About UFV

Located in the beautiful Fraser Valley just east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is a fully accredited, public university that enrolls approximately 16,000 students per year. UFV has campuses and locations in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Hope and Agassiz, and a growing presence in Chandigarh, India.

Learn more. ufv.ca

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Visit our program website

UFV Gaphic + Digital Design

UFV GDD Student Wins National Design Award!

George Haroutiun Scholarship Awarded to Mila Mukhortova

GDD graduating student, Mila Mukhortova is the recipient of a $3000 scholarship for her compelling climate change concept. 2016 marks the 30th Anniversary for Applied Arts, Canada’s National design magazine, and the first year of the George Haroutiun Scholarship program. This year’s scholarship challenge was to raise awareness of the effect of climate change on their community. Mila’s solution:

To raise awareness of the effect of climate change in British Columbia I designed an advertising poster and an idea for guerilla marketing. My concept depicts a glass of water as symbol for what we take for granted in our everyday lives — with the addition of measurements to indicate 100 years — from 1950 to 2050. Unfortunately our fresh water is not endless and ‘we’ are compromising fresh water sustainability through industry and our interaction with the world. 2050 is significant because scientists say it’s a pivotal moment in the history of humanity — warming will be an irreversible trend. The second part of my solution is to use the glass as a guerilla marketing piece – sharing our alarming reality in an everyday context to create awareness of the problem.

The original project was part of coursework that introduced public awareness design, Gestalt design theory and symbolism. It is a tremendous honour for Mila to have her concept chosen for this important theme of Climate Change and to be invited to Toronto to accept this prestigious award. Kudo’s to Mila for her great concept and achievement!

Visit Mila Mukhortova’s website

If your dreams and vision don't frighten you, then they are not big enough. — Ertharin Cousins, Executive Director, World Food Programme on tackling world hunger.

GDC Mentoring Emerging Designers

Sharing Expertise and Knowledge!

The GDC national scholarship program offers great opportunities for our emerging designers!  Thank you Johnathon Vaughn Strebly, GDC BC Chapter President for sharing expertise and knowledge with Eugene Kulaga, UFV graduating student. Eugene was the Canada Type 2015 Scholarship Recipient and is designing the 2016 Scholarship promotional collateral. ‪https://www.gdc.net/

Summer Blog

Graphic Design Courses on the Abbotsford Campus

Graphic + Digital Design
May 9 to June 20, 2016
Abbotsford Campus

Digital Foundations

GD157: Digital Design Media I
Adobe Illustrator + Photoshop
Shayne Letain

GD159: Digital Design Media II
Adobe InDesign
Paul Swanson
Ask for a prerequisite waiver!

The world today depends on digital image making and publishing. An understanding of how to use digital tools is essential for any type of communication and Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign are always at the top of the list of digital skills employers require.

In these courses you will begin the process of mastering these programs. From Illustrator’s precision to Photoshop’s flair, we will move through skill building exercises to a final “real world” project.


GD216: Drawing + Illustration II
Adobe Illustrator
Traditional Mediums
Shayne Letain
Ask for a prerequisite waiver!

Illustrators contribute their talent to an amazing variety of creative projects. From publishing and advertising to animation and gaming, illustrators are using their creativity and imagination to turn ideas into stunning reality.

Develop both the technical and conceptual skills necessary to become a successful illustrator. Starting with traditional media techniques, this course will also delve deep into the digital tools that allow illustrators to work on projects in the digital workspace. Meanwhile “real world” assignments allow you to effectively communicate with a “real world” audience.

Register Now!

Shayne Letain: For over 20 years Shayne Letain has worked in the creative industry in a wide variety of roles – from illustrator to web designer, animator to game designer. Since 2008 Shayne has brought this experience into the classroom where he teaches illustration and dynamic media to students at the University of the Fraser Valley. Shayne lives in New Westminster with his wife, Tracey and son, Kai. To see Shayne’s work visit raininspain.net.

Paul Swanson: Paul Swanson is an artist & designer, who has a BA in Economics from Concordia University in Montreal, a BFA in Filmmaking from SUNY Purchase, New York and a Master’s in Digital Media from The Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver, Canada. Over the past 15 years, he also lived and worked in Los Angeles, the south of France and South East Asia, where his area of expertise was in Visual Communication & Multimedia Design, both as a professional and academic. 


Afternoon Tea at the Mission Campus

Graphic + Digital Design
Mission Campus Open House

GDD first year students welcome you to their home away from home!

Come and join us for tea and browse through a showcase of graphic and digital design projects, experiential learning, and community partnerships. See a sneak preview of the upcoming Continuing Education Centre for Creative Development.

Thursday, April 21
2 pm to 7 pm

UFV Mission Campus
33700 Prentis Avenue



SAVE THE DATE! Grad 2016

Discover New Talent:
Creative Woods
Friday, April 29, 2016

University of the Fraser Valley
Graphic + Digital Design Portfolio Show

UFV’s graphic + digital design grads invite you to experience design in its natural element.

4 pm to 7 pm: Meet the Designers
7 pm to 9 pm: Creative Maker Talks

UFV Abbotsford Campus
Student Centre Building S33844 King Road



Design is the silent ambassador of your brand. —Paul Rand
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Studio Tour Field Trip 2016

On January 29th twenty Graphic students embarked on a full day of studio tour field trips that ranged in many specialties. Studios that participated included: HiVE, St. Bernadine, Drive Digital, Bardel Entertainment and Blackstone Press. Students also had the opportunity to explore Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, dined at Urban Thai Bistro in Yaletown, and explore Granville Island. Thank you to all the studios that participated in giving us such a memorable day.

Sayres Lake jumping

2016 Portfolio Info Session

Exciting Portfolio Info Session on February 2nd!

If you are curious, creative and motivated, join us at our upcoming portfolio info session. At this session you will:

  • Meet GDD students and faculty
  • See innovative student design projects
  • Ask questions at our student panel
  • Receive constructive feedback on your artwork
  • Find out about graphic design and the creative industry
  • Take a tour of our studios and labs
  • Win cool prizes

Through engaging projects, passionate faculty and a strong professional community GDD introduces four fields of practice – communication design, brand identity, dynamic media and interactive design. Our classes are small, intimate and dynamic giving you personalized attention.  Come and find out more!  We look forward to welcoming you to our campus!

Tuesday, February 2  |  6:00 to 9:00 pm
UFV Mission Campus, 33700 Prentis Avenue, Mission BC

Register Here! @UFVGDD

For more information: UFV Graphic Design Website



Ecotex Christmas E-Card

GDD students Eugene & Sultan worked on a fantastic Christmas E-card for Ecotex. This was to help support our 2016 grad fundraiser. Thanks to faculty support Shayne for the animation!

IM Curwen 8

Mission’s Barbarian Press

A celebration of the disappearing art of printer’s ornaments and their history at the Curwen Press.

Barbarian Press’s Curwen Project will be a letterpress limited edition showing some of the most beautiful work ever done with printer’s ornaments. Printed in many colours from ornamental designs hand-set in type up to seventy years ago, with lavish supporting texts and photographs, Bordering on the Sublime will be a work of art.

Don’t miss this rare chance to support this work!

Find out more Curwen Press Project

We feel that nothing should come between the text and the reader, and it is our view that typography should have, in Robert Bringhurst’s phrase, ‘a statuesque transparency’: like good film music, the best typography is effective to the degree that it is unobtrusive – supporting, not supplanting, the principal experience of the reader. — Crispin Elsted, Barbarian Press, Mission, BC

Barbarian Press, Printers & Publishers of Fine Press Books and Limited Editions

Mission Biz News
Mission biz e news
Mission Chamber Biz E News Article

Connecting Mission’s Business Community

Rebranding Mission’s Biz-e-News

Student teams in UFV’s interactive design class partnered with the District of Mission to rebrand Mission’s business news. Assistant Professor, Miranda Ting lead the teams through the interface design process, user-friendly platforms, and UX. Working with Stacey Crawford, Mission’s economic development officer and Michael Boronowski, Manager of Civic Engagement and Corporate Initiatives, the students had a real world client/designer experience. Congrats to Eugene Kulaga, Paige Nelmes, Nicole Hatter, Shelby Smithson, and Shayleen Bain for getting their website branding selected from Mission E-Biz. 

View the site here: Mission biz-e-news

Typography is the foundation of web design.

157 154 Blog Post

Digital Skills Foundation, Abbotsford Campus

The Big 3: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign!

This winter, get a digital skills foundation at the Abbotsford campus. Registration is now open.

GD157 Digital Design Media 1
Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop

This course introduces digital design applications for image making in both vector and raster formats. Content-driven projects combined with workshops will focus on creating images for different types of media and using the right tool for the right task.

GD154 Typography
Adobe InDesign

Writing > Lettering > Typography.  Creative, practical and useful! Learn typographic best practices, and an appreciation for the expressive qualities of type through lectures, projects, and presentations. GD154 explores the history and foundation of typography from the 15th century to the present. The course includes an introduction to inDesign with access to Adobe FontFolio’s  collection of 2,400 OpenType fonts.

UFV Winter Schedule

Animal Morph, GD157, Eugene Kulaga


pARTicipate Poster Competition


The pARTicipate Poster Competition has been running biannually since 2009 with its aim to foster visual/design creativity and promote social awareness and activism. The theme of this year’s project – Homelessness – provides the opportunity to think critically and with empathy while considering various causes and consequences of not having a home. The objective for the poster is to bring awareness to the shelter and poverty crisis as well as to emphasize an urgent need for affordable housing. For information on the state of homelessness in Canada, see: http://www.homelesshub.ca/SOHC2014

Design Objectives:

  • Convey a strong message instantly. It must be easily read from a distance – concept, image and/or words.
  • Concise idea.
  • Effective contrast, spatial depth and scale.
  • Clear typographic application that emphasizes the message.
  • Design is relevant, appropriate and engages the target audience.

Target Audience

  • The UFV community and the general public


  • Any mediums may be used.
  • Poster design must be submitted in both print and digital formats.
  • Print: 16” x 22”/ 56 cm x 44 cm in portrait or landscape format – flush trim, full size.
  • Digital: PDF
  • Include a written rationale with your submission (100 words in a word document).
  • Be sure to include your name, student number, and contact information on the back of the poster and in your email submission.
  • All print and digital entries must reach the Visual Arts Office, UFV, Abbotsford C 1402h
  • Email digital PDF and written rationale to Vicki.Bolan@ufv.ca


  • Originality: innovation and effectiveness.
  • Composition and Visual Hierarchy: typography, image, colour and layout.
  • Final Solution: impactful and creates awareness.

Deadline for poster submissions is noon, March 21, 2016

Connecting the dots ... It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. — Steve Jobs, 1955–2011.

Stanford Commencement Address, June 14, 2005. 

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GDC Salazar Regional Design Awards

GDD Student wins brand identity design award!

Emily Mclean, recent GDD grad won the “Brand Identity” category in a major BC Chapter GDC Awards Competition.  There were several honourable mentions but only 4 winners, with stiff competition from students from other design programs at Capilano, Kwantlen, Emily Carr, Langara and VFS.  Emily is now working at Vancouver studio, FREE AGENCY CREATIVE as a junior designer. Emily is a designer to watch!

Emily’s website: http://www.emilymclean.ca/

Around Abby App
Com Collateral
tea cup
Tea truck
Community Logo

Community Branding

What is community? How do you build community? How do you create connections?

A community can be defined as a social unit of any size that shares common values—a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. A collection of Abbotsford non-profits joined forces to focus on one common goal—to build community in Abbotsford. They came to UFV’s graphic and digital design students with a challenge: to develop a campaign inspired by creating community in Abbotsford. Students were tasked with designing a campaign that forges an emotional connection with the audience by providing not only great content but also engagement—inviting the audience into an ongoing conversation and leaving them with a sense of belonging.

