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

Visit our program website

UFV Gaphic + Digital Design

Happy Valentines

GDD Love Story

There are many ways to find a soul mate, but this Valentine’s Day, we wanted to recognize a special story about Jessica and Brennan – whose path to the altar began at UFV. The couple met in September 2012, as Graphic and Digital Design Program (GDD) welcomed its very first cohort. Brennan chose to come to UFV to study design because he wanted to stay in the valley (moving or commuting to Vancouver wasn’t super appealing). Meanwhile, Jess in the process of completing her BFA, wasn’t sure about what to do after graduation, but after hearing about the new design program at UFV she thought it would be a great fit.

The first memory the two love birds have of each other, was during the program’s first orientation session. Jess thought Brennan was an “arrogant computer nerd” and Brennan thought Jess was a “stuck up art student”, so clearly things were off to a great start! Despite this high admiration for each other, they still hung out in the same groups and even added each other on Facebook. Before long, Jess needed help learning Illustrator and Brennan offered to “tutor” her. One meet-up at Starbucks and not a lot learned. Brennan pursued Jess, but he was 4 years younger and she thought he was too young for her. But, Brennan’s charm and sarcastic sense of humour won Jess over – and the rest is history.

They thought if they could make it through two years of GDD together, they could make it through anything.  And they were right! After graduation, both started working in the design industry. Brennan as a graphic designer at Domain 7 and Jess as a designer at CHP Architects. In August 2017, the couple exchanged their vows.

We asked them what it’s like being married to another creative person and they said “It’s great! We can ask each other for advice, and can vent frustrations about work issues that the other one can easily empathize and understand.” In conclusion, the couple offered a great dating and design advice: “Don’t have an ego: it doesn’t work well in relationships or design.”

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GDD NYC Fundraiser

Krispy Kreme Donut Sale

Support our Graphic and Digital Design students as they fundraise for a study tour in New York City. On Wednesday, March 6th they will be selling Krispy Kreme donuts in the Breezeway between buildings A and B (Abbotsford campus), 10am to 3pm. If you would like to enjoy some delicious treats and support the students, come and get a donut or a dozen! Great for your study session, a department meeting or to take home!

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Design School Exhibition and Info Night

Turning ideas into action

Designers make ideas tangible – creating value for business, brining empathy to social issues, and making the complex clear. Last fall, the Design School exhibit on the Abbotsford campus showcased the design process and what really happens in “design school.”  Ranging from photoshop skills and typographic portraits to wayfinding systems that integrate design thinking strategies.  In conjunction with the exhibit GDD hosted an Information Night for prospective students and their parents that featured alumni sharing stories about their journeys, and student case study presentations. These were definitely the highlight! Young, energetic and full of passion, their love for creating with purpose resonated!

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RGD Awards 2018

UFV takes home RGD’s Strategic Design Award 2018

Alexandrah Pahl, GRAD 2018 was the recipient of the RGD (Association of Registered Graphic Designers) john st. Student Award for Strategic Design. Alex rebranded Rocko’s Diner, a restaurant in Mission, BC, that gained its fame in the Netflix Riverdale series. The rebrand is fun, nostalgic, and includes interactive coasters, to-go packaging, a website, and social media strategy. “This feels retro but modern at the same time. You are working from a great insight – people who are going there, going there for a step back in time but they also want it to feel fresh and current. I also really love the food packaging.” Timothy Jones RGD, Student Award Judge, President & Creative Director at Banfield Agency. This project was one of 560 projects submitted in 18 categories from 32 Canadian post-secondary institutions.


Alex now works as a creative coordinator for Partners and Hawes Brand Agency in Abbotsford BC and often returns to GDD to share stories about her professional life.

