Layout Design – Recap 2018
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!
If you are curious as to what goes into my layout design process you can learn more here. Or get in touch directly via my contact page over here.
Logo & Branding Design – Recap 2018
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!
Comments: 0 | Category: Design Work, freelance, work
Branding & Logo Design – Recap 2017
2017 was pretty amazing in regards to branding projects I had the honour of being part of.
I pride myself in specializing in typographic wordmarks, and this past year truly lead to some of my best brand work yet. I worked with clients who trusted my process and understood the investment it takes to build out or fully re-brand a business. I had a chance to get really nerdy about typography, research type foundries and ensure that my clients end up with a fully custom brand that represents them and speaks directly to their audience.
Below is a roundup of some of my top branding projects for 2017.
1. JBS Contracting
2017 started off with a slightly more corporate brand than I usually work with, however I am so excited with how this came together. JBS Contracting provides engineers and their CAD teams with drafting support, including modelling information such as pricing, material types, structural supports, timeline information etc. Working primarily on large-scale industrial buildings the design was very much inspired by the structural steel skeletons of construction, which is reflected in the brands icon and various graphic applications.
2. Lover's Tempo
I first worked on a re-brand for Lover's Tempo 5ish years ago. At the time we updated the logo and expanded on all the branding assets, but stayed very close to its original roots. The Vancouver based jewelry brand has been going through some major growth and expansion lately, so it was time to re-visit the logo mark. Striving for effortless styles and clean minimal designs we simplified the logo and narrowed it down to one sophisticated sans serif.
W&CO, short for Wagner&Co is the wedding film company by Tomasz Wagner, a friend and previous client of mine. With Tomasz' wedding video services expanding and growing team, he wanted to separate that side of his business from his wedding photography, resulting in the W&CO brand. The wordmark and type choice was very much inspired by swiss minimalist design. The new brand is bold, playful and effortlessly cool, just like all it's stylish and artful wedding clients. Stay tuned for the launch of the brand new website happening early 2018.
BeEco is a fashion blog that raises awareness of the importance of eco-fashion in our society, featuring informative articles and ethical brand spotlights, with plans of opening up a brick&mortar location, as well as it's own fashion label. BeEco emphasizes fashionable styles that, while being sustainable and ethical, are also modern and trendy, without breaking the bank. The logoicon is my favourite part of this brand: it's an abbreviation of the name and encompasses the core of the brand; Be. Be fashionable, Be kind to the plant, Be mindful, Be the change you want to see.
5. Tehya Mackenzie
Ok, so I kind of cheated on this one. I worked on the brand for Tehya Mackenzie in 2016, but never got around to sharing it, so I'm sneaking it in here. Tehya Mackenzie is a Vancouver-based visual artist specializing in fine art photography. I've worked on various custom hand type projects and brands in the past, but this one was slightly different. The above logo icon TM, as well as the full logo wordmark is Tehya's signature. I had her write out her name various times, with different materials, which I then scanned, choose the best option, and expanded on the brand, colour story and type hierarchy from there on.
6. Gabriel Cabrera
Gabriel Cabrera is another very talented friend of mine. While originally starting out in food styling for photography he's since become the photographer himself. Gabriel has a unique eye for artistic compositions and works with a variety of large brands such as West Elm, Suntory Whisky and more.
Gabriel needed a proper brand in place, something that is sleek, sophisticated, timeless and combines his background and style of mixing art and photography in his work.
7. Artful Desperado
Along with designing Gabriel Cabrera's new studio brand we decided to piggyback his blog off of this new brand and give it a bit of a make-over. All typefaces, colours and styles are now consistent across the two brands, creating a seamless transition from one site to the other.
8. The Focus Journal
While working on the design for The Focus Journal I also got a chance to fully built out the brand, developing a logo, icon and colour story. The logo icon in particular encompasses everything the journal stands for: simplicity, focus, efficiency, and minimalism. The abstract F monogram is made up of the main graphic elements in the journal; a carefully laid out grid of lines and dots to make your planning effortless and successful.
And lastly, I finished off the year by wrapping up a brand new look for Vancouver based event planning + design brand Filosophi. The goal was to create a new branding experience that makes clients feel excited, trusted and at ease during the overwhelming process of wedding planning. The new brand feels high end and experienced, creative, approachable and professional, with little quirks, hinting at the personalized process Filosophi goes through with every single client. This brand hasn't officially launched yet, so stay tuned for a brand new site launching next year.
