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 Alumni Magazine Fall/Winter 2018

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The theme for this issue was “International Education”.  Most of the editorial within this issue focuses on the impact that UCalgary alumni, faculty and students are making around the world. The cover design was developed and executed by me and me alone. This includes the original 3D globe view and all the locator pins that are visible on the cover. The pins are placed according to actual data research that I did to determine where actual UCalgary alumni are operating around the world.

In order to make this cover happen, I took over 250 photos of tiny plastic flag pins stuck onto a piece of foamcore, shot from various angles and heights, and pshop-merged with the base earth and cloud images. I also designed all three of the inside main features. Each design concept was developed and executed in consultation with the magazine editor. All-in-all, this 56-page piece is great to hold and flip through.

For the online version, I was paired up with a talented web developer (Nicola is awesome!), and we whipped this website together in less than 3 weeks (sitemap, content map and page builds). Design-wise, I have to say that I found that we were a bit constrained by the corporate/institutional parameters set out for all UC websites. No point getting into the background except to sat that we were tasked with porting the magazine website back from WordPress over to Drupal 8, which is the official UCalgary website platform. As a result, I have begun to improve my Drupal skills. IMO, the Drupal CMS platform that the UC webdev has implemented still has a long way to go before I would consider it to be a proper and comprehensive design solution for online communication. But I must work within their constraints… so there you go… just making lemonade…

Read the online version →

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 info graphics 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 Alumni Weekend 2018 Campaign


UCalgary wanted to promote their upcoming Alumni Weekend. I was given an approved word doc and the logo which I designed. There was no previously developed look or anything, so I was also tasked with creating a branded look and feel for the campaign. I was handed this design project with two days to develop a look for three campaign ads for public consumption.

So, in a situation like that, you just need to get creative in a quick and decisive way. I chose to go with authentic event photography from previous Alumni Weekend event days, but the boring side of the ads were a little more open to interpretation. Stock imagery and a photo of my own garage seemed to fit the bill quite well. The design and creative was approved on round one and I then had to resolve the pieces into all horizontal and vertical iterations. Everything from small digital screens to 5ft high transit posters.

These three creative pieces spoke to different demographics that UCalgary hoped to attract to Alumni Weekend.

UCalgary Event Graphics


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.

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 Magazine Spring/Summer 2018

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An extremely impactful main editorial feature focused on mental health issues and research demanded a smart, respectful visual creative solution. The rest of the mag looks nice too, but this case study is primarily about the main editorial feature and the cover.

After reading the written articles, I developed the concept of “We all have baggage” which I tweaked into the phrase, “The things we carry”. This phrase, along with the visuals of each interviewee carrying a relevant form of baggage (ie. suitcase, backpack, gym bag, etc.) delivers a positive message that everyone is affected by the stigma of mental health. The inspiring written phrases on each person’s bag are direct quotes that each person (interviewed and photographed) allowed us to use. We added this touch of positivity to each person’s story because, even though they will carry the issue with them for the rest of their lives, they have also made the decision to be positive about how they deal with it.

Great photography based upon my initial layout comps made it through from pitch to final print. My main challenge was figuring out how to present weighty issues such as sexual assault, suicide and depression without appearing sad or hopeless. I also managed to keep the editorial design more-or-less “on-brand” with the colour and typography choices.

This issue won four North American CASE awards in 2018, as follows:
Print General Interest: Gold.   |   Cover design: Silver.   |   Photo series, Mental Health Matters: Silver.   |   Illustration series, Derring-Do: Silver.

After the mag went to press, I started preparing and populating the content and images into our responsive website magazine. It’s built upon a WP template with some additional custom CSS styling.

Here’s the pdf link to the magazine →

As an added bonus, here’s a quick bts video on how the cover came together.

CD Package Design – For Me

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Yup, this is my own music. I’ve been writing and recording for quite some time now. I finally decided to just put some of my favourites into a nice little package with a pretty bow on it.

The concept: I wanted to create a Christian Rock CD without drawing too much attention to the artist. So, I did up a bunch of original paintings focused on a single musical chord, made with G, C and D. The shorthand nickname is “Gsus”. The paintings are shown as “larger than the human subject”, which seems appropriate for who the music was written for. At least, that’s the way I feel about it.

Both the music and the design are getting favourable comments.

Tim Hortons: Adopt a Donut

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This was an idea that hit me one morning when I noticed the design team descend on a dozen donuts. All but one was taken up in the first rush. This led me to feel a strange sort of empathy for the unchosen pastry. If I could give voice to the donut’s insecurities and low self-esteem, I figured I could help us all to be better-informed and more sensitive about how we choose our donuts.

And then I thought this would make for an excellent campaign to boost sales for coffee and donuts. So I wrote and designed this up.

Yes, the donut had a name… and it was “Delicious”.

UCalgary Campaign 201 book and website app

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When life gives you lemons…

Due to a kooky situation with another designer who basically lost interest and dropped the ball (a.k.a. quit), I was parachuted into this design communications piece six weeks after the initial kickoff. I picked up the project with the same deadline looming and cranked up the design dial to “11”.

Working with a CD team lead, my initial deliverable was to design the base graphics and typography for the print piece. I gained approval from the higher-ups and motored into design fulfillment phase. There was some medium-level pshop and custom illustrator work to evolve the UCalgary energy into flowing light ribbons that wove through the design layouts, as well as full print pre-press and delivery to the print shop. This was all done within 12 working days (okay… I added in an extra 15 hours overtime, but I had to).

Then I (and one other production designer) designed and populated the web version for a launch date two weeks later. It’s a WP base site, so don’t get too critical, or be too impressed ;^) But it is also available as an app, which is kinda nice.

Here’s the online link to the piece →