radical plan for growth over the next five years to increase this number to 5,000. I highly encourage you to check out their events and workshops.
Gestalt Therapy Portugal
After designing some branding and printed materials for my mom's new venture last year, this year I helped her put together a Squarespace website. We kept the overall design simple and minimal, with large type and a clear hierarchy. Working in Portugal, within a German community and also fluently speaking English she really wanted the information across the site to be as tri-lingual as possible. We compromised to leave out the German for the time being, focusing on Portuguese and English content only. Have a look here!
I've done some pretty great design projects for some really awesome clients over the years, but The Narwhal takes the prize! Beyond being a dream project, designing a magazine, it's also doing work for some really awesome people doing very important and good work.
The Narwhal is a team of investigative journalists, who dive deep to tell stories about Canada’s natural environment you can’t find anywhere else, telling the stories Canada’s big news outlets miss and hustle to help their readers make sense of complex, sometimes downright messy issues.
Shortly before their one year anniversary as an online publication, The Narwhal reached out to me to design a printed magazine, showing off some of the best articles from the past year. The magazine already had some great branding and a strong visual website and type hierarchy, from which I had a chance to draw a lot of inspiration for the printed issue.
Please pop over to my portoflio and view the full project here and also check out The Narwhal online and consider supporting them.
I'm very excited to say that issue two is literally being proofed right now and going off to print later this week.
It seems that my designing roughly one website per year is still going strong! I wouldn't mind if this number went up either, hint, hint. I won't share too much about this project since the site hasn't officially launched yet, but I can say that I had the chance to work with my good friend and past client/collaborator Gabriel Cabrera on this new venture, designing his branding and website. Stay tuned for details on this one!
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank
Yet another annual report I got to design this year (I told you there was a lot of them!) was for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. The biggest challenge of this project was making all the content work! The client had a lot of content which we were trying to fit across a 20-page report. Upon much trimming and breaking down complex information into more visual assets, we ended up with a really great annual report.
2019 was another busy year, working on-goingly with Alexa Mazzarello. Beyond a brand audit and minor brand refresh, we also worked together on two different promo's, a lookbook for one of her recent collaborative shoots, as well as various postcard designs accompanying another, summer-inspired, promo (shown above).
I know I'm a broken record but working with a photographer is always such a treat. It's not all smooth sailing, as a lot of creatives, me included, have set visions on how we want to see our work come to life, but together, we manage to bring ideas together and create a visual feast.
Photographers, please e-mail me, I want to work with YOU!
Do the thing, by Geoff Coates
Another project which hasn't quite launched yet (shhhhh secret sneak peek!!), is a book for Geoff Coates! Geoff is an art director in the Vancouver videogame industry and also a cartoonist! His name miiiight sound familiar if you are local, as he's recently joined Vancouver Is Awesome as an editorial cartoonist, illustrating the daily joys and pain points of Vancouverites. I'd tell you more about his book, but you're just going to have to wait until it launches. In the meantime, go follow Geoff on instagram!
I've already alluded to all the amazing work I've done with Meg from Sew Liberated over the past year, but this little packaging piece deserved its own little highlight. I love working on packaging projects, but it's something I rarely get to design these days. Packaging projects are costly, not just from a printing perspective, but also from a design perspective as there is so much trial and error and testing and proofing to make sure everything comes together just right. I'm always up for the challenge though and would love to work on more packaging!!
That sums up some of my top design projects for 2019! It's only January and I'm already in the process of wrapping up a handful of more awesome projects and have some more availability in my schedule for Spring. Get in touch, I would love to hear from you!
Following my posts from previous years, here is a post dedicated to some of the logo and branding projects I worked on in 2019. Over the past few years, my business has changed a bit, focusing more on all things editorial and layout based design. While this was a direction I consciously made and while I am loving all the projects I get to work on these days, I can't help but also feel a little sad that that's meant taking on less branding projects. On the other hand, I also feel like it makes the branding projects that I choose to take on all the more special!
The Mindful Wardrobe Project
One of my favourite things is when I can work with clients on their businesses on an on-going basis. Early last year I started working with Meg from Sew Liberated. She was in process of launching her new course and workbook, The Mindful Wardrobe Project, a handmade journey in self-care and sustainability.
The Mindful Wardrobe Project intends to take the overwhelm out of the crafting process by focusing on making clothing we feel good about wearing. A wardrobe that is cohesive, sustainable, made with love and intention, clothes that honour our bodies and planet.
