Design Happens

Lately I've been looking back over the past few years and trying to remind myself how far I've come, especially as a designer. As a recent college grad it can be incredibly discouraging to continuously receive rejection emails from companies. It's frustrating not being able to break into an industry that you spent the last 4 years learning the ins and out of. So every now and then I take a step back and look at where I was just 3 years ago. 

To be honest, 3 years ago I wouldn't have even called myself a designer. I was a student and completely incompetent when it came to design. I had changed my major after my first semester and barely got my feet wet in the design department my first year. I spent that first summer out of school watching youtube tutorials and fumbling my way through Illustrator. I don't think I was very successful at teaching myself so shoutout to art school. 


I found this photo on my computer the other day of my first attempt at logo design (its not even a saved file because of 1. how bad it is and 2. I don't think I even knew what a JPEG was). It's pretty terrible, I know but thats exactly where I was in my design career 3 YEARS ago!! That's crazy to me. 

When I went back to school my second year I was ready to hit the ground running. I knew I had a lot to learn and I was excited to learn it. I didn't quite understand how much time I would spend "learning how to be a designer" before I was actually at a place where I was able to design with creative freedom. But I'll never forget that feeling when my work went from just trying to meet the requirements of a project to actually executing creative ideas.

Fast forward a few years, I took another stab at that logo. I laugh because I've come so much further in those years than I give myself credit for sometimes. Even though post grad life has been tough, I've gotta believe that I'm tougher. If I can go from having absolutely no idea what I'm doing to actually making money as designer in just a few years, I can only imagine how much more I'll grow over the years to come. 


Special shoutout to my mom for letting me use her business as my design guinea pig. Check her out @fithappensfitnessstudio

Main Street Muskogee

If you've ever heard Merle Haggard's classic song "Okie from Muskogee," you've heard that the people of Muskogee Oklahoma are proud of their roots. As one of Oklahoma's oldest town's, Muskogee is full of culture and innovation. Main Street Muskogee is a non-profit that is committed to maintaining the heart and soul that makes its downtown so unique. 

I partnered with the organization in 2017 to create a new logo identity that would be more reflective of the vision and mission of Main Street Muskogee. I wanted to be sure we were able to capture the history and culture of this town that is close to my heart. 

After a few revisions, we were able to settle on a mark that had layers of significance to Muskogee. The overall shape was inspired by the old neon signs that can be seen throughout downtown. The sides of the mark are derived from an important piece of Muskogee, which is the arched sign that can be seen when entering the downtown area. We also gave the logo a color update and more modern font. 

After the success of the new logo, we decided to partner together again to create the new Main Street Muskogee website. With so much to show about this exciting town, we worked to create a layout that was easy for visitors to navigate and quickly find information. On the site you will find: exciting places to go, events happening downtown and much more!

To see more of this project click here


Since 2006, (RED) has been spreading awareness for HIV/AIDS by partnering with brands and coloring their products red. For this project, my classmates and I pulled three brands from hat and each chose one to pair with the (RED) campaign. 

The brand I chose to explore for this project was LUSH. LUSH is an organic cosmetic brand, known for their natural ingredients and social activism. To kick off this project, I started with an audit and visualization of the brand. In order to gain deeper understanding for how the LUSH brand might develop this part


Once I had a solid understanding of both of the brands, I started exploring way to create a realistic partnership between the two. The LUSH brand is typically known for their minimal packaging and eccentric products. Since this was a packaging design project, I needed to find a way to keep the LUSH brand intact while uniting it with (RED). 

I started with the idea of a gift box that when purchased would donate half of the proceeds to (RED). LUSH often releases boxes bundling special products and offers, so I though this would be a good way to keep continuity with the brand. The first design concepts were a little boring since there is only so much you can do with a box. I explored different ways to make the packaging more interesting. I hit a chord with this project when I realized most of the packaging for LUSH resembles that of food packaging. Once I found that inspiration the project began to take form. 



