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Here is a collection of my master’s work at design akademie berlin. It was an enriching experience and I learned a deeper understanding about design thinking and understanding the user’s needs through my course work.

In the first semester I developed a brand for whiskey, based on the personality of a television character, Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead, through background research.

I created a mission, vision, and values for the brand through research.

Mission: With passion, love, and triumph, we create the best tasting, fairly-traded
and sustainable, whiskeys that exceed our customer‘s expectations.

Vision: Our distillery will change the way you think about whiskey. We will become
the most valued brand to whiskey drinkers, by delighting and opening
our customers mind through our aromatic, flavorful whiskeys.

Values: We value the determined, southern spirit; reflecting it in our hand-crafted,
Georgia-made whiskeys. Through heart, fierceness, and honesty, we
accomplish this and deliver distinctive tasting whiskeys to our customers.

I designed a logo with several touchpoints, a flask, a jug, a whiskey bottle, and letterhead to reflect the mission, vision, and values of the brand and television character.

In the second semester I designed a logo and an augmented reality app for main and obscure landmarks, translation, and train ticket purchases in Berlin after researching quantitatively and quantitatively.

Also in the second semester I created an identity and touchpoints for a self driving car service. I used extensive research with design thinking tools, such as desk research to understand, making personas, determining potential target groups, and creating a day in the life in order to empathise with the user, as well as mind maps, and brain writing.

The curve in the logo represents the brand essence, harmony, like a music wave. The letters merge together reflecting the seamless value of the brand. A bold turquoise was chosen showing our value: vibrant. A blue gray was used as a secondary color so the turquoise would stand out. The “i” signifies someone being carried. There is an open space on the “d” to make it legible.

The visual identity then led to the invitation card, complementing the identity and logo.

The brand identity wheel reflects the brand core with 3 values and 3 words describing each value with visual representations.

In the third semester, my challenge was interconnecting technolgy with people who feel homesick, giving them a sense of purpose. Through creating personas, interviewing and using design thinking tools, my solution was intense activity = forced relaxation. I designed a boot camp app to bring homesick expats together. Users are rewarded with a bead each meeting to form a bracelet. The user chooses the color of the bead corresponding to their mood after the session.

Pastel blue and purple were chosen for the logo to invoke a soothing and calming mood. The circles and flower represent the feeling of being balanced and centered after the user completes an activity or a boot camp session. The logo is similar to the ying-yang symbol. A simplistic sans serif font, Avenir, complements the form of the logo.

Users can choose from six different trainers, talk to a trainer for advice, and set their mood to a color. Other options are measuring the user’s fitness level by asking them questions and a point system that transfers to beads. There are also links to video demonstrations of the exercise when the trainer suggests an activity to do based on mood. The user will also hit a button after each exercise for confirmation. They can also find users nearby and join an activity such as meeting for coffee or a picnic. Also, there is a messaging function where users chat with each other about their problems showing empathy and users can search for an activity. There will be a weekly meet up for a bootcamp and users receive a bead that they choose of the color of their mood after each session for motivation.

For my thesis I created a brand identity and an exercise to help autistic children cope with their disorder better by incorporating art therapy through research, interviews, and using design thinking tools such as personas, POV, Venn Diagrams and a User Journey Wheel.

I created a minimalistic, multi-colored, geometric logo to reflect the different colors associated with the different senses and the simplification of the feeling of being overwhelmed by the senses. The geometric shapes of paralelograms and triangles into a building block reflect the creation process of the figures.


In the exercise, in the first step, there will be a choice of three types of music to listen to, classical, pop, and rock. This selection was based on my interviews with music therapists that autistic children like classical music because the music rhythm matches their body rhythm of their heartbeat. And children prefered pop and rock also in my interviews.

The second step will explain the activity with visuals
drawn on the board for examples. Next, they will paint the box that contains all the art supplies for the activity to their preference so the children will have something they can take away and store their treasures in. Then there will be a 10 minute movement break before the children sculpt figures from the five senses or as needed.

There will be a song of the steps for sculpting to help the children remember. The children will be given a small amount of material and told it must fit in this small box in order for the figures to fit on the keychain, necklace, or bracelet.

‘Close your eyes.
Think of a fun time with sight.
What do you see?
Make what you see.’
And repeated for sound, taste, touch, and smell.

