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.
Award-winning film production company Black Rhino Creative reached out to me to create some visuals for their new documentary series Red Chef Revival. The series is an intimate food and travel show exploring modern Indigenous cuisine, through the eyes of three chefs; New York Times featured, Cezin Nottaway, Top Chef finalist, Rich Francis and Chopped finalist Shane Chartrand. Using food as their access point, these chefs discover a new path to reconciliation. Red Chef Revival features ingredients you won't find in any cookbooks, like bison heart, beaver tail, moose nose, seal and cougar. More than a cooking show, this is a people’s story on a plate.
Our creative collaboration started out with me creating a brush-lettered logo for the series. The series is dark and raw, so we aimed to have the logomark reflect this, creating a piece that is rough and bold, high in contrast while ensuring it still stays legible.
While Black Rhino Creative was getting the series ready to launch I also created a few additional pieces for them, including promotional posters, graphics that come up throughout the show, as well as a colour scheme and type hierarchy to apply towards any and all copy, such as titles, lower thirds and credits. I summed up everything in a quick guide which the team was then able to reference and adapt as needed.
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!
As the year is coming to an end I’ve been looking back at all the awesome projects I had a chance to work on in the past twelve months. Some of them are smaller one-off projects that don’t quite make it into my portfolio, but that I am really into and want to share anyway.
Earlier this year I worked with local Vancouver-based photographer Jackie Dives. I’d been following her work for quite a while so it was really exciting to collaborate with her. 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 first poster is more of a journal essay, featuring a collection of photos from one particular assignment. This poster went out to local newspapers, so we kept the format strict and tidy, laying everything out in a clean grid.
The second poster showcases Jackie’s work that documents 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.
Each poster was 11×17 inches, double-sided, including Jackie’s contact info, folded up and mailed out.
I just updated my portfolio with a new project! It’s always exciting when that happens.
Above is the colourful and friendly moodboard for Vokra, a local orphan kitten rescue association. I got to work with the lovely Tania Hennessy who takes amazing cat photos. I was seriously blown away by the portraits and the amount of detail she is able capture. If you zoom in on the pictures you could actually count the amount of hairs these furry guys have. Not sure what you would want to do this, but it all goes to say that Tania is amazingly talented and it was so great to collaborate with her. Pop on over to her portfolio if you want a quick and guaranteed adorable distraction :p
As for the brand new trifold, pop on over to my portfolio to view the final printed piece here.
Here’s a quick view of a few more custom watercolour pieces I created for a marketing campaign. These pieces are targeted at a young, fashion-forward audience and will be sent out alongside summery jewellery pieces.
This project was a good reminder that sometimes it does take a few rounds of scrap paper to really get into a style and make it feel effortlessly beautiful. I especially had fun creating the playful lowercase m’s in “summer” and was super excited at how the word “swarovski” turned out.
I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring different type styles, and although they are quite varied at times, I do have my favourites. I am working on putting together a little overview page on my portfolio with some of my preferred styles that you can hire me for. In the meantime, if you need any custom type for your brand, event, product or personal project please feel free to contact me over here as I am taking new inquiries for the summer.
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.
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.
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!
I’m trying to make an effort to show more of my work online, not just in my portfolio. Sometimes you wonder why people aren’t hiring you for certain things and most of the time it’s simply because they don’t even know that it’s something you do or even want to do. I’ve been trying to get better about posting work on instagram and realized my little neglected blog corner is just as important.
Here are a few t-shirt concepts I designed for my long time client Paws For Hope back in November. Not all of these ended up getting used, but I thought I’d share them anyway. You can see some of them in action here and here and you can buy your own shirts from their online store here.
Remember that moodboard I posted here last week? I just added the final branding of a new initiative called Cruelty Free BC to my portfolio. I loved branding this campaign and am so proud of the results and what we will hopefully accomplish within coming months.
Cruelty Free BC’s goal is to educate consumers on the inhumane and unnecessary practice of animal testing, as well as the misleading labelling of cosmetics and household products in North America. They will teach you how to identify genuine cruelty-free products and highlight local BC companies who are doing it right.