Although this brand has launched I haven't had a chance to add it to my portfolio quite yet, so I'll keep this short. The Mindful Wardrobe Project is a mouthful of a name so we aimed to keep the logotype simple and minimal. The circle around the logo was inspired by vintage clothing tags and stamps, created in a brushed pen style to show off the handmade aspect of the brand's mission. The above is just a tiny glimpse into the final brand. We added a whole colour and type system, as well as patterns and lots of little hand illustrated icons to bring the brand to life.
Since working with Meg on this new businesses branding I also designed her 90+ workbook, a handful of worksheets, as well as many more assets for her Sew Liberated brand (more details below). It's been an amazing collaboration and I'm excited to further build on this brand in the year ahead. Stay tuned for a full feature of this project in my portfolio in a few months!
2019 brought a lot more collaborative projects with Alexa Mazzarello, including giving her existing branding a mini re-design. Over the past year and a bit Alexa's focus had slightly changed and her brand was feeling a little all over the place. We got together and reviewed all her current and past assets, evaluating what still felt right and what felt off.
Overall her colours and logo icon stayed, but we re-did her logo and type hierarchy, focusing on a strong clean and consistent look moving forward. The new logo wordmark is clean and simple, to the point, with tall features and pointy edges. It works well in a variety of formats and layers nicely onto photographs, covering all of Alexa's brand needs.
After designing the Mindful Wardrobe Project brand for Meg we decided to give her original brand, Sew Liberated, a quick facelift as well. Sew Liberated was one of the first indie sewing pattern companies to emerge online from the crafting renaissance. The brand has a huge online following and evolved beyond just selling patterns to focus on slow fashion, sustainable practices, and mentoring women to look at their sewing as a practice of self-care.
While focusing on different products and services, the two brands are essentially sisters. We decided to keep the type across the two brands's the same, but added a visual logo icon to the brand to portray a "screw you, societal norms and fast fashion" kind of feel, portraying a fist with scissors.
Knowing fully well that illustrating hands is not my strong suit I worked together with my friend Angie Coates, founder and designer of the Five 15, to bring this vision to life.
Vauhus is a new online publication, launching in 2020. The website is currently under development. Since it hasn't launched yet I won't share any further details beyond this logo variation quite yet. Stay tuned!
I wrapped up a branding project for local photographer Hennygraphy right before the holidays, so technically this hasn't launched yet but I wanted to share a very quick sneak peek at the final logo. I'll share more about this project when it launches, details of how Henny's unique style inspired the logomark and type details throughout the brand.
That sums up some of my top branding projects for 2019! For 2020 I would love to continue working on branding projects, finding a good balance between branding and layout based editorial projects.
Following my previous post, Logo & Branding Design Recap of 2018, here is a post dedicated to some of the layout projects of the past year.
Having the opportunity to design so many layout based projects in 2017 was a huge achievement for me, a major goal I had set for myself the previous year. I've further refined my layout design processes and quotes, figuring out how to best tackle these oftentimes large scale projects to make the process easy for my clients and myself. Since they are usually intense, large-scale projects, I'm happy to share that I have two major ones in the works right now, launching mid-2019! In the meantime, below are a few that were extra fun to work on in 2018.
Last year I worked with past-client and talented friend Tomasz Wagner on branding a new project, Wagner&Co. Since 2013 Tomasz has been photographing and filming weddings across the globe, but in more recent years his team of videographers has grown and it was time that the videography services get their own little home.
After branding the new business we spent the past year designing the new site and getting it developed. Through a few ups and downs and plenty of creative challenges, the site recently launched and I am beyond proud of how it's come together. Dare I say it might be my proudest work of 2018?!
Tomasz and Amy are the best to work with. They've been in the industry long enough to know what is out there, what has been done, and how they want to make their own mark. Staying true to who their brand is they come up with the best creative and design-driven ideas and concepts, never boring, always challenging, while keeping an eye on all the details. Super thankful they continuously trust me to work on projects with them.
The above image does not do the site any justice, I highly encourage you to hop on your desktop and browse through the site www.wagnerandco.film
Winter Program Cover Design
Exciting new client alert! Over the past few months, I've been working with the UBC Neighbourhood Association (UNA). They reached out to me to re-design their Program Guide for the two community centres they manage. We started off by conceptualizing the theme for the three covers of the guide for 2019. Keeping the location and natural beauty of Vancouver in mind we drew inspiration from the seasons and landscape. The above is the first of three covers, the winter issue, taking inspiration from Vancouver's mountain skyline and cold, rainy, but still beautiful winter days.
Wanting to take the overall design and aesthetic to the next level the cover illustration is actually created from a textual paper collage which I put together and then digitized. The other two covers have already been designed as well, but I'll hold off on sharing those until they get published. And as if this wasn't exciting enough, we are currently in the process of re-designing the inside of the guide!
