This is actually a school project that I wanted to improve on because I wasn’t 100% satisfied when I handed it in for grading. I just spent my entire day retaking photos and editing them. 7 hours later, this is what you have!
I created this project for DART442, a 3rd year typography course with Andrew Forster. Me, being the curious designer I am, wanted to explore my new found love of paper engineering. So for our final project, Andrew let my imagination run wild while still holding the reins. He gave me the idea to do a homage to Toyo Ito, a Japanese architect who recently won the Priztker Prize for his breathtaking buildings. So, what did I do? Each letter of his name is engineered using white 72lbs card-stock to represent one of his buildings. Yes, I made each and every one of them by hand. I used a good pair of scissors, and 3 different types of x-acto knifes. Why white on white? Well, first of all most of his creations are actually white (with a few exceptions), and also because it’s something I’ve always wanted to experiment with.
So, how did I create all of these? Well, first I did lots and lots of research, and then even more research. While creating the dielines in Illustrator, I matched up each letter with a building that I found to be just absolutely beautiful. I did my best to represent his designs through my medium of choice. Here are a couple drafts of the dielines, not final though:
For some of the letters I used the font Helvetica Extra Bold, and others I did not use a font at all. Reason being that that Helvetica’s are normal shaped buildings that have an amazing facade. The custom shaped letters are like the buildings themselves because they had such original design. I even created a base (holds up “TOYO”) that is inspired by the Tama Art University Library which of course Toyo Ito designed.
Here’s detailed views of each letter and a link to the building that I based it on.
|MIKIMOTO Ginza2||Ken Iwata Mother & Child Museum||Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture||Vivo City|
|Serpentine Gallery Pavilion||Suites Avenue Aparthotel||The Fair of Barcelona Gran Via venue Entrance Hall|
This past semester I had a school project for DART 492 where we had to choose (or in my team’s case, create) a Montreal based competition. My team (Carmen Kwan, Julia Kafri and I) decided to create our own competition in which the goal was to create a visual identity for the city of Montreal.
If you haven’t heard or just simply don’t remember, back in 2010 the city of Montreal hired some designers to create a visual identity for the city. Unfortunately for the designers, the final creation was never actually put into production, and from my knowledge, it was because it got a roar of negative feedback from the public. The city paid almost half a million dollars for a logo (above), that they didn’t like, and never used. What a disaster. It pains designers like myself that the city didn’t launch a city-wide competition to get the community involved. So, this is exactly where the idea for my school project came from.
Here’s the actual statement about what the objectives of our competition was: “The purpose of this competition is to create a visual identity program that represents the unique qualities of Montreal such as its individuality, diversity, history, and culture. It aims to illustrate an updated view of Montreal by acknowledging the complexities of the city.”
My team and I started doing a bunch of logo mockups, for about 2 or 3 consecutive weeks. Some of the logos are created were either completely new and different, or they were inspired by the original Montreal logo (above). Here are a couple of sketches that I created that were inspired by the article “Citizens are key to shaping the city” in the Gazette. Some themes that I played with were crossways, architecture, patch work quilt, Mont Royal & St. Laurence River and triangles. But is it really possible to show everything that was mentioned in competition objectives? More than likely, it’s not possible in the given timeframe.
We continued in this pattern until our prof. Andrew Forster pushed us to bend the competition by not creating another logo, but to create something with the broader sense of a visual identity. Two weeks earlier I had met with a good friend of mine Carlyn Anderson, and she was showing me all the campaigns that she created for school projects (she’s in Advertising at OCAD). This was my first inspiration to create a campaign for Montreal, instead of a logo. Also, this way we would be able to acknowledge all of the competition objectives. With my group, we brainstormed some taglines or themes that we could play with for our campaign. One of our initial favourites was the following sketch:
We took a piece of the original Monteal logo and used the negative space to create a heart. But obviously, it was too similar to Milton Glaser’s I <3 NY. So we continued and came up with about a dozen tag lines, and ended up using the simple “The Greater Montreal”. Notice the emphasis on the word greater? This ended up being how our campaign turned out more playful than brutally honest while acknowledging the complexities of the city.
Then our TA Omar Faleh showed us Vahram Muratyan’s “Paris vs. New York” project and it helped direct us to figure out what makes Montreal, well, Montreal. With a list of negative city aspects on hand, we thought it would be a hilarious way to make them a focus of our campaign. And so we each created a couple of mockups to test what the graphics could be, whether they would be photographs, vector illustrations, sketches (thanks again to Kate Hartmann for initially helping us out) or detailed hand-drawings. The vectors ended up looking the best, and it would also give a universal and neutral tone. “Similarly to a pictogram, it is an ideogram that conveys the object in question through use of minimal and simple pictorial resemblance. Due to the minimalistic design and clearly defined message, pictograms could be considered stronger than language. This design has become a global standard because of its effectiveness to communicate with a wide variety of cultures and languages.In this respect, photography or hand-drawn imagery would be too personal and subjective as they are based on one point of view. This visual identity connects individuals by offering relatable subject.”