Dealing with animal cruelty awareness tends to be a very gruesome and visually aggressive field. It was an interesting challenge to make the brand feel friendly and approachable, as opposed to pushy and in your face, while still being able to effectively spread the message. The brand is not scared to give you the hard facts and horrid details, but instead of translating the message via sad and bloody imagery, we resorted to super minimal but clear and impactful icon like visuals instead, as seen above.
If you want to see the full logo + campaign and read more about how it all came together head on over to the portfolio over here.
Speaking of branding…I have a few openings to take on new projects for March and April. If you have been toying with a re-brand get in touch here, I would love to hear from you!
I’m adding the final touches to a new branding projects and figured I should share the moodboard before I add it to my portfolio.
I won’t say much about this project yet, except that it is affiliated to one of my previous branding clients, Paws For Hope, and that I absolutely loved working on this and can’t wait to show it off! The imagery and concept for this one was crystal clear form the get-go which made the logo process super smooth, efficient and speedy; we wrapped up almost two weeks early!
More details to come very soon :)
Every year I tell myself I am going to make holiday cards and actually sent them out and every year…well…it doesn’t happen. A few weeks ago I found myself with an unusual slow day in the middle of the week. It coincided with a great sale over at moo, so really, I had no reason to skip out on cards this year. I know I wanted to do something simple with type. After trying out a few different variations I quickly came up with a few winners, a favourite being the little christmas-tree-hierarchy. I am not a huge holiday person so I didn’t want to go crazy with the whole red/green/gold/silver colour scheme. I came up with a clean palette of cold snowy blue and light subtle green. I really like how it says winter and holidays without the overpowering christmas colours.
I got these guys printed on the nice thick luxe paper and the quality was great. It’s such a sturdy card which beautifully compliments the light colours.
Excited at the thought of snail mail I tacked on a bunch of bright colourful round stickers to my order. You can see them below. It’s such a quick and easy little touch that adds so much fun to your mailbox.
I’m already looking forward to next years cards! If all goes according to plan I may even have a few for sale at that point :)
Happy Holidays guys!
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.
(alternate titles for this post…)
How to improve your Pinterest Profile
From 4000 to 120000
How to get a Pinterest Following
Pinterest! Gimme Followers!!!
20+ easy steps to get more Pinterest Followers
Pinning in Style
Grow Your Brand on Pinterest
or my personal favourite….
Pin like a Bad-Ass
I’ve always enjoyed Pinterest. It’s a great (as well as sometimes dangerous) tool. I’d spend hours gathering inspiration and finding super-duper awesome stuff, only to come back to it a few weeks later and have no idea where I had pinned stuff or seen it. At this time I only had about 9 boards, most of them way too general and with random quirky names. Since I use Pinterest a lot for work related stuff, aka design goodness, I figured a more organized approach, as in more detailed design boards, might be a good thing to explore. I went in, created a few design specific ones, such as branding, poster inspiration, layout, typography, hand type and web. I also finally decided to get rid of the quirky names and stick with names that made sense and would be easy for other pinners to find. I spend a few evenings moving some stuff around from the old to the new boards and getting organized.
Things finally made sense! By having everything in it’s proper pin-drawer I could easily navigate through them and know where to find that super duper awesome image I had seen that I really wanted to share with my new client. I continued happily pinning and suddenly noticed my follower number was going up. At this point I was at roughly 4500 followers. Excited with the visible growth, I went through all my boards, not just the design ones, and rearranged everything. I figured if I was already spending all this time on Pinterest, I may as well do it right! My design section now had 11 distinct boards, photography got broken up into an additional 3, collage finally had it’s own home, separate from illustration work. Noticing a significant increase in followers I decided to make Pinterest my new pet project. I looked around to some of my fellow design idols and bloggers, checked how many followers they had and decided I wanted just as many. It was pretty arbitrary but I just needed some sort of concrete goal to work towards. Sometimes a little friendly competition is all you need!
A year later, I now have 120000+ followers, with a very strong design presence. By actively doing certain things, and avoiding others, my following started growing. Pinterest isn’t a one-time thing, you need to keep going at it, but once I reached a certain amount of followers it sort of kept growing consistently on it’s own. If you do any sort of creative work, have a blog or portfolio, or sell products Pinterest can be a huge traffic driver. Although I don’t blog a lot and therefore don’t have too much content that links back to me, I do get quite a bit of daily traffic coming through to my site from Pinterest, which is awesome. You can get a great feel of someone’s style by scrolling through their feed, which is great for us visual people. A potential client may come across your feed and reach out to hire you just because of your strong Pinterest presence.