Jackie Dives Promo Poster
I'd been following Vancouver-based photographer Jackie Dives' work for the past few years and was beyond excited when she reached out to me! Jackie wanted to send out some promo pieces to a variety of local news agencies and brands who may be interested in working with her. Since her clients are quite varied we decided to design two separate posters, each focusing on different categories of her work, and each laid out with that specific audience in mind.
The above poster showcases Jackie’s work that focuses on social justice issues through the lens of the female gaze. Together we narrowed down a selection of photos to lay out on the poster in a more free-flowing, collage style grid.
You can view the other poster we designed over here.
Kara Yoo Lookbooks
It's no secret that playing with layout design, photography and grid structures is one of my favourite type of projects. Kara Yoo, a Vancouver based jewellery designer, got in touch with me to design digital lookbooks for her two 2018 Fall collection releases.
The design is dynamic as you scroll throughout, varying the sizes of photographs to keep the viewer interested, while ensuring the products are large and front and centre.
The layout was primarily put together for the website for wholesalers and customer to browse and shop from. The design is flexible enough that each section can be broken down on its own, featuring one product at a time, adaptable to different formats for social media, newsletters, print and more.
You can view both full lookbooks over here.
Gestalt Therapist Promo Postcard
I got to design a few little promo pieces for my mom this year! She's been furthering her career path, getting into Gestalt Therapy. In order to make connections with local professionals, schools and ultimately, finding consulting clients, I designed a little logo mark for her, alongside a business card and the above flyers. Living in Portugal, yet working at a German school, while also being proficient in English we needed to design a piece that was functional and could be easily adapted to different languages. The layout is broken up in vertical and horizontal sections, leading your eye across the information, with each side of the card featuring a different language.
SFU Annual Report
I got to work with Simon Fraser University again this year! Though some might think it's boring, designing research reports makes me so happy. This fall I worked with the Ombudsman Office to visually lay out the 2017 annual report. The report featured varying pieces of information, requiring different styles, with a handful of informative data, visually displayed through bar graphs, pie charts and circle graphs, as well as a front and back cover design. Fingers crossed for more SFU work in 2019!
Flurt Brand Guide
In late 2017 I started working with FLURT magazine, completely re-designing their magazine. The goal was to test the new design across a few issues, revise and improve as needed and then hand over the project to a new, junior designer to carry out future issues.
With it being a volunteer position, it was hard to know who would be taking over the design role in the future. Wanting to set up the new person for success I put together a 50+ page comprehensive brand guide for the magazine. What colours to use how and where, type hierarchy, photography specs, layout, specifically the grid, cover guidelines and so much more. It was a big job, but also very satisfying, seeing how a design I had worked on so hard stood the test of time and was flexible and dynamic enough to live on for many more issues to come.
As I was working on this I also started reading Paula Scher's book by Unit Editions (very highly recommend it!!). In it she says that brand guidelines are essentially useless. If you pass on a project to a good designer, they will know what to do, how to follow the brand image, building upon it in the right diretcion. However, if you pass along a project to a bad designer, it doesn't matter how good your brand guideline is, the designer is still a bad designer. While working hard to get this brand guidline finished, I couldn't help but laugh and agree!! However, passing on a project to a junior designer, you gotta have some faith, and hope that the comperhensive guideline you just spent hours putting together will help guide them and they'll learn from it!
True Leaf Pets
Over the summer I designed a multi-piece infographic for a Pineapple Collective client, True Leaf Pets.
With the increasing popularity, and also increasing confusion, of CBD related products, True Leaf Pets wanted to a few informational graphics for their clients.
We created three long-format pieces, covering the difference between hemp and cannabis, the difference between hemp oil and CBD for your pet, as well as how to find the right product for your pet.
As much as possible we tried to make the content heavy pieces as visual as possible, heavily focusing on type hierarchy and breaking up different sections, to make the information easily scanable. The design of the three pieces also utilizes different background colours and textures throughout the varying sections, making it easy for the long graphic to be broken down into smaller sections, for presentation slides, handouts and social media.
As previously mentioned, since late 2017, I had a chance to completely re-haul the design of FLURT magazine, testing and improving it over four issues, before passing it along to a junior designer.
Despite having a basic logo, colour scheme and go-to typefaces in place, the overall layout of the magazine was very amateur; inconsistent type styles and a non-existing grid structure throughout the pages. When I joined the team my job was to review the overall brand mission and assets, re-evaluate some of the previous design directions, elevate and expand the typography, streamline graphic styles and create an interesting yet consistent grid system across the various sections.
