Graphic Standards Manual – WIP

For our next two-week project, we have been asked to produce a Graphic Standards Manual for a design company that is revisiting the market. I did a lot of research on different design companies and of different manuals to get a feel for what the competition was doing and what I would need to include in my own manual.

The company I really liked was Pentagram and I wanted Crucible (the design company) to be just as clean and professional. I also wanted there to be a strong emphasis on graphics work.

I spent a lot of time researching examples and looking at booklet sizing/formatting to see what route I wanted to take. I also did some research on font pairings to find one that was unique but still worked well with the Crucible logo and brand I developed. I chose a square booklet sizing (8×8) because I thought that would be easier to keep handy on a desk without taking up too much space and it’s easier to transport if need be. I also thought the arrangement of text and elements would work better in a square orientation than rectangular.

The fonts I eventually decided on were Fjalla One for headings and emphasis and Average for body copy. Fjalla One compliments the logo font (Bodega Sans) very well and also went with the more clean, crisp image I wanted Crucible to have. Average is a serif font that is easy to read at multiple sizes and simple without being boring (such as something like Times, Helvetica, etc.). I knew I wanted fonts that were modern yet not too decorative or distracting. I utilized a really cool website called to help out.

The colors I chose were minimal and really only for contrast. I chose a medium blue (#5596dd) to compliment the red in the Crucible logo because I thought the black, white, and red combination was a bit too jarring and the blue helped to offset some of that sharp contrast. Blue also symbolizes trust, confidence, and wisdom which are principles that Crucible Design is striving towards. I used Adobe Kuler to look at different color combinations.


As for overall book layout, I knew I wanted bold headers and a red bottom border. I also wanted page numbers at the top and text to be fairly prominent. I knew that I didn’t want to have any photographed images and, going forward, I’m sticking strictly to graphics since Crucible is a design company and I wanted the graphics to be the main focus.

Here are some WIP pages that I started. Placement of elements still need to be tweaked so elements are in alignment and I know there are probably some typos/grammatical errors to be fixed as well as updated page numbers.



Empty Book – Final

For my final version of the Empty Book cover, I decided to completely change gears and simplify the design. I felt that the front cover was far too cluttered and that it took away from the book title and other important elements such as the author’s name. I decided to use Illustrator to create a very simple bowl and added in a vegetable to drive home the idea that it’s a cookbook. I also looked to other cookbook covers and used their arrangement for inspiration.

I decided to take away the author’s photo on the back as I felt it wasn’t needed. I also got the Empty Book printed by and it came out perfectly so I’m glad that I was able to successfully work with the template.


Fetty Wap Poster Contest WIP

For this week’s supplementary assignment while we’re working on our Empty Book projects, we’ve been asked to create a poster for an upcoming concert by rapper, Fetty Wap. The poster specifications were to create something that speaks to both the venue city (Raleigh, NC) and the rapper. I decided to start off by sketching an image of Fetty Wap which I then edited and refined in Illustrator.

I started out with pencil and then outlined the areas I wanted to be bolder with a black pen.

Now that I have the main image refined, I’m going to start on the actual poster.

Empty Book: Initial Sketches and WIP

For our second project, the main goal was to create a conceptualized book based around a book with blank pages. The idea was to create a clever title that would reflect why a book would be empty. I started by jotting down any ideas I thought of, even ones that seemed pretty random or silly, just to see if I had enough to begin sketching. Once I managed to fill up a page, I knew I was on the right track. I ended up deleting ideas that were way too broad or confusing to create a cover from and stuck with the ideas that I could actually flesh out into a full book cover design.

One other additional element to this project is having to work with a printer in order to have the book published. That required working with a specific template to ensure all elements were properly placed and aligned.

These are the 40 black-and-white sketches that I completed along with a WIP cover for the idea I picked (Forgotten Recipes):


Think Big : Completed Campaign

The Think Big project provided me with many ways to think outside of the box and push past my usual comfort zone. While I utilized Illustrator for much of the logo design process, I got to work with Photoshop Mock-Ups for the first time. The mock-ups provided me with a concrete way to see whether my design choices were sound or whether they needed some revision.

