Don’t Fear the Billboard

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Challenging your skills. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum there are times when we are presented with a project we could spend hours on and feel like we have gotten nowhere. For me this project was a billboard sign for Most Home. While I had tons of ideas for the for the company my sources were limited. The company was determined to only use a set of 4 pictures. While they weren’t bad images they were bad selections for the campaign they wanted to show.

The company was wanted a campaign to sell their new smart lock. The images they had focused on the technology and the smart lock features. However, the community they are using the billboard in didn’t have a large community of tech lovers. The community valued family and community connection. So as a designer it was very difficult to figure out how to put these two pieces together. How do you use tech images to reach a not so tech community?

I decided trying to effect the emotions would be a great way to sell this product. Since family is what the community valued I wanted to make a campaign that effected that. Choosing a tag line like “is your family safe?” was a good way to do this. I wanted people to question their families safety and have a need for something that would offer a solution to this fear.

To help push the fear factor a tiny bit more I wanted to use an alarming color that contrasted with the blue of images they provide. Which I selected an orange, it’s an eye catching color that causes alarm and contrast well the blue. With the colors and scare line I felt this was a great way to connect or get the attention of the community.

While the community is not as interested in tech, by making the tech something that would be needed to protect something they truly care about. This was a great tactic to get the product marketed but it wasn’t easy getting to it. Sometimes an artist take on project that go against their strongest skills. However the best skill a designer can have is to always keep learning. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take on challenges in your career. You never know what you can achieve until you try!

Never stop Learning!

Tea-rrific Steep Design

Artboard 4-100
Artboard 3-100
Artboard 5-100
mug and pouch
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On the complexly other side of the spectrum, sometimes clients will bring you project that you just click with! As they explain what they want you can’t help flood your mind with ideas. I was presented with the task of designing a logo, symbol,  and pattern for a tea company called Steep.

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Company Overview

Steep is a tea company based in Richmond, Virginia. They pride themselves on providing the highest quality black, green, and herbal teas in the state of Virginia. Using the best ingredients from around the world, Steep has created a variety of unique custom tea blends. Steep is looking to develop a set of subscription boxes that will deliver tea, cookies, and travel mugs to people across the country and around the world.

Company Keywords






After reading the keywords I knew exactly what direction to take this project. I drew inspiration from old Japanese tea traditions and kimono patterns. Kimonos are beautiful works of art. Often depicting mysterious or tranquil stories of the past. Not to mention the well-known Japanese tea rituals that are commonly practiced in japan.

With this knowledge in hand I focuses in on the traditional tea cup most commonly used in japan which I created using the two E’s in the company name.  Referencing Japans love for technology and advancement I picked a font that was both modern but not over powering. It has enough sedulity to allow the cup to be the main focus without making the work completely unreadable.

Once I narrowed down the shape I wanted I turned it into a repeating pattern that replicated the feeling of a kimono pattern. Giving the company a gentle earthly tones of green, brown and tan to help with that natural and calming feeling.

I knew right away what direction I was going with this project. Sometimes your strengths pull your through right away and bring out a wonderful design. With this project the keyword really narrowed in my focus. To me they just screamed Japanese tea traditions! I’m so proud of how this design came out.

Trust your gut.

Cool Breeze Package Design Process

Cool Breeze

Sometimes when it comes to design you have to take a step back and just look around you. For this project, I was given the task of creating a package design for a perfume called cool breeze.

“Cool Breeze is a sexy blend of scents guaranteed to bring out the Cool side in us all. Based around a spicy, wild and primitive scent meant to make the wearer feel capable of conquering the world. This product contains highly concentrated fragrances chosen from the best sources around the world. Please spray responsibly.”

One of my best strengths played a big role in the idea behind this design. For this design, my mind instantly envisioned a cool beach day, soft blues, purples, and tans. As beautiful as I felt that design would be, it was too on the nose. Like what was excepted from the name. I wanted this product to grab attention, literally snapping peoples heads to it. So I took a trip to a local store and stared at the shelf with the perfumes. While I looked over the designs on the shelf I tried to see what was most common or what might be something that was missing. After my small field trip, I took another look at the product description and latched onto a few important descriptive words.

“make the wearer feel capable of conquering the world.” – Confidences

“bring out the Cool side in us all” – Cool

“Cool Breeze, Designer quality fragrances” – Designer

I wanted a design that was confident, reflected the feeling of being cool, and was something to show off and display.