The actual campaign would be created through the use of transmedia, where different parts of the campaign are displayed through various mediums. “The viewers will experience the campaign in parts. However as they encounter it in different places, a bigger picture and understanding will be formed. Through the use of transmedia, our campaign will reach a wider range of audience due to the multiple medias and outlets used.”
So without further ado, here is our campaign all in one format, as well as how they would be displayed in-situ.
Those of you who have me added on Facebook might have seen previews of the cupcakes I was drawing for my final assignment in my DRAW200 class with Sarah Greig. Before I get into the details, I have to say that I HIGHLY recommend taking the DRAW200 class (hopefully you’ll get a teacher as good as Sarah, and if you’re really lucky you might even get her). I have done a complete 360 turn around with my drawing skills since the beginning of the class. It’s a 6 credit class, so it’s 1 year long. I swear, I have never drawn in my life, other than when I was obsessed with Sailor Moon and Pokemon in elementary school. I’m pretty sure that’s where my skills remained until this class began in the Fall.
So for the final project of this class, we got to choose any topic we wanted, as long as it was drawn in a series. At first I was inspired by desserts in general, because I’m trying to eat healthier, and I thought that by cutting out a lot of desserts might be a good first step. — Hold on, I have a story within a story to tell you. 2 years ago I was going to do a book project on Big Macs from McD’s and researched it and analyzed them so much that I haven’t eaten one since. —- So because of what was going on in my daily life when I was thinking of drawing ideas, I thought it would be a good idea to research and analyze desserts.
Have you ever heard of the doughnut experiment? “The Doughnut Experiment places people in a room with stale doughnuts, but the participants are told that fresh doughnuts are coming within thirty minutes. It’s an observation how many people are willing to wait on the fresh doughnuts vs. how many people will just eat the stale doughnuts” (source). You see, desserts (whether stale or fresh) triggers some type of trigger in people’s brains and they just want to eat them. Obviously I’m not going into details, I’m not a scientist or behaviourist or anything like that. The fact is, I love my desserts and I wanted to stop eating them. You’ll have to find out at the end of the post whether or not this actually worked.
After time passed and in between meetings with Sarah, I slowly started cutting out desserts. All but cupcakes… So when I actually got started on the drawing, I just wanted to focus on the cupcakes. And I mean, the pretty yet delicious cupcakes, like the ones at Cho’Cola on Monkland. My absolute favourite. Bloody expensive for something you can finish in 2 bites, but delicious and totally worth it. Because of time restraints I decided to go to a new cupcake shop down the street (a long street) from my house, called Crème Fraîche. I bought a box of 6 cupcakes, and ran home to take pictures of each one individually. Now, I would show you the actual photos I took, but then you’ll compare them to my drawings and see how different they actually are haha… Anyways, they pictures came out nice, and the next day I went to a print shop at printed them on 11×17″ pages in black and white. Being my first big drawing project, I didn’t want to have scaling problems while drawing.
And so I got started! I took a couple pictures of the drawings as they slowly progressed. I know the first cupcake took me 6 hours, and I lost track with the other two, but I can assure you they definitely didn’t take any less time than the first.
Here are some close-ups:
My absolute favourite of the drawings is the middle one. I’m also pretty sure it took me the longest, at least it felt like it did. It was actually the cupcake flavour of the month at Crème Fraîche, it was some type of maple sugar-shack type of flavour, sorry I forgot what the actual name of it was. Anywho, now that it’s all said and done, I’m really happy with the final outcome. A good part of the process was very relaxing and kind of therapeutic, up until I hit the 4 hour mark or when I got hungry. Considering it was my first real drawing, I’m very proud of myself. As soon as I get it back in my possession my mom wants to frame it and put it up on the wall. That way we can crave cupcakes 24/7.
Oh, and did my experiment work? Not at all. I ate all the cupcakes while drawing them and now I’m back to eating all desserts. I can’t stop myself! They’re just too good!
Let me tell you right off the bat, I have come a longgggg way from my last post about the process and development of my new website and branding. Here’s a brief run-through of how I got to my final designs that you can see on my actual portfolio.
I’ll start off with my moodboard and concept. Last time I left off with Handmade Boho, Easy Urban and High Quality Chichi. I took the best pieces of each of these and combined them into a new mood that Nathalie (my prof) was pushing me towards. This new mood and concept is called Colour, and some of it’s keywords to describe it best are playful, organized and structured. I have brought through these keywords through to the very end, as they describe my personality perfectly. Here’s a preview of what that moodboard looks like.
With this direction, I continued my search for fonts that will be used throughout my rebranding. I tested out what feels like a million fonts, up until I found Amelia, a geometric font with a twist of humanist features. The best part was that it came in a couple different weights and even has an alternative version called Amelia Up, where it has the calligraphic features from the italic set. I used the Up version for my actual identity, for example on my logo, and letterhead, but used the regular Amelia throughout my website because it’s too heavy to be used all over the place. The best part of the font was that it’s a relatively new font and at the time it was on sale for a ridiculous price under $100, including the web license. Let’s just say I got extremely lucky! Also, I tested out at least 200 different colours and shades for my logo, only to wind up at the colour coral. As it’s described on my about page, “the colour coral internalizes the inside of my bright and bubbly mind.”