Featured here are three projects. Click on the images to see the design solutions.

Around Abby

Colton Floris and Sam Lebitschnig

Many communities exist within Abbotsford, they’re just hidden. Around Abby is meant to be a platform to connect these communities with the people who don’t know they exist or are searching for a community to be a part off. Nearly everyone has a smart phone making an app accessible to everyone. Your phone already connects you with friends, family, and colleagues. Now it can connect you to Abbotsford’s communities.


Emily McLean

Com is an organization of volunteers founded to get people talking, thinking and acting in their community. Volunteers would put on events and create art to get people talking, thinking, and acting on community. Events include anything from comedy nights and concerts, to marathons and fundraisers.Proceeds from the events would be put back into funding more events.
Connecting the Dots Between Communities poster. Top Right: Billboards advertising the foundation. Bottom Right: Community buttons.


Amy Hall and Clark Giesbrecht

Community is comprised of individuals with a sense of connectedness and belonging. CommuniTEA is a travelling truck serving teas by donation in busy public places.  The idea is to ‘come pour out your heart to a stranger’ – a way to get people to meet new people. Icebreakers include fun coasters and conversation starters – magnetic words that can be used to create messages on the truck.

GD317, 2014
Nova Hopkins, Assistant Professor

Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation; CNIB; Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Chilliwack, Mission; The Reach Gallery Museum; Abbotsford Hospital Foundations; and Abbotsford Community Services


Don’t Stay Home Alone on November 28

GDD Christmas Fundraiser!

Join us for a night of great food, live music and good company! Support the Graphic & Digital Design grads of 2016 to fund their portfolio show. Be sure to wear that ugly Christmas sweater hiding in your closet as there are prizes to be won. Other festivities include raffle prizes, 50/50 draw and handmade cards for purchase by the graduates.

Tickets Available!

Ticket price includes burger, a side, an alcoholic/non-alcoholic drink of choice (service tip included).

Finnegan’s Pub
33780 King Road, Abbotsford, BC
5:30 – 10:00pm

Students – $20
Regular – $25

Purchase via this link!


Mila Applied Arts

Applied Arts Magazine Student Awards

Mila Mukhortova
Applied Arts Magazine Student Award Winner

Congratulations to GDD Student Liudmila Mukhortova (Grad 2016) on having two first-year projects selected for Applied Arts Magazine 2015 Student Awards. The work is published in the November edition of Applied Arts Magazine, Canada’s national publication for graphic design.

GD154 DIY Alphabet

My inspiration came from a calligraphy workshop with Martin Jackson. I love to feel and see how natural the ink pen flows on a paper following the same directions for centuries. For this DIY alphabet project, I used basic italic letterforms and explored a medium other than the paper — the water. I let the ink be free in the water reservoir and photographed the shapes it made.

GD101 The Great Exhibition

We were tasked to design a visually engaging publication for the first World’s Fair using The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones and The Complete Encyclo­pedia of Illustration by J.G. Heck as graphic standards. It took me a couple of days to fully immerse myself in the Victorian era. Watching movies, reading the historical articles and imagining myself in the Crystal Palace all brought me to the idea of a message from Victorian-era pioneers to future generations.

Nova Character

Community Involvement

Serving Character Abbotsford

Nova Hopkins, GDD Assistant Professor, is serving as a board member on the Character Abbotsford Council. Character Abbotsford endeavours to build strong communities by working together for the common good.

Giving through Experiential Learning

One Project x 24 Students
= 1000 hours!

I am honoured and humbled by the incredible work of GDD students. As I grade their projects, I can’t help but feel the enormous responsibility I have in their learning. Passion and delight, inspiration and elation, frustration and despair, and time reveal itself in every project. It is no less than 1,000 hours of combined effort in any given assignment. The time our students spend on the discovery process, ideation, learning tools and solving problems is valuable, and even more so when applied to real projects that contribute to the greater good. That’s what makes experiential learning in the community so rewarding. Good design is powerful, impactful and can make a change.

Some “1,000 hour” community projects since the inception of GDD in 2012

  • Mission Community Foundation Brand Identity
  • Mission Biz e news, District of Mission, Economic Development 
  • Sayres Lake Experience Design, Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group
  • Abbotsford Community Building Project, Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, CNIB, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Chilliwack, Mission and Abbotsford Hospital Foundations, and Abbotsford Community Services 
  • Tail Art for the 100th Anniversary of the Mexican Air Force, Cascade Aerospace
  • Footprint Press Magazine, Editorial Design and Typography
  • Grab-A-Java Brand Identity
  • Mission Writers and Readers Festival Collateral
  • Mission Folk Festival Poster Design
  • Defining Mission, Branding Event Display Panels, Mission Chamber of Commerce
  • Homelessness pARTicipate poster project, UFV Visual Arts Department
  • Indian Residential School pARTicipate poster project, UFV Visual Arts Department
  • Discover the Fraser Experience Design, Lanka Jewels, Mission Chamber of Commerce, Mission Port Authority, Mission Archives, Mission Museum
  • Fraser River Heritage Park Zine

Thank you GDD students! Thank you community partners!

Karin Jager, GDD Department Head


Mission Arts Council Craft Market

GDD Student Fundraiser!

Come to Mission’s renowned Christmas Craft Market taking place Saturday November 8 and Sunday November 9. Enjoy the festive spirit and creative fair celebrating local makers. More than 100 vendors – and original art, artisan and crafts, and handmade items! Hosted by the Mission Arts Council.  GDD students are selling Christmas cards and designerly gifts to support their grad show!

Saturday November 7: 10 to 5
Sunday November 8: 10 to 4
Heritage Park
33700 Prentis Avenue
Mission, BC

Join us November 10! Portfolio Workshop and Info Session

Interested in Graphic Design?

Are you a visual thinker? 
Creative? Passionate? Find out what it takes to be a graphic designer and about UFV’s unique Graphic + Digital Design Diploma program and BFA Graphic Design Extended Minor. We cover communication design, dynamic media, interactive design and visual identity. Learn more at our info session 
and portfolio workshop! And, win a Command Z T-Shirt!

Bring your sketchbook and artwork and receive constructive feedback from GDD faculty. Build 
a strong university entrance portfolio and start 
your career path in the creative industries.

Join us on Tuesday November 10

6:00 to 9:00 pm
UFV Mission Campus
33700 Prentis Avenue



Social Responsibility in GD317

We Care about Our Communities!

We also care about those who care about our communities! Our first project in the GD317 course, has engaged us in research, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data related to Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and contributions in 2015.

We believe that Socially Responsible Companies nurture our community by providing safe working conditions and secure employment, by producing healthy, high-quality products, and by making a positive contribution to numerous social initiatives, such as in the domains of health care and education. We learned that every year, each corporation presents its business practices in the form of Corporate Social Responsibility Report (CSR). The CSR helps us to understand the company’s sense of responsibility towards our community.

Our Perspective: CSR Reports are usually designed as data-driven entities and overloaded with technical language and information; they usually do not sustain the reader’s attention and, consequently, they fail to create an intense connection with the reader.

Our Challenge: Designing CSR Reports that would have a strong identity and meaningful concept, and that would intensely connect with the reader and positively engage the community.



Hallowe’en Fun

Black Sugar, Purple Icing, Laughter: Hallowe’en Treats at UFV GDD!


AIGA Seattle Field Trip

An Inspired Start to the School Year!

On September 23rd forty-one people from the UFV GDD went to Seattle to participate in a fun-filled day. Students toured EMP Museum, Digital Kitchen, Artefact and attended AIGA’s Changemaker Showcase (AIGA Design for good). Thanks to Matt Cole for the detailed explanations on experience design for EMP.  Also, David Miller from Artefact for tips on preparing for professional practice. Later in the evening students got a chance to mingle with industry and gain access to prevalent information at AIGA’s Design for Good Changemaker Showcase.

Photos on Flickr


GDC National Scholarships

Eugene Kulaga
Canada Type Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to GDD student, Eugene Kulaga, recipient of the Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) 2015 Canada Type scholarship for Kandinsky: Geometric Typeface and DIY Rock Type Alphabet. The Canada Type Scholarship was created to support students who are studying graphic/communication design in Canada and who have a keen interest in typography.

Kandinsky: Geometric Typeface

The visual inspiration for this project came from a geometric abstract painting “Composition VIII” by famous Russian artist W. Kandinsky. Intersecting, angled lines and circles served as a good base for creating letterforms. I aimed at creating a typeface that could be balanced and readable, and at the same time dynamic and artistic as the painting itself. I have limited the elements and colours, so that there would be consistency in letterforms increasing the legibility. By looking at words formed from this typeface and even separate glyphs one can recognize the elements of Kandinsky’s art.

Reference: “Composition VIII” artist W. Kandinsky

DIY Rock Type Alphabet

Nature is the richest source of inspiration, especially in typography. Rock Type Alphabet was created using the lines found only in one stone. Thoroughly hand tracing every line of the rock was a great process of exploration in itself. I have minimized editing of the letterforms, keeping them as close as possible to the original, to maintain the organic feel to pass to the viewer the sense of discovery and love of nature. This alphabet can be developed into a decorative font for use in headlines, posters, trail signage or t-shirt graphics.

Elements for the background composite for the poster and type specimen (clouds and water) are Shutterstock images.


GDD Welcome Back BBQ

The Graphic & Digital Design department welcomes all returning students and new students for an exciting first week of class. Thanks to the GDSA for organizing a fun Welcome Back BBQ for the students. We had a lovely time getting to know one another over sandwiches and a “friendly” game of Cards Against Humanity.  A great start to the term!


Explore New Terrain

Valley Design celebrates the unique qualities of being the Fraser Valley’s only design program. We love where we live and what we do. Meet the 22 designers from the Graphic + Digital Design program at the University of the Fraser Valley.

HIGHSTREET ABBOTSFORD  J150 / 3122 Mt. Lehman Rd.

West Side Centre Plaza // Mezzanine parking

Follow Us



NewFrontiers blog

PechaKucha 6

Valley Design: New Frontiers, April 28

Join us for the 2015 Graphic + Digital Design Portfolio Show and PechaKucha 6!

Explorers will gather at HighStreet from 4 pm to 6 pm on Tuesday April 28, 2015 to discover Fraser Valley’s emerging designers from the University of the Fraser Valley’s  Graphic + Digital Design program. Guides, maps and field rations will be provided; taking field notes is encouraged. Sturdy but stylish attire recommended.

Take in PechaKucha at 6 pm. Prepare for fast, fascinating talks on topics that cover a wide variety of creative terrain. PechaKucha is a lively 20 slides x 20 second presentation style. Featuring pioneers:

  • Laura Cameron-Delisle / Environmental Educator
  • Mark Wardell / Business Coach
  • Cydney Myers, Kara Hanson and Carolina Silva / Share my next meal
  • Taya Hawes-Puiu / Partners & Hawes Branding/Marketing
  • Connie Hackett / Emerge Leader
  • Kris Foulds / The Reach Gallery Museum
  • Adam Wormald / Cassiar MediaWorks
  • Derrick Swallow / uDistrict and UFV 2025
  • Patrick Oystryk / Abbotsforward

PechaKucha sells out FAST. Register now! PechaKucha Tickets

4 pm to 6 pm: Meet the Designers
6 pm to 9 pm: PechaKucha
HighStreet: J150 (West side of Centre Plaza) 3122 Mt. Lehman Rd, Abbotsford. Parking is on the mezzanine level.
More Info and Grad Portfolios: DESIGNmission.ca

PechaKucha Partners:

Sayres Lake Project

A Process of Discovery

UFV’s graphic and digital design first year students are learning about Sayres Lake Campground and experience design. Sayres Lake is within Mission’s Interpretive Forest and Kwantlen Traditional Territory. The serene beauty, majestic trees, and historical and archeological significance are providing some great inspiration. Special thank you to the Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group.