The Fall 2017 issue launched with the brand new design with a lot of positive feedback and increased purchases and digital downloads across the community.
If you are curious to see some more of the inside pages, I posted a little re-cap over here.
That sums up some of my top design projects for 2018! I already have some exciting projects in the works for 2019 and am looking forward to whatever else may come my way. My spring schedule is quickly filling up, but I still have a few openings. Get in touch, I would love to hear from you!
Freelance life is always full of ups and downs throughout the year. There are times when things are super slow and you feel sad and depressed, thinking no one will ever hire you again. Then there are times when things are busy, but maybe even too busy and you feel exhausted and burnt out. The past few weeks leading up to Christmas work has been feeling really great. A variety of projects that I had been working on for months, some of them even from earlier this year, finally launched, I got a handful of really great projects on the go right now, that I can't share much about yet, and I have a lot of fun stuff lined up for next Spring. Whenever work feels just right I wish I could bottle it up and remember this feeling when things are slow, knowing it'll pick up again, as it always does.
Maybe that's what this 2018 recap post is about. Looking back on the past twelve months and all the awesome designs that came together through hard work and collaboration. Below is a roundup of some of my top branding projects from the past year.
Irit Sorokin Designs
Over the summer I got to work on a rebrand for Irit Sorokin's Jewerly brand. It was really fun as we not just re-designed her logo and brand icon, colours and typography, but also got to work together on business cards, a variety of packaging pieces, tissue paper, stamps and more. This brand hasn't officially launched yet (website currently under development), but here's a sneak peek at the final logo! I'll share more about this brand as it launches next year.
This is another branding project I literally just wrapped up before the holidays, with the website currently being built out. Kismet Communication is a brand new pr agency by Jessica Gares. She named the brand after her grandfather's boat, Kismet. Wanting to bring some of that "magic" into the logo we created custom, minimal sparkles for the i's. Furthermore, the logotype is inspired by traditional media and typewriters, but with a modern twist. More details on this project as it launches next year.
Sarah Mulder Jewerly
Working with not one, but three different jewelry designers this year has been a highlight. Sarah Mulders existing logo was slightly dated and not very flexible, so we worked together to re-design her brand, creating a new logo that is more versatile as her brand grows and also encompasses the bohemian, yet contrary sleek and mysterious vibe of her jewels. Echoing her past script logo, I drew this custom monoline wordmark. You can read more about this project over here.
Red Chef Revival
This is a very special project I am feeling extra excited about. The team over at Black Rhino Creative is working on a new food and travel mini-series hosted by Indigenous chefs. After much exploration we settled on a brush-written logotype for the series, capturing the same rawness and texture portrayed in the series. I also got to design a few additional pieces for the show, which I will share more about early next year when the show is released!
Danielle Tocker Photography
Finally sharing a project that has actually launched! Earlier this year I worked with Regina-based photographer Danielle Tocker. Danielle shoots weddings and family sessions but also does a handful of commercial work. The challenge with this brand was to make Danielle's friendly, approachable personality come through, while not being so playful that it throws off more corporate clients.
After a lot of exploration in style and type, we created this clean lowercase sans serif wordmark. The letters are rounded and welcoming, with whimsical details within (love that detail between the O and C).
You can read and see more about this project over here. Danielle just launched her new website too, which I highly recommend you check out as well!
Emily Leclerc Creative
Earlier this year my Montreal based friend and fellow graphic designer Emily Leclerc quit her full-time job and joined the freelance club! She had her new website all ready to go but wasn't happy with how her logo and type choices were coming together. Every designer knows how challenging and never-quite-satisfying-enough it can be designing for yourself, so she asked me to create a minimal logo wordmark and icon for her new website. Although I was initially a bit nervous, it was actually really fun working for another graphic designer, I would definitely do it again!
If you are unsure of what exactly goes into a branding project, are curious to learn more about it and might be interested in exploring this for your own business, head over to my branding + logo design service page, outlining all the details, or get in touch directly via the contact page.
I'm currently booking into February 2019 and would love to chat with you about your brand!
Been cleaning up my computer and coming across various smaller design project, such as poster designs and promotional postcards I worked on throughout the year.
Earlier this year I worked with long-time client Lover’s Tempo on some large scale posters for upcoming tradeshows. We wanted the poster design to focus on the products, while also featuring lifestyle and inspirational imagery, alongside key messages of the brand. The result is a clean and simple poster design, featuring a consistent yet flexible grid structure, producing dynamic layouts showcasing various brand elements.