Number Line Touch | Educational App

Research Center for Educational Technology, Kent State University

Educational app designed to help children 2nd grade though 5th grade understand basic math concepts. Number Line Touch is a part of SpedApps, a special education project funded by a corporate gift from AT&T.

Game concept created by Dr. Karl Kosko.

View lo-fi prototype  |  View hi-fi prototype  |  View final project

Reading Buzz | Website Design

Initial Proposed Strategy:

Reading Buzz:
Reading Buzz is an online database of videos for librarians, librarian aides, teachers and students.

  • Content should be minimal, with a voice that is inspiring and supportive.
  • Features: browse topics, read our blog, get involved, popular videos, new videos, from our blog, playlists, about us, contact us

Content Structure:
A simple task-based organization scheme should be employed. Labels might include Browse Topics, Read Our Blog and Get Involved. Clicking the "Browse Topics" button within the top-level navigation would reveal a fly out, topic-based organization scheme. The home page could also feature contextual navigation to provide direct pathways to themes such as popular videos or new blog posts.

  • The home page should feature a main carousel that highlights video content. Beneath the carousel, the site should highlight videos and blog posts. 
  • Video: Users should be able to stream video content within the site, and each video should have sharing and rating functionality. Individual video pages should contain suggested similar content to promote exploration of the site.
  • Search: A basic open search feature should be available to users so they can perform targeted searches for video content. Filters should be available, and might include topic, date post, grade level, etc.

View final project  |  View live site

Fetch | Pet Matching Website

The Problem:
1.  Shelter animals are being overlooked. Animals are chosen by looks and age vs. being a good match for the potential owner.
2.  People are discouraged to volunteer due to lack of knowledge about the tasks, time commitment, schedule conflicts, etc.
3.  People are unfamiliar with training and behavioral techniques. They also don't know where to find local trainers.

Our Solution:
1.  Create a website/kiosk that allows users to create profiles based on personality and interests which matches to pets who are similar.

  • *Eliminates issue of the cutest or youngest dogs being adopted over dogs that are older and less appealing
  • Less likelihood of dogs being returned due to not "clicking" with owner or family or other household pets

2.  Volunteers can create profiles and match with a pet with a similar personality. They can then choose time slots to come in and play/walk that specific dog/cat/animal.

  • Solves time commitment issue as the volunteer can choose their own time slots just for the match pet
  • Increases connection and commitment due to individually connecting with a pet through personality

View hi-fi desktop prototype  |  View hi-fi mobile prototype  |  View final project

KSU International Infographic

Client Project Overview: 
Create an infographic that highlights the international student population of Kent State University. The infographic should guide the viewer through the international experience, and promote all of the ways Kent State makes itself "Ohio's International University." 

This particular project started out very small, and continued to grow the more I worked on it with the client. At the very beginning stages, the client asked that I clean up and revamp their old icons. After that initial stage, they decided they wanted something even more expansive. As I continued to deliver them more detailed materials, the project continued to grow into something more extensive and engaging.

As shown below, the initial designs were very simple, refined and scholarly. I stuck strictly to the Kent State color scheme and used neutral stylized icons. However, as the project began to expand, the client and I decided to take it in a new, more exciting direction with engaging illustrations, a less limited color palette and a wider array of typefaces. 

View final project.

Banter | Shakespeare App

Project Overview: 
Research current digital reading and/or writing technologies. Create an interface or application that improves user experience and content management while also encouraging and aiding in online community and culture.

What is our goal?
The goal of the app is to inspire students to learn more about Shakespeare while improving their interest and comprehension.

After surveying 60+ high school students, we found that watching videos, acting scenes out and getting modern day translations for the text are the three best ways to help high school students understand Shakespeare. We learned that 89% of students do not read Shakespeare outside of class, and the words most commonly associated with Shakespeare are confusing, boring and difficult.

Our Solution:
Our app tackles every aspect of Shakespeare so it can help students to learn and comprehend the text in many different ways, based on how they learn best. It also brings in a game element that encourages students to connect through the app, challenge each other and earn points (or "shillings") to buy in-game prizes, trophies and accessories.

View lo-fi prototype  |  View hi-fi prototype  |  View final project

Fresh | Grocery App

Project Overview: 
Research current online grocery technologies and in-kitchen apps. Create an interface or application (for a device of your choice) that improves user experience, system transparency and content management while also encouraging and aiding in online community and culture. 

What is my goal?
The goal for my app is to improve the grocery shopping experience, specifically through 5 areas that research shows customers are most unhappy with. My project brief attached goes more in-depth.

