Mentor Project: phase 5

This week has been a crazy one for me. Since I am leaving early this semester to get some well-deserved r&r in Hawaii, I had to finish and present all my projects a week early. Luckily, I’m part robot and can work for an inhuman amount of hours, so I managed just fine. However, I am looking forward to that nap on the plane!

Before going to Rethink, I presented my final project to some of my classmates and Judy to get some of their critiques before presenting to my mentor. Everyone had some really great feedback and I’m excited about some of the suggestions they came up with. I was also super happy that they caught some of my typos that I made while on autopilot writing up my presentation at 2am (zzzzz…).  I quickly fixed those up before heading out to Rethink, and also had enough time to quickly fix up a few things on my website mockup before I left as well. One of the overall suggestions in class was that the food menu on my website didn’t quite fit and they wanted to see some of the illustrations carried over. I quickly made this adjustment before I left.

For my final mentor session, I asked Sheldon to book a meeting room so I could show him a proper presentation of all the work to date. I invited Charmaine to come watch as well since we’ve been working beside each other for the past several weeks, and she’s been a great person to bounce ideas off of for this entire project. On that note, I just want to say how it’s been a wonderful experience having one of my classmates with me during this process. It was cool to get to listen in on some of her feedback sessions with Eric as well. I feel like we really lucked out in both being chosen to mentor at Rethink and the experience has been so incredibly inspiring.

So our presentation was quite casual. Funny thing that I didn’t mention before was that Sheldon and I are actually close in age, so we bonded quite well. Sometimes it was hard not to get off topic with the project. However, overall I still really wanted to show him that I was taking it seriously and that his time was valued. As we went along, Sheldon gave me feedback on my presentation which I found quite useful. I really liked one of his critiques that I think would be useful for other logo projects as well. Before presenting the logo, I chose to write a little paragraph to build up to it. Sheldon liked this but suggested that I also write a follow-up rationale afterward, that way I can really sell the idea and get into specifics about the logo direction. Brillant! Some of his other feedback had to do with the other brand elements. Overall, he thought I needed to create more of a system with my type on my website/menu. He also was unsure about the illustrations being featured on the food menu of the website (opposite to what the class said, doh!). After discussing it with him, I think it will actually work better to exclude them. However, there are some other refinements to the website that I will need to make in order for it to all look cohesive. At the end of our session, I ask Sheldon if it was alright if I contacted him before submitting my project for the scholarship. He said, “of course!”

I’m really excited for where this project is heading and to get more feedback from him later is really going to better my chances of getting this scholarship. I’d really like to win some awards before I graduate, so I’m anticipating applying for EVERYTHING this year. I gave Sheldon a bottle of wine to thank him for all his time. I’m going to miss working with him, but I’ll be looking forward to speaking with him again soon.

By the way, what a great project idea. I feel so lucky to be in a program that organizes things like this.


Here are few images of my final project:

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Overall, I think I deserve an A on this project. Overall, I kept myself very well organized and managed to show my mentor a lot of process work. I didn’t really have many challenges that weren’t common to the creative process. I think the hardest part was just creating a consistent visual language for the brand and then mockup it up in a nice way. I’m happy with the end result and look forward to working with the feedback I received.


Mentor Project: phase 4

This week, I showed Sheldon some more exploration for The Harvest Room logo. We had also talked through email earlier in the week, so I had done a few mockups on the computer as well. With this logo, I really wanted to hone in on the idea of connecting and sharing,  I tried sketching out different ways of combining the letters H & R. It was super funny how impressed Sheldon was with these. He thought they were trippy and he loved how it played with your mind a bit. Since I still wanted that raw, organic look. I also tried cutting shapes out of paper to see how I could make it work. This lead me to the idea of the logo being able to be dissected and scattered throughout all the brand collateral. I tried different ways that I could use the logo design as a pattern, but the best way seemed to be by overlaying the shapes on illustrations of fruits and vegetables. By using pieces of the logo and matching them with the food, it told the story of all the connections The Harvest Room has made with different farms and also how food brings us all together. Also, it looked quite beautiful which was a bonus!

I had a lot of work to do on refining the logo, and I also had to start thinking about the other two brand elements I would need to include in this project as per the scholarship brief. As I said before in my previous post, I knew I wanted to create a website and also decided I wanted to design a menu. For this, I would need to create content, so when I got home, I had fun writing up a pretend menu that actually ended up sounding quite delicious! I should open a restaurant.

Here are some pictures of my logo/pattern exploration (try to ignore the random notes for my other project. One day I’ll learn how to organize my sketchbooks better! haha) :


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Mentor Project: phase 3

This week I had a bunch of logo sketches to review with Sheldon. Though I had 4 pages of sketches, I was still worried that he would want to see more. Luckily, I was wrong about that, he was actually quite shocked and impressed at how much I had done.

When sketching logos I like to create a mind map first to help me when I get stuck. It often pushes me in new directions which I find very useful. There are some great sites online as well that help me mind map which is even better than just looking up synonyms. Just google word association generator and there are lots!

