1-thebigjobs

Those jobs that take dozens to hundreds of hours of time. In the case of Midas Safety, it’s my day job. In the case of ShotCrete Plus and the Miss Northern Ontario Canada Pageant, it’s something I did concurrently with working a full time job at 50 Carleton back in Sudbury.

Midas Safety
My current job. Acting as the in-house designer for an international company has been a real treat. Initially hired primarily to redesign the corporate catalogue, I’ve been a key member in developing all sorts of materials, print and web alike. Although I’m not currently at liberty to show off the work, I look forward to doing so shortly. Stay tuned!

ShotCrete Plus
[expand title=”Expand”]I revamped their website and created an accompanying 35-40 product sheets to populate it. The site used to be online, but it’s been unavailable for some time now.

  

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Cochrane and Area Community Development Corporation
[expand title=”Expand”]I wore a number of hats on this job. I wrote the entire booklet, having been handed a massive folder of data and a DVD full of photos and been simply told “get to work”. While I was doing that, the Design Director established the basic design template, which I expanded upon as needed. The full document can be viewed here.

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Miss Northern Ontario Canada Pageant
[expand title=”Expand”]The biggest job I’d undertaken on my own up to this point in my career. The first phase involved a massive package that went out to the contestants. Once they were registered, they’d begin selling ad space to businesses in their regions. All these ads had to be scanned and worked into their sections. I had the organization find “inspirational quotes” to fill in the blank spaces on the pages. Once that was done, I created tickets, signage and programmes for the event. Once it was all over, I also urged the Pageant to run a congratulatory ad in the hometown of the winner… just a little something to cap off the event and let her advertisers know that their money was well spent.

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2-productionart

More technical than creative, usually involves taking existing format structures and making them work, whether it’s implementing a design director’s layout or utilizing a brand’s existing paradigm on a new piece.

NorthernTel/Télébec
[expand title=”Expand”]Utilizing assets from the creative team, I would assemble various things such as direct mailers, mail-merge letters, point-of-purchase posters, print ads, animated web banners and website promotional pages. These were usually for both companies, in English and French.

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Layout
[expand title=”Expand”]It’s easy to dismiss layout as “monkeywork” — it can certainly be the most routine of the work we do. It’s not as impressive as creating a new brand identity or as flashy (pun intended) as quality photography, yet good layout is essential. I’m sure anyone who’s ever heard the words “I’m sending you our company brochure — my niece made it in Word…” can attest to that. Sometimes a layout job will incorporate other skills too, like an opportunity to break out the WACOM tablet and draw a bit.

      

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sudbury (pro bono)
[expand title=”Expand”]As the Sudbury agency has hewn closer to the National agency, I’ve lost a little creative autonomy, but have also gained access to slicker stock photos and a more predefined brand to work with — which is to be expected when dealing with a national brand. Of course, homegrown fundraisers present their own challenges, as I don’t have national brand resources to work with.

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3-creative

Those cool jobs where I get to create something from scratch.

Logos
[expand title=”Expand”]Logos are probably some of the most fun, yet most difficult design you can do. Coming up with your client’s first face to the world, sometimes even before they’ve established their own personal brand identification, can be quite the challenge.

   

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Northern Gaming Hub
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This was an exciting job to work on. A friend of mine started up a gaming/movie store and asked me if I’d help him with the visuals. I had free reign — designing the logo, the signage (just used the logo), the posters, the handouts. Every headline, every tag… they were mine, and probably the most fun I’d had on a job to that point.

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Hockey Team Mascot
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A freelance client asked if I could develop him a mascot for his hockey team “The Sudbury Nickel Barons”. He wanted a “baron”, and while there is no classic “baron” to draw upon, I after identifying a few traits that might typify a nineteenth-century industry baron – top hat, monacle, goatee, bow tie, a rather rotund body shape and a cane – I went to town, as the saying goes.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sudbury (pro bono)
[expand title=”Expand”]Recently, I created a crazy little poster for the Sudbury agency – the “Pirate” theme, using bowling balls as characters. It expanded beyond the “Pirate” theme to a whole lot more… and other agencies have started asking for them as well – so far, just the “Pirate” theme. However, the Sudbury agency went with the “Alice In Wonderland” theme for this year’s fundraiser, with eyes on the “Superhero” theme for next.