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Vancouver Design Thinkers 2018

It’s time to Speak the Truth

Attending RGD’s Vancouver Design Thinkers conference was a huge milestone for GDD! This year’s theme was “Speak the Truth” – featuring an exceptional line-up of creative professionals sharing their experiences, projects, and personal growth. From local student projects on truth and reconciliation to major design campaigns emphasizing the designer’s role in problem solving, we left the conference buzzing with excitement, inspiration and full of ideas. Design thinking resonated through empathetic practice, listening, and asking “why?” Design thinking is about inclusion and ownership, bringing people to the same table to collaborate, and including iteration, and constant improvements to achieve the best solution. https://designthinkers.com/Vancouver


UFV’s Graphic + Digital Design Portfolio Show

Celebrating Inspiration

GDD celebrated GRAD2018 at its annual exhibition in April 2018 at HighStreet in Abbotsford. The community came together at “MUSE” where GDD diploma and BFA GDD extended minor grads showcased an impressive selection of portfolio projects and their personal “muse”. Industry, family and friends were thoroughly impressed!  We are excited to see our grads take on the world! Grad portfolios: http://ufvgdd.com/

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UFV’s Graphic + Digital Design Portfolio Show

Discover Your MUSE

We, the 2018 Graphic and Digital Design grads, are rooted in the inspiration around us — from little details and large patterns, to where we live, who we are, and aspire to be. We have discovered new terrain and uncovered unique ideas. It’s time to celebrate inspiration with us and find your muse.

The University of the Fraser Valley, Graphic + Digital Design Portfolio Show:
an exhibition of communication design, brand identity, dynamic media and interactive design

OPENING RECEPTION: meet the designers | TUESDAY, APRIL 24 | 4:30 – 7:30 PM
EXHIBITION: browse their work | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25 | 9 AM – 6 PM

J150 – 3122 MOUNT LEHMAN RD.


Join our Facebook Event

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Experiential Learning in Interactive Design

CityStudio Abbotsford Inspires GDD First-Year Interactive Design Students

When a CityStudio initiative was announced in January 2018, the news coincided with the beginning of a set of interactive design projects in GD202. One team of seven students decided to use CityStudio Abbotsford as a focus for the website development process that they were learning about. Led by Stephen Bau, GDD instructor, the process involved the design of a prototype to demonstrate the proposed user experience design for a website project.

The team attended the CityStudio Abbotsford launch event on Monday, February 5. These students used the design process as an opportunity to create an interactive prototype, which they presented to the staff of the City of Abbotsford to invite feedback for the concept of a website. The proposed site focused on a map of the city with markers indicating locations of CityStudio projects that users could click on to learn more information. Based on feedback from the CityStudio Abbotsford team, the students incorporated more information about the UFV CityStudio Courses and the highlighted the Hubbub events to showcase the projects.

Here is what the team wrote about themselves for their presentation to the city:

Who We Are
  • We are a team of 7 in our first year of the design program at UFV.
  • We are all incredibly passionate about design and creating projects that solve real world problems.
  • We love working with local businesses and non-profits to build and grow our communities for the better.
Our Process

We completed a large amount of research coming into the project. After attending the CityStudio launch we set up meetings with Larissa Horne, UFV’s Experiential Learning Coordinator to gather more information about the programs and initiatives.

Our Goal

Our initial goal was to create a full website for CityStudio Abbotsford; however, after consulting with Larissa we decided to shift the focus to how students can participate and come up with new projects for CityStudio as well as be inspired. We put a large emphasis on creating an interactive map that shows current and previous projects offered by CityStudio.

The Team

Stephen Bau, Instructor, GD202 Interactive Design I

Students: Brysen Becker, Nick Bullett, Sarah Butt, Karen Driegen, Kyle Erickson, Chris Fleugel and Emily Rabb.

Featured are some screenshots from the website wireframe prototype and a team photo.

CityStudio Abbotsford is an initiative of the City of Abbotsford and the University of the Fraser Valley to create an innovation hub where City staff, University of the Fraser Valley students, and community co-create experimental projects to make Abbotsford more sustainable, liveable and joyful.


Miranda Ting studying in Italy

Italy: A Hub of Design and Imagination

“Art asks questions, technology creates new opportunities, design provides solutions.” – John Maeda

For the past 4 months, Miranda Ting, GDD Assistant Professor, has been exposed to design history, emerging technologies, and design thinking while living in Milan, Italy. As a student in the Masters in Web and Digital Design through Scuola Politechnica di Design (SPD), Miranda is exercising her skills in UX design, front-end technologies, digital story-telling, e-commerce design and upper-level critical thinking. These are hot topics in the design field with skills that are in high demand. Miranda is excited to take the knowledge learned from the program and apply it to GDD, and the proposed GDD major that is currently in its approval phase. The Masters program itself is incredibly vigorous with a huge amount of group collaboration involving iterations in storyboarding and conceptual thinking.

