{KONY 2012}

{KONY 2012}




It was a few weeks ago that some classmates and I had to write a paper for school on manifestos and calls to action by graphic designers. Myself specifically focused on topics like, social entrepreneurship, cause marketing, not for profit vs for profit initiatives, design movements, programs and ways designers are “doing good, not just doing good design.”


Although the basis for my research was focused on the design community, what I was writing about went beyond graphic designers.  I came across so many amazing stories about ordinary people stepping up and making positive changes to their communities, touching on issues locally, internationally and globally. It was really inspiring.


I guess this is part of the reason I have become so interested in the latest, KONY 2012 campaign and the controversy and criticism that has grown from it. I, like the millions who watched the video were struck with emotion. It was a powerfully made film that for 30 minutes, made me stop, listen and think a little deeper about a really big issue. It grabbed my full attention. And for that reason, in my opinion, it did its job.


Immediately after watching the video, I fell in love with the campaign, like so many of you also did. I shared and praised the video through facebook and to my friends at work and my family. I can say my love has not faded for Invisible Children and the campaign but I also have taken the time to listen to the other sides of the story, the critics and the skeptics.


There seems to be a reoccurring opinion about the video as “over simplifying” the problem and instead of encouraging education on the topic, encouraging blind, uneducated followers. But hasn’t Invisible Children made it clear through putting the effort into speaking to kids in public high schools, providing transparency and further information about the issue on their website and showing us previous footage of their first hand experiences in Uganda, that they are trying to educate us on the problem they are fighting so hard for? I’m not saying there aren’t “blind followers” and “band wagoners” out there, I think thats inevitable, but it’s just unfortunate that these negatives are starting to over shadow the positives. Or at least I ‘m seeing that they are. How else does one effectively bring forth a largely complicated issue to an audience of millions of people  without making it some what comprehendible and relatable for them?


So why should I be embarrassed about buying a KONY 2012 action kit? Why does that make me stupid and naive. If the only ways I can help at this moment in my life are to donate some money and write this blog post than does that make me a “bang wagoner”?. Because in my heart, the the KONY campaign is legit and the founders of Invisible Children are completely genuine. Why would they have spent so many years of their life fighting this battle if they weren’t?


If there are so many people believing that this campaign is a waste of time, is not educating, is not effective and will never work, than I would like one of those people to show us what will. And not just tell us vaguely, but take action and show us. There are far too few people in this world that have the courage and belief in something enough to do that. So for these three guys who do, and for there to be such doubt and hopelessness surrounding them is sad. For me the campaign reflects a truly honest, passionate and genuine effort from 3 very brave people looking to solve a huge problem.


KONY 2012 isn’t a selfish campaign. It is not ignorant to the fact that there are other world issues out there of similar scale, that there are others suffering because of similar criminals and that there are things that need to be done to address issues in our own communities. This campaign is simply a result of hardwork, dedication and true belief in a cause. And that is what I support.

This was one of the first videos I saw about Invisible Children and “Anonymous Extraordinaries”. A great example of the kind of people Invisible Children have on their side. Young, energetic and passionate ones who ARE educated. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrhyA_XAsro



{Major Project- Post 4}

{Major Project -Post 4}

Moving forward with our major projects:  last week we got feedback on our progress and image development. My presentation was mainly focused on the brand identity of my chocolate cafe (ei. the logo) and making final decisions on a name. Naming this cafe has probably been one of the biggest challenges. Since I am adding a literary twist to my concept, I want the name to reflect both chocolate and literature in a subtle and clever way, something that is short and sweet and that not only looks good but sounds good to say.


I had narrowed it down to 3 top name choices:

ODE- a lyrical poem written to praise something or someone

MOUSA/MUSE – A source of creative inspiration

LA ROUCH – the name of a 1920’s hostel Paris where artists, musicians and writers would gather and create. Its literal meaning is “Beehive”


I liked all three these choices and therefore really needed class feedback on which one would work best for my concept. Here is some of my process for the creation of a logo.


{ artistic approach }


{ Traditional/sophisticated approach }


{ Packaging ideas }


{ Menu Ideas }



After presenting, the name I have chosen to go with is MOUSA. It looks good ( kinda like chocolate mouse) and sounds good to say 🙂 as well as alligns with my concept in its meaning, which was important.

As for the logo, I am working with MOUSA in block, capitals with a subtle drop shadow and placed in a circle (far left in the 2nd image) I like the way the letters have a chocolate bar feel to them, and the look combines traditional and modern while being versatile to use in a number of print applications.

That is all for now, more to come next week.

{Spread the love project}

{Spread the love project}


This was a Valentines day craft we did. What better way to celebrate good ol’ vday than with paint, bailey’s & coffees and a classic chick flick, right?