I focused in on a pair of sunglasses. Nothing can make you feel as confident and cool than a brand new pair of sunglasses, especially a designer pair. So to took that feeling and gave it a bright confident color palette. I avoided red because it could be too overpowering. However orange had that bright eye-catching feeling without feeling dangerous. Plus a someone who is confident and cool can rock any color.

I used the pop art design to help filter that cool outlook. Most perfumes are elegant and flowery. So I wanted something that was so cool it almost doesn’t belong.

Taking the time to do the research and think outside the box really helped bring this design together. It was exactly the traits I needed to make this package design amazing.

Don’t be afraid to be different.

Design Study: logo logo study

From time to time its health for a designer to really step back and take a look at what their strengths and weakness are. It’s through learning our strengths and weakness we can judge where we could use some improvement or where we excel and can use our skills to their fullest potential.  A good way to really look at your skills is to really examine your artwork.

Today we are going to examine a piece of artwork I designed for my personal logo. When I was assigned the task of creating a logo that represented me as a designer I found myself struggling with it. Like most artist, I had crafted myself a cleave nickname and avatar to represent myself as an artist in the world.  So naturally, I started with that.

Taking my nickname iRPANDA, I began with some sketches to help get the creative juices flowing. Surprisingly I found this to be really difficult. I tried many different ideas but none of them felt like a good representation of me as a designer.

I settled on 3 different designs, which I converted to vector graphics with illustrator. The first was focused to look like a cute charm. My art style is very modern and cute! So I thought I would use a charm to represent me. While I did love the idea and design, the thought of presenting this to a company as my personal logo made me feel childish. The same could be said for design 2 and 3. For those, I drew inspiration from my love of art with a paintbrush I designed to look like bamboo to reference a panda.

This struggle really frustrated me. Why was it so difficult to design a logo to represent me? Who would know me better than myself? The frustrations became too much and I decided to walk away. I spent two days reflecting on who I was as an artist.

What did I create? How did I create it? How do I want to be described by my clients? How would I describe my artwork?

Why do I create?

Question after question until a thought hit me. I wasn’t irpanda. I had been designing for my created self and not my real self. So I made a list of word that describes me.









With my focus words in hand and the goal of showing who I really was, I went back to my sketchbook. Starting with a simple signature and advancing to adding shapes. Quickly a design popped out to me.

I selected a very modern font for my initials in the logo to reference my love of modern and vector artwork. Keeping them lower case to really reference my playful heart. As well as a stylized j dotted with a heart. Placing a period, in the end, to make a bold statement, that I am who I am. Finally, I added the bold circle around the whole thing, to show I am the complete package. For colors, I selected an elegant gray and a vibrant burnt pink. I wanted the colors to feel professional and fun without feeling so overwhelming in either direction. The gray was a perfect choice for professional without using a solid black. while I want to be professional I tend to have more fun and playful designs that really challenge the norm.

The strengths in this design live in being true to who I really am. I love clean cut vector styled designs and I excel at it.  Focusing in on the style that I am true to really helped me design this to who I really am.

Professional with a twist of fun.

Be true to yourself. Always.

Content Management System


A two-sentence definition of a CMS including its uses and why it is valuable in web design

CMS or a content management system is the core heart of your website that helps manage and maintain your content without needing to be a code writer.


The role plugins and themes will play in your website

Plugins and theme are set templates to help control placements or appearance of your contents on your site. Theme help set a color pallet, font, and layout for your website. While all can be changed and customized it has a set layout where you can basically drop in your content without needing to know to code. This makes building a website quick and easy.

Plugins work similarly. They are little layouts you can use to help customize your website. Such as adding a calendar or map on your website. Plugins have the coding for that and make it easy to use these features.


An overview of your chosen theme and the different ways you might, later on, customize it to make it better represent your own unique design brand (color scheme, page structure, plugins, etc.)

I would like to make several changes to my current theme. I would like my site to have a white, black, charcoal and burnt pink color theme. My style is professional fun. So I want my site to feel clean and professional with bits of fun elements and pops of pink to really give it a bit of playfulness.

For the layout, I want a quick brief view of my portfolio and resume on the front page. I want to make it simple for people to see some of my best work, my skill sets, recent projects and how to contact me without having to click off the home page. Allowing there to be other pages for more detailed information if they are interested and want to know more, but allowing them to see the necessary amount right away.


A citation. At least one link documenting research conducted when creating the post.

Duckett, F. (2017, February 28). What is a CMS and why is it so important? Retrieved from