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 new branding + logo design service page, outlining all the nitty-grittyness of it all.
I'm currently booking into February 2018 and would love to chat with you about your brand!
Layout Design – Recap 2017
As another year comes to an end, it's nice to take a quick pause and look back. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day of running a business and designing all the things, you quickly forget all the amazing things you got to design during the past 12 months.
This year was one of immense growth for my business, with plenty of ups, and equal, if not more, downs. I guess every year kind of is, but this year especially, I was really strict with myself, saying no to a handful of projects that didn't seem in-line with where I want to take my business, and instead, actively seeking out projects I wanted to work on.
Ever since graduating from design school I have been incredibly passionate about layout and editorial (preferably print!) design. But truth is, I haven't done much of it over the past few years. Last year, as I was deciding on what kind of projects I want to do more of it was clear to me - more layout design. I put myself out there, shared similar projects that I had done in the past and finally put it front and center on my new site " I specialize in typography and layout design".
After much trial and error, attempting to figure out pricing structures, proper processes, and plenty of mistakes I am now finishing off 2017 with over 10 layout based projects I am happy to show off. Most of these have since made it into my portfolio, but there are a few more recent ones which I haven't shared yet.
Below is a roundup of some of my favourite layout based projects for 2017. I hope you enjoy them!
1. Client Inquiry Package
The Nickersons reached out to me to help them put together a print and web inquiry package for potential clients. This mini-magazine is an extension of their portfolio, showcasing their work, but also does so much more. It's a warm and friendly introduction to The Nickersons, outlines their process and various photo packages and add-ons, such as connection shoots, custom albums, and photo booths, as well as an extensive FAQ and ultimately, what steps to take to book them.
2. Fashion Linesheet
I've been designing for Vancouver based jewelry brand Lover's Tempo for a handful of years now. For 2017 we decided to give the brand a bit of a re-fresh, in particular, the logo and packaging pieces. And as always, I got to work on the Lover's Tempo Spring/Summer 2017, as well as the Fall/Winter 2017 lookbook and product linesheet which goes out to all wholesalers and is extremely handy for tradeshows.
3. Portrait Inquiry Package
After Alexa launched her new brand and website she contacted me to design a digital and printed magazine style booklet she could send out to inquiring clients. Having been a fan of Alexa's work it was such a pleasure to design this for her.
In Alexa's words:
"Working with her (Alicia) was collaborative and thorough. She was patient and attentive and really got my brand. Since implementing what we created together I've doubled my bookings. The catalogue exemplifies professionalism, trust, and answers many common questions."
4. Printed Journal
This was basically a dream project come true. Sabrina and Matej did a bunch of research and came to me with the idea of the Focus Journal: designed to increase productivity and achieve your goals while balancing work, happiness, and well-being. Together we established a visual language for the journal, thoroughly tested it and ensured that the design was minimal, making planning and getting organized easy and intuitive. The Focus Journal ran an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign over the summer and is currently in production for its first print un! Stay tuned, as I'll be adding this project to my portfolio as soon as the final journals arrive.
5. Magazine Design
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to lead the design team over at Flurt Magazine. Previously just an online magazine the publication expanded into print this fall. Besides a few key colours and typefaces, the magazine was really lacking in visual hierarchy and brand consistency. I had the chance to re-design the whole magazine for the fall issue and will be involved in the design of a few of the following issues into 2018.
6. Wedding Planning Package
After successfully working together on the Nickersons inquiry package, we then moved forward with the design of a mini-magazine that couples who have booked received before their wedding. Based on the previous design, this mini-magazine covers everything from wedding timeline, to general photo tips, a whole section on helpful lighting suggestions, how to handle a potential rainy day more. All content is written by Sarah Nickerson from her years of experience, not only getting married herself, but also shooting a number of weddings over the years.
7. Research Report
This summer I worked with the creative team at Simon Fraser University to design and layout this 40-page printed research report for the Centre of Dialogue SFU. I worked closely with the editors to create various visual assets, complex graphs, source photographs and more, to visually complement the research and concepts throughout. These type of projects are oftentimes my favourites, corporate documents don't need to look boring!
