Project Revisits: Conference Project

Hello Internet,

I have been working long and hard on my revisits and I’m here again to show you another project in the making. So, here’s my old typography project. It’s supposed to be materials for a fictional urban renewal conference called Paving Paradise. I really liked the project, but I didn’t like the direction I was going and it’s one of those projects you hope no one will ever see… EVER!


Brochure Cover


Page 1


Page 2

To me, urban renewal is more than making an old building look good, it’s improving the lives and function of a city. Almost like brining light into dark places. So when I found this image on Pinterest, I knew that this will be my inspiration for this project.


You can check out my Pinterest account here!

I really love the black and white images with the bright, bold type, but i needed to bring more paradise into the project. So then I found this image of a retro postcard and really got my creative juices flowing.

Hooray Retro!

Hooray Retro!

I really loved the script type and the shadow on the type. After a couple of hours in inDesign, I created my first attempted.


First try on the brochure.

Sure it looks fine, but I wanted to make it small enough to fit in your pocket. Long story short, it was the cutest, yet the most ineffective booklet I ever created. Now, the brochure is bigger and flows a lot better.




Subtitle Page


Speaker Page with Notes

The brochure has a few details that needs to be dealt with, but its pretty much done after that. Afterwards, I now need to design some name tags, webpages and banners to complete the set.

What do you think of my work? Post your comments below and remember to share this blog with your friends!

Until next time Internet, Good Day.

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Project Revisit: Label

Hello Internet,

I’m reaching the end of my journey that is design school. But before I focus on graduating, there are some projects that need to be revisited. This one is the first of the four I will be revisiting and the results of this revisit is going better than expected!


My first label.

This project is from my illustration class last year. It’s a label for a wine called holy water. I liked the idea of it, but this wasn’t the right style to suit it.

So I started researching of the concept of holy water, what’s it used, etc. While I was looking at some gorgeous churches, the one thing that always seems to stand out is the stained glass. During the middle ages, a lot of people couldn’t read because books were expensive and labouring to make. Because stained glass depicted stories from the bible, they were often called the poor man’s bible. So that got me thinking, what is a poor man’s holy water? Vodka. It can banish the evil spirits, cleanse a man of his sins and a whole lot of things, but it’s the perfect concept for this project.

So I started with some sketches, after that I build the frame in Illustrator.

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 10.46.04 AM

After finding a reference image, I started creating the girl.

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 1.41.13 PM

You can buy the stock image here!

After finishing the image, it time to colour it! I pulled colours out from the image to the right!

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.09.25 PM

And voilà! One awesome illustration!

Looking good!

Looking good!

Now, I have to complete the back, work on the typography and find a bottle. I’m also thinking about getting this printed on a see-though paper like velum to get the full stained glass effect.

What do you think? Feel free to critique my work in the comments below and don’t forget to read some of my other post.

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Studying Typography: The Art of Quotes

Hello Internet,

For the last few months, I have been studying typography in the form of quotes. Ever since I started my studies in design, I notice how there is a lack the playfulness in how we execute quotes. As designers, our best work comes when look beyond the words and dig deep into the meaning of the content. I seen a lot of quotes and most of the time designers just use some of the words or play to their strengths. I like to share with you some of my favourite quotes. Not only do these quotes show some mad typography, but it also reflects the content.

I’ll first start things off with a quote from good old Dr. Seuss. Starting from the top, you can see that there is one clear reading order and challenges us in the way we read. When we move towards the bottom, the readability becomes more clear and simple. The designer uses the placement of the type to make the questions confusing and the answers simple. For the overall looks, the typefaces are very pretty. I love how the sans-serif has a lightweight feeling and how the spirit has corkiness to it. A great to suit the Cat in the Hat himself.

There is not much I can about this quote. I know sometimes as a designer, I forget how powerful negative space can be and this is just a reminder on the powers it has. Even the type is so simple! All lowercase letters gives the image an overall casual feel.

I like this quote a lot, but mostly because of the flashing lights. Anyway, this quote comes from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. I have yet to see this movie, but I thought this quote was well executed. The typeface has some awesome textures. The most interesting feature is the wacky baseline and x-height, which gives the type some movement. But it’s because of the special effects that make the quote. It really shows off hidden meaning in the quote and keeps the type as the main focus.

There is so much genius behind this quote. The bottom word is transparent, do you get it now? As designers, we always strive for making great design, but we often lose sight of the meaning and cover it up with fancy tricks. Great design not only comes from the heart, but also goes undetected. The everyday person may not see the handwork behind the work we do, but if they see this quote, it may change their perspective on design.