Authentic Storytelling at PARADIGM Connections

Love! Love! Love! PechaKucha 5!

A paradigm of heartfelt passion was shared at the Fraser Valley’s 5th PechaKucha. Hosted by UFV’s Graphic + Digital Design students, The Reach, and Jelly Digital Marketing at UFV’s Abbotsford campus, this vibrant sold-out event was thought provoking and visually captivating. 16 outstanding speakers and an exhibition of bold student work inspired rave reviews from the more than 160 guests!

Authenticity resonated amongst the speakers. Their paths of discovery enabled unexpected connections that were life changing. We left feeling that anything is possible in the Fraser Valley!

Event photos by Imroze Deol, UFV GDD Student:
PechaKucha 5: Photos, Imroze Deol

And Danielle Collins, UFV BFA Graphic Design Extended Minor Student:
PechaKucha 5: Photos, Danielle Collins 

Here are a few take-aways:

“Revolutions are built on storytelling.”
– Bosco Anthony, Business growth strategist

“Do we do what we love? Or not?!?!?”
– Darian Kovacs on Michael Boronowski’s love/hate story of his passion for music and adventure.

“Life truly begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
– Anne-Marie Wee, The Dessert Republic

“Career sweet spot: Things I’m good at. Things I can get paid for. Things I love to do.”

“How we connect with others and how we view ourselves aligns.”
– Shawn Neumann, Founder & CEO, Domain 7

“Work with people who deserve your energy, not with those that need it.”
– David Reeve, Brand and Culture Builder

“May the force be with you.”
– Krista Hesketh, The blonde jedi

“Are you communicating or just making pretty pictures?”
– Brad Haima

“Who are the next generation of farmers going to be and how are we going to inspire them?”
– Simran Bain, Westberry Farms

“Quality connections.”
(with some fun audience participation drum lessons).
– Jared Falk, Drumeo

Education unlocks potential.
– Sheila Reimer, UFV Advancement

“How to be happy: decide every day you are in a good mood.” 
– Sarah Clark, Jelly Digital Marketing

“Through story telling people have an opportunity to connect with themselves.” 
– Greg Meeres, Boldfish Video

“The smaller the door, the bigger the opportunity.”   
– Tim McAlpine, Currency Marketing

You may need to recalculate a few times, but it’s all worth it when you get to do what you love!
– Cherlandra Estrada

“Autobiographical art is therapeutic, but also very gutsy.”
– Alisha Deddens

“110 love letters from 1947 inspired a journey doing what I love.
– Carly Butler Verheyen

Special thanks to our sponsors Blackpress, The Patrika, Dessert Republic and UFV Alumni Association.

The next PechaKucha takes place at High Street on Tuesday April 28 and features UFV’s graphic and digital design graduating student portfolio show Valley Design. Get your tickets! This event will sell out quickly.

Save-the-date! Tuesday April 28, 2015
Valley Design: New Frontiers

4 pm to 6 pm: Meet the Designers
6 pm to 9 pm: PechaKucha, New Frontiers
HighStreet: J150-3122 Mt. Lehman Rd, Abbotsford

Tickets: PechaKucha.ca

 Photo: UFV Graphic and Digital Design at PechaKucha 5



VALLEY DESIGN: New Frontiers

Save-the-date! Tuesday April 28, 2015

Discover the Valley’s hidden design gems at the Portfolio Show of the University of the Fraser Valley’s Graphic and Digital Design (GDD) program.

4 pm to 6 pm: Meet the Designers

6 pm to 9 pm: PechaKucha, New Frontiers

HighStreet: J150-3122 Mt. Lehman Rd, Abbotsford




PARADIGM Exhibition February 3 to 18

A fabulous exhibition of community and typography projects created by UFV’s graphic and digital design students. Come and view the work!

S’eliyemetaxwtexw Art Gallery
UFV Abbotsford, Building B, 136
33844 King Road, Abbotsford

Exhibition February 3 to 18
Reception: Thursday February 12, 5:00 pm

Followed by PechaKucha 6:30 pm: Building B, 101 Lecture Theatre



GD 216 Drawing and Illustration – Classical Elements

The students of UFV’s GDD Drawing and Illustration class were asked to interpret the Classical Elements (Earth, Wind, Fire and Water), using just black and white media. You can read the original brief here.

PARADIGM Instagram

Instagram: Connections

Do you love what you do?

Share a photo of you expressing your love of something (anything!) and it may be displayed at the [PARADIGM] CONNECTIONS Event!

Snap a photo that shows your love of what you do. Share it on Instagram using #PKAbbotsford, tag @PKFraserValley and the top 10 photos with the most likes will be printed, displayed and auctioned off at [PARADIGM] CONNECTIONS: Doing What We Love on February 12! Exhibition will be up until February 18.

UFV Abbotsford, Thursday February 12
Reception and Photo Auction 5:00 pm: Building B, 136 Gallery
PechaKucha 6:30 pm: Building B, 101 Lecture Theatre
Speakers + Tickets:  PechaKucha.ca

Proceeds benefit UFV’s Graphic and Digital Design Grads

Contest ends on February 5. Good luck!

GDD Blog 2

PechaKucha 5! February 12

PechaKucha 5
[PARADIGM] Connections:
Doing what we love!

16 Fabulous Speakers and a Spectacular Gallery Exhibition

A lively 20 slides x 20 second presentation style featuring stories about doing what we love! The event begins with a gala reception in UFV’s S’eliyemetaxwtexw Art Gallery featuring visual connections through community branding projects and typography portraits created by UFV’s Graphic + Digital Design students!

  • Shawn Neumann, Founder & CEO, Domain 7
  • Jared Falk, Drumeo
  • Krista Hesketh, The Blonde Jedi
  • Greg Meeres, Boldfish Video Productions
  • Carly Butler Verheyen, Photographer/Writer
  • Tim McAlpine, Currency Marketing
  • Anne-Marie Wee, The Dessert Republic
  • David Reeve, Unleash Culture, Brand and Culture Builder
  • Bosco Anthony, Digital Strategy
  • Brad Haima, Circle Graphics
  • Michael Boronowski, Civic Engagement and Corporate Initiatives, District of Mission
  • Sheila Reimer, UFV Advancement
  • Cherlandra Estrada, The Reach Gallery Museum
  • Simran Bains, VP, Operations, Westberry Farms
  • Sarah Clark, Jelly Digital Marketing and PR
  • Alisha Deddens, Installation Artist and Young Contemporaries Leader

UFV Abbotsford, Thursday February 12
Reception 5:00 pm: Building B, 136 Gallery
PechaKucha 6:30 pm: Building B, 101 Lecture Theatre

Tickets:  PechaKucha.ca

Tickets by donation to support UFV’s Graphic + Digital Design grads.

Co-sponsors: Jelly Digital Marketing, UFV Graphic and Digital Design, and The Reach Gallery Museum

Event Promotion Design: Emily McLean, GDD 2015 graduating student


2015 Portfolio Workshop

Tuesday February 3, UFV Mission Campus

Come to our portfolio workshop and find out about graphic design!

Info Session, Studio + Lab tour
6:00 – 7:00 pm

Interested in working in a creative field?  Graphic design includes designing logos, books, websites, motion graphics, iPad apps, posters, and much more! Find out what it takes to become a graphic designer and how UFV can help. This info session introduces UFV’s unique Graphic + Digital Design Diploma program and BFA Graphic Design Extended Minor.

Portfolio Workshop
7:00 – 8:00 pm

Do you like to create, draw, and experiment? Bring your sketchbook and artwork and receive constructive feedback. Learn how to build a strong entrance portfolio.

UFV Mission Campus (D227)
Heritage Park Centre
33700 Prentis Avenue

For more info, call 604 557 7607 or 1 888 504 7441 x 7607 or email Karin Jager.

“Create, Make, Share, Inspire” was inspired by a project in GD101 Fundamentals of Design. Project brief: Explore the Victorian era and design a commemorative piece for the 1851 Worlds Fair using Owen Jones grammar of ornament and engravings from the “encyclopedia of illustration” 1850. Client: Queen Victoria! This piece was designed by Luidmila Mukhortova, GDD first year student 2014.

Writing, Lettering and Typography

Calligraphically Inspired!

This fall, our first year typography course introduced writing, lettering and type. Students designed their own alphabets, practiced the art of calligraphy, and worked with Adobe’s amazing 2400 font library learning type classification, the rules of applied typography, and Adobe InDesign.

One of the highlights were the calligraphy workshops. Master Calligrapher Martin Jackson shared his craft and knowledge of letterforms and this wonderful experience inspired a Chinese calligraphy workshop hosted by our students. Led by Robbie Li — Zhe Huang, Shuai Xin, Bo Feng, and Ziyi Hao gave each of us our own name in Chinese characters to render … learning the nuances of the strokes and holding the brush just right is a lot harder than it looks!


GDD Students think big and attend Practivism!

Design Activism?

Engaging with professional communities is an important part of practice. Students toured Ampco Graphix and learned first hand about producing large scale graphics and 3D printing and then attended The Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Pracitivsm. The theme for the event was design activism with speaker Sheila Sampath, and panel Richard Hatter, Hired Guns Creative; Councillor, Andrea Reimer, Vision Vancouver; Sergio Toperek, Vancouver Film School; and Steve Fisher, The Republik of Quality, Moderator.


Nova Hopkins presents at SheSays Vancouver

Nova Hopkins, GDD Assistant Professor presented the power of storytelling in Vancouver on November 18, at “She Says, Vancouver.” Motivated to inspire, Nova shared her unique approach to critical thinking. Nova teaches brand identity in GDD and has her own practice http://novahopkins.com/ serving the Fraser Valley.

SheSays is an award-winning organization dedicated to the advancement of women to top-level roles within marketing and advertising agencies. With 16 chapters worldwide, including New York, London, Paris, Toronto, Seattle, and Vancouver, SheSays members make up a network of over 3,000 women. http://www.weareshesays.com/

Poster Designed by: Colton Floris

GDD Pub Night Fundraiser

Poster Designed by: Colton Floris

Don’t Be a Grinch!

Yes it’s that time of the year again…and we want to share it with you the graphic designer way.

A super fun evening at Finnegans in Abbotsford to support UFV’s Graphic and Digital Design grads of 2015!

Saturday, Nov. 29th • 5:30-10pm
– all ages welcome –

$20 – for students (please bring valid student ID)
$25 – for non-students

Ticket prices include:
a burger and a drink, live music
…along with a chance to win some prizes in the ugly sweater contest.

So dust off those hideous and itchy sweater and join us at Finnegans for an evening of creative and festive spirit.
Don’t be a grinch! You won’t regret it.

Tickets available on:
or call 604-557-7609

For more details visit the Facebook event page

Questions? – designmission@ufv.ca


Flying to New Heights!

Designing Tail Art for Cascade Aerospace

To commemorate the Mexican Air Force’s 100th Anniversary – Fuerza Aérea Mexicana – Cascade Aerospace in Abbotsford worked with UFV’s graphic design students to create expressive tail art design for three C160 Hercules planes. This project was brought into two courses — GD101 Design Fundamentals and GD374 Brand Identity. In GD101, students explored design movements and worked with modernist themes to create visual compositions, whereas in GD374, students considered branding elements and constraints for large scale three-dimensional graphics with curved surfaces. Both classes created an impressive selection of graphic solutions. The project began with a client briefing and tour of Cascade Aerospace to see the planes being built and the tails. Part way through the project, Cascade marketing professionals and engineers were brought into the classroom at UFV Mission to view the work and share their expertise.


