The World, Uncorked

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The World, Uncorked.

This event provided a virtual world tour of wines, hosted by select sommeliers in the Calgary market. It was educational and fun. The only thing it didn’t have was a branded look.

So I got involved and designed this hero image, which was used for pre-event email/social marketing and was also proudly displayed on tables and signage during the event.

Here’s a few photos from the sold-out event.

UCalgary Arch Awards

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UCalgary ARCH Awards.

UCalgary hosts an event each year where they celebrate the achievements of some of their most aspiring alumni.

The creative brief for the event kicked off with an initial call for submissions email/social campaign. Some of the initial adjectives used were “prestigious”, “coveted”, “on a level above”, “esteemed”, “special award”, and “gala event”. The overall message we wished to convey was that UCalgary’s alumni are all special in their own way, but we are looking for the standout candidates.

The one carry-over from previous years was going to be the actual physical award. This glass crystal sculpture has become synonymous with the event (winners receive it and display it proudly thereafter). It represents the best of the best.

Once we had these guiding principles in place, the concept came about quite quickly. I bought some gemstones at a craft store and set up a mini photo studio in-house in an unused corner office. I then arranged them around the statue and took the shots I needed to perform the final ad design and image prep.

The final promo image was sent out to support the call for nominations on email, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Nominations were up 133% from the previous year.

UCalgary Alumni Weekend 2019

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This portfolio piece is not here specifically as an example of creative. I have it in here primarily as an example of my ability to tackle “agency-sized” marketing design challenges all by my lonesome.

Alumni Weekend is an annual marquee event at UCalgary, which serves to reach out to the alumni base and showcase great ideas and research going on all around campus. Kinda like an open house.

Here’s a brief timeline of how this project rolled through the department (a.k.a. me).

June 20: Creative kickoff meeting to learn strategic intent.

June 21 – July 3: We bounced around several ideas, and presented concepts.

July 8 – 23: I began photographing and photoshopping the 4 demographic scenes. I built each PSD file in a modular way (yay, smart objects!!), in order to ensure that we could update the copy and custom doodles on the various “to-do lists” quickly without sacrificing quality on the imagework. Yes, I did all the sketched doodles too.

July 24 – August 9: Approval on all base images and messaging was approved. There were multiple messages and multiple media buys (focused on digital, with some print signage at transit shelters and on-campus), I took the challenge and ran with it. In summary, I created and designed over 100 digital screen ad layouts, 16 faculty-specific social promos/web banners, 20 email headers, 6 large-format posters for print media, 6 animated transit platform digital ads, and 6 animated GIF web banner ads. I also designed and supplied the t-shirt design.

August 12 – 14: I designed the template for all on-campus signage and handed that project off to a production designer to prepare. I designed the map/schedule brochure.

August 16: All creative assets were reviewed and approved for media release.

I completed all of the above while I was working on all of my other design projects, including art directing and designing the cover and main features in the upcoming alumni magazine.

Despite the lack of internal/freelance resources to support me on this project, I handled it all and did NOT miss a single deadline. The sweat has evaporated and I am pleased with how I managed and streamlined the workflow for this major marketing initiative.

Weekend attendance exceeded initial projections.

The whole team was treated to a catered lunch and I received a couple emails thanking me for my work, plus a single hand-written note of thanks after the event was over, which you can read below:

 

Hempco Website and Investor Presentation

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I was contracted to help a public company with a brand facelift as they were initiating a consolidation merger. They needed to communicate and demonstrate the advantages of the merger to their current shareholders while also attracting interest from a completely new audience. This all had to happen at the upcoming AGM, which was two weeks away.

I ramped up my understanding of their USP and various sub-brands and delivered a fresh and informative PPT deck in time for the May AGM. The website was redesigned and launched just 10 weeks later.

Several custom infographics and enhanced visuals were created as part of this whole re-launch.

The website (built and designed within WordPress) and presentation are available here ».

UCalgary Event Graphics

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Certain UCalgary Alumni-focused events were in need of a visual touchpoint. Each logomark reflects the heritage of a common UCalgary brand, yet they are all unique enough to stand on their own.

These brand elements have been employed across print and digital with equal and consistent success.

Surge Energy Website

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Eight years after I designed their logo, I was contracted to help Surge with a website facelift. The old website was simply not working for them or their investors any more. It wasn’t responsive and it was a bit of a legacy mess, considering how things have changed, with smart phones and deeper understanding of how people consume information digitally.

The website content was reconsidered with an express purpose of making it easier for investors to get the info they need quickly. The focus was on content and clean delivery, however, I was able to convince the executive team that we could keep it simple and still make it more visually engaging.

Several custom info graphics and enhanced visuals were created as part of this whole re-launch.

View the new website here ».

And, for comparison’s sake, you can see the old site here ».

UCalgary Convocation e-book

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This was a super-fun project that I got parachuted into right back from my holidays. It was a request to turn five webinars into a brief but engaging e-book for new graduates to browse and click through to the official UCalgary Alumni website.

I designed it and got approval on round #1. Then I built out all of the interactive elements and uploaded it after playtesting on desktop, tablet and phones.

Yes, I did the playtesting as well.

Here’s the online link to the piece →

UCalgary Alumni ARCH AWARDS Video Wall

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UCalgary Alumni were looking for a way to acknowledge their outstanding graduates from the past 50 years. They came to me with an idea of a standard printed display (like a tradeshow booth), but they mentioned that they wanted to feature all 64 of their award winners from the past. Sounded cool, but kinda impossible.

I said “That sounds great, but I think it would look waaaay more impressive if it was a true multimedia infomercial-motion graphic-type thingy”. My real intent was to get them to open the parameters of the design piece so that we had a chance to give each person their 15 minutes of fame up on the wall. Their eyes got real big once I started mocking it up and then brought in a video specialist to fully realize the piece within Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro. The final piece, which was a composite display wall built from six synced 80″ LED screens, stood over 7 feet tall and 16 feet wide. Jaw-dropping to say the least.

I pulled this together with the videographer in less than 2 weeks. I am now hooked on Adobe After Effects.

A modified version of the full video loop can be viewed here →

This was a 16 x 7 ft display wall. Try to keep that in mind when you see the teeny video sample.

 

Dr. Zeuss and the Blue Whos Website

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A local musical act needed an update to their website, which included the desire to go mobile and be easier to update their events calendar. A wordPress backend was employed to better showcase the visual punch of their live show. I was also the writer of the web content, and I highlight the band’s fun-factor with a loose conversational tone applied to the writing.

Visit the working site:
bluewhos.com

The Next Level: Professional Development Conference

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An I.T. company hosts an annual sales force training conference. They needed a logo that embodied the year’s theme and would serve as a call-to-action for everyone to keep working towards self-improvement. I proposed an old school video game style visual that was both playful and engaging. It was used on banners, posters, screen presentations and certain bits of swag.