UNA, is the University Neighbourhoods Association on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus. UNA is a non-profit managing two community centres on campus and aims to provide the residents of UBC’s residential neighbourhoods with services that encourage sustainable community life.
Although the UNA brand had gone through a minor re-brand recently, many of the brand assets were still dated and all over the place. I worked closely with their team to tackle the re-design of their main project, their seasonal program guides for the community centres.
UNA produces three themed guides every year, Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall. Our first goal was to come up with visuals for this years theme, something that felt local and seasonal. Overall we really wanted to upgrade the design of the programs, making them more sophisticated, while still speaking to a varied audience of children, and more importantly, their parents who would be purchasing the programs, as well as seniors. We decided to go with an abstract theme using colours to reflect the seasons. Once the visuals were sorted; Vancouver's blue mountain range for summer, colourful abstract flower field for Spring/Summer, and fall coloured overlapping panels for the changing leaves, we proceeded to create the artwork by physically overlapping textured paper and scanning it. This made the covers stand out and gave them a very textural feel.
All photography by Alexa Mazzarello
To reinforce the theme and keep it alive throughout the year scans of paper where used as backgrounds and graphic elements throughout the program guide itself and various promotional materials.
The cover was also re-design in a way that colour and type-wise it matched the new brand, but also that it can be used as a template of sorts moving forward. The artwork can be switched out throughout the years, while still keeping the design consistent and recognizable throughout. This cover template was also the start of informing the type hierarchy of the inside of the program guide, as well as advertisements, posters and social posts for the UNA brand.
The inside of the program guide featured a lot of information and didn't have a clear hierarchy. We met in-person a number of times so I could get very familiar with all the content, understand it's purpose and priority and then start re-organizing it, creating a new legible type hierarchy and start colour coding and labelling information in a way that makes things obvious and easy for the readers. I also completely re-designed the grid and layout structure of the guide, aiming to fit as much content as before on every page, but in a much more efficient manner, by making more use of white space and allowing the content to breathe. The guide is laid out across a multi-column grid throughout that is extremely flexible and allows for plenty of room to play. Graphic elements, pull quotes and photography help break the grid, giving the program guide an almost editorial feel.
While always communicating with the team and getting the design in front of new eyes we were able to create a new program guide that was functional and easy to understand and also looked good! The program guide and an extensive brand guideline was handed off to the internal UNA team so they could take charge of their new designs and carry everything out cohesively throughout the year.
The new design and templates have been used across a number of promotional materials besides the program guide, including advertisements, trifold brochures, social graphics and outdoor posters and signage.
"Off-the-bat, I knew that we made the right choice of reaching out to her because she had very thoughtful questions and a collaborative approach to her working style. She listened to us and helped us bring our vision to paper. She is flexible and adaptable to requests, but at the same time, she’s confident in her experience and knowledge and able to push back when she can see a problematic suggestion. Alicia fit into our team seamlessly and was a joy to work with. We can’t wait to hire her for more projects."
- Glenda Olero, UNA