After reviewing some of my initial sketches that mostly reflected the idea of farm-to-table, Sheldon wanted me to explore my brand essence a bit more. My brand essence for The Harvest Room is: “Good Food Is Better Shared”, so I tried exploring further down the route of sharing/connecting/coming together.  I made another small mind map to help me along as well. After a couple hours, Sheldon came back to see how I was doing. After reviewing my sketches again he was intrigued by one that I thought looked quite corporate at first. However, we talked about the different ways that it could be used and how it could actually tell a nice story about The Harvest Room. We were both pretty excited about the idea, so we agreed that I would flush it out a bit more for next week. Stay tuned to see where I decided to go with it!

Here are some of my initial sketches and mind mapping:




Mentor Project: phase 2

This week, I met with Sheldon at Rethink to go over the brief I had written and competitive/inspiration mood boards for The Harvest Room. Charmaine is also mentoring with a Rethink senior designer, so she was there also speaking with Eric (her mentor). Since Sheldon and Eric are both very busy, the 4 of us had arranged for Charmaine and me to come on Thursday afternoons to work on our projects, that way Sheldon and Eric could come and go as they are available.

Before going to Rethink that afternoon, I had met with Judy to review my brief and get feedback before meeting with my mentor. She had some great suggestions to make my brief better. After Sheldon had reviewed my brief, I also told him about these suggestions and he agreed that was what my brief needed. He really enjoyed that I did both local and international competitive moodboards. He thought this gave a great way to grab inspiration from other places. Since my branding class with Gae, I feel that I’ve really upped my moodboarding game.

For the remainder of the afternoon, I worked on my brief at what they called “the patio” which was basically a bunch of picnic tables in the middle of the office. It would also be Charmaine and my office on Thursdays for the next several weeks. I find it motivational just being in the Rethink office. There’s just something in the air there that makes you focus, even with all the dogs running around. Once my brief was approved by Sheldon, I began working on logo sketches. Sheldon suggested for me to think about how the logo could be used while working on my sketches. He said it’s always better if the logo could do more than just be a logo. How can you tell a story about the business? How can you use it in more interesting ways, like in a stunt?

Here are some of those mood boards I was talking about:

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Mentor Project: phase 1

My Mentor for this project is Sheldon Rennie at Rethink. Rethink is a multi-award winning design agency in downtown Vancouver. Sheldon is one of their senior designers who specializes in digital, print, and identity. In his spare time, he likes to eat peanut butter and peanut butter flavored foods.

Our first session was fairly brief. I brought in some ideas of directions I would like to go for this project and areas of focus I thought could better my portfolio.  I was already thinking that I wanted to do a branding project that incorporates a web element. We both agreed that doing the George Haroutiun scholarship brief would be a good route since I could tackle two birds with one stone.  This brief was to create an identity for a fictitious restaurant called The Harvest Room. I thought it would be really fun to brand a restaurant as well, so all signs were pointing to yes in this case.

After we had made a decision, Sheldon showed me one of Rethink’s briefs and gave me some pointers on writing mine. One of the major ones was thinking of,  “what are you trying to say in one sentence?”

We finished off our session by looking at my online portfolio. I usually try to utilize any moment that I can to do a portfolio review, so this seemed like the perfect time. Sheldon was pretty positive overall and had some great pointers for me to make it better.


I don’t have any process work to show at this point, so here are some photos of Rethink’s incredible office with lego wall and all.




Editorial Design: Magazine Spread

This was a great revisit to editorial design. It gave us the opportunity to either have a redo on the project we completed last year or start fresh. We were asked to design a magazine feature article in 2-3 spreads that would catch the eye of our target audience. I decided to start fresh on an article with a vastly different mood than my article last year to try and better my ability to be versatile.

Here is the final result:

Gangsters On England’s Doorstep

Gangsters on England’s Doorstep is about criminal gangs controlling the migrant workers of East Anglia, and forcing them into debt so they will commit crimes in order to pay it off.


Since this story is quite dark and menacing, I decided to mirror that feeling in the aesthetics. The opening spread illustration of the bp petrol station shows two migrants standing outside the station while a blacked out Mercedes is pulling up beside them. A tall dark shadow of a man towers over the scene as a second entity.  This scene is in reference to the beginning of the end for these workers. The gangsters would scout migrants here and their process of manipulation would begin. The overhanging shadow of a man is of a gangster hanging over the migrants like a dark cloud they can’t escape from. The silhouettes of the gangsters have been echoed on the second spread again as an all-encompassing entity that they are stuck in.

Pullquotes/sidebar content:

Since this article is a long read, I wanted to keep the viewer’s interest but placing engaging pull-quotes and a sidebar. The sidebar content doesn’t tear the reader out of the story but is different enough to be interesting in its own way.

Overall, I would give myself a 9/10. I think my opening spread illustration, font choice, and choice of pull quotes and sidebar provoke an emotional connection and would entice the audience to read the story.  If I were to do this over again, I would probably try to break up the story even more with illustrations and headers and have the story carry over on to another spread or two.

Editorial Design: Publication Survey

For part one of our editorial design project, we were asked to complete a survey of a couple publications and present our findings to the class. I found this to be very valuable, not only during my own exploration but listening to my other classmate’s findings. Since we’re often encouraged to think outside the box, it was interesting to discuss what works and doesn’t work within a publication, seeing that most are fairly structured.


I’m giving our group a 9/10. I think we effectively analyzed the two publications and showed clear references to their unique qualities and how they are appropriate for their target market. I would have liked to give more personal opinions about what we found ineffective, and how they could do better.