Visual design samples
After art school, I started my design career in visual design. When trying to find design gigs, most available were in graphical asset creation & desktop publishing. Here’s a sample of different jobs in the visual design space:
The usual path that companies do to try to save costs is go the stock photo/clip art route. This creates very generic collateral & in many cases doesn’t fit the theme or mood of the product. I would propose the creation of custom graphics since I have the tools needed to create (paper/pencil, Photoshop, Illustrator).
These were created from scratch with Photoshop’s mesh tool. I made sure that the icon set was monochromatic to match the scheme of the site, & gradients were utilized in the site’s pattern library, which granted me freedom to use 3D elements.
Similar requests would be made for print. Flyers are generally verbose pages of text, but by editing down text into all the essentials, graphics can be used in place to strengthen the message.
The branding’s color scheme of orange and teal, & in the rounded style to match the branding style guide, which, in turn, matches the icons. The icons were created initially in Illustrator, then dropped into InDesign for layout.
A set of icons for a past client, Biocompare, a biotech website. It’s logo is mainly a light & dark blue, but since the logo utilizes a 3D effect, the icons utilize the same presentation. These were made in Photoshop with vectorized elements & the mesh tool.
Here were a few variations for a branding mark for a food technology-related website that was released a while ago. The mark was to appeal to people in the food preparation industry, so a color scheme was chosen to be subdued & non-playful.
These illustrations were drawn to decorate a business card. Scientists are comfortable with the technical aspects of graphic representation, so I made sure that these silhouettes contain as much detail as possible while being easily recognized as tools of the lab. Images were sourced from the Internet, then were traced in Illustrator to create these vector silhouettes.
A beer startup idea with the scene to be set in a bar & the illustration on a square coaster:
Infographics are an awesome tool as huge visual representations of boring data, transformed into something more captivating & consumable at a glance. The Biocompare team wanted a sales tool to bring new users to the site, as well as to show our existing customers that Biocompare produces unique collateral.
Designing a logo is arduous, requiring many sketches, renditions, coming up with different ideas in various variations. After a quick notepad sketch session, my ideas are digitally translated into Illustrator. I find myself sketching on Illustrator is sometimes faster than sketching on paper.
A few design concepts for the food preparation space:
A logo design to be used primarily for print flyers & t-shirts for a youth group’s track & field team:
Tips for survival
After the years, it became easy to anticipate the needs of stakeholders that I’ve created a toolkit of how to handle visual design tasks that are generally viewed with a subjective lens:
- Get stakeholder buy-in early. Better yet, keep them involved throughout the process. Document all their decisions via email. Refer to them if they start to defy their earlier thoughts, then ask clarifying questions to why their perspective changed.
- Moodboarding. I’ve heard the phrase ‘I’ll know it’s good when I’ll see it’ way too many times in my career. Trying to take shots in the dark & try to guess what the stakeholder wants is not an effective use of everyone’s time, so moodboarding — creating a collage of images, colors, ideas—will help stakeholders visualize what they really want & requires relatively small effort to undertake. This is the only reason I have a Pinterest account!
- Make many low-fidelity sketches first. I understand that most ideas will be trashed. It’s less heartbreaking to throw out a design that’s hastily scribbled versus one that’s polished in Illustrator.
- Better yet, get the stakeholder involved in designing. Set up a kickoff design workshop with them & get their hands dirty. They’ll become empathetic to the process & you won’t have to guess what they want.