A few months ago some of my friends who had noticed my recent Pinterest spurt wanted to know how I got there so I figured it was about time I sat down and listed some of the things I did to get there. I did some research and checked out what other people did to increase their following and decided to include those as well. It’s a long list and I myself don’t always do all of these all the time, however I find it helpful to read over all of these key points to keep in mind for future pinning-sprees.
- Organize! You know how you can easily change the name of your boards? Well guess what, you can change the order of them too, by simply dragging them around. Why is this awesome? My strongest and most active boards are my design ones. By re-arranging them and bringing them to the top it is the first thing people see on my profile. My weaker boards that I don’t use a lot, such as my cooking inspiration and recipes is at the very bottom.
- Know what’s inside. Make sure your boards reflect what is inside. If your board is called “interior inspiration” I will expect to see exactly that. Do you notice yourself pinning other things, such as architecture to it every so often? Maybe it is time to create a separate board for that. Keep your boards clean.
- Keep the name simple. Like I previously mentioned, it may be fun to to have a quirky name for your board. “A to z” could be fun for a typography board, but how effective is it? By having simple and straightforward names on your boards they are more likely to show up when someone searches for it.
- Categorize similar boards together. Since I have several design categories I decided to name them cohesively. Each design board has the tag “design” in it, for example “design: branding + logos”, “design: layout + editorial”, “design: typography”…
- It’s all about the visuals. In order to make your Pinterest page look more tidy change your board covers. Although I go crazy over colour I am more of a black&white person most of the time, so I decided to change all my board covers to something primarily black and white. You can do anything you like here and come up with your own theme or even upload custom board covers. Don’t be afraid to switch up the featured imagery every so often. Keep it fresh!
- Don’t let it collect dust. When creating a new board don’t forget to populate it! You don’t need to go nuts and add 100+ images to it right away, but keep growing it. If you have it sitting around with 5 images for the longest time maybe it’s not worth having around. It’ll just serve as a distraction to some of your better boards.
- Stay true to you. When making new boards and pinning, don’t got crazy and just pin everything. Keep your own brand and identity in mind and make sure it is reflected across all your social channels.
- “Like” a pin as a pending place. Not sure if a certain pin reflects your brand? You can always “like” it, which will add it to your profile but not send it out to your followers. You can easily revisit your “like” page and either leave them there, un-“like” them, or finally commit to them and officially pin them to one of your boards.
- Pin accurately. If you are really excited about your new blog post don’t pin it’s image to all your boards to increase your chance of a click through. Pin it to wherever makes sense. I do occasionally pin one image to two boards, if I feel like it could easily go in either one, however I don’t really encourage you to do it very often. It can easily start feeling spammy, especially if they are product driven.
- Be descriptive in your pin description. It’s easy to just re-pin something with the default copy, but pay some attention to it. Sometimes people pin things with their personal opinion written underneath. You may look back at some point and notice some pins that say things you don’t agree with. Again, by having a proper and accurate description, you are more likely to be picked up in searches
- Looking for something? Is there something you often times look for on Pinterest and have a very hard time finding? Create your own board for it! I’ve always had a soft spot for editorial and layout design. I could easily find web mock-ups and site layouts but struggled finding actual printed pieces. That’s how my design: editorial + layout board came to be.
- Follow individual boards as opposed to entire profiles. At one point I noticed myself getting a little bored with my own Pinterest feed. I was following too many pinners/boards who were showcasing imagery I wasn’t interested in or cluttering my feed with products. If you noticed this go in and unfollow a bunch of stuff. I cleaned up my feed and actively went out looking for more interesting design boards to follow.
- Follow who they follow. If there are certain followers you like go in and peek at who they follow, chances are you will be into the same boards/people and you may discover some new hidden treasures.
- Don’t just be a re-pinner. Get off of Pinterest and get pins from outside of Pinterest. My home feed can easily get repetitive so I go searching for inspiration elsewhere.
- Vertical wins. As everybody knows, generally vertical images work better then horizontal ones as they show up larger. If you notice a collection of both on someones post, maybe go ahead and pin the vertical one instead.