Defining Mission

During the summer of 2014, local Mission residents shared their thoughts about their community as part of a branding initiative inspired by the Mission Chamber of Commerce. First year students in GD154 Typography created a series of typographic compositions using word connotation to visually depict these thoughts. The students, new to graphic design, typography and for many — new to Mission showcased their projects at “Defining Mission” an event that took place at the Clarke Theatre on September 25. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about Mission and how voice is essential to building a brand.

Bob Rennie, urban developer and marketer was the keynote and shared these perspectives:

We all survive on our similarities, but we are defined by our differences.

Investing in education and the future will make your community flourish.

Branding is proprietary, not a facsimilie.

What did the students learn at the event?

Effective branding is about consistency.

Maintaining your brand is a full time job.

Keep your wikipedia page up-to-date!

Special thanks to the Mission Chamber of Commerce for this opportunity and the District of Mission for their support.

Chestnut St. Pixel Foundry Tour

UFV’s Graphic + Digital Design students were privileged to tour Chestnut St. Pixel Foundry in Vancouver. Partners, Kelly Chen & Megan Seely shared insights and tips on starting their own design business. Two years after graduating design school, these two designers partnered and started Chestnut St. Pixel Foundry. Chestnut St. Pixel Foundry specializes in website design and development—with a large amount of their work focusing on non-profits. They also found a nice niche working primarily with agencies and designers—rolling out visual brand identity online.

Some insight and advice that was shared:

Quit your job. A job is like a safety net. Without a job you are going to work even harder to get what you want.

Learn WordPress. Learn basic code, so you can modify your sites.

This tour opened the students’ eyes to the large degree of career possibilities that are available to designers—and will perhaps inspire some of them to start their own businesses.

Brand Identity Field Trip

Coffee Crawl!

Second year Graphic + Digital Design (GDD) students take on Vancouver for a caffeine-infused design crawl.

This fall semester, Brand Identity students were assigned a project on rebranding the Mission coffee shop, Grab-a-Java. Dave Perritt, owner of the independent coffee shop, spoke to students at the beginning of the semester on Grab-a-Java’s unique selling position within the coffee world. The students toured the roastery and watch Strong Coffee, a documentary highlighting positive change in the practice of coffee farming by a group named Cafe Femenino. Founded in 2004 by women farmers, Cafe Femenino is coffee grown and produced by women only. Dave is a strong advocate for the group’s motives of creating and encouraging social change in their community—as he serves the Mission community this delicious coffee.

The GDD students toured a handful of Vancouver coffee shops and roasters to analyze the design esthetics, potential target audiences, geographical locations and of course, great coffee. Students visited Revolver Coffee in Gastown, Forty Ninth Parallel and JJ Bean on Main Street, and Matchstick Coffee and Roaster near Fraser & Kingsway.

The students ended the coffee crawl in Burnaby at Swiss Water Process; where they toured the plant to see how coffee is decaffeinated. Swiss Water Process removes caffeine from the coffee been using a gentle water process instead of harsh chemicals, leaving the coffee bean 99.9% caffeine-free (and chemical free). The team at Swiss Water Process showed the GDD students the cupping lab, a special room dedicated to tasting the final product ensuring it is true to the flavour characteristics of the bean.

Armed with insights into the coffee world, students will be creating a visual brand identity based for Grab-a-Java’s community-focused personality and story.

Stay tuned for concepts and brand pitches near the end of this semester.


GDD Blog 2

PechaKucha Abbotsford October 23

Join us for a [Paradigm] of creativity and inspiration!

The Reach Gallery Museum, the University of the Fraser Valley and Jelly Marketing are excited to bring you the next PechaKucha series! PechaKucha Abbotsford is revealing four new paradigms in a series of sensational events in 2014/15! The Reach is holding the next Fraser Valley PechaKucha on Thursday October 23 at 6:30 pm. Be inspired by a lively series of short “20 slide x 20 seconds each” presentations. The theme in October is [Paradigm] Change – Changing how we see, do and make things happen!

  • Mark Busse, Designer/Strategist and Creative Community Activist
  • Kayla Feenstra, Tiny House, Abby Digs Homeless Village, and school gardens
  • Matej Balaz, Graphic Designer and Cinematographer
  • Sheila Perry, Executive Director The Reach
  • Brennan Gleason, Domain 7
  • Harmony Thiessen, Executive Director of the Langley Arts Council
  • Steffen Janzen, Relevention
  • Johnathon Christian, We Make Stuff Happen
  • Adelle Renaud, Designer
  • Randall Peters, Executive Director Run for Water
  • Ken Wuschke, Social Entrepreneur

Thursday October 23 | 6:30pm | $5 Friend of the Reach; $8 Future Friend
32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford

REGISTER Here! Tickets are moving fast.

Paradigm workmark designed by Emily McLean, Second Year Student in UFV’s Graphic and Digital Design Program







GDC National Scholarship Awards

Colton Floris, GDD 1st year student recieves an Applied Arts honourable mention!

Colton Floris impressed the judges with “iMAGiNE” — an original interactive children’s book design and story. This project showcases exceptional writing, design, illustration and cross-platform media application. Colton’s submission was one out of 140 graphic design student entries from across Canada. The scholarship recipients are featured in Applied Arts.

Project Brief:  D.I.Y. Publication Project
GD159 Digital Design Media II, Instructor: Jason Neve

You develop the concept • You develop the format/materials • You build the project • WYSIWYG Presentation; not a dummy/not a mock-up • Include at least one interactive element (web link or QR-code) on the print version • Include at least two interactive elements on the digital version  • All content must be original.

Solution:  iMAGiNE – A Children’s Story Book

My solution was to create a children’s book where the child is the star in a story that inspires imagination. This interactive story allows for the character’s name to be modified so the reader becomes part of the story. The book is hard cover, as well as a digital download for iPad and iPhone. The digital book features animated illustrations bringing the story to life, and is aimed at kids aged 3-8.

Read about the award recipients here:  GDC National Scholarship Recipients  

See the complete iMAGiNE Story Book

SIGGRAPH 2014, Vancouver August 10–14

Graphic Art, Animation, Gaming + Interactivity

The 41st Vancouver SIGGRAPH Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques will be from August 10-14th at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  This exhibition is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience including a three-day commercial exhibition that attracts hundreds of exhibitors from around the world. SIGGRAPH is widely recognized as the most prestigious forum for the publication of computer graphics research. In addition to SIGGRAPH’s leading-edge technical program, the conference’s installations provide close-up views of the latest in digital art, emerging technologies, and hands-on opportunities for creative collaboration. The SIGGRAPH community includes people who are excited by research, science, graphic art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web.

Some must see items this year at SIGGRAPH include:

Emerging Technologies

Play with the latest interactive and graphics technologies before they transform the way we live and work. Emerging Technologies presents demonstrations of research from several fields, including displays, input devices, collaborative environments, and robotics.

Studio Courses: Make Cross-Platform Mobile Apps Quickly

This introduction to rapid mobile-app development uses easily available tools such as PhoneGap/Cordova, MoSync, UppSite, and others, and common technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript, to show how mobile apps that are graphically rich yet lightweight and cross-platform can be built quickly. Attendees learn how to set up a development environment, create a mobile project, write code, run it in an emulator, and send it to a phone. Example projects include a news reader, a contacts manager, and a drawing app.

Technical  Papers: Typography & Illustration

Join Ariel Shamir from the Interdisciplinary Center as various guest speakers from around the world discuss different learning methods for typography and illustration. Topics include, DecoBrush: Drawing Structured Decorative Patterns by Example, Learning a Manifold of Fonts, Exploratory Font Selection Using Crowdsourced Attributes, A Similarity Measure for Illustration Style, and Look Over Here: Attention-Directing Composition of Manga Elements.

For More Information: http://s2014.siggraph.org

Contributed by Miranda Ting, Assistant Professor, UFV Graphic and Digital Design 



Science Without Borders: Lorenza Quinzi Carmo, Brazil

I care! Smart Living Challenge

Lorenza Quinzi Carmo, a recent international student in GDD, took her “I care!” Rewards Program concept from the GD 374 Brand Identity course and entered the Smart Living Challenge with it.

Inspire, recycle, enjoy. The “I care!” Rewards program takes used Inspire bottles, recycles them at the actual factory where they were made and brings them back to the supermarket filled with another great and fresh organic soup. Customers just have to return their used inspire bottle to the recycle machine and validate their rewards card to get the package discount on their next purchase.

The Smart Living Challenge is an international competition. Take a look at her submission and remember to vote. http://ow.ly/zs4yM

Few people think about it or are aware of it. But there is nothing made by human beings that does not involve a design decision somewhere. — Bill Moggridge

Meet Jessica Macbeth!

Grad 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award

Jessica Macbeth is the recipient of GDD’s Outstanding Achievement Award for her exceptional portfolio, ability and professionalism. One of Jessica’s major contributions to her grad year was the design and production of Appetite for Design — part of GDD’s fundraising efforts for the 2014 portfolio show. The cookbook featured personal recipes and wonderful illustrations from her graduating class. Jessica worked hard in all of her endeavours with a genuine passion for her craft — and met every deadline. With her talent for branding and photography, Jessica is now working as a junior designer at Rally Creative in Abbotsford.

Motivated by: The people around me. I love seeing what others are capable of and pushing myself to do things that I don’t know how to yet.

Fuelled by:  Massive amounts of chocolate and Sour Patch Kids.

Entertained by: Gifs of adorable puppies, Netflix, and my 5 year old niece.

Click here to view Jessica’s portfolio


PICA: Western Canada’s Design Conference, Edmonton, Alberta

Past, Present and Future: What are we thinking?

Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), May 8, 2014

The PICA 2014 Education Day punctuated new ways of thinking and learning. Educators and students from Canada and abroad presented the past, present and future of design education with research and case studies on new media, experiential learning, and theoretical models. Keynote, Bernard Canniffe, Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD), gave us a reality check on the relevancy; accessibility and future of design, while Brian Donnelly, Sheridan College led a workshop focused on Canadian design history and asked hard questions on what is “Canadian?” Thinking about the “past” brought forth fundamental questions about how we should define Canadian design history and more importantly, where to find it and how to document it!

Getting students involved within their communities and focusing on social contexts was a prevalent theme in many presentations. Alison Miyauchi CGD from the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) presented the results from a required upper level course at ACAD entitled “The Public Design Service.” ACAD offers practicum experiences with local not-for-profit organizations where students gain invaluable life lessons in self-discovery and learn the business of graphic design. Dr. Myra Thiessen presented research on “critique-abilities” asking — “what if assessment tasks included a component that requires a student to situate their work socially?”  — and, Layal Shuman argues that design and social responsibility are inseparable. The day ended with Keynote Bernard Canniffe’s insightful perspective on how we define design education today with compelling case studies that left us all questioning our purpose as design educators and practitioners. Canniffe suggests that if we strive for an ideal world we would have “real projects in real time — all the time.” These approaches demonstrate an inspirational social consciousness that our students will surely impart in their future practice.

The implication of current communication technologies on design education was summed up in different ways. Rik Zak, ACAD suggests that the impact of social media on brand strategy and advertising demands an emphasis on storytelling ability. Dennis Cheatham, Miami University presented “shift teaching” methodology with “failure bonuses” for risk taking as a way to enable discovery in interactive design courses. A lively PechaKucha series on teaching and learning provided great insight on the student experience and ways of encouraging participatory learning.