Miranda reflects on her time so far saying:

“Milan is a wealth of design knowledge. It has deep roots in art history, a multitude of  museums, and interesting underground street scenes. Everything in Italy is steeped in design: the architecture, fashion, food, and cars – all aspects of life are designed and part of a luxurious Italian culture. This is where the old and the new meets.”

At the end of the course, Miranda will participate in a 3-month full-time internship in a design studio where she can apply the skills learned in the program. Some highlights during her time in Italy so far include Milano Digital Week, a Toulouse Lautrec exhibit, Revolution: Exploring the 60’s exhibit, discovering authentic Italian food in the side streets, and collaborating with other designers from around the world (Russia, Thailand, Congo, Azerbaijan, India, and New York).


GDD Open House


Join the Graphic + Digital Design first-year students as they reveal their creativity at the ILLUMINATE open house event!

– See amazing design work done by students
– Tour the campus
– Pick-up some really cool swag and prints
– Enjoy light refreshments

We are excited to see you there!

Wednesday, March 21
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Mission Campus at Heritage Park Centre

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Suds and Spuds Grad Fundraiser

Burgers + Awesome company

Join the Graphic + Digital Design students for a bite at Townhall Abbotsford! Our fun-filled night will raise funds for our upcoming portfolio show and will include:

BURGER, FRIES, AND A DRINK! (included with admission).
Vegetarian options available. 💛

WIN door prizes!

Chances to win big at our 50/50 draw!


Invite your friends and family! Minors are welcome until 8PM.

TICKETS are $20 for students and $25 for non-students.

Tickets available on:
Questions? gdd@ufv.ca

This event is a UFV Graphic and Digital Design Student Fundraiser.

VAG Exhibit
VAG Stairs

GDD students visit the VAG

The creative flight of the GDD bumblebee

Like yellow kneed Bumblebee’s amongst the flowers, pollination across the vast fields of art and design is an essential part of one’s growth into a creative and productive designer. The ideas, styles, and concepts we give and receive are the sweet nectar of a creative life. So on our recent trip to Takashi Murakami’s The Octopus Eats its Own Legs show at the Vancouver Art Gallery the air was abuzz with excitement.

Murakami is an unknown famous artist from Japan, working in a broad range of mediums; painting, silkscreen, sculpture, fashion, and animation. With one hand he dazzles you with his hyper-contemporary “Superflat” style that looks as if it has recently escaped from the confined pages of Tokyo manga. While the other grasps firmly the long-held techniques of Japanese artistic tradition. Either hand, his work is a dazzling visual force.

As art history students we recognize the value in observation. Murakami’s expansive paintings burst from the walls in vibrant explosions of colour, pulling us in and out of unending detail. Like dizzy bees we are lingering, drinking it all in before flying off to the next burst of colour. All under the towering gaze of demonic giants resting easily on their studded clubs and severed heads while wizened and gnarled ancient Arhats line up to watch us, smiling back across the ages.

Like all art, Murakami influenced each of us differently that day. But I feel it is fair to say we each experienced a bouquet of emotion and response; joy, surprising, discomforting, happiness, intrigue…  an overall positive flight through Murakami’s surreal world of colour and character. Newly inspired, with a fresh dusting of pollen on our creative knees.

Reflection by Rika Heywood, GD 102 Design History Instructor

More photos at UFVGDD Flickr

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GDD 2018 369 Studio Tours

Grad 2018 Vancouver Studio Tours

A great day in the city!

We visited a fantastic line-up of 5 Vancouver studios ranging from specialized design boutiques to full-on advertising agencies as part of our GD369 Professional Practices course. With an early morning start on the West Coast Express, our action-packed day was filled with inspiration, great advice, and sunshine!