- Don’t flood. I am really guilty of this since I often times pin while I am taking a break from work or in the evening while watching TV. Try to somewhat space out your pinning so you are not flooding your followers feeds.
- Automatically populate a pin description. If you highlight copy in an article before clicking the little browser “Pin-it”, the highlighted text will automatically pop into your pin description.
- Where does it go to? One thing no one pays attention to is where these pins lead back to. Especially if you are pinning for a company, be very careful with this. Someone I know was pinning for a wedding blog and was looking through nice pictures of couples to add to one of the brand’s boards. What she didn’t realize is that the image lead through to an article with very strong feelings towards same-sex marriage. One blog reader noticed this and send them a very nasty e-mail. The blog didn’t agree with anything the article said but because it linked to it, with a pretty image, they were sending out the wrong message. I am not saying you need to click on every single pin, but it’s just something to be wary of.
Lastly a few more specific things to make sure all this Pinterest-pinning also leads back to your own site…
- Make sure your URL is in your Pinterest profile.
- Make sure you are pining from your own site!
- When pinning from you own site, add a short description and your URL to it.
- But also make sure you don’t just pin your own stuff.
- Don’t forget, vertical usually wins!
- Make sure the pins link back to the accurate page.
- Add images to your blog posts so you can pin something.
- Feel free to go through some old posts and either improve or add images.
- If you sell products or do very nice illustrations, consider having a board dedicated solely to your work.
- Add a “pin-it” option to the images on your site.
- Check out your Pinterest analytics every so often, they might bring in some great insight. Also see who is pinning what from your site by going to http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com
- Include your Pinterest metrics in your media kit.
- Take advantage of the seasons and create new boards every so often to keep things fresh.
- Get creative and collaborate with a fellow bloggers and make a group board.
- Last but not least, make sure people know you are on Pinterest! Have a link on your portfolio/blog/shop and let your followers on your other social channels know.
Once you reach a decent amount of followers don’t get too excited, thinking you can start charging all your favourite retailers for pinning their products. Pinterest actually has a lot of rules in place about getting paid for pinning stuff. They want to make sure Pinterest remains a creative and inspirational hub, without turning into a traffic and commission based platform.
I hope you are able to adapt some of these tid-bits to your own pinning habits and slowly start growing your own following. Keep in mind that Pinterest also has an app for iPad and iPhone. Sometimes a cup of tea, your favourite TV show and Pinterest on your iPad can make for the perfect winter evening.
I have to point out that these are things that worked for me personally and helped me gain a great following, however it is by no means a guarantee to immediate Pinterest popularity.
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.
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….
I just realized I have not shared this delicious little info graphic with you guys yet! Last fall I started working with the little team over at Hippie Foods on some promotional graphics. By far the funnest + most challenging piece I have done in a while was this one. For the launch of their new cookies, Hippie Foods asked me to create an info graphic for them, explaining the difference between the new hippie cookies and conventional packaged cookies. The concept of “Hippie Cookie vs Conventional Packaged Cookie” was directly translated into the design by splitting the graphic in half and highlighting all the details within the cookies.
Hippie Foods celebrates natural foods; all of their products use pure, simple whole food ingredients. In order to visualize Hippie Foods’ modern, grass-roots concept the entire graphic was hand rendered. Although hand rendered elements are very much the current trend it was significant that the piece would not become immediately dated, but instead accurately represent the brand and grow with it. It was important that the difference between the two cookies was immediately obvious, which was also the challenging part! While the hippie cookie side of the graphic is a vibrant orange with friendly, natural and easy-going type the conventional cookie side is grey and dull with strict, heavy and round type. As a visual reference to the products at hand, two cookies of each side are split in half, reinforcing the differences between them.
I am always very thankful for exploring graphic solutions away from the screen for client work. Besides being fun for me and a huge learning experience it just gives certain work that extra special touch.
Let’s please do more work like this in 2014, ok? If you would like to hire me for a project or collaborate on something please do contact me :)
A few weeks ago I shared this moodboard and said my boyfriend and I were working on our first app. Well, it launched a few days ago and I can actually tell you more about it now! It is called supaReada and…..it’s a feed reader!