Finally, I’m ending this blog with this awesome quote. If you look closely, the quote begins at the shoreline and ends far from the shore. There are also is so many little type details that make this quote. Look at how the s’s look like waves or how the t’s resemble anchors. The typography overall flows beautifully and the glyphs help keep your eye in the quote.

What’s your favourite quote? Don’t forget to comment below and share this with your friends.

And have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year folks!

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One does not simply brand Middle Earth

Hello Internet,

Today I want to share with you one of my favourite campaigns. This one comes from Air New Zealand and their collaboration with The Lord of the Rings trilogy .

Ever since Peter Jackson’s success with The Lord of the Rings movies, fans have been dying to take an adventure to Middle Earth. The films have brought over $200 million into the economy and the government even created a minister who is in charge of everything The Lord of the Rings related, but that was before The Hobbit movies.

So when The Hobbit movie was about to be released, Air New Zealand (which half of is owned by the government) released this safety video to promote the movie.

This video not only promoted the film well, but it also became the new face of the brand. Air Zealand is now the airline to Middle Earth. The company has made everything from print ads to the safety vest employees wear (my favorite are the hobbit socks!).


Some applications for Air New Zealand

Even the vest are branded!

Even the vest are branded!

A coffee sleeve to go with brand.

A coffee sleeve to go with brand.

They even made another video to show the average day in Middle Earth, but something else happened when they posted those videos. Air New Zealand changed the outlook of travellers everywhere. Flying is not a nuisance anymore; it has become an adventure of a lifetime, just like The Lord of the Rings movies.

What’s your favourite Lord of the Rings moment? Post your comments below and remember to share this with your fellowship! Until next time, safe travels my friend!


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Fighting Though Creative Blocks

Hello Internet,

A few days ago, I found myself face to face with one of design’s biggest enemies, a creative block. As designers, we are bound to hit one sometime in our lifetime, but how do you get into one in the first place?

This article from 99U explains the different types of creative blocks, but all of them have a common factor, we are over thinking the situation. Whether it’s personal or work related, something is taking our attention away from our job and that’s a problem to designers. So how do you get out of a block? Here are some suggestions that I find help a lot:

1.Get away From It All

Whether it’s for a few minutes or a few days, sometimes we just need to step away, clean our head and come back with a clear head. Going for a walk, doing chores and even watching a quick YouTube video helps a lot, like something funny to make you laugh will help a lot.

2. Make a To-Do List

I find when things get crazy, making a to-do list and organizing your calendar helps a lot. This helps to break up big, haunting tasks into small, bite size chunks. This also will help with your overall stress and will make you feel more productive.

3. If All Else Fails, Deadlines Will Cure the Worst Of Blocks

Trust me on this! Nothing can get you out of creative block faster than “The client needs this for tomorrow morning”. You will be surprised at what you can come up with when its crunch time. I wouldn’t do this all the time, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

I recommend this great book that shares other designers, musicians and fellow artist’s strategies on breaking through creative blocks.

How do you get out of a creative block? Feel free to comment below and share with fellow creative folks.

Until next time, good day Internet.

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The Brand Behind The Creed

Hello Internet,

I’m back from summer vacation and ready to blog again!

I want to take this time to share with you a new appreciation for one of favorite video games, the Assassin’s Creed franchise. What started as a way to de-stress from school, evolved into a deep love and appreciation for the branding and fine details that go into the games.

For those who are not familiar with the game, Assassin’s Creed is video game created and developed by Ubisoft Montreal. The game follows the life of Desmond Miles, a bartender who was kidnaped by a company called Abstergo. The people of Abstergo then stick Desmond into a machine called The Animus, a device capable of reading your ancestry’s memories. Throughout the series, players explore Desmond’s ancestries throughout history. The game is now Ubisoft’s best-selling franchise and now has a movie being filmed based off the games.

I first want to talk about the logo. From a designer’s point of view, this is probably the greatest branding challenge in history. Not only this brand mark has to work in our modern world, but also in a number of different time periods and cultures around the world. Overall, the brand mark is simple, memorable and works well in print and web.

Another point I want to bring up is about the evil corporation Abstergo. In the last couple of years, Ubisoft has brought their fictional company out of the sidelines and into the spotlight. Even though Abstergo plays a minor role in the overall Assassin’s Creed franchise, the amount of details that are put into the branding is insane! In the last Assassins Creed game you can explore the company’s headquarters and when I did this while playing I noticed the phenomenal amount of detail put into the branding. Through-out the game you can collect TV commercials, stationary, research documents, etc. But you can see an overall design policy that connects everything together, but also makes you believe that the company actually exists.

