Branding and design

Throughout my time at SFU, I was frequently involved with coordinating events and creating digital material for various causes. Read more about these activities here and take a look at some of the creative media I’ve played a role in designing.

CONDUITS Annual Graduate Student Conference

Each year, one or two students step up to organize the graduate student conference, which usually takes place in May. Late into January 2022, though, we still didn’t have anyone; nobody was really sure if it would happen this year. We were still adjusting to the return to in-person activities and our winter semester had begun virtually thanks to another wave of the pandemic.

And then Mark Dunn, a fellow MA student, decided to take the lead and recruited a team of students to help out. And he didn’t just want to lead the conference: he wanted to transform it. It had been cancelled in 2020 and had been online in 2021, and Mark felt that giving it a proper name and putting more effort into raising awareness and soliciting submissions would pay off. Mark was right. We named it CONDUITS, a term that suggested connection and conversation, and built a website that could be used for future years. We chose font pairings, colour schemes, and even made stickers just for fun. We decided that our theme, which changes each year, would be Contested Freedoms. This seemed relevant given the protests about pandemic restrictions that were going on during the winter, often motivated by conflicting ideals of freedom and liberty. We circulated our call for papers to virtually every program we could think of that might have anything to do with our theme.

Despite starting late, we pulled it off. The conference brought people from the United States and from Eastern Canada for a day of thought-provoking presentations and stimulating discussions. It was a great way to end my time in the program and I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the organizing committee – and to have gotten a chance to present!

On the team, I worked with the graphic design sub-committee to help design our materials, including this program and our website at conduits.ca.

Intellectual Currents: An event series

In previous years, the School of Communication hosted a semi-regular ‘brown bag lunch’ series for students and faculty to chat about their work. As pandemic restrictions lifted in the fall of 2021, I took the lead on re-starting and rebranding this program, naming it Intellectual Currents to reflect the aim of providing an informal, supportive space for scholars to reflect on ongoing work and get constructive feedback that would help them develop their ideas.

We had a relatively small digital footprint as the series was designed to be tailored to graduate students and faculty in the School, and used emails, limited-circulation newsletters, flyers, and word of mouth to communicate. The program was a success, bringing our colleagues together and becoming a hub for generative conversations that started during question periods and extended into social hours, hallway chats, and email threads. The series will be passed down and a new graduate student, along with the help of our faculty liaison, will run it next year.

Contract Worker Justice logo update

Currently, food service and cleaning staff at Simon Fraser University are contracted out, meaning they don’t get many of the benefits that come with direct employment like healthcare and higher wages. I was part of the campaign to bring them in-house, and in this role I created and maintained a relatively simple website and updated the logo for the group. I formatted the information collected by researchers so that it could be housed on the site, making it easy to refer people to media coverage of the campaign. For the logo, I preserved the original colours to ensure continuity with the previous logo but adjusted the saturation to make it a bit more modern. I also changed the shape so that the new logo would look more natural on a white background. Lastly, I changed the font to make it a bit cleaner, but still kept the same general style (a casual, sans serif) as the old one.

The original logo.
The updated logo.

Slide samples

Anyone who has been in grad school can attest to the importance of slide decks – for presentations in class and at conferences, as well as instructional presentations for students if you work as a teaching assistant, like I did. Here are a few samples of my slide designs for a variety of presentations.