Mentorship Project

Mentorship Project Presentation | MELT Ice Cream
Choosing Laura
I chose Laura for my mentorship because one, I loved her work and second, I admired the fact that she left industry-life to do her own freelance design work. When I first contacted Laura, she was super enthusiastic to start working together– which put me at ease. It’s always scary consulting an industry professional, especially if their tone is intimidating. But that wasn’t the case with Laura. She was so welcoming and kind and did that thing where she ended her sentences with smiley faces, which is always a sign you’re dealing with a decent person.

 

Research
Before sending her my brief I ran a couple of possible project ideas by her and she sent me back a thoughtful response addressing way more than just my 3 tentative project ideas. One thing she said in the e-mail that really stuck with me was this:

“…you only want to put out work that you’d like to get back. For example, if brochure design for dentistry isn’t your thing, but you recently designed a piece, I wouldn’t even mention it or show it on social media. I might tuck it away somewhere though just in case a corporate brand you want to work with is looking for a brochure – it’s nice to have those types of things filed away for ‘just in case’. But every time I post new work, say, for instance for a coffee shop, I get 10 new emails from coffee shops wanting work done. Potential clients don’t really make the correlation that you’re a designer and can tackle any industry, they always associate your type of work to their type of business.”

Competition
Initial moodboard

I pitched her my idea of doing an ice cream truck, which would be targeted to adults and positioned in a unique way: evening-operated in late-spring and summer. I sent her my initial moodboard along with my brief and, lucky for me, she was into it right off the bat. She helped me iron out some flaws in my brief like for instance, I had these ideas for fun high-sugar flavours, but wanted to make the ice cream organic, to appeal to Vancouver’s health-conscious market. She didn’t think that made sense. So instead we went with dairy-free. Overall, she liked my positioning and the moodboard’s retro feel, so we ran with that and the ball started rolling.

Self-Evaluation | 9/10 | Lots of time spent on ice cream websites and in the frozen section of the grocery store for this. I had fun moodboarding my unique direction and I think that shows through.

 

Ideation
I was really excited about my initial direction for my brand, but after consulting Laura, she brought up a ton of great points about things that were and weren’t working. I had to go back to the drawing board and really think about what direction made sense with what I had outlined in my brief.

Initial visual direction

 

She brought up that the colour palette and pattern motif felt too 70s whereas my moodboard was more 90s. She suggested I think about what era I wanted to portray and stick the the theme consistently. With that said, she also suggested I have the flavours be named after 90s TV shows or some sort of pop culture reference, to tie everything together. And I thought that was a great idea. Overall our exchange of e-mails during this period was very helpful. I think I had way too many ideas, that didn’t really fit together yet, and Laura helped ground me, and gave me a direction to explore a bit further.

Self-Evaluation | 8/10 | I spent a substantial amount of time sketching and experimenting with different avenues, I wish maybe I had pushed myself to come up with a couple more different directions though.

Distillation
After working on my own for a week, and doing more research and sketches, I came up with something that felt a bit more 90s by changing colour palette, typography and a new moodboard of nostalgic inspiration to guide me through it all.

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 10.12.26 P
Narrowing my scope

Laura said she was loving this direction and it felt a lot more fitting. As you can see, it was still very rough, but the gears were starting to turn and there are concepts in this document I sent her that made it through to my final product. For example, the neon-inspired typefaces that fit in with my idea of creating icons in a neon style and the wavy glitchy tv colour bar lines.

I started creating some rough versions of deliverables to get her thoughts on my first go at it.  Below are some of the images I sent her in that week’s e-mail.

Ice cream truck concept
Very early tub design
Initial logo and motif

Laura applauded me on the distinct direction and encouraged me to keep refining at this stage. Both of us agreed the tubs didn’t look at all like ice cream tubs (there were limited mock ups for the kind of tub I had in mind), the labels had to be bigger, and the logo needed a bunch of refinement. She liked the version of the logo that had the connected lines vs the separated letters, which I asked her specifically about. I chose to run with her preference. Laura wasn’t sure about some colour choices. She had attached a screenshot of a colour palette she felt was more 90s (see below). Although going forward with this project, I might reconsider her advice on this, at the time I rationalized my choice by explaining that the colours I chose were more TV-like (RBG), and were unexpected for an ice cream brand. Unexpected and bold are two of my brand characteristics.

Laura’s colour palette

Self-Evaluation | 10/10 | I really got into this stage of the project. I started with one direction, and almost completely changed it from my ideation stage, which is always hard to do when you’re really wanting something to work. I also did a lot more research in this stage having now decided to go the 90s direction.