Each sense will have a different color to help the child remember which figure corresponds to which sense.

The colors are chosen to represent each sense based on red for the tongue for taste, blue for eyes for sight, orange for a strong sound, pink for a nose for smell, and green for touching the grass.

After they make the figures representing the senses, the child chooses a keyring, a necklace, or a bracelet. Then it is set to the type of music chosen and a song to remember how to use the figures.

There will be another 10 minute movement break as needed and then the teacher will teach the children the song of how to use the keyring, necklace, or bracelet.

When you feel upset, think of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
What is the strongest?
Touch the figure, look at it.
Play the sound.
Everything is ok.

Lastly, after the song there will be a reflection on what they did. The order of the instructions will be mixed up, and the child will put them in order to help reinforce the activity and remember it.

Master’s degree in Strategic Design!

I haven’t posted in a while, almost a year. I have been very busy with my projects and working on my thesis. The topic was Art Education with Autistic Children. It was a great experience working with the kids and teachers on this project and I created a tool for them to use to help cope with sensory overload by using design thinking. My graduation is this Saturday and I am very excited! I am working on putting everything together in a portfolio and updating my resume. The next step is to find a job in Berlin! 😀

Spring Semester

For my spring semester, our Innovation Project class’s task was to create a brand identity for an autonomous car sharing service company. Our team developed a brand identity with essence and values and a visual identity. Our brand identity wheel reflects our brand core with 3 values and 3 words describing each value with visual representations. It is depicted in this identity wheel.

idwheel

We researched and decided on eddie as the name, something familiar and to make the user feel safe using an unfamiliar service, like autonomous vehicles. We designed a logo reflecting the essence and values and a vibrant color scheme. The curve represents our brand essence, harmony, like a music wave. The letters merge together reflecting the seamless value of our brand. We chose a bright turquoise showing our value: vibrant. We used a blue grey as a second color so the turquoise would stand out. The “i” signifies someone being carried. We have an open space on the “d” to make it legible.

logo

Our visual identity then led us to our invitation card, complementing our identity and logo.

invitation

semester end

My semester is almost over, 3 weeks left. Its been a lot of work but rewarding. My favorite project is for Integrated Identity Project class. Our task was to choose a TV character and develop a brand around him. Of course I choose Daryl Dixon, from my favorite show The Walking Dead. And the product I get is whiskey. PERFECT! I develop a backstory, mission, vision and values statements. And a logo. I recently went on the Walker Stalker Cruise where I met, got a photo with, and an autograph with my actor, Norman Reedus:

logo
logo

Product packaging and letterhead are still in the works. I’m having a lot of fun designing all of it. It helps when the product and subject is something you like.

Summer ist vorbei

I haven’t posted in a while. A lot going on. I’ve been learning German still and went to several festivals. I start University next month for my Master’s at design akademie Berlin. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve made some art, drawing and using my 3D Pen, the three doodler. it’s fun. Here are a couple pics.

2015-09-06 20.33.15

2806-2015-07483141186283010

Brandenburger Tor

2015

I’ve been taking online classes since 2015 started and working with Creative Suite CC and Lightroom. Here is a link to the new features in Photoshop: Überblick über neue Photoshop Funktionen
I’ve been reading and using programs in German. I am very intuitive and think I’m doing well.

I tried Ruby on Rails and coding is just not for me. I’m more visual and am drawn more to photography and graphics and drawing. I’ve also tried UX design and making apps. It is a hard field to get into. I think sticking to what I’m best at and fine tuning those skills is best.

I’m looking into getting a camera here. Hope to get some freelance photo gigs. I found this Nikon online that I think is best for me: Nikon D3200 SLR-Digitalkamera. I’ve had bad luck with Canon and want to give Nikon a shot. haha, little pun. I’ve looked in the stores too and Media Markt had the best deals and store vibe. I liked the employees there too. very helpful. 🙂 Saturn was a lot noisier and crazy beeps going off!
But the tripod and camera bag selection was diverse at Saturn.

The weather has been nice. The winter here seemed not so grey this year and am looking forward to spring and summer. March is almost here. I’ve also been reading a lot of photo and graphics blogs, networking in facebook and LinkedIn. I plan to go to some networking events that strike me soon. I know its tough here and competition is fierce. There are so many people in Berlin and so many immigrating here. I saw a statistic that last year, over 45,000 people move to Berlin. It gets crowded out in public and I do my best and work hard to deal with it and be strong. I still look for steady work. With all the immigrants coming, I hope the market is diverse and open minded to hiring me. Best to all!