View concept map  |  View lo-fi prototype  |  View hi-fi prototype  |  View video walkthrough  |  View final project

Spooky Movie Night Poster

Project Overview: 
Design a poster that advertises and entices students to attend IdeaBase's "Spooky Scary Movie Night.

View final project

Type Design

Project Overview: 
Create an original typeface, and define the possible uses of said typeface. Construct guidelines on adapting the letterforms you have and effectively construct an entire alphabet (lowercase + uppercase + selected punctuation). Furthermore, create a type specimen to advertise and sell your finished product.

Design Concept:
I created the wordmark Louie's with the intention of creating a similar-in-style typeface to accompany it. After I finished my finalized logo, I began working on sketches and different forms for my new secondary typeface. At first, I struggled with keeping the similar styles and forms from Louie's into my new typeface, however, after a lot of refining I scaled the typeface back into an easy to read body copy typeface, still with some personality.

I named my new typeface, Crescent, which hints at the small crescent shaped hollow curve at the tops of each letterform. This crescent form can be seen in Louie's letterforms as well.

Overall, my typeface Crescent has a warm, youthful and friendly personality. Its subtle, unique characteristics make it easy to read and digest, but also fun to use. Ideally, this typeface will be used in materials such as menus, invitations, tickets, cards, posters and other various print media. 

View final project.

ISTD Schizophrenia

Project Overview: 
Design a typographic work that explores the subject of 'Taboos'. We expect you to investigate the widest interpretation of the word from historical, cultural and international perspectives.

My book is about the taboos that are associated with the disease schizophrenia. My book follows the life of an anonymous author writing about their experiences and struggles in the form of a diary or journal. I generated, researched and wrote all of my content, and got inspiration for my diary entries from real entries and blog posts that I gathered online from victims who were suffering from schizophrenia. I pieced my collection of diary entries together and recreated them to resemble a story from an anonymous patient. Pulling real diary entries from real patients helped make my book feel more genuine, honest and real.

Design Concept:
The type in my book has two distinct voices; one of the author’s real thoughts that are represented with Museo Sans and Helvetica Neue LT Std, and the other being the schizophrenic voices in the author’s head, represented with illustrative, hand-drawn type. Furthermore, the illustrative type was created with different types of handwriting to show the many different voices a schizophrenic can hear in their head. I heavily focused on the symptom of visual and auditory hallucinations because it’s such a defining trait of schizophrenia. I wanted my journal to feel like it had multiple voices, all demanding that the writer of the diary entries do or say different things. 

After researching the disease, I saw many different stereotypes, and I wanted to bring the truth to light by showing the story of a victim, rather than providing facts and statistics. The journal style of my book provides a more personal relationship with the viewer, and helps them understand what a schizophrenic actually experiences and struggles with daily.

View final project.

Response Design Conference

Project Overview: 
Create a visual identity for a design conference. The conference theme will be of your choosing. Your solution will be purely typographic, utilizing various levels of typography. It is essential you demonstrate rigorous attention to typographic detail across all components paying close attention to typesetting, legibility, readability and hierarchy.

My conference was called Response, and it was a Design Education Conference that focused on response website design. The event also focused on giving back ones response to current design topics and having a collaborative discussion on these issues.

Product Concept:
I wanted my design materials to reflect the idea of "responsive design." I did this by creating three buttons (small, medium and large) to convey the idea of designing for different sized mediums (cell phones, ipads, computers). I also created a “response” notebook, where you could jot down your thoughts and the overall experience you had at a panel, rip it out of your journal, and slip it into an event box. This gives the audience a chance to give their response back on a specific panel or event. Lastly, I also created a responsive website and app.

Design Concept:
For my overall brand, I used pixels as my graphic element to relate back to the idea of responsive web design. This relates to the idea that designers have to work in pixels when creating responsive websites and similar types of materials. I also created my logo so that it would be flexible in use, meaning it can be stacked vertically, horizontally, or just as a simple icon.

View full project.

Stephen Colbert Poster

Project Overview: 
Design a poster that creates a dialogue between typography and imagery utilizing one, or a combination of the type and image relationships discussed in class (separation, fusion, fragmentation, inversion). Challenge yourself by thinking conceptually and exploring different ways of creating imagery and typography.

My posters reflect the two different personalities of Stephen Colbert. I had the opportunity to see him live in New York City one summer, and saw the different between his on-air personality, which was very bubbly, energetic and animated, versus his off-air personality, which was still cheerful and welcoming but much more reserved and modest. Seeing the contrast between these two personalities, I wanted to create a poster series that represented this idea.