 

Refinement
I kept working on the project for about a week before sending off my refinements to Laura. I wanted to have something substantial to show her so that I could use her feedback in a more focused way. I had also presented in class prior to sending her the next e-mail, and wanted to use my class’ feedback to make changes before sending Laura where I was at. I had a couple of questions about my tub design, and wanted to get Laura’s opinion. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get her feedback on it. I should have e-mailed her with what I had, the day I presented to the class, but the perfectionist in me wanted to refine before showing my mentor my work. I also think Laura’s busy right now. It normally took her a few days to get back to me, and I should have taken that into account. fortunately though, from my last e-mail with her, she gave me very specific things to work on, so I kinda knew what needed to be done to further my project. And after all, like Laura said, the brand direction was strong, so I felt like refinement came very intuitively.

Refined tubs

Self-Evaluation | 7/10 | I wish I had gotten one more check-in with her, and really it’s my fault I didn’t take her response-time into account)

 

Reflection
Overall this mentorship was a great experience. If I could change anything, it would be that I wish I had been able to meet weekly with Laura in person (but she doesn’t live in Vancouver so that wasn’t really possible) and I wish I had e-mailed her more! I feel I could have benefited from a couple more check-ins along the way. I think I struggled a bit with not wanting to be overbearing–after all she’s running her own show and is a busy lady–and not wanting her to have to hold my hand the whole way through, but rather be a touch point for some out-of-the-classroom professional feedback. I guess this is all a learning experience. You live and you learn. I’m still super happy with the feedback I got from Laura. She wrote very thoughtful, focused e-mails. Also, with my last e-mail to her, I invited her to send me any feedback for this project because I want to keep working on it, to make it a solid portfolio piece.

Self-Evaluation | 8.5/10 | Not sure whether this bit is supposed to be an overall evaluation of this mentorship project with my reflection in mind, but I’m going to treat it that way. I’m giving myself this grade because I worked hard on this project and became passionate about it. Like I previously mentioned, I think I could have put my desire to refine my work before showing Laura aside, and checked in a couple more times with her.

Advertisements

Personal Brand|200 Sketches

Although I do believe that pushing yourself to the bitter end can be good way to get your best ideas to come out, with this specific assignment, I feel like all the good stuff came out within my first 100 sketches. I already had an idea of the direction I wanted to take my logo.  I know I didn’t want anything too conventionally professional looking, cliche, or forced-with-meaning. These just weren’t right fit for me. Instead, I wanted something quirky, playful and kind of weird. I didn’t feel like my logo had to represent what I did as a career, but rather could be anything that might give a client/employer an indication as to who I was as a person (i.e: I don’t need to have a pencil in my logo to indicate that I’m creative). With that said, I drew a lot of kitschy knick knacks and retro objects. At first glance, I’d imagine it might seem like I put no thought into my sketches and was just doodling random things, but in actuality, those silly sketches are probably the one’s that fit my brief the best and represent me most whole-heartedly, which I thought was kind of interesting.

9/10 | I pushed myself with this one, and got some interesting ideas out of it. I think where I’m happiest about this assignment is the fact that every sketch I did feels like me – even the more conservative ones! I kept my brief at the forefront of my mind and I think that’s what made this exercise successful.

Personal Brand | Brief and Moodboards

The hardest part about putting together this assignment was the writing. Forming sentences in a concise way isn’t something that always comes naturally to me, especially when the thing I’m trying to communicate is my own personality – something that I know very well, and want to portray accurately. Apart from that, keywords and visuals to attach to myself came to me almost effortlessly. For moodboards, I mostly sifted through Pinterest pins I’ve accumulated over the past few years. I liked that this was my method because it meant I didn’t have to actively look for material to use. Instead, everything I needed had already been “favourited” by my past self and thus, made the whole act of creating a personal brand moodboard a lot more genuine and intimate.

9/10 | My brief had to be revised a bit, but my moodboards we’re thoughtful and pretty spot-on in terms of accuracy, I felt.

Dynamic Illustration

Storyboard

StoryBoard PDF

Style Sheets

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 2.03.05 PMScreen Shot 2018-10-23 at 2.03.11 PMScreen Shot 2018-10-23 at 2.03.17 PM

Rationale

Concept
Mobi bikes are for everyone and can get you to any place around the city. The piece demonstrates this through the fluid changing of characters from different scenes around Vancouver. 

Style
A loose, playful style was chosen in order to reflect the feeling of freeness of riding a bike. The looseness of this style paired with the frame-to-frame jitter in the final product will hopefully reflect the light-hearted nature of leisurely bike-riding. Muted colours were chosen to create an approachable and friendly mood. Rotoscoping was chosen as an animation technique for its down to earth feel, which compliments Mobi’s brand personality quite nicely.

