Valerie Damen
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2015 Dean's Farewell Tour

Client: Office of the Dean, Faculty of Education, U of A
Services Provided: Graphic Design, Illustration, Art Direction, Print Media

 

Once I landed on a strong conceptual direction, I fleshed out my ideas into a series of tangible sketches — warping and shaping handcrafted typography into the form of a butterfly.

 

2015 Dean's Farewell Tour

Client: Office of the Dean, Faculty of Education, U of A
Services Provided: Graphic Design, Illustration, Art Direction, Print Media

Overview

In 2015 Fern Snart stepped down as Dean of Education for the U of A's Faculty of Education. I was approached by the Office of the Dean to collaborate with the Communications Manager and develop a conceptual direction for the 60's themed Farewell Tour. 

Challenges

I faced two main challenges during the production of this project:

1. Developing campaign visuals that resonated both with a younger and older audience.

2. Maintaining a balance between a 60's aesthetic and the U of A's corporate identity.

Solution

Before I began brainstorming and sketching, I sat down with the Communications Manager and thoroughly discussed the parameters of the project. During that initial meeting, I was made aware that the Farewell Tour was being themed around the Beatles song, Hello, Goodbye, and that the conceptual direction was entirely in my hands — the only stipulation I had was that the visuals undergo optimistic and positive imagery and steer clear of emotional or sad visuals (Fern wanted her transition to being celebrated instead of grieved as a loss).

With full creativity at my fingertips, I ran back to my computer and began researching and studying 60's design. It was during this research exploration that I made the decision to stylize the campaign using a psychedelic, typographic approach. I thought "this form of artistic treatment would be both visually appealing to any age demographic and also would be celebratory in nature." With a concrete stylistic approach in mind, I then began mind mapping keywords that strongly symbolized transition and growth. I highlighted my top three ideas and landed on: Butterflies as the winning theme. 

Once I felt I had a strong conceptual and stylistic direction to lead the project in, I began fleshing out my ideas into a series of tangible sketches — warping and shaping handcrafted typography into the form of a butterfly. Before I began bringing the artwork to life on the computer, however, I sent a refined sketch of the psychedelic butterfly to the Communications Manager, where they immediately approved the direction.

I imported my sketch into a transparent template layer and began digitally constructing the typography onto another layer in Illustrator. I applied color after the skeletal foundation of the artwork was complete and sampled a few visual elements from the butterfly artwork for side 2 of the poster design.

Results

The 2015 Dean's Farewell Tour ended up becoming a huge hit that served both student's and Faculty member's interest. The campaign artwork successfully conveyed Fern's transition in a fun and celebratory fashion.

Production

The 60's themed artwork was formatted for posters, invitations, social media, videography graphics, and swag, for both Edmonton and Calgary events.