Here’s what we did: Painted rocks with brightly colored hearts and love notes and placed them throughout Steveston for people to find. Such an easy and simple thing to do to make someone’s day a little more lovely..    enjoy ❤










{ This one was gone in 30 minutes ! }

{Vintage Library Posters}

{Vintage Library Posters}


While going about my research and brainstorming for my Major Project this semester (branding a very awesome chocolate cafe/bookstores/library) I came across much needed inspiration in the form of vintage library posters. I Love the colors, the simple graphics and pretty hilarious messaging that was used to encourage people to read.. I am also really loving the old school library cards I stumbled upon and the the idea of incorporating a wall of floor to ceiling bookshelves because who doesn’t think that’s awesome?

Overall, stoked about my finds today..









Source:  http://koralimba.blogspot.com/2011/05/vintage-library-posters.html





{Major Project- Post 3}

{Major Project- Post 3}


Last week, we presented our initial ideas and research in class to hopefully gain some needed feedback moving forward. The biggest thing I received from the class was to narrow my target audience to better focus my concept. When writing the target audience in my creative briefs I tend to forget about the “target” part…..EVERYONE is welcome! Kinda defeats the point..so I hope to re-visit my brief to fix this issue. My thoughts are that my Primary Audience looks a little like this:


> 25-40 females (60%) males (40%)

> young working professionals in creative industries (writers, designers, artists)

> book lovers and chocolate addicts

> mature & sophisticated yet casual & relaxed


Heres A little mood board…


{Other Inspirations}


The Mast Brothers

Located in Brooklyn, New York, these two guys produce amazing chocolate. They have a close relationship with the cocoa farms in The Dominican Republic where they source their chocolate and are committed to quality and ethical practice with everything they do and who they are. I am inspired by their handcrafted, authentic vibes and their packaging is to die for. From the looks of the website, their target audience aligns with mine of young professionals, creative individuals, intellects and of course chocolate lovers. Wandering their website I discovered they also feature live music nights and even host events abroad like “Chocolate Week in Belize”. Their old school inspired chocolate factory mixed with modern packaging and contemporary and ethical attitude makes the Mast Brothers successful in the industry.  www.mastbrothers.com


McNally Jackson Books & Cafe

An independent bookstore and cafe in New York city that aims to be at the centre of Manhattans literary culture. They are successful in gathering young and old for good reads and good coffee because in their words, “what, after all, is reading without coffee?”. The space holds live speaker events, readings and book signings and have established their place in the the big apple. The audience of customers they attract range from university students to middle age parents and older retired folks, and therefore are a good example of a business that is versatile and welcoming. mcnallyjackson.com


The Library Bar (in Toronto and LA)

Just came across these two today, and thought it was pretty awesome. The Library Bar in downtown Los Angeles is well… you guessed it, A library themed bar that with its subtle lighting and traditional leather seating, “creates the look and feel of a well appointed private study”. I was inspired by this concept, because the space seems to lend itself well to both afternoon and late night crowds. I would assume that their target audience is mature, creative individuals and intellects who are looking for a casual place to enjoy a few cocktails and appys with friends. I also read about a Library Bar, located in Royal Park, Toronto. This space sounds similar to the one in LA where the “literary den” theme is reflected in their cocktails, food menu and decor and target audience includes nerdy-cool intellectuals and business professionals alike. Toronto’s Library Bar does look slightly “fancier”, taking you back to a victorian/old english era where upperclass folks meet for martinis and smoke cigars. Either way, these were great finds.



Major Project {Post 2}

Major Project  {Post 2}


Part A:

What are the biggest challenges you face with your proposed project?


The biggest challenge I face when it comes to my proposed project idea is the amount of competition I face going into the industry. There are already plenty of established chocolate shops and cafes in and around the city that provide a similar product and service as I am proposing so it will be important for me to find a niche.


On the upside, when it comes to a dessert cafe/lounges I have researched thus far, there are few that serve alcohol and are open later hours, which are two major selling points I plan on emphasizing. I hope to differentiate myself and over come this challenge through product specialization (chocolate only! mmm..) as well as venue versatility and community involvement (events, workshops etc.)


Part B:

List at least 5 issues you will need to research or problems you will need to solve in order to develop this project.


1. Brand Differentiation

How do I make my brand look and feel unique from all the other chocolatiers out there?


2. Product Knowledge: (organic/fair trade)

Where will we source our product? How would we ensure what we are selling isn’t harmful to the environment?


3. Target Audiences

How will we make our store/resturaunt space cater to both a day and evening group of consumers? How do we best transition and be successful at both?


4. Location

Where would be the most ideal location for our retail space?