8. Product Catalogue
As the year came to an end I got to work with Alexa Mazzarello once more. Just in time for the holidays Alexa launched her limited edition online print shop, Solstice Series. As part of the collection, I got to design an interactive product catalogue, featuring beautifully styled images of the prints, their names, sizes, prices, and even suggested frames for each print from Ikea! Perfect way to make your holiday gifting easy.
With the holidays right around the corner, I am already booking into 2018. I am so happy with how all these layout projects turned out. I've had a year of experimenting with various types of layout projects for both print and web and am excited to take on more of the like for next year.
I'll be putting together proper layout packages for next year, outlining the processes, content briefs, pricing and more to make the process easier for my clients and myself. If you want to take advantage of my current 2017 pricing please get in touch before the holidays and let's chat!
Woman 2 Warrior
Last month I got to work with the lovely team over at Reformation PR, in collaboration with Easter Seals BC, who organized camps for children with disabilities. In order to raise money they host a Woman2Warrior race once a year. To create some hype online and make people aware of the race we worked on designing a simple custom type piece to be printed on t-shirts. Besides being for sale at the race the t-shirts were sent to local bloggers ahead of time, who shared the message on their social media outlets.
The concept for the t-shirts is “There is a warrior in the heart of every woman. She is strong, she is determined and she is powerful.”
Below you can see some of the discarded designs we played around with. In the end we choose a custom watercolour type in a calligraphic style, in order to contrast the powerful message with a feminine touch, click over to the portfolio to see the final design in action.
Comments: 0 | Category: custom type, freelance, work
LT ss15 Look Book
I’m generally not a huge fan of pastel hues, but man, when I saw the results of LT’s SS15 look book photo shoot I was feeling pretty dreamy about the colour scheme. The hints of pastel are really subtle but it was enough to inspire the design of this look book.
Lover’s Tempo SS15 collection is inspired by the freshly blooming spring season and starry night summer skies, featuring a few bolder and edgier elements for the modern girl. Wanting to keep the overall look of the brand light and minimalistic the main elements are the photos themselves. To emphasize the dreamy colour scheme, light geometric squares frame the photos and cover the background. Lastly, simple type highlights the product information and grounds the page.
To view the whole look book click on over to the portfolio section over here, or shop the collection now over on Lover’s Tempo online store.
Designing for products, whether it be in the form of branding, packaging or look books is quickly becoming one of my favourite kind of projects to work on. If you have a product or collection that you are about to launch and need some design assistance with feel free to contact me over here!
I’m currently booking new clients for late July and early August so get in touch soon before the spots fill up!
lover’s tempo re-brand
Minimal grey colour palette with accents of gold AND letterpress?! Sounds good, doesn’t it? I just added the final pieces of a Vancouver-based jewellery re-brand to my portfolio. It’s a good one, pop over here to see the full project.
You can peek at the original moodboard for this re-brand here.
I stand for animal welfare
I’m so excited about this! Paws for Hope is a charity I do contract work for every so often and it is always so much fun. They have an amazing little team and are always so passionate about everything they do. Paws for Hope recently reached out to me to design some t-shirts for them. The shirts will be worn by their team and be available for sale so they can collect funds to keep their mission of animal welfare going strong.
The team send me over a few general directions, mostly of what they did not want, and gave me a few awesome taglines to work with. The biggest challenge was that the shirts need to speak to both men and women. I’ve realized that no matter how much I enjoy illustrating my style is very much on the kids-end of things, which women may like, however it is definitely too cutesy for guys. With this in mind we focused mostly on text based designs. I will share all the final designs after the holiday season when the shirts have been printed.
In the meantime, as I was working on these concepts I was feeling really inspired and overflowing with ideas. Although illustrations were not really part of the plan I sat down one evening, just because I felt like it, and started doodling. I figured I’d have fun creating them and if Paws for Hope felt they could use them, then great, if not, I had just created something fun for myself.
I had so much fun creating these illustrations, that it really came through to the client. Paws for Hope loved the illustration and although they are on the cutesy side and no dudes will be running out to buy them, they will print a few runs of the illustration anyway, possibly a few smaller sizes for kids, and potential bumper stickers.
The lesson here is that, sometimes, when you are really into it, even though it’s not part of the original outline or brief, it’s fun to just go for it anyway, because you never know what will come from it.
Comments: 4 | Category: custom type, design, freelance, illustration, work
Watercolour Wedding Type
Remember these outtakes of custom wedding type I shared on the blog a few weeks ago? Well, I’ve finally added the final pieces to my portfolio. Pop on over to check them out!