Design Concept:
For my purely typographic poster, I played with overlapping type and having different layers represent different meanings. The background layer, which is made of all red, san serif type, represents Colbert's on-air personality, while the foreground, made of all blue, serif type, represents his real-life personality. My message is meant to convey that his on-air personality shines through his real-life personality and hides his true self from the viewers. When viewing my poster, you will notice the bold, red letters in the background first, just as you notice and recognize Colbert's on-air character first; however, if you take a closer look you'll realize that his off-air personality is still there, just less identifiable. The blue, serif type represents his more delicate and modest off-air character.

For my type and image poster, I used the same overall concept but represented it in a different way. I cut out an image of Colbert, pasted it on the page, created a half-tone effect on the duplicate version, sliced it up and created a glitch effect. This effect represents his two personalities as well, as the red glitches represent his on-air personality while the black and white image underneath represents his stable and humble off-air personality. His on-air character often hides or distracts the viewer from seeing who Colbert really is, and that is what my poster signifies.

Mulino Packaging

Project Overview:
Construct various rectilinear forms which can be developed into a packaging program. Utilize type, photography and color. Design and concept are stressed, along with the developmental process and presentation. Narrow down a target audience and execute a plan to draw in those customers.

Design Concept:
After research, I narrowed my target audience down to middle-aged women who lived in wealthier areas that might already grocery shop at places like Mustard Seed, Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma etc. To combat this specific audience, I created a sophisticated, and unique shaped box to draw the buyer in, along with bright fun colors to catch their attention. Additionally, I added delicate and clean typography to the box, to give it that level of sophistication, while also providing a natural element that reflects Mulino’s organic nature. The texture and shape of the M were created with real spices, carved with my finger and photographed myself.

View final project

Book Covers

Project Overview: 
Interview a classmate, and create a book cover that represents their life or a specific story/event that greatly impacted them. I interviewed my close friend, Marissa, and came up with three different concepts that reflected important moments of her life.

Design Concept:
Days of Mary:
After interviewing Marissa, I found out that one of the most important people in Marissa’s life was her grandma, Mary. Marissa spoke about how her grandma raised her from when she was little, and that some of her happiest moments in life are from the times she spent with her. Inspired by Marissa's stories, I decided to name the title of the book, Days of Mary, playing off the name of her grandma, and the idea that they were Days of Merry/Happiness. Additionally, I decided to tuck the title of the book into a blanket, representing the idea that Marissa’s grandma often took care of her and tucked her in to sleep. Furthermore, one of Marissa’s favorite hobbies is knitting, and she learned that from her grandma, so the usage of a knit blanket was the perfect way to represent that information. 

Hearing Marissa talk about her numerous passions helped me come up with another book cover idea, which I called, “Beginnings.” Marissa told me how passionate she was about art throughout her entire life ever since she was young, and as she grew older, her passion for art transformed into many different mediums. Additionally, Marissa said she absolutely loved history in school, and was just as passionate about that as she was art. Inspired by this information, I decided to create a children’s themed book cover to represent how her passions started while she was very young, and grew over time. I also decided to express her love for history with a globe on the front cover, and covered it with a crayon texture similar to a children’s coloring book to symbolize her love for art at a young age. 

One last story that stuck out to me in our interview was Marissa’s story about her fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Frank. During recess, Marissa always stayed inside and spent time with her teacher instead of playing outside with the other kids, and they ended up becoming really close. So close, in fact, that Mrs. Frank often called Marissa, princess, and always told her that she had a regal air about her. Taking inspiration from that, I decided to create an image of a swing to represent recess and the playground, and on top of the seat, I put a princess crown to represent the name Mrs. Frank called Marissa. Also, because of Marissa’s “regal air”, I wanted to create a really clean, and simple book cover, with bright pink colors that went well with overall theme and emotion I was going for. 

Small Business Rebranding

Project Overview: 
Develop a promotional campaign for a small business which is in need of a stronger identity system. Research your chosen small business and re-brand the current identity, create an ad campaign consisting of three related full page ads and develop an application or website that will compliment the needs of the business.

My business for this project was the Songs of the Sidhe Day Spa. This spa takes up a small, and humble spot in downtown Kent, and only has one full-time worker, Ms. Kristin Driscoll, who is the owner. After discussing the spa with her, I saw that her main concern was having a professional atmosphere and appearance. She wanted people to know that her spa was very professional, and that it has experienced teachers and workers, who are all properly certified to practice massage therapy. She also mentioned that most of her clientele includes women around ages 30-50, and she showed interest in attracting a younger audience to the spa. After this interview, I was able to set out a clear path for my rebranding, and overall, I decided to create a clean and professional brand that demonstrated experience, knowledge and professionalism.