PICA enabled a rare opportunity for graphic design educators to share how design education today is being percieved within our institutions, our communities, and in practice.  The discussions that centered on the impact of institutional policies, professional practice, economies and governments as well as graphic design’s status as an academic discipline is inspiration for a future conference! My take-away was that we can no longer simply label our discipline as graphic and/or communication design — its scope and breadth has no bounds and will continue to expand. It is entirely experiential and teaching for relevancy seems to rely on only one sustainable skill — critical thinking.

Bernard Canniffe leaves us with this wicked problem:

“Can Canada lead design and design education by embracing the socioeconomic and cultural problems that the world is facing? This is Canada’s time – all the world compelling issues can be addressed here; be they either population density, climate control, migration, race-relations, food (industrial of farm-to-table), ocean pollution, etc. All of these issues are unsustainable and unacceptable. Can the design community in Canada accept the responsibilities that are before them and define a new design methodology?”

Special thanks to Aidan Rowe from the University of Alberta who was unable to join us but was integral to making this day a success. And to Ana Herrera CGD, Vanlee Roblee CGD, and the GDC Alberta North Chapter for facilitating this part of the conference.


Image: Bernard Canniffe, Ringling College of Art and Design, You+Blue, Sarasota Police Department Community Initiative mind map encapsulating the 16 week educational experience. 
Reflection by Karin Jager, M.Ed. CGD, GDC National VP Education (2012-2014), Department Head, Digital + Graphic Design, University of the Fraser Valley, Mission, BC. 
Blonde Ale brewed for designers.

Designers like their beer!

A well considered toast to the design industry!

Wonderful to see Brennan Gleason’s self promotional package design and home brew shared on Huffington PostTAXILaughing Squid, DribbleYahoo Food and on ABC News!

Résume + Beer = Gleason’s Résum-Ale. I brewed up a nice blonde ale, so I figured it would be awesome to use it to promote myself and my work. Box features the résume and the bottles each depict a piece of my work.


A first grad receives bronze medal

Love of design — and beer — leads Brennan Gleason to UFV’s Governor General bronze medal

by Darren Mcdonald on June 9, 2014

By combining passions for graphic design and artisanal beer, Brennan Gleason leads UFV’s first Graphic and Digital Design graduating class in style by being named UFV’s 2014 Governor General’s bronze medal recipient. Awarded to the diploma-level student graduating with the highest grade point average over the last 15 credits, the Governor General’s bronze medal recognizes academic excellence.

For Gleason, of Abbotsford, it also meant pretty packaging for his very own hoppy homebrew. During a self-directed student project in his final semester of GDD, Gleason created a unique, eye-catching identity and bottle for High Seas Brewing Co. — a homebrew brand he and his roommate Steve created so their small batch beer would have a style all its own.

It also bumped the GPA on his last 15 credits up to a very impressive 4.19 (midway between an A and an A+ average).

Gleason receives the medal at the June 12 UFV Convocation ceremony, which begins at 1:30 pm at the Abbotsford Centre. The public is welcome to attend.

A creative, energetic designer with a goal of creating meaningful, simplistic design, Brennan leaves UFV’s Graphic and Digital Design program with skills in areas ranging from responsive web design to user-experience design, brand-identity development, print production, and layout. In fact, he’s already working as creative director the Vancouver-based digital marketing agency Techtone. “That was where I wanted to be in five years,” he says. “To already be there is fantastic.” With his mother and grandfather both being artists, and a natural attraction to computers and drawing, it’s little surprise Gleason excelled at UFV. But he admits he couldn’t have done it alone.

“UFV’s GDD program far exceeded my expectations,” he says. “Once instructors really learned who the students were and what their strengths were, things really took off.” Gleason’s goal is to combine his knowledge and love in the areas of his expertise, and deliver the foremost creative and user-friendly designs to his clients. He hopes to eventually lead his own team of designers in a medium-sized agency. “To wake up every day and have that passion to push my designs forward is pretty amazing. It’s really a dream come true.”

To view Brennan’s portfolio click here >

Today, design is recognized as a primary component of economic development in all corners of the world. — Iva Babaja, Icograda Secretary General

Meet Nova Hopkins, GDD Faculty

Graphic + Digital Design Faculty
Brand Consultant and Graphic Designer; Nova Hopkins Studios, Abbotsford BC

Raised in Mission BC, Nova Hopkins joins the University’s Graphic and Digital Design program in 2013. Once a student of fine arts in the University of the Fraser Valley herself, as well as a graduate of Capilano University’s Graphic Design and Illustration (IDEA) program, she believes in helping others by inspiring neighbours and communities to come together through design, nature, placemaking and food.

Nova’s professional experience began at the Vancouver agency, Karo Group Inc., where she specialized in corporate communication and environmental design. Her portfolio of clients include Simon Fraser University, ICBC, Air Canada, Canada Place, BC Hydro and many large real estate developments.

Her life’s journey brought her back home to the Fraser Valley where she joined Relevention Marketing Inc. There, as creative director, she built the design department and specialized in brand identities for small and medium sizes businesses and non-profits including BC Agricultural Council, Silver Hills Bakery, FH Canada, Hardbite Potato Chips, Globe Printers and Canuck Place.

Now, as a local independent brand consultant and designer under Nova Hopkins Studios, she partners with small and medium size businesses—building strong relationships with the companies she represents, from concept to rollout.

Nova brings an organic view to design—as a certified Permaculturalist. Nova unites her approach to permaculture with her artist background looking at imaginative ways to create, design and build connections.

Away from the classroom or her design studio—you can find her amongst her mason bees.

Influenced & inspired by: Simon Sinek, Ken Robinson, Ron Finley, Stephen Ritz, travel and culture
Motivated by: helping others do cool things, thought leaders and doers, change makers, the power of ideas
Fuelled by: nature, design delight, passionate people, doing what you love
Entertained by: ted.com, music festivals, animals

Twitter | LinkedIn


Portfolio Show Abbotsford

A first for the design community!

A FIRST for design at The Reach Gallery Museum was embraced by Fraser Valley’s creative community with rave reviews for UFV’s first Graphic + Digital Design graduating students. UFV’s Graphic and Digital Design portfolio exhibition was complemented with a lively series of PechaKucha presentations emceed by Kylie Bartel, PR Director, Jelly Digital Marketing.

Vol. 3 PechaKucha  presenters gave unique perspectives on “creative balance” that were entertaining, compelling and thoughtful.  Adrianna Koc-Spadaro talked about balancing corporate vs. party profiles and Travis Collier, CLOU inspired us with his passion for empty parking lots and resulting success as an international BMX athlete. Jen Pride gave us a reality check about the arts and Janet Bright shared thoughts about identity and the masks we wear. Moving presentations by Dave Hopkins, Sandy Moulton, Katt Stearns, Tamaka Fisher and Ryan Romero punctuated how design can make change possible.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Richard Buckminster Fuller

Celebratory greetings and insightful reflections were shared by Councillor Dave Loewen, Deputy Mayor, City of Abbotsford; Simon Gibson, MLA Abbotsford-Mission; Pam Alexis, Vice President, Mission Chamber of Commerce; and Dr. Eric Davis, UFV Provost and Vice-President Academic. We look forward to seeing this new crop of designers grow, innovate and contribute to our creative community and some day share their stories too. Please click through the gallery of images highlighting the event. Photos by Stephen Bau

Thank you to Backyard Vineyards for hosting a wine tasting, Save-On-Foods, Abbotsford for great appetizers, and The Reach Gallery Museum and Jelly Digital Marketing and PR for their support in hosting the PechaKucha. Thank you to the portfolio show sponsors – The Cooperators on King Road and McCallum, The Student Union Society at UFV, Black Press and Glenmore Printing. Special thanks to Johnathon Strebly, GDC BC Chapter President, who shared the Buckminster Fuller quote but was unable to present at PechaKucha. 



Valerie Elliott: The future of design

Making Change

Valerie Elliott CGD Cert PR, GDC Sustainability Chair and Creative Director at iD2 Communications in Victoria BC gave us an insightful glimpse into the future from the past and present. The idea that what we think the future will hold is not too far off from reality was a great take-away. Think Skype, travel and futuristic cities. The bigger lesson from Valerie’s talk was about our responsibility as designers. She asks us to challenge mediocrity.

“The values we hold closest, those that are most important to us are what makes us unique individuals and designers. When we translate these values meaningfully to our work, we unravel a different future.”

This resonated with the audience and sparked thoughtful discussions on how design influences decision-making. Valerie shared her studio practices for probono work. Design for good, not for free. She left us with this statement:

“Keep your eyes wide open, be an authority by questioning everything. If you think differently, accept it.”

Valerie serves the Graphic Designers of Canada as the Sustainability Chair and authored GDC’s Sustainability Values and Principles. She is a juror for the ICOGRADA Sustainability Standards to be launched in 2014 that will help designers quantify and report on their sustainable practices and projects. The GDC, as a leader in sustainability, has worked with, and is part of a global partnership with AIGA in the “Living Principles for Design”  initiative. To find out more about sustainability in communication design, visit gdc.net.

Click through the gallery of images from Valerie’s presentation at GDD’s inaugural portfolio show in Mission, BC. Photos by Stephen Bau and Rick Collins.


Design of logos involves effective articulation and visualisation of communication concepts determined by the client's individual marketing goals. It involves analysing, problem-solving, strategizing, structuring, planning and creating images and text for specific purposes, including differentiating the client in the marketplace. Design affects a client's bottom line, motivates potential customers, captivates audiences, cultivates brand recognition, and influences public perception of the company, service or product. — Peggy Cady, FGDC

Lorne Craig: A Sustainability Literacy Presentation

How green is green?

GDD’s inaugural portfolio show was highlighted with a presentation by Lorne Craig, dynamic advertising professional dedicated to “moving socially sustainable business forward.” Lorne presented a wonderfully entertaining and informative talk about everything green complete with a ukulele rendition of Monty Python’s The Universe Song. For an overview of his speech, resources and video clips, please click here >

We were all delighted to hear Lorne’s story about his 1972 Oldsmobile Delta 88 that moved him from Calgary to Vancouver in 1985, pictured above.

To get in touch with Lorne, visit Unicycle Creative


Design Mission!

Congratulations Grads!

A well attended FIRST portfolio show showcasing our FIRST GDD grads. A brilliant exhibition of grad design projects and motion graphics were on display at Heritage Park Centre in Mission, on April 16! Grads shared their impressive portfolios with the creative industry, UFV community, local high school art students, family and friends.

The evening was highlighted with a traditional Sto:Lo welcome by Eddie Gartner, Elder in Residence. Dignitaries Mayor Adlem, District of Mission; MLA Simon Gibson, Abbotsford-Mission; UFV President, Dr. Mark Evered; UFV Dean, College of Arts, Dr. Jacqueline Nolte; and Anne Harper, President of the Mission Chamber of Commerce praised the grads and the Graphic + Digital Design program with insightful words of acknowledgement. Featured guest speakers Lorne Craig, Unicycle Creative; Valerie Elliott, iD2 Communications; and Johnathon Strebly, President, Graphic Designers of Canada, BC Chapter shared perspectives on professional practice, sustainability and green issues. Click through the gallery of photos featured here. Photos by Colton Floris, Stephen Bau and Rick Collins.

Special thanks to our sponsors, community partners and business community. 


Packaging Project

Brand Identity, Winter 2014

Students were asked to create a brand identity program for food packaging—that would encompass a unique visual language. They then rolled out the brand identity program across the package, an infographic and a communication piece that would reach their target audience.