It was a pleasure working with Tomasz, and I hope to do so again in the future :)
Comments: 0 | Category: custom type, freelance
cleaning out the portfolio 01
I’ve been busy planning a few new and exciting things for next year. While doing so I’ve been looking over my portfolio and figured it’s time to let a few projects go. Some of the projects I still have in my portfolio are rather old and although I still like them it’s time to freshen things up a little and make room for new designs.
Because the thought of completely deleting these babies from the internet makes me kinda sad I figured I’d just transfer them over to the blog so they can quietly retire here. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of these old projects, as well as adding a few brand news ones.
First up is splash! Splash is one of my leftover school projects. I know, crazy right? It’s an oldie….Our project was to design a unique tour guide for Vancouver. As the name already suggests, splash is a booklet full of waterproof activities for kids and their parents. Displayed in a fun and colourful way, are twelve different places you can visit in the Greater Vancouver area on a rainy day. Perfect for the Pacific North West, no? I thought so…
The small size of the booklet makes it easy to carry along. The booklet contains big, full page images with overlaying colourful stripes which guide you though the book. It sort of has a juno-theme going on there. The body copy is a fun and simple sans serif while a hand rendered type is used for the headlines. The different locations are described on the respective pages and include a map with directions The map is perforated and can be removed to make it easier for parents to arrive at the various destinations. The leftover pages can be used by the kids to write or draw their memories of their adventures.
I’ve always really enjoyed designing booklets. I guess this is it for Splash but if you are in need of a little printed piece please do get in touch here and we can further discuss your project :)
Sun kissed and full of inspiration to just get shit done I am back from my second year attending DesignerVaca. For those of you unaware of what DesignerVaca is you can check it out here, but in short, it’s like a huge three day meet-up with a bunch of graphic designers all eager to get to know each other and share their knowledge. Plus, it’s hosted at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs which is a huge plus! Chill poolside vibes all around!
When I attend last year I was honestly a little overwhelmed. I am not the most social person and there was just a little too much going on for my little introverted self, however I left having made a few great new friends and a ton of new knowledge to apply to my new life as a fulltime freelancer. Attending deisgnervaca this year was less stressful; I had a better idea of what to expect and knew a few of the girls already. While I learned so much last year, this year it was more about making really amazing in-person connections. It’s so weird how you feel like you know someone online and then you meet them in person, sometimes even with a little bit of hesitation, and they turn out to be 100000 times more amazing when what you had ever anticipated.
I think my biggest takeaway from this year is that we are all in this together. I guess you could consider us all to be competitors but that isn’t the case or vibe at all. We each have our own unique backgrounds, expertise and experiences, which we are more then happy to share. If you’ve had a sticky client situation in the past or don’t know how to handle a certain part of your business there is a very good chance quite a few of the other girls have either gone through the same thing or are currently going through it too. The truly amazing part was that everybody was so open and willing to share everything. There was no such thing as secrets, everybody was super open to just laying it all out there and helping each other out. This transparency and honesty really energized me to go home and just get shit done. I have so many ideas and clarity on what I want to do with my business, where I want it to go, and most importantly, how I want to use it to also help fellow designers.
That pretty much sums up the magic of DesignerVaca. There seems to be no other event or conference or meet up out there that has this same vibe. If you are a freelance designer, whether you’ve been doing it for a few months or a few years, DesignerVaca is the place to be.
Everybody who attended DesignerVaca (see a full list here!!) is amazing and talented and although I didn’t meet everyone I did have a few really amazing in-depth conversations with a few ladies that I would like to highlight. First of all there was my three roommates, Becky Murphy, Kate Wong and Laina Miller, with which I discussed everything, including design processes, exercising and that awkward stage in your early 20ies when you are trying to figure out who you are. Then there was Jessa Stevens who I just feel like I connected with right away and who I would like to add to my BFF list, as well as Sian who I got to travel down with and who has an awesomely adventurous attitude towards life. I got to catch up with Shauna Haider, who after admiring for a long time I got to meet last year and am so happy to call a friend. I got to meet Anelise Salvo with whom I talked about surfing and traveling and raising a family while doing both! I got some quality poolside chats with Azalea, a fellow vancouverite who I am looking forward to hanging out with more often and Emily Leclerc who gave me a ton of healthy cooking ideas. The fan-girl highlight was meeting Jessica Hische again and getting to soak up plenty of her wisdom, in areas such as design, lettering, book deals, acupuncture and overall health issues/solutions, a very resourceful girl indeed! And lastly, there was Patti Murphy, with whom I had chatted online a few times and who, upon meeting, I realized I have so much more in common then I would have ever known. Unfortunately all these amazing ladies live all across North America, making it difficult to stay in touch. However, this does add about nine new cities to my list of places I want to visit at some point in the near future!