From there, I began to piece together the project both physically and digitally. With the idea of "food packaging" in mind I located a biodegradable take out box that went along with the brand values of LUSH. I decided to create a belly band that was minimal and showed the paring of the two brands. Inside I created a touch card explaining the partnership and impact of the (RED) products. I also created a tissue paper pattern to bring the whole package together. 


The final product was a full physical mock up - both bombs and all. The box is roughly 8" by 10". The belly band wraps around and slides off to reveal the product inside. On top is a 3" by 5" touch card. Under the card are two special (RED) bath bombs, wrapped in the LUSH (RED) patterned tissue paper. 


to see more of from the final project Click here

Doughnut Vault

Did you know Doughnut Vault is one Chicago's top tourist attractions? So you probably wouldn't expect them to have a 100 square foot store front to sell their hand crafted treats, right? This discovery sparked my interest in this little company that led me to redesign everything from their logo, to coffee cups and even creating a brand standards manual. 

I spent 15 weeks working with Doughnut Vault's brand for a semester rebranding project. I wanted to create an identity for them that was recognizable and could be expanded as the company grows. The process began with preliminary research about the company's history and current identity. What I found was they pride themselves on the simplicity and authenticity of their brand. I used this as the foundation of my creative process as I explored design solutions. 

The first, and probably the most important, component of the brand I explore was the logo. The current logo is very simple and does not give much insight into the brand, other than its name. In my research I discovered the name "Doughnut Vault" originated from the architectural elements on the companies original Franklin St. location. I looked into the architectural structure of these vaults and found that they emulated the same curved shape as a doughnut. I decided to explore how the doughnut, or rather half of a doughnut could be used to reflect the architectural style of these vaults. 


After establishing the style direction of the logo, I began to play with how the type could interact with the mark. I liked the idea of the type in relation to the mark creating the shape of the vault somewhat organically. But I struggled to find a typeface that could do this and still fit the style of the mark. Eventually, I stumbled upon a typeface that I felt was most reflective of the brand and was able to settle on a final logo design. 


After the logo was solidified, it was time to start applying it. I started by creating a stationery system including: business cards, letter head and envelopes. The stationery was where the addition of the sprinkle pattern was introduced. From there, I developed a series of collateral items including: uniforms, packaging, souvenirs and more. With these different applications, I was able to explore how the logo could be used as separate elements as well as discovered other visual elements to use throughout the brand.


My favorite part of this project, was creating the style guide. The guide consists of 30 pages of guidelines and examples of how to use the logo, typography and overall revised brand. It also features photography from the original Doughnut Vault location. The final guide was printed as an 8" by 8" full color booklet and displays the new Doughnut Vault brand in all its glory.

To see samples of the final brand identity, click here

Paula Scherbet

If you've been in the design world long enough you've probably heard of Paula Scher or at least seen her work. Paula's work has left its mark all over New York City. From Citi Bank to the Public Theatre, her bold designs are around every corner. Paula's creative expression was the inspiration for this project. After exploring her work and learning more about Paula's personality, I decided to honor her with a sweet treat: Scherbet. 

The process of this project began with an exploration of Paula's work and personality. After watching the Netflix original Abstract, which features an episode following Scher's life as a designer, I was able to grasp a better understanding of her. I then turned to the internet to find samples of her designs and articles honoring her work. I used this to develop a concept that was inspired by her life and honestly a perfect play on words. 


The piece that specifically inspired my designs was the Public Theatre's 2016-2017 season graphics, which can be seen above on the far right. The designs feature Paula's famous style of incorporating bold type in fun and unique ways. I used the shapes and the elements of white and color on a black background as the basis for my designs. 


I picked an ice cream container because I thought it could be an interesting exploration of how type and form could interact. The name Scherbet just came naturally as I began to develop the concept. I loved the idea of incorporating Paula's designs but also creating something that I felt reflected her as a designer.


In my final design solution, I wanted to use the starburst shape as the main element, accompanied by the bold typography. I tried to explore how the typography could work in relation to the the graphic elements. I felt that using black as the background was an effective way to allow those elements to stand out. To see the final renderings of Paula Scherbet, click here