   

In my early years designing for the agency, I used my real-life match for the advertising, and over the course of three or four years he became the unofficial “face” of the organization. I think the ongoing progression of ads, where people could see him “growing up”, provided a real emotional connection and underscored the value of Big Brothers Big Sisters in the community.

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4-copywriting

Painting pictures with words.

Cochrane and Area Community Development Corporation
[expand title=”Expand”]On top of developing the booklet, I researched and copywrote the whole thing myself.

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ATM Solutions by LGR
[expand title=”Expand”]It’s hard to tell exactly where my copy ends and the client’s copy begins, as we’ve both had our hands in the pot, but the majority of this website was my copy.

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5-webwork

Web pages. Animated banners. Emailers. Online catalogues. Whole sites.

Promotional Webpages and Banners
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My web work generally consists of updates, new pages/sections and promotional pages with supporting animated banners, based on existing promo material, such as Direct Mailers. The graphic below will lead you to a demo based on the NorthernTel corporate site; it consists simply of a rotating banner with their corresponding promotional pages.

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Animated Web Banners
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These banners went to a variety of places. The Big Box (300 x 250 pixels) were usually purchased space on external sites. The others typically had their own places on the residental (white backgrounds) or business (orange backgrounds) sites.

 

 

         

              

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Client Eflashes
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For the clients that recognize that online presence extends beyond just a website, I’ve spent a lot of time putting together emailers. They’re created as web pages, and the distribution method varies by client and the work they’re willing to put in — some are just saved to PDF, some are emailed through Outlook and some we put through Campaign Monitor or other emailing systems to send out en masse.

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Content Management Systems
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WordPress – ShotCrete Plus
I was approached to rebuild their website, and create several dozen product sheets for the products they sell. I decided to go the WordPress route, so that they could have complete control over their site once I was finished.
www.shotcreteplus.com

WordPress – ATM Solutions by LGR
How you build a website depends largely on the client and their long-term needs. In this case, I knew I would not be involved in the day-to-day maintenance of the site, so I used WordPress.com to give them the simplest method to maintain it themselves.

Drupal-based Mobility Catalogues
A most attention-intensive job, populating and maintining NorthernTel’s and Télébec’s mobile device catalogues has put me in a great position to keep abreast of the newest mobile technology.

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6-illustration

Sometimes fun, sometimes functional. Industrial. Corporate. Whatever’s needed.

Distant Field Productions – “Black Forest” Movie Poster
[expand title=”Expand”]A former coworker acted in a low budget screamer last year, and she asked me if I’d be interested in contributing some artwork for it. I was, so I whipped out the trusty Wacom tablet and this is what I came up with. Fun work.

BlackForest-Poster-11x17-final-thumb

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Friday’s Films – “The World Famous Kid Detective” Movie Poster/DVD Cover
[expand title=”Expand”]When a screenwriter friend got her script turned into an indie kid’s movie by Friday’s Films, she sent the production house in my direction when the time came for creating some graphics and marketing materials. One aspect was illustrating the DVD cover and designing the sleeve, and another was creating a secondary poster utilizing images from the film itself.

The World Famous Kid Detective

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Technical Animations/ Illustrations
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I’ve spent a lot of hours doing illustrations and animations of a technical nature for varying clients. Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop and even 3D Studio Max formed the basis for these pieces. Because the “Copper Circuit” piece was not public, I have reduced it to about a dozen slides, cut down on the functionality and removed the copy; however, you can still get an impression as to the scope of the project. The gears illustration was actually built in 3D and was animated to show the gears moving; unfortunately, the backups for this and many other projects were lost.

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Interactive Flash pieces
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NorthernTel wanted to introduce employees to the new “mascot”. We developed this animation where they could upload their faces into the character and I worked with our coder to get Flash to pull in the face from the database.

Théàtre du Nouvel-Ontario wanted an animation where the kids could pick backgrounds, costumes and input text to create their own “play”. Using the design director’s visuals, I created this animation which would pull from a database to render out the kids’ plays. The site is offline now, so I had to hard-code the text and graphics, but you can still see how it worked with this on-site XML file.

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50 Carleton Event Cards
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Back in the day, 50 Carleton used to create event e-cards. Fun, colourful and sometimes intentionally grating — I dare you to listen to the Valentine’s card straight through.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sudbury (pro bono)
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Once my “little brother” outgrew modelling for the advertising, I turned to my Illustrator/Photoshop skills to give Big Brothers Big Sisters their promotional material.

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