Below are a few images from the weekend, it wasn’t easy narrowing it down :p If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed that I took a day trip to salvation mountain. Since this post is getting lengthy and salvation mountain is a rather special place I will save that story for another post.
If you are curious about what my biggest takeaway from last year was click through to read this post.
Comments: 9 | Category: freelance, Freelance Life
Today was a very productive day, updating my portfolio and working on a few more really exciting projects that I can’t wait to share in the upcoming months. Don’t you love productive days?
Anyway, while I am pushing pixels around check out the finalized work for I did for Artful Desperado’s branding, of which I shared the moodboard a few weeks ago. Gabriel is such a fun person to collaborate with, I especially loved working on his re-brand since our styles are similar and we had the exact same vision in mind. It may have even made me want to update my own brand but that’ll have to wait for now….
2013 was a crazy, fun and busy year, full of big and good changes. I quit my full time design job to pursue my freelance career, which by the way has been an amazing experience. I have learnt so much and continue to grow as both a designer and a business owner, ready to tackle all sorts of new clients and projects.
I had the opportunity to design three packaging collections, incorporate some illustration into my design work and experiment with typography in all sorts of different mediums. I continue to work with both big and small, new and old clients and had a chance to participate in a few exciting collaborations.
I finished my certificate in Web & Marketing, took a few eye-opening e-courses, participated in hands-on workshops and even got to help teach a few. I traveled through British Columbia, down to Seattle and the Palm Springs desert, as well as all the way to Europe. I met a bunch of new awesome creatives and made existing relationships stronger then ever.
Above is just a little glimpse at some of the work I have done this past year. I know I am not the best at keeping up with this blog but I have come to terms with it. I will keep at it at my own pace and share bits and pieces of my work and inspiration as time allows, even if it’s a few months “behind”.
2014, I am so ready and beyond excited for you.
pets are not products campaign
Last month the sweet ladies from Paws for Hope contacted me about creating some graphics for their holiday campaign. Paws for Hope is a Vancouver-based charity established in 2011, who realized the provincial animal support system was broken and in a state of crisis. They stepped up by filling the gaps with their own direct animal assistance, educational programs and campaigns.
Their campaign “pets are not products” is all about creating awareness about the misery of pet store animals, especially around the holiday season, when cute fluffy pets are happily gifted. The sad fact is that the vast majority of puppies, kittens and bunnies which are sold in pet stores are bred in commercial mills under horrific conditions. Furthermore, most of them suffer from serious diseases, genetic defects and hereditary disorders, which in turn means you dropping thousands of dollars at the vet.
Way to crush the holiday spirit, right?
It’s sad but so important to make people aware of. As depressing as the topic may be I was very excited to work on this. I feel so much more inspired working for an important cause, something that actually matters or will hopefully help make a difference, as opposed creating marketing materials for some corporation, aka straight to CEO’s pocket. The campaign has a very strong concept which was quite easily translatable into visuals. I choose to take “pets are not products” literal and illustrated the animals on a store shelf. To emphasize the whole idea of “product” each pet also received a bar code.
It was a really nice change to get off the computer for a bit and hand sketch these furry friends before digitizing them. By no means am I an illustrator, but I do enjoy creating illustrations. These guys are very much along my personal style, kinda cartoon-ish and fun. If you think about the campaign this doesn’t fit in at all. My challenge was to make the pets look cute, in order to get your attention. However once you look at it in more detailed you realize they are all actually pretty miserable. The melancholic blue and grey colour scheme also helped convey this sadness. The animal-welfare industry is over-saturated with aggressive and sad imagery. It was important for me to still convey the message, but in a more “subtle and friendly” way.
No matter how cute they may look, please avoid going to pet stores and help spread the word.
Comments: 2 | Category: freelance, illustration
Comments: 0 | Category: Design Work, freelance, work