Indigenous Project

By Heather Haughn and Nada Hayek

Land Acknowledgement Street Banners

MockUp-StreetBannerNationBannerPairs

Landing page

Website

Rationale

Heather and I chose to do street banners in order to acknowledge original First Nations land and bring it into every day consciousness, in a way that is non-confrontational. Our strategy was to approach this sensitive subject in a simple way that would promote education and mutual respect. Accompanying our series of street banners is a landing site, which provides additional information about the different Nations, and their histories.

Website | By including an interactive map on the site, we create a visual parallel between the street banners, and the website. We kept it colour coded to help differentiate the different Nations, and again, to tie it back to the banners.

Typography | Typographic choices for these banners were made in efforts to keep the campaign feeling fresh and modern, but still friendly. Bold, sans serif fonts were chosen in order to increase readability from a distance.

Colour | The colours chosen for each Nation symbolize a trait that is specific to each of their different cultures or relationship with the land. For instance, Musqueam is green because this Nation is named after a type of grass, native to their land. We chose bright colours and took graphic approaches to our design because we felt this would help to make the banners stand out against a busy urban landscape.

Banner Design | In order to avoid appropriation, Heather and I chose to avoid the use of First Nations art. We didn’t feel comfortable reproducing such a visual part of First Nations culture, even for a project. So instead, our solution was to take a very graphic approach. The cut out shapes on the banners mimic the territory of each Nation. The cut out acts as an element of interest to viewers, as it’s unique and unconventional. Two, by depicting the land as a cut-out, it conceptually represents the land that was taken away from First Nation Peoples. Three, it acts to frame the modern landscape behind it, representing an alternative perspective and bringing this issue back to the present. It’s important to note that the banners, rather than being made from fabric, would be made from a sturdy material, such as metal or plastic.

9/10 | Given the sensitive issue we’ve tackled, I feel Heather and I have come up with a simple, unique and effective solution. The branding of the banners and website are cohesive and the bright, graphic aethetics are appropriate for what we were trying to achieve; a heavy subject turned accessible.  I feel our project brings to its viewer educational content, conceptual visuals and a friendly personality all in a non-confrontational way, and for this reason deserves a 9/10.

Research Links: Government Map, MapReconciliation Canada, Stolen Land Broken Promises, Aboriginal Issues, First Peoples Guide, About BC First Nations,  Land Rights, The Dominion, Vancouver Sun

Resume

My Resume

Rationale

I wanted my resume to look clean, and professional. I decided that having my personality come through in my writing style, rather than visually would be a good way to achieve this. In order to liven up the design a bit, I opted for navy text on an off-white background. I feel the typography does a good job at representing the fact that I am friendly and light-hearted, but take my work seriously. Because I knew I wanted my general design to be simple, I decided that going for a less traditional layout would be beneficial. So, I played around with left and right align to add some dynamic and interest.

Evaluation: 8/10

I feel my resume meets the requirements of the criteria. Mandatory information is present. Typography feels harmonious with clear text hierarchy, and content is concise and relevant. Although my “quirky” personality doesn’t neccessarily show through visually, I feel like going the minimalist design route was a wiser choice, as some personality traits can’t be represented in a way  polished and professional-looking enough for a resume. Instead, I feel the way I wrote the resume show my light-hearted and playful side.

Manifesto Poster

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 9.02.51 AM

Rationale

For this assignment, I chose to keep it clean, bold, and simple. There’s quite a bit of text, so I didn’t want the imagery to busy the poster too much. For this reason I decided to make good use of negative space. The windmill was chosen as the main visual, as a symbol of sustainability. While reading the list of manifestos posted on the class blog, I came across the Riot Girl Manifesto by Kathleen Hanna of the 90’s punk rock band, Bikini Kill, and found it to be one of the more interesting, in terms of content and general mood. This was the main inspiration behind this poster, and the way I wrote out my manifesto using single sentences all starting with “BECAUSE.” I felt like writing it out this way was punchy, and easier to read then having a single paragraph. It feels more commanding this way. I have previously been exposed to Kathleen Hanna’s work, and know that the social scene in which the Riot Girl Manifesto was published in was one that prided itself on zines and other DIY endeavours. So, to stay true to my inspiration, I decided to have my poster pay homage to the punk rock zines of the 90s by using typefaces and imagery that references it. For example, the use of American Typewriter and halftone “cut-out” images. I still wanted to keep it contemporary, so I paired my body typeface with one that was sans serif and sleek. I organized my text in a box to retain some structure, as well. We were asked to design a poster that would represent us, and I feel this poster is very much my aesthetic and definitely would give an industry employer a glimpse into who I am as a designer.

Evaluation: 8/10

I think this poster is bold, eye-catching and represents me well. My manifesto is written in a way that makes dense text engaging to read. The imagery works well with the context and the mood I was going for. Although I’m happy with it, I’m not blown away by it, which is why I give myself an 8/10.

(Inspiration: Riot Girl Manifesto, 1000 Word Manifesto)