Student Project

Brennan Gleason: Featured on Lovely Packaging

A self-directed student project designed in the final semester of GDD was initiated with the goal in mind of creating a unique, eye catching identity and bottle for a craft brewery. High Seas Brewing Co. is a home brewed brand that Brennan and his roommate created to give their small batch beer an identity all its own. With a love of the high seas and crafty, simple, eye catching design Brennan saw this as a perfect opportunity to create something great. On Brennan’s career ambitions …

My goal is to combine my knowledge and love in the areas of my expertise, to deliver the foremost creative and user-friendly designs to my clients. I hope to eventually lead my own team of designers in a small to medium sized agency.  

Visit Lovely Packaging

View Brennan’s portfolio

20X20 copy

Portfolio Show Abbotsford April 24

Vol. 3 PechaKucha Fraser Valley

PechaKucha Night will take place on Thursday April 24, 2014 from 7:30-9:00 pm at The Reach Gallery Museum. The evening is a fun and informal hour and a half of culture, ideas, creativity, passion and opinions. It’s a place for innovators to share their thoughts, gather as a creative community and have a good time.

PechaKucha Night is complimented with a reception from 5:00-7:00pm featuring the University of the Fraser Valley’s Graphic + Digital Design (GDD) inaugural portfolio show, with appetizers and drinks. Find out more at DESIGNmission.ca.

To see the speaker line-up and attend PechaKucha Night, register at PechaKucha.ca

Sponsored by Jelly Marketing

Wine tasting by Backyard Vineyards




First Class Grads!

Meet our First Class of Graphic + Digital Design Grads!

GDD introduces 5 disciplines in the field of graphic design including communication design, visual identity, information design, dynamic media and interactive design.  A lot to learn in two short years! Grad portfolios feature a selection of projects that reflect the Valley’s own, including food packaging, promotional campaigns and visual identity projects.

Browse through the portfolios at DESIGNmission.ca



Dan and Kim
Katt Stearns

Industry Speakers

Experts from the Industry

This Winter Semester we were fortunate to have several industry experts speak to us on a variety of topics.

We would like to thank social media consultant, Katt Stearns, for teaching us social media etiquette on Twitter and LinkedIn. @KattStearns #UFVGDD

Thank you to Ann Harper, who addressed the GDD Professorial Practices class on managing one’s taxes.

A big thank you to local designers, Dan Ryu and Kim Elkington from Relevention. Dan and Kim enlightened us on what it’s like to work as a designer in the valley.

CLOU’s Travis Collier and Ryan Romero walked us through their branding process and give us the greatest advice of all—how to manage one’s creative balance. Thank you.

Julie Epp

pARTicipate Poster Results

Awareness of the Impact of Indian Residential Schools

The theme for this year’s Visual Arts pARTicipate poster competition was to bring awareness to the impact of residential school systems and the need for recognition, healing and reconciliation. The project was brought into GD161 Graphic and Digital Design, as part of a design methodology lesson — what transpired was a great lesson on First Nations, empathy and understanding cultural contexts.

Angelito Jimenez

Clark Giesbrecht

Sultankazy Jumataev and Kenichi Kajiyma

Rochelle Burt and Julie Epp

Giovina Brauer, Amy Hall and Adelle Renaud

Judges Comments 

Grace Tsurumaru (Visual Arts Associate Professor) on the first place winner:

Mending The Tears by Angelito Jimenez. The quality of the drawing caught my eye. The student has skillfully combined several of the key elements regarding the issue of Residential Schools which is a huge undertaking. The symbolic contrast of the hands mending together the pain and suffering endured by the children and families is powerful. The title compliments the layered and detailed drawing with a visually clear message making it easy to read. Very well executed.

Eddie Gardner (Elder in Residence, Aboriginal Access Services) on the second place winner Clark Giesbrecht:

Clark Giesbrecht presents a very powerful picture … you can imagine this person as a survivor of the IRS legacy, stepping out of the dark past and into the light, challenging us to face and accept the truth and working together towards understanding, healing, and reconciliation.

and on the third place winner (ex aequo) Sultankazy Jumataev

… a very powerful, eye catching and powerful image with headlines on the cover of Time Magazine format that sparks interest in looking for the truth, and recognizing the unfinished work related to healing and reconciliation.

Grace Tsurumaru on the third place winner (ex  aequo) Kenichi Kajiyma

The imagery is visually striking, and even though the title is familiar [If Only Walls Could Talk] , the words appropriately address the unspoken histories that may never be expressed and I thought this point-of-view separated it from the others. Very bold.

Nova Hopkins (Branding and Communication Design Instructor, Graphic + Digital Design) on Rochelle Burt, winner of the Jurors’ Recognition Award:

Burt’s, 150,00 people is extremely strong. Her use of the current Abbotsford population and the number of children in residential school helps build context to an issue that is unknown to most. The realization of the comparison of numbers is something of an “oh my” moment. Her wonderful selection of typography and images and the hierarchy helps tell a story—from 150,000 people, to the current population of Abbotsford—to the realization of her comparison. I can see this concept having legs—comparing current numbers and stats to stats involved around the residential schools.

Special thanks to Wenona Victor, Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies at UFV  for her guidance in supporting the students with their conceptual development, and to Aleksandra Idzior, Associate Professor, Art History for her vision and leadership in this project. pARTicipate is a biannual poster competition organized by the Visual Arts Department. This year’s theme coincided with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Indian Residential School Day of Learning held on September 18, 2014.


Community Project

Mission Folk Music Festival 2014

Event promotions are created to motivate and encourage audience participation. They include a variety of media including print, digital and environmental applications.

The objective for this first year student project was to introduce the design process (creative brief, exploration and research, content development) and to design promotional materials that inform and inspire. Francis Xavier Edwards, Mission Folk Music Festival Director, joined us in the classroom to give a creative brief – background and history, description of the artists and their music, the target audience for the festival, communications objectives and the deliverables.

What you see here are a range of solutions that explore the spirit and essence of the festival.


Join us at our inaugural portfolio show!

Green 2014 Portfolio Show

Green is new and fresh. It’s where we’re from, and where we’re headed. We are Green, the first class of graphic designers in the Fraser Valley. 

We invite you to join the GDD graduating class in April for our inaugural portfolio show. Meet the grads, be inspired by great guest speakers, and indulge in tasty refreshments. .


Wednesday April 16, 2014
Heritage Park Centre
33700 Prentis Avenue
5:00 to 7:0 pm: Meet the Designers
7:00 to 9:00 pm: First Glance, Speakers

Featured Speakers: Valerie Elliott, iD2 Communications and GDC Sustainability Chair; Lorne Craig, Unicycle Creative; moderated by Johnathon Strebly, Graphic Designers of Canada, BC Chapter President.  Graphic Designers of Canada


Thursday April 24, 2014
The Reach Gallery Museum
32388 Veterans Way
5:00 to 7:30 pm: Meet the Designers
7:30 to 9:00 pm: Creative Balance PechaKucha
A lively PechaKucha series of short “20 slide x 20 seconds each” presentations. Be inspired by unique experiences, diverse perspectives and engaging stories from our creative community.

Sponsored by The Reach Gallery Museum and Jelly Marketing. Register at pechakucha.ca and use the code “SPECIALVIP” for free admission.


GDC’s Graphic Design Education Kit for students, emerging designers and educators:


Recognition, Healing, Reconciliation

Submit entries by Friday January 31!

3rd Annual pARTticipate Poster Competition


The theme of this year’s competition coincides with the national event held in the fall of 2013 in Vancouver by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), whose mandate is to “engage the Canadian public and provide education about the history of the residential schools system, the experience of former students and their families, and the ongoing legacies of the institutions within communities.” On September 18, 2013 UFV held the Indian Residential School Day of Learning.

Communication Objective

To create awareness of the impact of residential school systems and the need for recognition, healing and reconciliation

Design Objectives

  1. Convey a strong message instantly. It must be easily read from a distance – concept, image and/or words.
  2. Simple concept or idea.
  3. Effective contrast, spatial depth and scale.
  4. Clear typographic application that emphasizes the message.
  5. Design is relevant, appropriate and engages the target audience.

Target Audience

The general public and the UFV community.


  1. Any mediums may be used!
  2. Poster design must be submitted in both print and digital formats
    Print: 16″ x 22″ / 56 cm x 44 cm in portrait or landscape format – flush trim, full size.
    Digital: PDF
  3. Include a written rationale with your poster submission (100 words in a word document).
  4. All print entries must reach the Visual Arts Office in C Building, UFV Abbotsford no later than noon, January 31, 2014.
  5. Email digital PDF and written rationale word document to: vicki.bolan@ufv.ca
  6. Be sure to include your name, student number, and contact information on the back of the poster and in your email submission.

Judging Criteria

  • Originality: Innovation and effectiveness.
  • Visual Hierarchy: Typography, image, colour and layout.
  • Final Solution: Impactful and creates awareness.


Members representing Indigenous Affairs, Aboriginal Access Services, Visual Arts, and Graphic and Digital Design.


Open to all current students at UFV.

Selected posters will be exhibited at UFV and featured on the GDD blog. Winners will be announced and awarded with a variety of prizes in February 2014. 


Graphic + Digital Design at UFV

Wednesday February 5, UFV Mission Campus

Come to our portfolio workshop + win an iPad mini*

Info Session, Studio + Lab tour
6:00 – 7:30 pm

Learn how to design logos, books, websites, motion graphics, iPad apps, posters, and much more! Find out what it takes to be a graphic designer and about UFV’s unique Graphic + Digital Design Diploma program and BFA Graphic Design Extended Minor.

Portfolio Workshop
7:30 – 9:00 pm

Do you like to create, draw, and experiment? Bring your sketchbook and artwork and receive constructive feedback. Learn how to build a strong entrance portfolio.

UFV Mission Campus (D227)
Heritage Park Centre
33700 Prentis Avenue

For more info, call 604 557 7607 or 1 888 504 7441 x 7607 or email Karin Jager.

* A draw for an iPad Mini will take place at the event. 

Designing Under the Influence

Innovative, inspiring and impressive!

A fantastic turn out for UFV’s first PechaKucha event in Mission! The graduating class of the Graphic and Digital Design program in Mission, BC celebrated the power of design with “Designing under the Influence” – 11 short “20 slide x 20 seconds each” PechaKucha presentations.

The speakers gave an impressive range of perspectives and insight on how we are influenced by design thinking, symbolism, music, cities, storytelling and culture. And how we can influence the future!


“I hope there will be more of this coming soon.”

“I’m not a designer and it really opened my eyes. I got different things out of each of the presentations.”

“The speakers are amazing! Love this PechaKucha presentation style!”

Here’s an excerpt from Ryan James, Domain 7:

Scroll through the image gallery to see more!



The Spirit of Hallowe’en

Designers at Large

GDD students celebrated the spirit of Hallowe’en with a potluck lunch, watermelon carving and pin the glasses on the skull. Scroll through the gallery to view our motley crew.

Poster designed by Brianna Williams, Grad 2014.

SAVE THE DATE: November 15, Clarke Theatre

Join us for an evening of engaging PechaKucha talks, good cheer, good company and some holiday fun!

Design shapes the world around us. It is influenced by our community and influences how we live, work and play. The Graphic + Digital Design students at the University of the Fraser Valley want to share that value of design. Be inspired by the people shaping our community. Find out how your creative industry, urban planners, local businesses, and change makers are making an impact and support the future of design!

Friday, November 15, 2013
6:30 to 9:30 pm
Clarke Theatre, Heritage Park Centre
33700 Prentis Avenue
Mission BC  V2V 7B1
604 557 7607

Admittance is by donation. All proceeds support the student graduation show.