Our first stop was at Free Agency Creative, visiting their new studio space in Strathcona. Don Williams, introduced design for urban experiences and then gave an empowered reflection on breaking into the industry while sharing his own journey. We were delighted to see Emily McLean, GDD grad 2015 working there as a designer! The next visit was in Mount Pleasant, at Carter Hales Design Lab, where we were visually intoxicated by beautiful and tactile design. You could sense the passion for craft in their work and throughout the space. Sean Carter introduced everyone in the studio giving us an appreciation for individual talent and in how designers work together. After a quick lunch break, we stopped at Archive Digital, tucked behind a brewery in a unique industrial loft. Here, Daniel Crough and John Morton gave an intensive and passionate intro to SEO. We were pleasantly surprised at how interesting this field of practice was, and in how invaluable data collection and search engine optimization strategies and techniques are to reaching an audience. They are true to their credo … making data human. Our big takeaway … sell design from a business perspective. We then had a short walk around the corner to Town Hall Brands, a boutique studio specializing in lifestyle branding. We were welcomed with open arms, and introduced to their impressive work for wineries and … baseball teams. A great presentation included sage advice for aspiring designers. Heading back into downtown we visited Spring Advertising and had our first experience in the agency world. Rob Schlyecher gave us an intro to advertising, and advice on what to include in a portfolio. We were impressed with the range of media they work in.

Advice for our emerging designers … with any portfolio project, include many touch points! 

See more photos here!


Mission Literacy in Motion – Riot of Reading

Project collaboration with the community is what we love best in GDD. So, when we were approached by Mission Literacy in Motion to help them design their event collateral for the 2018 Riot of Reading event we were more than happy to take on the challenge.

Second year students started the project with a real-world style client meeting. As they learned about Mission Literacy in Motion they gained insight into the bigger picture of literacy and the event’s audience.

Teams of two began working on solutions appropriate for our secondary audience, children 6 to 12 years old and the primary audience, parents and caregivers. The event collateral needed to show a strong theme, communicate event details and most importantly encourage the viewers to attend the event.

Congratulations to Matt Froese and Brad Fontaine whose literacy dinosaur themed project was selected for the 2018 event.



Graphic + Digital Design Portfolio Workshop & Info Session

Are you a visual thinker? Creative? Passionate? Interested in a career in the creative industry? 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. Learn more at our info session and portfolio workshop!

Portfolio Workshop

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

Tuesday November 14
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
UFV Mission Campus
33700 Prentis Avenue

Find out more:
604 557 7607

If you’re unable to attend the info session and workshop on November 14, the same event will be held on February 27, 2018.


World Design Summit in Montreal

We sent a group of second year students and two GDD Faculty to the World Design Summit in Montreal this fall.

The five day congress focused on the theme of how design can shape a sustainable future. Multiple disciplines gathered to share ideas and perspectives on society and the environment. We heard from a variety of speakers such as Jan Gehl, Gehl Architects to Pierre-Yves Panis, Philips Lighting to Vancouver-based architecture firm HCNA with Darryl Condon.

The congress was a wonderful reminder that we have a role as designers to be creative leaders in our practice, business and society. As designers, we have a great responsibility and need be an active part in this global initiative.

As the summit says it on their website, “This is about our future. And how to transform it together by design.”


2017 RGD Student Award-winner // Greenmelon Award

Congratulations to Sydney McArdle 2017 RGD Student Award-winner. Sydney won the Greenmelon award for Packaging Design. Way to go Sydney!

See more work by Sydney: http://kindredchange.com/home/sydney-mcardle/

GDD Staff and Faculty August 2017

GDD Faculty and Staff are ready for Fall 2017 #BringItOn

After a full day of planning for courses, workshops, and new projects, GDD faculty and staff are super excited for the new year! Also a big warm welcome to our new instructors Lisa Johnson, Rika Heywood and Theron Smith as well as our new lab coordinator Cody Watson. Stay tuned for what we are up to next!

GDD Degree

Program Development

Major in Graphic and Digital Design, in the BFA

GDD is hard at work developing a proposal for a professional undergraduate degree that builds on the 2-year graphic and digital design diploma program (GDD). A Major will allow our students to continue their design studies and pursue a customized learning experience to gain greater insight on how design fits into a larger context and society at large. There is value in having applied knowledge of how disciplines work together in the real world. Students may choose to develop as disciplined generalists working across the entire scope of graphic design; or, pursue a passion within a specific context, field, and/or media format. Both directions emphasize discovery, adaptability, and resilience. Currently, we are actively consulting with stakeholders and writing the proposal.

Cooper Symonds – Design winner – FreshAid
Juliana Bermudez – Image runner-up – Feed the Children
Kelsea Rice – Advertising runner-up – Freedom from Hunger
Mei Noftle – Image winner – Declaration of Famine

2017 George Haroutiun National Scholarship Awards

Some very exciting news! Applied Arts 2017 Georges Haroutiun National Scholarship Award winners were announced. UFV GDD had two winners and two runners- up.

