While looking at toys for her daughter, Yvonne Lin was frustrated by what she found. Craft and creativity toys are designed to appeal to girls. STEM (science, technology, engineer, math) toys are designed to appeal to boys.
And so...Wondernik was born, with the mission to bridge the great pink & blue divide in the toy section.
Wondernik kits are designed for girls and boys, appealing to both the creative and logical sides of the brain. The projects combine sewing, sculpting and drawing with light, motion and sound encouraging creativity and self-expression while developing analytical thinking skills.
When founders, friends and former colleagues Yvonne & Tara invited me to join their mission and help build the brand, I jumped at the opportunity. Wondernik is the kind of thing I would have loved as a kid, and it still resonates, perhaps even more so, now as a mother.
As part of this labor of love, I shaped Wondernik's design language, brand identity, marketing materials, packaging, instruction booklets and swag. We have more work to do before launch, but it's been very rewarding to be part of a mission I believe in and partake in Wondernik's journey from the ground up.
Wondernik debuted at MakerFaire Fall 2015 to great excitement, nabbing an Editor's Choice Award (and several pre-orders!). The products which include an animatronic tail, LED birdhouse & talking critter are expected to launch Spring of 2016.
• Brand Development • Brand Identity Systems • Illustration • Packaging • Print & Marketing Collateral
One of my most challenging projects at Smart was working on its own brand refresh. From brand repositioning to a multitude of touch points to passionate stakeholders – it involved much more than updating the logo and design language. It spanned the high level and the tactical.
It was about evolving the brand and elevating Smart's profile. It was about empowering employees to be confident ambassadors. It was about championing strategic, well-crafted, on-brand solutions. It was about communicating culture and provoking conversation. It was about being Smart not just saying it. It was about bringing Smart's story to life from planning to production. It was all in my sweet spot. And it was a fun ride.
As Associate Director of Brand Communication, my responsibilities included leadership, creative direction, mentorship and lots and lots of hands-on design. One of the most rewarding projects was the website redesign. I worked closely with an interaction designer as visual design lead; together we led the design and development effort, collaborating with marketing, leadership and other designers as needed.
• Brand Development • Brand Storytelling • Brand Refresh • Brand Identity • Visual & Web Design • Illustration, Iconography, Infographic • Print Collateral • Marketing Collateral • Digital Advertising • Environmental Graphics • Promotional Materials • Art Direction
I was part of a spirited multi-disciplinary team that created a completely new brand and retail strategy, including packaging and beauty tools, for Sally Hansen. We took a commodity product and designed beauty tools that were a delight to shop for, a delight to use and authentically ownable by the Sally Hansen brand.
Our approach included in-depth design and user research activities along with brand strategy and brand positioning. Product designers, engineers and communication designers worked as a tight knit bunch, allowing us to uncover insights and gather inspiration that informed brand, product and packaging simultaneously.
We brainstormed. We collaborated. We iterated. We occasionally butted heads. In the end we created 22 SKUs. Oh, and did I mention I also oversaw the copywriting and product naming.
• Design Research & Strategy • Brand Positioning • Brand Refresh • Brand Storytelling • Packaging • Iconography • Production Annotations • Copywriting Creative Direction
I was honored to create illustrations and a special Thanksgiving video announcement for my friend Kathy's startup.
thankfulregistry.com is a beautiful, personalized gift registry tool where you can curate your registry for all of the important events in your life. Add your photos and customize your wish list with the gifts you know you'll love. Spread the word!
• Brand Storytelling • Illustration • Animation
Los Nopales Restaurant
Los Nopales is a family-owned & operated Mexican restaurant in Chicago serving dishes from a variety of Mexican regions. This concept identity celebrates the cuisine, culture and family with its own interchangeable family of logos.
The business cards and menu mix vintage imagery and colorful patterns inspired from Mexican kitchen tile with typography inspired from signage. The identity reflects the cheerful, homey personality of the restaurant, nods at authenticity and complements the decor's folksy mélange.
Second Voice is a personal concept for an English as a Second Language (ESL) organization serving refugees and immigrants. Its offerings would include ESL classes, training workshops and various cultural programs. It’s a project inspired by a cause that is important to me and includes logo, stationary and a quarterly newsletter.
The clean, friendly design uses speech bubbles as a graphic device throughout. Business card information is communicated in simple sentences offering a unique place to encourage language comprehension.
Everything comes from the perspective of how intimidating it is to learn a new language as an adult – and it's not only the language but learning new customs and culture. I wanted everything to feel approachable, optimistic and inviting. Second Voice would be a supportive environment, encouraging community and sharing.
• Brand Identity • Logo Development • Print Collateral
Hospital For Special Surgery
HSS is the #1 orthopedic hospital in the U.S. We had the opportunity to help develop the brand story for the new Children’s Pavilion. It is quite literally a ‘hospital within a hospital’. The challenge was twofold – define what is authentic and unique to LCP while keeping it cohesive with the parent HSS brand and build a meaningful connection with parents making HSS their first choice for pediatric orthopedic care.
