Detroit Connections Map

As part of my hunt for a job in Detroit I worked with my class on nonprofits at Michigan State University to create a map of Detroit connections I had and ones I wanted to make. Through personal connections, emails, social media, and introductions with my professors I was able to meet or interview 10 different individuals involved in different avenues of Detroit communications. I interviewed Richard Feldman with the Boggs Center and Adriel Thornton with Allied Media Projects during the 2012 Detroit Design Festival. I interviewed via email Joel Heeres, Deborah Schumack, and Catherine Jun. I personally knew Issac Miller, Sam Molnar, Ben Alfaro, and Carlos Garcia from previous work and friendships. I was introduced to Joshua Breitbart through my interview with Adriel Thornton and was able to speak with him while he worked in Washington D.C. on behalf of digital initiatives here in Detroit.

Detroit-Connections-Map

Detroit Thought Leader Map

Each interview and meeting created a new branch on my connection tree in the city. I knew I had leads with many different organizations but it took an assignment for me to design the map. Each placement is intentional as are the color ways. For example Carlos Garcia is a secondary connection I was able to make, reaching out to my former friend, who at the time was living Downtown.

I was able to use my newly developed skills in Photoshop and Illustrator to create this map based off of an old transit map. This project wonderfully put together my interests in music, nonprofits, Detroit, communications, and design.

 

 

Michigan Energy Options Newsletter

During my internship for Michigan Energy Options the communications team was tasked in creating the quarterly newsletter.  The organization had previously sent out one other E-Newsletter and had created an account with MailChimp.  Being unfamiliar with the program I immersed myself in the forums and learned just how tough it can be to work with newsletter clients.  In the previous newsletter they had had issues with delivery and content.  That is to say they had written articles and delivered it exculsively in email format and for my opinion I do not read full articles in my email, let alone 5-6 articles.

Therefore I came up with a plan proposal for Executive Director John Kinch and the rest of the communications team to reinvent how we send the newsletter.  I offered up to create a new template in MailChimp which would give snippets of information and then link over to a PDF full text document.  Initially it was rejected but after convincing them that users don’t read past the first two articles with some impromptu user testing I was allowed to continue.  With that I did just what the plan prescribed.  I took the content we had after it was finally edited down and built out a full PDF with relevant images, formatting, and newsletter look and feel in adobe Acrobat.  I then took those articles and edited them down for the email version that would be sent out to people on our list serve. You can click the image for a full sized version.  I redesigned how layout of the article by putting the “call-to-action” buttons along the top of content and then used images and a slightly altered color scheme to have a “Read More” button that would then direct users to that article’s page in the PDF hosted on the Michigan Energy Options site.

View Full PDF 

 

 

 

Sparty Application

Michigan State is very privileged to have one of the most recognizable mascots in the nation, Sparty.  What most people may or may not know is that there is always a student buried under that muscly Grecian warrior costume and each year there is a call out for students to apply for the position.  Generally, student affairs sends a pretty poor looking application so for a project in my visual design course I redesigned the application.  There are numerous important factors when it comes to who should become Sparty, specifically that they are within a specific weight and height range and have excellent grades.  When I designed the document I used Adobe Acrobat so that this PDF could be sent out, filled out digitally in a web browser and returned to allow for data collection for the application process.  With proper back-end database coding it would be able to filter those people that would not match the requirements and then allow for only appropriate applicants to end up in the proper mailbox.  The PDF is available below.

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The Ave Communications Strategy

The Ave

One of the most rewarding and research projects I have worked on was a comprehensive communications strategy for The Ave community project. The Ave is the brain child of professors John Monberg, Vincent Delgado, and designers at Red Head Design Studio.  Meant to do many things this project had three main audiences and purposes.

  1. Create a vibrant community between students at Michigan State and the corridor of Michigan Avenue
  2. Connect the artists of the greater Lansing area
  3. Be a major linchpin for the businesses of Michigan Avenue and build viral marketing

The Ave

This project was worked on by a fantastic and talented team consisting of Rebecca Zantjer, Jamison Sheppard, Emily Dixon,Laura Allen, and myself.  Using multiple methods of research we worked for two months straight on developing out this communications strategy.  Starting with ethnographic research and stakeholder interviews we were able to get a feel for the organization and where the stakeholders mentioned above wanted the project to move towards.  Taking this into consideration we developed a strategy that used the already existing goals but focused on creating personas, place-making, and network building.  The entire project culminated in the document you can view below and is one of the most comprehensive projects I have had the privilege of working with.

Alphabet Aerobics Poster

During my course based in visual rhetoric were were tasked to create a document that epitomized a song, poem, or phrase.  At the time I was going through some of my old hip hop and Blackalicious is one of my favorite groups so I knew immediately what I wanted to do.  The caveat to the assignment was that were only allowed to use Microsoft Word to create the document.  If any of you have worked in MS Word for document design I think it’s safe to say you just don’t do it.  With the background coding MS does to documents and test along with the wacky constraints they put on the user, this assignment was not as easy as I first thought.  Thankfully I was able to work through the struggles to have something that made sense.  After turning it in I was told that my work was exemplarily and that I should re-examine it with a different software program.

That is precisely what I did, and took the initial idea and reiterated it into poster form using Adobe inDesign.  This poster is available for print from the link below.

Download PDF 

Beer Poster

Full version of the beer poster

During the fall of 2011 I was enrolled in a course on visual rhetoric.  For this class we were taksed to create a poster related to something we felt we could claim expertise.  For this my group decided upon making a beer poster detailing our favorite types of brews.

Click image for full size poster

Full version of the beer poster