This is an amazing accomplishment for our first year students!!!

The theme was World Hunger.


Advertising winner: Shay Klassen, Capilano University IDEA Program

Design winner: Cooper Symonds, University of the Fraser Valley

Image winner: Mei Noftle, University of the Fraser Valley


Advertising runner-up: Kelsea Rice, University of the Fraser Valley

Design runner-up: Jesse Ellingson, Capilano University IDEA Program

Image runner-up: Juliana Bermudez, University of the Fraser Valley

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GDD’s First Study Abroad Tour

Design and Typography 2017, May 14 to June 1
London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Dessau

An inspired immersive survey on the evolution and future of graphic design and typography is planned in May 2017, led by Karin Jager and Miranda Ting. We will be visiting some of Europe’s major creative centres, notable design studios including Pentagram in London; major design exhibitions; design conferences including What Design Can Do in Amsterdam, an international design think tank where students will be taking part in a track of co-creation workshops around a Climate Action Challenge and, TypoBerlin Wanderlust; a visit to the Bauhaus in Dessau including workshops and a night in the original student dorms in the Studio Building, the Bauhaus in Weimar; and the Bauhaus University. The tour can be paired with graphic design courses – History of graphic design (GD102) or select directed studies in typography or critical inquiry (GD498/499).

2017 DesignThinkers Conference Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to Rachel-Eden in winning a scholarship toward the registration and travel for the 2017 DesignThinkers Conference in Vancouver. Rachel-Eden was sponsored by 123w.

Check out her submission below.

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Graphic and Digital Design grads invite you to Kindred Change

similar in kind; related

make or become different

We are both unique and the same, embracing change together. We are the Fraser Valley’s class of 2017, graphic and digital design grads. Join us as we gather and celebrate kindred change.

Tuesday, May 2
4:30 to 7:30 pm
HighStreet, Abbotsford
J150 – 3122 Mount Lehman Road

Join our event on Facebook.

Find out more at:

Mission 125

Experiential Learning

In the Fall of 2017, GD317 students were introduced to event promotions with a project for Mission’s 125th anniversary. The students began the brand identity project equipped with a client creative brief and some previous research form a Mission Public Art Project completed in first year.  The process involved iterations, and presentations — with Shelby Smithton’s work chosen for implementation. Shelby’s concept focused on creating an “Outdoor Heritage Fest” tone with a hip, current, and relevant voice.

“We were deeply impressed and honoured by the depth of thought and quality of work we saw across the projects.”

– Michael Boronowski, Civic Engagement Manager at the District of Mission

Working with our community on real world projects provides an invaluable lesson on context, target audience, and professional standards of practice. Shelby completed her BFA Extended Minor in Graphic Design in December, and is now working as an in-house designer for Vitrum Industries, in Langley.

Other experiential learning projects are featured in the Mission Biz E-News –  “The Wow Factor”

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Portfolio Workshop and Info Nights

GDD held two action packed events in November 2016 and February 2017. We introduced participants to the creative industry, program options, digital studios, and portfolio workshop. A super engaging alumni forum and student panel complimented the February session. Alumni shared stories about what it’s like to work in the industry.  The alumni roster included Clark Giesbrecht (Grad 2015), WCI Media Studios; Mila Mukhortova (Grad 2016), Dead Famous; Shynanne Schedel (Grad 2015), BE Pressure Supply; Rochelle Burt (Grad 2015), ReMax Little Oak Realty; and Paige Nelmes (Grad 2016), We Make Stuff Happen.  Attendance was strong, even though the February event was postponed at the last minute due to the snow.

I have hired a number of UFV Design graduates early since its program inception in 2012. The most recent graduate, Courtney Verbeek shows an incredible amount of professionalism, skill, and ability to think holistically and solve problems. She was able to adapt and provide leadership day one. Having the practical knowledge and skills that UFV teaches is invaluable. As an employer, to find a consistent group of talent come out of the school with a heightened desire to bring each graduates best to the table does not only speak to the quality of education they are receiving but more importantly to the culture it is fostering as well. — Taya Hawes-Puiu, CEO, Partners & Hawes
Feb 21 Info Night

Winter 2017 Portfolio Info Night

Special presentation: GDD Alumni share their stories about working in the creative industry!