PechaKucha Speakers:

  • Dave Perritt, Grab-a-Java: Café Femenino Story 
  • Sharon Fletcher: District of Mission, Mission Revitalization
  • Francis Xavier Edwards, Artistic Director, Mission Folk Music Festival
  • Summer Dhillon, Slap Communications, Abbotsford 
  • Tim McAlpine, Currency Marketing, Chilliwack
  • Julius Siebenga, Abbotsford Christian School, Rebranding
  • Crystal Lee and David Lam, Brambleberry Tales, Bringing indigenous stories to mobile apps
  • Patrick Cotter, Independent Writer and Editing Professional, Burnaby
  • Ryan James, Domain7 Seattle, User Experience Design
  • Johnathon Vaughn Strebly, President BC Chapter, Graphic Designers of Canada

“Powered by PechaKucha” events are one-off events that are separate from regular city-based PechaKucha Nights, and that are usually held as part of festivals and conferences, but can also act as standalone events. PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in 2003 as an event for designers to meet, network and to show their work in public. The concept has since gone global, with events happening in cities around the world. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit chat”), it rests on a presentation format based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds – keeping presentations concise and moving at a rapid and entertaining pace. 

Eager to know more? Check out everything PechaKucha here, or scroll through this PechaKucha backgrounder.




One month and 2 days until it’s time to re-engage your creative brains. The lab elves are already hard at work.

Holidays are enticing only for the first week or so.  After that, it is no longer such a novelty to rise late and have little to do. —Margaret Laurence


Opportunity Enables Success!

Mission’s active business community is keen to support UFV students and alumni!

The Business and Professional Women’s Club of Mission (BPW Mission) has established a $1000 annual bursary for a female student enrolled in the Graphic + Digital Design program (GDD) at the UFV Mission campus. This energetic group features monthly leadership presentations that are engaging and inspirational! To find out more, visit the BPW Mission website and the BPW Mission Facebook page.

The Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce will offer new graduates of UFV a one-year complimentary membership! Engaging with the business community is essential to career building. In 2014 UFV’s Graphic + Digital Design program will have its first graduates and this networking opportunity will no doubt open up many doors. Graphic designers play an important role in business success!

GDD UFV Design Mission Anniversary Event, left to right: Stacey Crawford, Economic Development Officer, District of Mission; Pam Alexis, VP, BC Winter Games Mission 2014; Heather Stewart, President, Business and Professional Women’s Club of Mission; Sean Melia, President, Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce.

INDUSTRY_0027 copy

Design Mission: Graphic + Digital Design

The future is here!

More than 70 guests joined the Graphic + Digital Design program students, staff and faculty in celebrating its first anniversary and UFV’s partnership with the District of Mission.

GDD students showcased an impressive selection of graphic and interactive design projects that they completed in their first year of study. The event was attended by local industry and community leaders; the District of Mission, Mayor Ted Adlem and council members; and UFV representatives from all campuses. The event was highlighted by Lucas Bergen’s moving reflection on his first year in GDD!

A big thank you goes out to the District of Mission and everyone who helped make this program a reality!

More images here.


Barbarian Press Field Trip

The Ultimate Typography Lesson

Students in the GDD program had a rare glimpse into the world of the private press at Mission’s own Barbarian Press. Proprietors, Crispin and Jan Elsted, shared their craft and knowledge of letterpress and the book arts in an all-day workshop. Jan introduced students to hand-setting metal type and the skills of inking and printing on a hand press, while Crispin covered the book arts and typography—sharing their amazing collection of books.

“Private press printing is a craft, not an art. The design and making of beautiful books is only secondarily a matter of self-expression; its first excellence is to serve the author and the reader.”
—Crispin and Jan Elsted

While many private press printers start out as graphic designers, Crispin and Jan have come into the book arts from a literary background. They discovered their passion for working with their hands while completing their doctorates in Kent, England. Drawing inspiration from the work of Graham Clarke of Ebenzer Press they initially hand-printed a series of their own poems to celebrate a friend’s 50th wedding anniversary. Clarke introduced Crispin and Jan to Graham Williams of Florin Press who furthered their education in typography and letterpress printing—and the rest is history!

“We feel that nothing should come between the text and the reader, and it is our view that typography should have, in Robert Bringhurst’s phrase, ‘a statuesque transparency’: like good film music, the best typography is effective to the degree that it is unobtrusive, supporting, not supplanting, the principal experience of the reader.”
—Crispin and Jan Elsted

With this goal, Barbarian Press was founded in the UK in 1977 and moved to its current location in Mission, BC in 1978. To date the press has produced numerous publications ranging from books on wood engraving, Victorian melodrama, classics, poetry, to new translations of poetry and prose.

Learn more about Barbarian Press and Crispin and Jan Elsted:

Nigel Beale Interview with Crispin and Jan Elsted

Hoi Barbaroi: A Quarter Century at Barbarian Press


Calligraphy Workshop

Martin Jackson: Creating Beautiful Letters!

Master calligrapher, Martin Jackson introduced the GDD students to the fine art of calligraphy. We put away our MacBook Pros and learned how to use a pen and construct letterforms! From uncials to italics, Martin covered the entire alphabet and letterform characteristics. We tried different tools, beginning with a modern day “double header calligraphy pen,” then moved onto traditional speedball nibs and ink, and then had some fun working with our own self made bamboo pens. Martin showed us how to construct a pen using bamboo and a pop can for some interesting results!

What we learned? It’s not as easy as it seems! And, to be good, takes a lot of hard work and practice.

We were in awe of Martin’s talent through his amazing demonstrations! We all left the workshop with a renewed appreciation for our typographic origins, the simplicity of craft, and for most of us—a desire to learn more. A lot more!

Martin Jackson has been practicing calligraphy and lettering for more than 50 years. He is one of the best in the world, and has taught and lectured across Canada, United States and Europe. His commissions include pieces for Barbarian Press; the Alcuin Society; the Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Wales 1986 visit to Vancouver, and the visit by Pope John Paul II in 1984. He also produced the calligraphy for the wedding reception of Bill Gates.


Graphic + Digital Design Celebration

Thursday, March 28
12:30 to 2:00 pm 

UFV Mission Campus (D227)
Heritage Park Centre

33700 Prentis Avenue

Please join us in celebrating the first year of UFV’s Graphic + Digital Design program at the Mission campus. Learn more about the program and help us recognize our partnership with the District of Mission.

Light lunch provided — catered by Mission’s own Blackberry Kitchen.

Please RSVP to Caitlin at Caitlin.Gleboff@ufv.ca or 604-854-4595 by Monday, March 25.

Design Research

Supporting Design Research in Canada

GDC is embarking on new ways of supporting both practice and academia in the development of knowledge.

The evolution in graphic design practice has inspired a disciplinary research culture for design in the academic environment through the introduction of graduate programs. In Canada, design and design-related graduate studies offer both practice and pure academic research based opportunities, with more graduate program development underway.

Meredith Davis, in a recent RGD Ontario webinar shared her views on  “building a culture of design research” and identifies several gaps that exist between the profession and academia.

Meredith states, that while 81% of professionals say they engage regularly in research, 70% do not collaborate with students on research that matters to their business; and 72% only shared their research within their offices or not at all (Metropolis Survey 2005, cited by Davis).

Davis further intimates “a total disconnect between the research done in design firms and the scholarship of faculty and doctoral students in universities.” Graphic design as an academic discipline is still developing and this certainly contributes to the gap within the field, but as Davis points out, the bigger problem is in the lack of a research database for design.

Today, most of the research conducted by faculty and graduate students can only be accessed through their respective institutions, and very little is actually published. How can we make this work accessible? A common knowledge base needs to be developed for research contribution. More collaboration and partnership between professional practice and design programs will help bridge this gap. We all share a common understanding of the value and the desire to support this goal.

As Canada’s professional association for graphic and communication designers, the GDC is embarking on new ways of supporting both the practice and academia in the development of knowledge. 2013 will be a year of many firsts.

• The GDC Foundation offers its first academic award for graudate students. The Marc Brisbourne Scholarship will support a student undertaking graduate studies.

• Canadian graduate design programs are now listed on the GDC school listings page.

• The GDC Journal will be relaunched in 2013 and is currently assembling a peer review committee. Interested parties should contact Matt Warburton CGD, FGDC if they wish to get involved, or if you have a research article you would like to be considered for publication.

• The GDC Gibson Fund will provide support for design education with a call for proposals later this year.

For more information, please email education@gdc.net

Karin Jager, M.Ed., CGD
National VP Education, GDC
Educator, University of the Fraser Valley, Mission, BC

Davis, M. (2008). Why do we need doctoral study in design? International Journal of Design, 2(3), 71-79.
Davis, M. (2013). 
Building a culture of design research. RGD Ontario Webinar, January 16, 2013

March 14, 2013


Design in the Valley

Past, Present and Future

Nova Hopkins, local designer, shared her experience about working professionally in the design industry, as well as a little local history in the valley. Nova brought some beautiful hand lettering pieces created by her uncle, Gary Hopkins, who worked as a graphic designer  in the 50′s and 60′s. The artwork pictured here are just a few examples of concepts and mockups for store signage and local billboards.

Nova’s expertise is in brand service — creating brand identity, packaging, corporate communication, information design and marketing materials for a range of clients including Silver Hills Bakery. She talked about the considerations around designing food packaging including how consumers interact with products and their decision-making, target audience, government regulations and the importance of “shelf space allocation” in the retail environment. It was insightful to hear about the expansive role of a professional graphic designer in meeting these challenges!

What was particularly inspiring is her enthusiasm for the growing design industry in the Fraser Valley and for our own GDD grads. The future holds incredible opportunity! Nova states,

“Watch out Vancouver, there’s some amazing talent brewing in the valley.”

Nova is an alumn of UFV’s visual arts program and graduate of the IDEA program at Capilano (2007). She began her design career at KARO — Western Canada’s oldest creative agency — then in 2008, she started working in Abbotsford as the Creative Director for Relevention Marketing. Nova now has her own practice specializing in branding, print and online communication design.


Will you be my Valentine & guess my type?

With Valentine’s day fast approaching, GDD is in the mood for love—love of typography that is! Our students are exploring that age-old question: What’s your type?

Are you in the mood for modern?  Do you gravitate to grotesque?  Is transitional more to your taste or are you hot for a humanist sans?

Perhaps you aren’t into looks and only care about personality (I’m looking at you, #1).

Join in the fun and identify the 21 typefaces used in our Valentine’s Type Poster.

We’ll give you extra credit if you submit a type-ish ode or sonnet!

My Type Answers


Great Turnout for GDD’s Portfolio Workshop!

More than 40 people attended GDD’s first information session and portfolio workshop at UFV’s Mission campus. The evening began with an introduction to the design industry and the new Graphic + Digital Design diploma program. The portfolio workshop gave tips on how to put an entrance portfolio together. GDD students and faculty offered their knowledge and experience to the many participants sharing their work and amazing talent.

The GDD diploma program is now accepting applications for Fall 2014.

UFV GDD Diploma

GDD Portfolio Guidelines

GDD Important Admissions Dates Fall 2014



GDD projects

Engaging the community

GDD 1st year students were immersed in work that involved the local community including a zine project for Fraser River Heritage Park and a branding project for Grab-a-Java — a local fair-trade, organic coffee shop and roaster — owned by UFV alumn, David Perrit.

Are you a community member with an opportunity for collaboration? Email our program co-ordinator Karin Jager with your proposal.


Typography Portrait Critique

The GDD 154 Typography class had their first critique of the semester today. Students were asked to create a portrait using one type family.  Stay tuned, more pictures to come.


Interested in Graphic + Digital Design at UFV?

