Case Studies

 

Client:

Mad Plus One

Mad Plus One was a startup aiming to contract with small businesses, like cafes and restaurants, to design and build a website and app for them.  

Role/responsibilities:

  • Website/graphic designer

Tools:

  • Pencil & paper
  • Adobe Photoshop
 

Objective / Problem Solving:

The only information provided was that the website shouldn’t be “normal” with a header, menu bar, and content boxes all in a column. I was shown several websites that were “different” with mixes of Flash, responsive design, intriguing layouts, etc. I kept asking for more information, like what they hoped to convey with the website. They wanted it to show off the coding expertise of the team and cross-platform functionality on desktop and mobile/tablet. Through our discussions we were able to come up with a great, technically advanced concept. The idea was shaped around a cube with different navigation functionality (tied to scroll or pinch-zooming) highlighted on each side of the cube. One face of the cube would be the home page, another side would be for news, etc.

Results:

As I mocked up samples and in discussions the team got excited about the website and it was agreed that the design would portray the company as hoped. However the startup drastically changed direction, soon changing their name. As a result, the concept was never fully coded and there was never a working version.

What I learned:

I learned how to discuss a project with a client to better capture what they’re looking or aiming for instead of what they like the look of. I also learned not to work for free.

 

Client:

Blu Koi Brewing

This is a speculative advertising project for a fictitious brewing company.

Role/responsibilities:

  • Designer/illustrator
  • Photographer
  • Retoucher
  • Copywriter
  • Researcher

Tools:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Canon 7D
 

Objective / Problem Solving:

I wanted to show potential clients that I understand their advertising needs. Besides that, I wanted to show that I’m capable of handling different aspects of a number of projects, from photography to layout as well as design, typography, and even copywriting. I concluded that a craft brewer would want to portray their brand in a few different ways: via high ratings/eloquent descriptions of their beer, as a high end commodity, or as a thoughtfully/well crafted product. I chose the last choice as it felt like the best way to convey what a small, local craft brewery would want to show themselves as. I had to design a label, affix it to a bottle, then take photos. Then I had to find proper, usable stock photos to use for backgrounds and other elements as well as retouch all photos and lay them out.

Results:

I was excited to work on this, and I think it shows. Despite being a speculative project I was inspired by the idea and ended up making an entire campaign around it.

What I learned:

I learned the importance of stopping, thinking, and conceptualizing instead of designing off the cuff. This also drove home the importance of being excited to design.

 
 
 

Client:

Over Easy

This is a branding project for an as-yet-unnamed restaurant/brewery in the early stages of production with family.

Role/responsibilities:

  • Everything

Tools:

  • Pencil & paper
  • Adobe Illustrator
 

Objective / Problem Solving:

Due to the nature of the project it is ever-evolving and the design process itself is one of discovery and introspection. Because the company is still unnamed the entire brand identity is fluid. Branding a company with no basis of identity is difficult. Without knowing exactly what direction the company will go in the brand identity ideally would be usable in multiple directions. This is the most in-depth project I’ve ever worked on and the branding itself may very possibly affect the direction of the company. The logo/typography doesn’t necessarily have to reflect the line of business but must be memorable. It should be identifiable and readable in large formats like storefront signs and t-shirts as well as small formats like product labels, merchandise, and on social media.

Results:

This project is ongoing and doesn’t have a result yet. It’s constantly changing and is a fantastic opportunity for experimentation.

What I learned:

Don’t be scared to try. Don’t be scared to start over. Be ready for the needs of a project to change.