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Ready for Take-Off

University graphic design // Julie Van Huizen
University graphic design // Julie Van Huizen

In addition to the projects I’ve done on a freelance basis, I’ve also spend a great deal of time and energy in the last three years as a graphic designer for Redeemer  University College. I’ve created hundreds of projects for them – concert posters, program brochures, appeal letters, cards, mailers – you name it, I’ve put Redeemer’s logo on it. With so many different projects completed over the years, this won’t be the last RUC project I’ll feature, but it is one of my favourites.

Every year, we in Marketing team get to work on something called a Viewbook. A Viewbook is the primary piece of collateral for any university – it should convince any undecided high school student to apply, and tell them just enough about the various programs  to hook them. University is a huge transition for these students, for for many, it’s the furthest from home they’ve ever been. We at Redeemer wanted to acknowledge the significance of this journey, so I received instructions to make the 2013 Viewbook a Passport for all these undecided students.

University graphic design // Julie Van Huizen

The trick with this campaign was to not only make the reference obvious, but ensure the piece was both informative and fun. It needed to invoke a level of authenticity, wanderlust, and whimsy – a tricky combination.

Like usual, I spend the first few weeks of design laying out my palette, my fonts, and my textures. The palette and (most of) the fonts needed to stay in line with Redeemer’s already established visual identity, but they needed to be used in a new and fresh way. Here’s the breakdown:

University graphic design // Julie Van Huizen

Redeemer’s primary colours are a deep Red and Gold, I complimented those with their secondary colours, blue and green. Redeemer’s logo is rendered in Trajan, so I used that font sparingly throughout the document. Their primary body serif is Din, so I introduced Din Condensed to give the document an “Official Passport Offfice” vibe. I then added Marydale, a hand-written typeface, to give the allusion that this document has been filled out and scribbled on. I also selected several textures to give the piece some dimension: The leather texture mimics the texture on an actual Passport cover, the worn-out paper textures convey suggest this Passport has seen some wear and tear. I used wood texture to create interior spreads that looked like a cluttered desk with Passports and travel documents all over it.

From there, I populated the document with all the majors, minors, facts, and figures a prospective student would want to know. I also used several other postage, passport, and travel motifs: The course symbols look like old stamps, the pages are lined with travel markings, and watermarks and scattered throughout the book.

University graphic design // Julie Van Huizen

The end result is a piece that manages to convey all the officiality of a Passport,with the excitement and energy that comes from embarking on a grand journey.

Since the Viewbook always kicks of the campaign year, we’ve since used these motifs for many other Recruitment pieces. It appears on Redeemer’s brochures, posters, and postcards. It tells the students that although they’ve already arrived, they have quite a trip ahead.


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