Next I worked on the packaging that I wanted to create as teaser mailers to send to design/advertising agencies. At the beginning I was insisting on making a box-like packaging which would carry a simple booklet with teasers of my favourite work. My packaging idea quickly disintegrated when I realized it would take way too much time and energy to create a box from scratch for every place I wanted to apply to. It then transformed into a type of envelope that would either contain in itself the teaser, or it would be an attached piece. After making at least 50 mockups of enveloped, I fell in love with the étoilée envelope.
With the étoilée envelope function, I had to figure out what the design would be on both sides of the envelope. Nathalie mentioned it might be a good idea to make it look like a simple and clean envelope on the outside, and once it’s opened, there’s an explosion (not in the bad sense) of colour. Here’s a montage of the outside of my envelope with different placements of the content.
For the inside, it started off very simple with only displaying my favourite pieces that followed the folds of the paper. It then quickly turned into a crazy mess with giant photos and made everyone who looked at it feel overwhelmed. Not a good feeling. I went back to simplifying it, adding more whitespace around the images, but while still not giving too much away. In the last week of development, I decided to explore a ‘poster’ teaser, where not only is it a teaser with my work, but it can become a vertical hanging 11×17 poster.
In the end, here’s the step by step action of opening my envelope:
Inside of the envelope is a letterhead that is printed on vellum paper. The use of vellum creates a dialog between the content-heavy document and the dynamic design of the inside of the envelope. As for the design of the letterhead, it took me soooooo long to figure out a grid that worked with the logo and content. Here’s a couple layouts that I played with, along with different placements and grids.
This is the final design and grid that I chose, I believe it’s 11 columns by 12 rows. For the content I have chosen to use the font Slate Bk, while playing with oldstyle figures and small-caps for the headings to add variation and hierarchy.
Business card, it was pretty straight forward when I finalized how my information would be placed on the letterhead, of course using the same grid. For the information side of the business card, I decided to inverse the colours (white on coral) as it is used on the inside of the envelope.
Finally, the oh-so-time-consuming website. This website is full of blood, sweat and tears. It has ripped me apart and pulled me back together again. Here’s a breakdown of how I got to the final outcome. After midterm, I combined my favourite aspects of the 3 moods/concepts and created this long scrollable website design.
That was before I got started on my new Colour concept. Once I started sticking to the new mood board I produced these two:
Nathalie called me out when I was getting too stuck to a ‘paper’ theme I had going on, and suggested I focused more on the development of the envelope. As soon as I did that, you can see a drastic change in the website designs, here are three of the mocksups I made during the last 3 weeks.
From here, I had to choose the one that had the most potential to fit in with my printed pieces, and ended up going back to my 2nd to last mockup to continue into the final. And this is what you see today! Don’t be shy, go ahead and take a look around my website and see what’s new. It was developed by my boyfriend Michael Miele, without him I don’t think I would have finished on time. He was able to make the design responsive, and also worked around the clock to figure out how to make my homepage image responsive and with clickable links. Also, a shout out to Misel Saban, my amazing copy writer who wrote and edited almost all of the content in my website. Thank you to Anita Belliveau for taking time out of her day for helping me take photos of my portfolio pieces and for the moral support! And a last shout out to the girls in my DART444 class who helped get me through this insane semester, your constant feedback and support means the world to me.
So in the end, I worked so hard to make my rebranding and portfolio represent my personality, and I believe I did exactly that. I am playful, organized and structured. After my presentation in class, I also got some amazing and positive feedback from my prof and the guest critiques (Gabriel Lefebvre and Ariane Dray). I can finally say that I’m ready to work in a design/advertising firm, and I’m looking forward to my next challenge!
Hey everyone! Today is my first day on “spring break” from school, and I just wanted to share with you the process of making my new portfolio, which I am working on for my DART444 class at Concordia.
The goal for our midterm was to create 3 proposals that are based off of 3 different concepts and moods. By the end of the semester, I want to refine my logo, build a new website, business card and CV which will be placed together in a type of packaging. 5 weeks in the making, this is how I developed my final proposals:
To get into a little bit more detail, here’s the breakdown for each concept, mood and proposal.
Name: Handmade Boho
Keywords: flow, eclectic, organized chaos, organic, saturated colors, beach vibe, environmental awareness
Concept: Easy to Understand
Name: Easy Urban
Keywords: straight forward, mainstream viewers, laid back, simplicity, raw materials, industrial but not cold, clean but edgy
Concept: High Quality
Name: High Quality Chichi
Keywords: high fashion, luxurious, ostentatious (bold), minimalist, sophisticated, organized, clean and clear
For the 2nd half of the semester, I will be combining these proposals to create my final logo, website, business card and CV. It will more than likely not look like anything that you’ve seen above, but it will represent who I am as a designer.
Thanks for reading!