Overall, Ubisoft has put a lot of hard work and settle details into every game they produced and in my option, makes a world of a different. But it’s because of excellent Graphic Design that makes Assassin’s Creed stand out the most.

Know any other video games with some hardcore details? Leave a comment and remember to share this blog with you fellow assassins.

Until next time and remember, nothing is true and everything is permitted!

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Design Thinkers 2013

Hello Internet! Let me tell you about Design Thinks!

Every year, RGD (Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario) hold a big conference in Toronto and I got the chance to go with some of my fellow classmates and professors. The event had speakers from all branches of design come under one roof to inspire designers from across the country. This is a chance to speak to professionals in the field, learn outside a classroom environment and get lots of free swag (Because that’s the real reason why everyone is attending)!

Throughout the day, I heard many speakers, but one in particular inspire me the most. I attended Austin McGhie’s talk based off his book Brand is a Four Letter Word and I was blown away from what he said. The best piece of advice I thought he gave was “Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, just come back in”. To this day, this piece of advice helped me with my projects.

I highly recommend this event to everyone, especially students and take advantage of student pricing. I also recommend if you can, stay for the whole event and soak up as much inspiration as you can. And for those who have an RGD membership, use it! Not only you get discounts on resources the industry used, but you can gain access to great webinars and resources.

What was your favourite thing about Design Thinkers?

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Interview with Allison Thoohey from Cult

Hello Internet, today I got a special treat for you! I interviewed Allison Thoohey, the senior designer at Cult, to get her experience as a design student and some advice for students now. For those who are not aware with Cult, they are an ad firm in Calgary, Canada. They have strong philosophies in marketing and branding, which results in producing some great work. Some of their clients include The United Way, BMW, SportChek, and Michael’s.
I chose to interview Allison because she is where I see myself in a few more years, working in an ad firm, creating some awesome work, working with big clients, and doing what I love to do, being creative. This interview process was very eye-opening and a humble experience. I feel a little more prepared for when I go into the workforce.
Without any further ado, here is my interview with Allison:

What made you pick graphic design as a career?

I was always artistic growing up – I loved playing with shapes and colour, and I was always painting. When I was a teenager I ended up doing international modelling, and found inspiration in what the photographers and art directors were doing behind the camera. I was never comfortable in front of the camera and decided I was going to art direct magazines and ads when I grew up.
How was your design school experience overall?

I loved school. The Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary Alberta provided a great foundation for the fundamentals of design. It’s a 4 year program – the first 2 years were basically all fine art courses, drawing, and design fundamentals. All of our projects were done by hand – we were not even allowed to use the computer for design until our last semester in 3rd year. On the flip of this, our school is known for producing some world-class illustrators, which the curriculum was really catered for at the time I went there. The teachers really emphasized the importance of being a double threat designer/illustrator and how those 2 skills would get you the furthest. But, I never wanted to be an illustrator and I am not a very good illustrator. All the drawing and figure study classes, (while I’m happy I got to do them), never really helped my career directly. I am basically a full-time web-designer / art-director now and would of preferred developing other skills, like digital.

What are somethings you wish you knew before starting your career as a designer?

I wish a knew not to sweat the small stuff. There really is no such thing as the “perfect job” and any opportunity you get will have its positives and negatives and provide something valuable to you.

I wish I was prepared or more realistic, in what the day-to-day of a design career would actually look like. I chose this career because I wanted to be super social, constantly moving and collaborating with other people, but in reality I log a lot of hours at my desk alone – especially being the only designer at a small shop now! You need to constantly be seeking inspiration around you and in others, it doesn’t just come easy like it did in school!

What kind of skills do you think a Jr.Designer needs for today’s design industry?
 I think a Jr. Designer needs to have knowledge of the basic principles of design. So many people think they can be designers just because they know the software, but if you know the basic fundamentals of design – you will go further because your career won’t be limited to the software you know.
They need to show that they can think conceptually – beyond a pretty layout. This means they need to ALWAYS be thinking “multi-channel”. How does a brand or advertising problem translate across in-store, print, mobile and desktop? How does the customer interact with the brand across all these channels? How will the customer become an advertising vehicle for the brand? What will make the customer “buy-in” to the brand vs. just buying a product?

 What kind of advice would you give to a graphic design student right now?