5. Community Events + Chocolate & Art Culture

What other independent restaurants/cafes hold events, shows, gallery openings, tastings and workshops? Are they successful? Would this idea even work? Is there a strong enough audience/culture?





Major Project {Post 1}

{Post 1} Concept Consideration…


Major Project 2. Holy Crap this is scary..last semester of school life. forever.


Well it’s week one and things are already getting started fast. And fair enough, because we only have under 5 months to pull off a lot of things. This major project will be a huge and hopefully impactful piece in my portolio so I am excited to get a solid concept underway. Here are my Initial 3 Ideas:


1. Chocolate Boutique Cafe


This idea gets me stoked first and foremost because of my born love for chocolate. But beyond that I feel like doing something like will showcase a wide range of my skills and allow for awesome and unique deliverables {Packaging, Signage, Menu, Enviromental Design }. Other than producing and selling delicious and indulgent chocolate desserts, the Cafe would feature coffee and “spiked drinks” as well as possibly wine pairings and other fun adult cocktails with a chocolate twist. (think: chocolate martini..) I am inspired by places like Sweet Revenge, Mink, Thierry Patisserie & The Mast Brothers (for their packaging and quality products).


left: Mast Brothers Chocolatiers, right: MINK chocolates


2. Branding a Sports Team


This idea isn’t as flushed out as the first but still has the potential to be a great portfolio project with a wide scope. Totally different from anything I’ve done and a little bit out of my comfort zone branding a sports team could be a solid challenge with a large pay off. The sport I would choose would be a less popular one, maybe even a little weird? Curling, Bowling, Roller Durby races, Ski & Snowboard Team perhaps? Targeting more of an underground, niche audience of fans/viewers/players that don’t get the recognition of major league teams yet still travel nationally and internationally and are still competitive. Deliverables could includes: Jerseys, schedule, website, tour bus, environmental design, swap, concession items etc..




3. “One For One”


This Idea is inspired by the widely known brand, TOMS shoes. I am IN LOVE with this shoe company and even more in love with the “One for One” concept behind the brand. Owner, Blake Mycoskie is encouraging business’ to follow in his footsteps by applying a similar business plan to other concepts and the response has been pretty impressive. Backpack company Ark Collective gives away backpacks to kids who can’t afford them, Warby Parker sells high quality eyewear and gives people in third worlds the miracle of sight and Freshwaters footwear ensures people in Africa have access to fresh water. For my project I would develop a line of school supplies and art supplies that supports kids in developing countries efforts to learn, create and grow in school. Through the sales of these products, kids would be supplied with the materials to receive the best education possible. I am very passionate about the “One for One” business model set by TOMS and feel like my desire to make a different in others lives through business and design would make this a sucessful project. Possible deilverables would include: brand Identity, Advertising, Packaging, Website, Events etc..


top right: FreshWaters shoes, top left: TOMS shoes, lower middle: Warby Parker eyewear


After much consideration of these three top ideas I have chosen to go forth with the branding and marketing communications for a Chocolate Cafe/lounge. I believe this project will best showcase my diverse skill-set both in graphic design and conceptual thinking & space planning and will fit well in my portfolio to align with prospective employers.


Time to get moving.

Mood Boards and visuals to come.





{A New Year In Doodles}

{A New Year In Doodles}

Happy New Year All!!  2012 is upon us, and I don’t know about you, but so far so good..

I’m not a big New Years person really, I tend to find the big countdown rather overdone and less than exciting, BUT I am one of those nerds who makes New Years goals..or resolutions, Whateverrr. Although they are never really official, usually some skribbled list on a random scrap of paper, or mere thoughts in my brain, I still enjoy the fresh start that January 1st brings and that chance to make changes, add and subtract things in your life and plan for some new excitement.

This year in particular I decided to Doodle my resolutions.

I doodled the things that I would like MORE and LESS in my life for 2012.  It was clarifying, it was liberating. It felt damn good. And I bet a lot of people probably have similar aspirations for more’s and less’ like these in their lives.. so just doodle it.





A Country Wedding

{A Country Wedding}

This past weekend I was lucky enough to be apart of a close friend’s wedding that was a held just a short trek over the border in Washington..Stanwood Washington to be exact. Never heard of it? Probably because it’s one of the smallest towns ever. Like, a total of 2 bars, a Texaco, and an IGA. Non the less, Stanwood surprised us all, and turned out to be the  perfect setting for a small country gathering and one freakin’ CUTE wedding. Who knew?

Anyways, after a little convincing I agreed to take on the role of “photographer” along with another family friend. Definitely an intimidating task. But for being an absolute new-bee at this photography thing, I managed to capture some great moments and a little bit of rustic charm. So here are a few of my faves..

for info on the venue check out  Tazzer Valley Farm