Info Session, Studio + Lab tour | 6:00 – 7:30 pm 

Find out more about UFV’s Graphic + Digital Design Diploma program, BFA Graphic Design Minor and Extended Minor.

Portfolio Workshop | 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Bring your sketchbook or digital samples and receive constructive feedback. Learn how to build a strong entrance portfolio.

Room D227 Mission Campus — 33700 Prentis Ave., Mission, BC V2V 7B1. For more info, call 604 557 7607 or 1 888 504 7441 x 7607 or email Karin Jager.

While Canada has a multi-cultural and indigenous population, I left the conference thinking that the depth of knowledge and tradition that exists within each culture can be addressed more deeply in design education — not only for project-based learning — but also for more meaningful experiences within the classroom.

GDD Program Co-ordinator Karin Jager (who is currently the VP Education National, Society of Graphic Designers of Canada—GDC) recently traveled to sunny Honolulu to attend AIGA’s education conference geo/graphics.

Geographics: Design, Education and the Transnational Terrain
A Canadian Perspective

Transnational: extending or operating across national boundaries

AIGA held its education conference in beautiful, warm and sunny Honolulu, December 13 to 15 at the University of Hawai’i Manoa — centrally located for the 150+ educators who attended from around the world. It was an amazing experience to be in the midst of these highly motivated people who shared their research, pedagogy and discourse on the theme of transnational design.

The conference began with a keynote presentation by Ella Shohat (NY), whose research focuses on issues of post colonial and transnational approaches to cultural studies. Ella spoke of indigenous peoples as being a catalyst for our Western thinking, and, of their influence on our cultural geography. With this in the back of our minds, over the next two days, more than 75 papers were presented under the broad categories of design institutions, design ideas and design projects.

It is impossible to generalize the conference, but it is certainly safe to say that design educators have expanded the physical classroom into a virtual world, connecting students across the continents through social media for typography, branding and video projects (Aidan Rowe CGD, AB; Tom Klinkowstein, NY; Christoph Lemmer, Hildesheim, Germany and John Frances, Boise, ID; Aaron Schmidt, Thailand and Karen Gutowsky, Seattle, WA). A focus on process rather than the artifact was a common theme in design pedagogy — but more open interdisciplinary approaches were also introduced — as in teaching interactive design using groups, discovery, iterative, and collaborative methods (Nelson Wei Tan, IN).

As a Canadian, I was particularly moved by the presentations that focused on cultural differences and western thinking, and how communication design is being taught in this context. While Canada has a multi-cultural and indigenous population, I left the conference thinking that the depth of knowledge and tradition that exists within each culture can be addressed more deeply in design education — not only for project-based learning — but also for more meaningful experiences within the classroom.

To bring this into the Canadian higher education context, we see most post-secondary institutions in Canada having an increased international student base with many entering design programs. In a communication design course, student participation, critique and interaction is an integral part of learning and diverse perspectives impact the dynamic of the classroom. They inform the student’s sensibility in creating design solutions, but also provide the opportunity for educators to expand on cultural contexts. For example, several of the conference presenters discussed the differences between the “group” orientation of Asian cultures versus the individualistic orientation of North American cultures (Sharon Poggenpohl, Brooke Scherer, Helena Wong), or the focus on family at the “center” as in Qatar (Peter S. Martin) and how these orientations influence design education and design practice.

Since culture is innate, the presentations that focused on aboriginal themes brought to light the whole notion of heritage and authenticity — demonstrated in design (e.g. names and iconography) — and prevalent in Canada, the US and in Australia with their aboriginal roots (Russell Kennedy, Australia; Myles Russell-Cook, Australia; Angela Norwood, ON; Anne Beekman, OH). At the end of the conference, a proposition for a common design vocabulary resonated amongst educators as a way to bridge gaps for students and educators alike — perhaps a fitting theme for an upcoming education conference?

Design educators and administrators from North American and European higher education institutions discussed how they have expanded their borders into Asia, collaborating with Qatar, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Japan, and Singapore, offering full design programs. New ideas for student exchanges were also introduced as well as ways to engage and inspire students in programs that have localized educational communities.

We were enlightened, challenged and inspired. That’s really what a conference of this type can achieve; a stimulating experience. One that rejuvenates and moves us forward into the new year!

Some of the papers will be published in Iridescent: ICOGRADA Journal of Design Research, a peer-reviewed online journal.  

AIGA Design Educators Community

January 08, 2013


We’re here!

Welcome to the new Graphic + Digital Design (GDD) program blog. GDD was launched in September at the UFV Mission campus with a curriculum of communication/graphic design, interactive design, dynamic media, visual arts, and illustration. The courses are taught by industry professionals in state-of-the-art Mac labs and well-equipped studios where project-based learning, industry skills and knowledge are integrated. We engage in the professional community through industry events, conferences, studio visits, mentors, and guest speakers. Here, we’ll be sharing our projects, experiences, and news.

With thanks to Anne Russell for the photographs.


Meet Jason Neve

Graphic Designer and Art Director; Boardroom Eco® Apparel, Vancouver BC
Sessional Instructor; 159 Digital Design II

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, and raised in Ottawa, Jason attended Trent University in Peterborough Ontario and has a diploma in Graphic Design and Illustration from Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC. Before signing up to work for Boardroom Eco® Apparel—then later coming to Mission to teach Graphic Design—Jason was a university student, a tree planter, a construction worker, a ski bum, a prep cook, a professional painter, a bagel-maker, a high-rise renovation worker, and then finally an art school graduate, art director and a university sessional instructor.

When not desk-bound and pushing a stylus or teaching students Adobe InDesign, he likes to travel by bike throughout Vancouver visiting the patios and beaches, spending time with friends and family, pointing his camera at stuff, skiing, skateboarding, traveling, cooking, making music and making stuff.

Jason is an in-house graphic designer. He works on apparel, catalogs, websites, marketing materials, p.o.p and signage, and just about anything else.

“My goal as an instructor is to express that, as a designer, you will bring to the table your life experience and that the job demands more than robotic technical skill, although that is good too! Today’s graphic designers need to understand the concepts behind design, how design applies to business practice, and be future-thinkers—anticipating change and driving innovation.”

Influenced by: Action sports, music, entrepreneurs, travel.
Motivated by: Everyone doing everything better than me.
Fuelled by: FUN!
Entertained by: Friends and family, books, the internet, music, movies.

www.boardroomclothing.com | LinkedIn


GDD Outing: Practivism

Another highlight this semester was the introduction of social responsibility and sustainability. Students engaged in research and explored sustainability myths prevalent in the creative industry today, and designed posters and web graphics to bring new ideas to light. The myths were based on Valerie Elliott’s “10 Biggest Myths of Sustainable Design.”

The students attended the Society of Graphic Designers (GDC)’s  “Practivisim” event on November 5th where notable speakers shared sustainability projects and insight. This supported the students’ design process and shifted their thinking into new realms. They will never look at the world in the same way again!

Practivism* is about more than choosing recycled paper; it’s about envisioning and mobilizing a better future. Join us for an evening of design storytelling. Connect with others. Create change.

*Practivism = Practical methods for radical sustainability in design


Happy Holidays from GDD

This Christmas, please give the gift of networking and follow @UFVGDD on twitter! We’re kicking off our social media presence with The Night Before Christmas in the GDD labs:

‘Twas the night before #Christmas here in the lab,
not an iMac was stirring—not even an iPad.
Design comps were hung on the wall for critique,
in a tireless search for creative mystique.

With students at last reunited with family,
and wishing for gifts of hardware & eye-candy.
Staff at their studios, and faculty at home,
the only one left here is me, all alone.

I’m turning out lights and locking up rooms,
when an ominous “ding” sounds in the gloom.
The ill-boding chime of a notification—
just as i’m leaving for #ChristmasVacation!

It might not mean much to a casual observer,
but the #GDDProgram just lost it’s type-server.
The fonts are offline—Designers, beware!
I sprang from my @hermanmiller #AeronChair.

But what might have caused the server to crash?
Had I forgotten to rebuild the cache?
Did we have too many fonts activated,
to keep all our budding typographers sated?

On Bembo! on GaramondBaskerville and Caslon!
@AdobeType Library has been re-installed.
Now en-dash, now em-dash, now dash away all!

With that problem solved and naught left to do,
I start to log out—Command+Shift+Option+Q.
And just when I think I can finally go—
there’s a crash and a bang and a loud “Ho, Ho, Ho”.

He had to be #Santa, but something looked… wrong.
He was dressed all in orange, but I played along.
“Please help me,” he said, “It’s all such a mess—
my graphic designer spec’d the wrong PMS”

I reached for my @Pantone swatch book for a fix.
“Here you go, Santa, it’s red 186.
And everyone knows you can’t take the the skies,
with ‘Seasons Greetings’ at 72 DPI”

“What’s more, your letter-spacing’s quite concerning.
I’ll go right ahead and tighten that kerning.
Your Christmas list shouldn’t be centre aligned—
no wonder you’re checking it so many times.”

“Those sleigh-wrap graphics look really absurd—
were they created in Microsoft Word?
Say what you will about ‘best laid plans’
’til someone is naughty with #ComicSans.”

“So what? Your elf’s nephew took one course online.
Doesn’t mean he can handle your full redesign.
Let #GDD make you a true branding guide,
to help you approach each and every Yuletide.”

Ready at last, as he headed for the door,
he said, “Here’s something nice from the @AppleStore.”
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team sent a tweet.
Yes, even St. Nicholas uses @Hootsuite.

“You’ve helped me to see that my level of ‘Ho-Ho’
Doesn’t depend on the size of my logo.
And thank-you for getting my tagline just right—
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night™’”


Creative Hallowe’en fun


GDD Outing: THE {New/Old} BOOK

A highlight of the first semester included our “field-trip” to the the all-day Alcuin Society symposium on the printed and electronic book (…more) held at the Vancouver Public library on Thurdsay, October 18.

The students had the opportunity to hear celebrated book designers and publishers Crispin Elsted (of Mission’s very own Barbarian Press), Marian Bantjes, Shelley Gruendler (founder of Type Camp), Peter Cocking (Art director at Douglas & McIntyre), and Chip Kidd talk about their practice and share their knowledge.

At the end of Chipp Kidd’s talk, a GDD student asked for advice for emerging designers and Chip responded with “1. Talent, 2. Luck, and 3. Work, work, and work!” This resonated with the entire audience!


Karin Jager: GDD Program Co-ordinator

Karin is the program head for the new Graphic and Digital Design program and a strong advocate for the design profession. Karin’s career in design began as principal of Jager Design Inc. specializing in corporate communication and information design. In 1995, she began teaching communication design at Capilano University where she established the highly successful 3-year IDEA diploma program as well as serving on many institutional committees, including the University senate. She is a CGD certified member of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) since 1989.

As the current VP Education National for the GDC, Karin promotes student involvement in the professional community through events, scholarships and GDC membership. Her current focus in graphic design education is on program development at UFV and in academic research. She has a Master’s Degree in Education, majoring in post-secondary leadership from Simon Fraser University, complementing a 4-year diploma in graphic design from Emily Carr College of Art and Design she received in 1985.

Karin’s current research explores graphic design education in Canada where her findings point to a need for a more symbiotic relationship between education and the design profession. She has presented at numerous professional forums and looks forward to continuing to advocate for the profile of the graphic design profession and design education in Canada.

Influenced & inspired by: Jessica Hische, Armin Vit, IDEO, Meredith Davis… Lots of people!
Motivated by: Design thinkers & doers, deadlines, and my students.
Fuelled by: Peppermint tea, boot camp (yes … exercise!), design conferences and happy children.