1. Be open and work extremely hard at any opportunity that presents itself. You never now where a lead or a job will take you and you.
2. The first few years of your career you will most likely have to pump out A LOT of production work, and it won’t always be your vision. It can be disheartening but you will need to be patient and put in your time. You will feel like you have the best ideas that are not being heard, but “a cheetah has to earn its spots!” (my first boss/mentor told me that a few years ago). Be very aggressive and make sure your ideas are heard, but be patient when they are not used!
3. Be a sponge, and soak up everything you can from everyone around you. The best ideas can come from your project manager or your copywriter!
4. NO ONE is going to hold your hand in this industry and you need to take full responsibility of growing your career to where you want to go. Whether your freelancing or in an agency, you always need to be hustling and demanding more of yourself and more from the people around you. The industry is fickle and there is an abundance of talent, so you have to work very hard to stay relevant or to find new business.
5. KNOW DIGITAL. Know digital trends, be aware of best practices, and familiarize yourself with a basic knowledge of digital design for mobile and web. This is becoming less of an asset and more of a mandatory when agencies are looking to hire talent.
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Way-Finding: An Overlooked Accessibility Problem!

Hello Internet, let me tell you about this interesting project I’m doing in my design layout class!

My professor asked us to find an accessibility problem that the student body at St. Lawrence College face and solve it! As of now, this project is in the designing stage, but it was the research stage that made this project so interesting.

For the research part, our professor put us in groups with classmates we never worked with. This part scared me the most. I have so many bad group experiences in the past, that I avoid group work like the plague! Luckily, I had an awesome group and we kicked butt! When we were working together, we stayed focussed and on task. We also set goals and kept in frequent contact. Because of these factors, my group was able to be successful.

Anyways, back to the research.

Our topic was way-finding and I thought it wasn’t really a problem at first. We did our research though, we did lots of surveys, but it was the interviews that gave our the most information. As my group got deeper into our research, we discovered that way-finding is a problem that students face daily, but it’s even worse for people who are blind and/or have mobility issues. There are many barriers that they have to go though just to get to the same place as an average student and many of these barriers can be prevented.

At the end of our research, we discovered that the school map was the biggest contributing factor in way-finding around St. Lawrence College. There is much information that is not legible and it is not readable for someone who is colour blind. This design is not acceptable for a large body of people in a small area! Is way-finding an issue for you?

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Books, Books, & Even More Books!

Hello Internet! I don’t know about you, but the snow here won’t go away!

Anyways, nothing cures a designer’s winter blues better than a warm Starbucks beverage and getting into your favourite design book. As graphic design students, we look through a lot of design books and I’m thankful that our school has an awesome selection on design books! But even with our library, its hard to find good design books. We all have different taste and all of the books are different. Some of them are full of helpful tips and tricks, while other books are filled with lots of eye candy.

So, what are the best books for students?

Here’s the list of recommended books for students from

I heard of a few of these books and we are using Designing Brand Identity as a textbook in school. I also own How to be a Graphic Designer without losing your soul, great reference book with a little bit of everything in it. Package Design Workbook: The Art and Science of Successful Packaging, The Art of Colour, & Stationery Design Now also look like books that I may buy in the future, especially the packaging one! I’m a sucker for some good packaging!

Now, let’s compare list of recommend books for students.

Designing Brand Identity and How to be a Graphic Designer without losing your soul are the only books that are on both lists. I heard good things about Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills and Grid Systems in Graphic Design by swiss designer Joseph Müller-Brockmann.

Overall, I think has the best list of books because they look like books that my classmates and I may use while the books from look out dated and not as useful for students. What’s your opinion on design books and do you have suggestions for good design books?

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My Favourite Design Blogs

Hi, this is my first blog post! So please be nice to me!

And what other way to start your blog than talk about other blogs. I know, ironic. Anyway, I would like to share my favourite design blogs with you. I never really started looking at other design blogs until I was blogging myself, but if you haven’t you should start. Like looking at other people’s design, its good to see other people’s blogs. So, here are my favourite design blogs.

You The Designer

This blog is nicely designed and covers everything from wall murals, to branding and web design. I personally like browsing this site for inspiration and getting news on trending design projects and current events in the design world. If that doesn’t work, they have a freebie section! Photoshop brushes, vector images, stock images, and it’s all free!

Cover Junkie

This blog shows nothing but magazine covers, but with a twist! The site shows print AND digital covers. I don’t know much about when it comes to digital design, but what I saw was pretty wicked. The digital covers that are featured on the site have animated features that make traditional print covers boring. A must see if you are interested in interactive and digital design!


This blog is full of cool architecture, photography, illustrations and design inspiration. The content comes from all around the world and it is current, and trendy. Yet, a fair warning, the site is written in spanish, which may be a turn off for some people. But, I can easily navigate the site and get a feel for what they are posting. This shows how well designed the site really is.

All of the blogs that I shared with you today helped me learned what makes a successful blog. Sadly, I can’t give you free stuff, but if my topics are up to date, interested and easy to understand, I can make a successful blog.

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