Find out how to put your talent to
work as a graphic designer!

Are you Creative? Inspired? Imaginative? Come to our info night and kick start your career in the creative industry. Meet our students and alumni and find out what it’s like to be a designer. See student projects from the designers who created them, tour our digital studios, and talk to our faculty. Bring your artwork and get some constructive feedback to build a strong university entrance portfolio.

I took the Graphic & Digital Design 2-Year diploma at UFV. I now work full-time as a graphic designer in Abbotsford. The program was very intense, but I loved every minute of it. The Mission campus has amazing computer labs, and all of the teachers were super helpful. I would highly recommend the diploma for creative people who want a fulfilling career.”


Join us on Tuesday, February 21

6 pm to 9 pm
UFV Mission Campus
33700 Prentis Avenue

Follow us! @UFVGDD


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GDD’s Industry Advisory Committee Meeting

GDD hosted its inaugural Advisory Committee breakfast meeting on January 27 at HighStreet. The full slate of 12 invited members attended and shared their expertise and thoughts on graphic design practice and education. The meeting was fast paced using a world café style question and answer format. The committee provided useful feedback, essential to our program development. Members included design principals and designers from the Fraser Valley’s major agencies, GDD grad employers, UFV alumni, and notable community builders from Vancouver and Abbotsford.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ufvgdd/sets/72157676020537354/

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Where we find our inspiration

2016/17 Studio Tours in Vancouver

Ever wonder what would it be like working in a top professional design and branding agency downtown Vancouver? On Wednesday, January 25th our GDD students had the luxury to visit and learn from the masterminds at The Hive Coworking, Subplot Design, Louder Than Ten, and St. Bernadine.

Being exposed to professional services such as The Hive, allowed the students to envision themselves freelancing and starting businesses in a community and an inspirational work environment. The students learned that working from home has its challenges and working alongside other professionals can benefit in many ways they didn’t realize.

Subplot gave us an eye opening insight into the complete design process of a stamp for Canada Post. Everything from the initial RFP to the design concepts, photoshoots, print runs and final production design. We will never look at a stamp the same way again!

Louder Than Ten is a project management facilitation company where our students learned some tips and tricks for project planning, expectations management and most importantly how NOT to take on too many projects at the same time. Multi-tasking is a productivity killer.

Last but not least we toured St. Bernadine, where their client meeting room and phone room is a retro style RV. Their Senior and Junior Designers who are also former Students of Karin’s have shared with us a complete branding and identity process of their recent jobs for a local Pub in Delta and a craft Brewery in Victoria. Very cool stuff!

The atmosphere of the downtown design agencies and the nuggets of wisdom that our students received were indeed exhilarating and inspiring! If you are interested in knowing more about our experiences and what YOU can hope to learn in our GDD program, don’t hesitate to ask or join us at our next info session on Tuesday, February 21st!


GDD Christmas Card Fundraiser

First year GDD students created Christmas cards for the UFV President’s office this year to fundraise for the Europe Study Tour. Cards included print and digital e-cards that were sent out to UFV staff. GDD wishes everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Don’t Be A Cotton Headed Ninny Muggin!

On Friday November 28, 2017 the GDD first and second year students held a fundraiser at Finnegan’s Pub in Abbotsford. The students along with over 60 of their guests enjoyed an Elf-filled night, full of good cheer, good company and holiday fun! Yes, you read that right – it was an Elf-filled night. The marketing team creatively branded the evening under the name “Don’t Be A Cotton Headed Ninny Muggin”, a quote from the popular Christmas movie Elf. The evening ran under the guidance of Christmas Elf MC’s, where they excitedly auctioned off much sought after silent auction items, led the crowd in Christmas-themed games, and excited everyone with some witty banter.  By the end of the night, the students raised close to $2,000!!! These funds will be used for the upcoming Study Tour in Europe this spring.


Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference

Adobe Max is the ultimate creativity and design conference held from November 1- 4, 2016 in San Diego. The conference featured the latest Adobe tips and tricks from leading industry gurus such as Justin Seeley, Gemma O’Brien, Aaron Draplin, and Quentin Tarantino. Amazing hands on labs and sessions led by Adobe’s team. The Max Bash afterparty was sensational and featured Janet Echelman’s hanging sculptor, with a dessert conveyor belt, and live performances from Alabama Shakes. What is not to like?