Earlier in 2013 when Google Reader shut down we were joking around about how many feed readers would start popping up everywhere and how feedly and bloglovin better be on the top of their game! And shortly after…we decided to tackle it ourselves. Instead of going ahead and copying existing feed readers we went back to basics and thought about how we use feed readers, what settings we like, which options we actually use etc. Big fans of simplicity we decided on our priorities for the app: simple, fast and easy to use with a few flexible options to choose from.
You may notice that the moodboard I shared a few weeks ago doesn’t fully represent supaReada anymore. This project was a good example of how things can change as you are working on them. Just because you have a certain vision in the beginning doesn’t mean it is the best one to follow through with. Although the logo as it is now was developed quite early on the icons and colours changes numerous times. In the end we came back to our core principal for app, simplicity, and scaled back the colour wheel.
Since it is just a two person team working on this there is no desktop version of the app and, at least for the time being, it is only available for android phones. I like to think of it as the perfect app for the on-the-go person who occasionally follows a few feeds while commuting via public transit.
Have you noticed how many apps now ask for your permission to access like 10 different random things on your phone, including private things such as your call history? That ain’t cool. With security and privacy becoming a bigger concern for people we made sure that supaReada is as uninvasive as possible. You don’t need to make an account and the only permissions required are internet access (to fetch blogs) and phone store permission (to store your feed).
Although we love simplicity we are also fans of customizing. We added a few settings you can play with, such as show/hide images, show/hide timestamp, shortened vs full excepts and on/off auto-refresh on start-up. Additional useful features include copy Url, sharing via social media, viewing post in browser, easily add/delete feeds and import your feed list (OPML). We also offer the app in english, german, serbian and croatian. It’s a little obscure but we want to make it accessible to everyone, even non-english speaking folk and are hoping to further grow the language library.
We want this app to be as awesome and useful as possible. We’d super appericiate it if you downloaded the app and gave it a spin. While we are not actually supa-heros we would love to hear your opinion, suggestions, feedback or issues and see how we can improve your experience.
You can download the app in the playstore here.
Happy reading :)
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.
Although I may have quit my full time design job at Escents Aromatherapy earlier this year to pursue my freelance career that didn’t mean I stopped working with them. I’ve remained with them on a contract basis, continuing as the lead designer on monthly promotions, designing all marketing materials for the retail locations, the online store and social media.
In July when everyone was eating popsicles, going for sunny bike rides or sun-bathing I was inside sketching snowflakes and coming up with the concept for the Escents 2014 Holiday Collection. It’s pretty funny how in the world of product design you have to create all products months in advance, when it feels completely out of place. The products are now finally in stores (also available online) and I can show them off! It was pretty exciting to take on the lead of art directing this little collection of five pieces.
I have yet to get my hands on the products to take some photos, but here is a little sneak peak. I hope you enjoy it and aren’t already as tired of snowflake designs as I am!
A few weeks ago I wrapped up a blog design for Kacee. In search for a new creative outlet Kacee founded Life with Lipstick on – a personal blog for all things fashion and beauty. Kacee focuses on creating all original content and is constantly sharing colourful and lively style posts.
When Kacee approached me about the design for her blog she already had a logo in place – a chic serif type combined with playful hand written elements. This was an interesting change since usually I create all elements for new brands or work with already fully established companies. After filling out the creative brief with Kacee and creating this moodboard with her, I had to make sure to keep referencing the logo when I was creating elements for her blog.
If you are looking for a designer for some branding work feel free to give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m finally getting around to sharing some new work! The project had a very short deadline and had to come together very quickly. It meant a lot to me since 10% of the profits of this eau de parfum are donated to a safe house here in Vancouver, which helps women recover who have been caught in the human trafficking trade.
It was also a special project since I got to work on the whole campaign this time; from the labels on the bottles to the way they were displayed in stores and the whole marketing strategy behind the product. Stay tuned as I share more details on the marketing side of the campaign (which was inspired by this moodboard).
In case you are wondering, yes, the perfumes smell amazing. Grace is my favourite with its musky Cedarwood and fresh Lily scent. Hope is also pretty delicious with a scent combination of sweet Vanilla and citrusy Bergamot.
I’m currently working on a identity and portfolio site for miss Audrey. Audrey is my roommates gf, she’s a super cute girl who bakes super yummy cakes. Here’s a preview of what yummy designs I’ve been creating, her website will be up in a few days.