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!