Our 10 week process included in-depth interviews and extensive design research. In the end, we developed positioning, messaging, logo and design look & feel. All communicated via the website, an important resource in the patient’s decision-making process.
The family interviews are among the most memorable experiences of my career. They were emotional and touching. Thanks to the families sharing their stories we uncovered insights into key moments of their journey where we could utilize design and communication to really make a difference.
Sure, we did brand guidelines and annotations too, but by far, helping families find the best pediatric care for their child was the much more rewarding part of the experience.
• Design Research & Strategy • Brand Positioning • Brand Development & Storytelling • Logo Identity • Web Design • Brand Guidelines
Around the corner from my old place in Fort Greene, Brooklyn lies Bittersweet, a cozy coffee shop serving strong coffee and small batch homemade ice cream sold by the cone, the cup or the pint.
As a personal project, I designed a brand identity that could communicate both offerings. The identity includes budget-friendly rotate-able stickers for labeling drinks and pints, mix-and-match patterns and a series of illustrated posters.
Bittersweet doesn't offer ice cream during the winter making its spring return a poster-worthy announcement. And a beloved flavor dedicated to the neighborhood's many Caribbean residents is reason enough for another poster.
I am MexiScan. Half-Mexican and half-Scandinavian (Norwegian & Swedish). Curiosity led me to see if I could find commonalities in these seemingly disparate nationalities. I was pleasantly surprised by my discoveries.
A client known for sophisticated, complex customer relationship management systems, sought to create a signature product experience that would be simple and approachable. To deliver on that promise we looked at brand perception as well.
Research, interviews and worksessions provided insight into users' needs and the aspirations of the brand. The design team: myself, two interaction designers and our design director worked swiftly, wireframing, visualizing and prototyping with their development team along the way. We worked with the client in collaborative sessions to prototype an ownable experience that could set the bar, becoming a beacon for how the brand could shift.
• Design Research & Strategy • Brand Development • Visual Design • Visual Annotations • Iconography
A collection of logos proposed as part of a rebrand exploration for 826's Chicago chapter.
826 is a national non-profit creative writing & tutoring youth organization with various chapters across the U.S. In addition to classes and workshops, each chapter operates from a storefront with a different theme. 826CHI is a spy store.
The Dude Abides
Attending a Maira Kalman speaking engagement I spied a man who left a lasting impression.
He was middle-aged, wearing faded denim, a polar fleece and these exquisite Prince Albert house slippers by Stubbs & Wootton.
Now there is a man living life exactly on his terms. Awesome.
Elysian Luxury Hotel
The Elysian was Chicago’s first 5 star luxury hotel & residence. We worked with the CMO & CEO during construction to build anticipation, develop the brand story and communicate it all with little more than an architect’s render. Our concept was to tap into imagination, curiosity and aspiration through 60 stories that highlighted what life could be like at the Elysian.
The project included print, sales collateral, even construction signage. It was a challenge in resourcefulness and creative storytelling to find elegant, delightful solutions that would strike the right tone, build enthusiasm and ultimately, entice buyers.
The construction signage included interactive panels where you could peer into a telescope, take a recipe for panna cotta and hear classical music while you walked past the construction site.
Reflections on my beloved home state of South Dakota and insights gleaned from cities I've lived in: Minneapolis, Chicago & NYC. Bay Area coming soon...
Various illustrations for personal and client projects.
I love Richard Avedon, so much so, his last name is my son's first name.
Editorial illustration for Smart Design
A bell curve of mustaches. Why not?
Analyzing man data.
Illustration based on storefront signage I spotted in Queens.
The fox went out on a chilly night...
Screensaver illustration for Kevin Lynch. Each hour is based on locations around the world. Mine was Tijuana.
And the whole number set.
Inspired by a moment of email overload.
A smattering of packaging, representing both vision-setting and produced work.
Surface & Textile
I love patterns. I love textiles. I'm inspired by folk art, nature, ethnic textiles and mid-century modern illustration for starters. I could go on and on. For now this is a small collection of a few simple patterns I've created but I hope to add more textile and surface patterns soon!
I enjoy bricolage: construction or creation from a diverse range of available things. I love finding inspiration in everyday life and capturing it in a visual interpretation.
Good Lord, 5 dumplings for a dollar are a godsend. Especially from Prosperity Dumpling in Chinatown NYC. Hallelujah!
Springtime in New York – captured in items picked up during a neighborhood walk.
A Philly cheesesteak taste-off. On one side of the street: The Challenger. On the other side: The Contender.
Found popsicle art
Poster on immigration issues for Poster Offensive Gallery Show in Minneapolis