Time for Fundraising…

GDD Students Organize a Bottle Drive

Hey, Mission folks. UFV’s graphic and digital design students are holding an “after Hallowe’en” bottle drive fundraiser for their work study tour. Drop your bottles off the UFV Mission Campus, Heritage Park. 10 to 4 pm. November 1st!!!


Learn How to Draw Comics

Illustration and Photography Workshops

Then you gotta check out Wayne Chin’s new Illustration and Photography workshops.

Begins November 2nd, every Wednesday and Friday afternoon
1 to 3pm @  Mission Campus D245
Admission by Donation (Suggested donation: $25)

ALL proceeds going to the Graphics & Digital Design European 2017 Study Tour!

Limited to 20 students. Sign up sheet in Wayne’s Office (Mission Campus – D236a).

For more info, email Wayne – wayne.chin@ufv.ca


GDD Study Tour

Design and typography 2017
London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Dessau

May 14 to June 1

Visit some of Europe’s major creative centres to experience historical and contemporary design and typography. This study tour combines studio tours, museums, and notable exhibitions; a professional typography conference – TypoBerlin Wanderlust; and, creative excursions for an inspired immersive survey on the evolution of graphic design and typography.

  • Explore the history of typography, branding, packaging and advertising in London
  • Reconsider design and place through graphic empowerment in Amsterdam
  • Gain new perspectives on agile practice at TypoBerlin, International Design Talks where social values, curiosity, and experimentation are innovating new approaches
  • Experience Bauhaus modernism and spend a night in the Studio Building in Dessau
  • Visit contemporary design studios in London, Amsterdam and Berlin
  • Examine graphic design and typography in European contexts and cultural systems
  • Pair the tour with a graphic design course – choose from the history of graphic design (GD102), a directed study (GD498/499), or critical inquiry (GD469).

Open to any students taking GD courses or GDD alumni. Limited seats available.

Cost: $3500 Includes flights, hostels, conference fees, public transportation, trains, buses, insurance, and museum passes.
Course fees extra.

A deposit of $300 is due by mid-November.
Students who sign-up and pay the non-refundable deposit are eligible to participate in fundraising initiatives to offset trip expenses.

For more information:

Karin Jager, Department Head, Graphic + Digital Design  karin.jager@ufv.ca

Miranda Ting, Assistant Professor, Graphic + Digital Design  miranda.ting@ufv.ca



Monday October 31 12:30 – 1:30pm

Halloween Party is back…

Better than ever!

  • food, games, music and CANDY!

Held in Room D227 Halloween Day from 12:30 to 1:30pm.


So dress up your Halloween best, I guarantee you will NOT be disappointed…


First Field Trip for Fall 2016

Vancouver Mural & Studio Tour

First year students had a lovely time on October 11 touring Vancouver design studios in Gastown and exploring Vancouver mural art along Main Street. Design students learned about social impact and how to create change in our community with real world examples. We had delicious lunch at Red Truck Diner. Thanks to Melissa @ the Hive, Kim Ridgewell @ 123W, and Rachel Gertz @ Louder than Ten for the studio tours. Special thanks to 123W for taking the time to give us an insiders peak on the creation of Vancouver Mural Festival. Very inspiring!


Our Grads are Making a Splash

Sultan Jumataev Spreads Out at Jelly Marketing

Recent graduate Sultan is having too much fun at his new job at Jelly Marketing. Congrats Sultan!


Welcome Back it’s Fiesta Time

Pin the Serif on the Letter and more

First and second year students enjoy a fiesta inspired meal of tacos, nacho chips, with all the extra fixings. Then they turn into type nerds and play pin the serif on the letter followed by a heated game of Pictionary. Watch out second years, the first years are in the lead…


First Day of Class Fall 2016…

Welcome back GDD 2016 students to our beautiful pristine production room. Wonder how long before it gets lived in this time?


Welcome Josh Vanderheide

Branding Guru Joins GDD Program

We are pleased and honored to have Josh Vanderheide as new faculty in our program. Josh brings with him a wealth of experience. His expertise includes: Brand Positioning // Packaging Strategy // Packaging Design // Label Design // Brand Development // Packaging Research. Currently Josh is the founder of Field House Brewing, his past experiences include creative director of Also Known As.  Welcome to GDD Josh!


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.

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!

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/

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. 

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