German Graphic Design

Here are links to German Graphic Design that I found inspirational:

The Pixelz: is a Design Agency based in Cologne. Their samples have a nice fluid layout and good font choices. I like the logos because the fonts are interesting and unique and the logos stand out, even in black and white. I also though the Vogue Germany Ad Campaign had Fonts and size differences and placement that grabbed your attention.

A second site is Dexigner: a designer directory where you can select different specialties and regions. I thought this was interesting to compare design in different countries. The different designers and agencies are inspiring. I like the minimalism of SV Associates. It has a Bauhaus feel to it, with Helvetica and the text rotated to fit in the negative spaces of the images. Their designs have a nice, clean grid layout.
The colors and patterns attracted me to Agathon Design. They are based in Penzberg, Germany. Their site is simple and easy to navigate. I like the use of white space. Their portfolio work is very impressive.

The third site that intrigued me was It’s Nice That. They are based in London, but had an interesting article on German magazine design. The layout is very impressive. The image and font placement is unique and intriguing.

Bridge

Autumn

I finished B2 level in German. I will continue practicing and reviewing material. I am still looking for work here and have been drawing and made a layout for a painting. I will start painting and making more art soon. Berlin and Germany inspire me artistically. I love the autumn colors and architecture here. I will start coming up with some of my own designs to add to my website. I think it is overdue for some new work. I like the new Mac Operating System, Yosemite, and I updated itunes, move and all the mac programs. It has a nice design, but I notice it is a bit slower. Here is some inspirational work for you to check out:

This Student Designs Jewelry That Turns Your Veins Into A Power Source


Jason Freeny

I have also found a lot of inspirational artists on Ello.

autumn steam

And here is a link to photos I recently took.

Spree

Tree

Statue

Statue

House

Statue

Brandenburger Tor

Fountain

Bridge

Flowers

Antonio Mora

summer

Things are going well this summer in Berlin. The weather is a lot cooler than last year and there is more rain during the summer. It even hailed yesterday morning. I finish my B2 German class at the end of August and take then take the test for the Goethe Certificate. I have been studying so much. Emerging myself in the language. Yesterday I went back over my books from A1 and A2. So boring, I have that down. Today I will review my books on B1 and return to B2. There is so much new vocabulary in B2. In the articles, every word is a new one. Eventually I’ll learn all the words. How many words can be in one language! haha

I was accepted into the design akademie berlin Masters Program for Strategic Design. I am very excited and hope I can make it happen. Financial aid from the States is not possible, the school is not on the list of approved school. So this week I’ll talk to Deutsche Bank and Sparkasse. The program and school look so good. And I think after two years, I could get a real job her and my German will be awesome!

Here is an interesting article I came across about artists’ daily schedules:
The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People Most of the creatives sleep a lot, like me. And devote most of their time to their creativity. I have put mine on the back burner with learning German. It has taken up the majority of my time. After this test I plan to make some art. Maybe soon, I will take a break from the German and draw.

And the second info graphic about early risers and late night workers was fascinating. I tend to be an early riser and do my best work in the morning. If i do work late at night I sleep a little during the day.

And this article showing Antonio Mora's work was captivating. In Photography class, I would combine 2 photos with double exposure with the old 35mm camera. The way Antonio Mora combines the photos is unique, the two photos meld together harmoniously. The photo of the face and the roller coaster is my favorite.

Deutsch

I start B2 Level German next week. I am looking forward to it. I’ve had 2 weeks off here to apply to jobs and practice German. I have also been practicing the Adobe Creative Suite CC in German. I am picking up the translations quickly. In 3 months I will take the B2 level German test. The practice test doesn’t look that difficult.

I went to the Deutsches Historisches Museum last week. I didn’t have enough time. Never enough time to see everything in a Museum. It was so big and started from the beginning of German History. There were also two photography exhibits and a WWI exhibit opening this week. It was interesting to see how the borders changed over the years. There was a nice 3D map that changed. I really like the sketches of Albrect Drürer and the clothes of the 1800s. The exhibit TARGET was interesting and sad. Photos of soldiers and targets of war.