For the campaign, I decided it would be best to stick with online advertising as this is for an art and technology conference but I didn’t want to neglect traditional methods as it’s best to advertise using multiple channels. For this part of the assignment, I chose to use Instagram, Facebook, and a street level ad for my framework. These are the final products:

In addition to the advertisements, I also created merchandise that would be distributed at the conference.  I thought pinback buttons would be the most useful as they’re easy to make and handout to attendees. I also thought of the idea of a freebie gift and decided the buttons would work well for that. Along with the buttons, I decided that t-shirts would also be a great way to promote the event, however, I thought using the logotype by itself was better than the full logo image. The third and last merchandise idea was posters that mirrored the street advertisements.

*I did also do some minor alterations to the logo, switching out the blue on the hand for the same tan color used on the paintbrush


Think Big Finalized Logo and WIP Advert Campaign

Here is the finished logo for the Think Big Conference that I narrowed down out of the 40 sketch ideas. I made a refined sketch on dotted paper that I then scanned and worked on in Illustrator.


The Think Big Conference would cater to young teens and adults ages 16-30 who are interested in or in a creative field (art, music, photography, graphic design, etc). It would feature guest speakers who are making strides in their industries and new technology available for attendees to test. There would also be art workshops where attendees can learn techniques from screen-printing to computer editing techniques. The main goal of Think Big is to get people to embrace their creativity and learn how art and technology can be interdependent. I believe that the arts are seen as a dying field when, in actuality, plenty of the advancements in technology have come from those willing to think creatively.

Here are my current WIPs of some of the campaign adverts that would be utilized to promote the event. The first is a web ad created to be shared on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, the second is a large event flyer/poster design, and the third are pinback buttons that will be handed out as freebies to the first 100 attendees. Currently, these aren’t placed in situ, however, I have PSD mock-ups ready to use once these are completed.



Think Big WIP

These are my rough logo sketches and rough advertisement ideas for a fictional conference. What I did first was use the thesaurus to research synonyms for ‘think’ and ‘big’ since the words themselves are very broad. Some words that really stuck out to me were imagine, visualize, envision, tremendous, massive, and substantial. As I looked at those words, I really came up with the ideas that became the basis for the design ideas I created.

I’ve always been interested in how art can influence technology (and vice versa) so, to me, think big was a perfect idea for an art and technology conference. The conference would be a way to discuss ways that artists, musicians, photographers, etc. can use technology to broaden their ideas and how technology can improve and work with the arts.

My idea for advertisements include physical merch and more web banner ads since my portfolio currently features a lot of product labels and brochure ideas.

Web Banner

Web banner for NC Comicon: Oak City
For this assignment, the requirement was to make an optimized web banner image utilizing a lot of the same techniques and designs that were utilized in an event flyer. The difficulty on this assignment came with adjusting the typeface to work at such a small size and choosing which part of the image to showcase. I chose to use the same typeface as the original event flyer (Agency FB and Gill Sans MT Condensed) however I spent more time adjusting the tracking and leading of the characters so they were appropriate for the job.

Event Flyer


Unofficial Event Flyer for Oak City Comicon

Once I read over what had to be done for this assignment, I immediately settled on designing an event flyer for Oak City Comicon. I attended the convention last year and really enjoyed it so I thought it would be fun to create something for this year’s event. The target demographic for this event would be anyone from ages 10-40 that enjoys comic books and superheroes. I had some challenges with figuring out what images I wanted to use, however, I am pretty familiar with Photoshop from previous courses and from working on digital artwork so I had an idea of where I wanted to go with the style options. I did a lot of work with Layer Styles and Filters which helped to enhance the image and the typographic choices I made were to ensure easy readability without sacrificing the overall message of fun.