Name Concept:
The first issue I tackled was shortening the name to something less wordy, and more professional. The meaning of Sidhe, or Songs of the Sidhe, comes from an old Irish poem that talks about the Sidhe fairies. The legend goes that if you hear them singing, good things are going to happen. The name, Songs of the Sidhe Day Spa, however, is long and clunky. To solve this problem, I decided it would be best to drop “Songs of the”, and just simplify it to Sidhe Day Spa. This slight change makes the spa more memorable.

Logo Concept:
For the logo, I incorporated the same swirl symbol from the spa’s old logo design, but in a fresh and more subtle way. The swirl icon which symbolizes balance, growth, and peaceful connection relates very well with the overall energy you want to feel from a day spa.

Additionally, I used the typeface century gothic for the Sidhe Day Spa logo. However, I curved the ends of each letter for create a softer, more inviting feel.

Advertisement Concept:
My next step was to create a series of advertisements to attract a younger audience to come to the spa. I took activities that many high school and college students participate in, and related them to services they could have done at the spa. I took my own photography for these advertisements as well, and focused on making each ad have a relaxing atmosphere.

Website Concept:
For the website, I focused on creating a very professional atmosphere to further emphasize how experienced and professional the staff and employees are. I provided an About Us page to highlight Ms. Driscoll and her certifications and experience, as well as a services page that highlights all of the specials and amenities the Sidhe Day Spa provides.

Short Term Identity

Project Overview: 
Research and design a visual program for an organization or event randomly picked. (My event and location were Lantern Festival and Hong Kong, China). Create a short term identity system for said event, and create promotional materials that would engage the viewer and persuade them to participate.

Design Concept:
Representing traditional Chinese culture, I brought in similar color schemes and imagery to create an authentic and engaging design, and to engage the viewer and persuade them to participate in a similar authentic and engaging experience. I used bright, bold colors along with dark black spreads throughout my materials to show the contrast and excitement of bright lantern lights in the night sky.

Additionally, I created lantern imagery (as seen in the logo, on the brochure front cover and in my poster) by finding real images of festival lanterns and creating a collage of them by layering them ontop of each other and playing with the opacity. This created an authentic representation of real lantern lights with a creative twist.

To engage viewers further, in the housing unit, I created craft cards for kids where on one side, it shows a real life Chinese artifact or product, and on the other side of the card, it shows origami directions on how to create a paper version of it. This encouraged kids to get involved with the materials and the event.

Joss Whedon Book

Project Overview: 
Design a book which documents the historical significance of an individual that has made the Times 100 list. Consider paper selection, color, and sequence and how you can best make it fit the personality and accomplishments of your chosen person.

Design Concept:
A book design for screenwriter, film/television producer, director and comic book author, Joss Whedon. I drew my inspiration from his graphic novels and the overall art style of comic books. I challenged myself to find the line between over-the-top comic book style and sophistication.

You'll see from viewing my process the journey I take from creating an initial first draft where I just lay out my type and grid, to how it slowly evolves with color, typography and imagery.

Good Magazine

Project Overview: 
Analyze and breakdown the information in the article provided to you. Design an information graphic that supports the article, in addition to designing a four page editorial layout incorporating said graphic and text from the article. Explore compositional variety while retaining clear thematic relationships.

Design Concept:
I designed an editorial spread based on an article I read about the dangers of plastic bags, and whether we should tax, ban or just discourage them. To engage the viewer and provide the information in an easy to understand format, I created multiple infographics that explained facts and data from the article.

For the cover page introducing the article, I created a repetition of THANK YOU's, similar to what you would see on a plastic bag from any regular store, but also included a "NO THANK YOU" in all red in the middle to communicate the article's stance on eliminating the use of plastic bags.

Letterpress Booklet

Project Overview: 
Design a booklet that integrates various text and imagery components while utilizing a consistent grid on a specific given page format. Research your chosen topic and use that material as copy.

Design Concept:
Since my booklet was made to inform the viewer on letterpress, I wanted to bring a rough and gritty feel to my layouts. I did this by venturing down to the letterpress studio we have here at Kent State, and picked up some old letterpress samples. I scanned in these images, bumped up the contrast and used them as backdrops for my spreads. This created a more authentic feel and it helped contribute to the gritty nature of letterpress.

Editorial Specimen

Project Overview: 
Research the typeface Garamond, and research its historical significance. Using content generated from your research paper, design a 2 spread article on your typeface. Devise a typographic system that communicates typical editorial elements, and additionally, use your design to showcase the special characteristics of your typeface.