Our 2017 Hot New Things series continues today – it’s an opportunity to profile a selection of some of the top design grads coming out of our tertiary institutions. Fourth up, we speak with Shari Baker from Wintec.
Bachelor of Media Arts (Graphic Design)
Hi Shari, you completed your full time studies at the end of 2016, can you tell us what your final year’s project was about and what you focused on.
Hi, I did! I had a few final projects on the go, but my largest project was built around creating an identity for a boutique creative studio titled ‘Homebody’. With this identity I really wanted to bridge the gap that can sometimes exist between creative professionals and the general public when they are choosing a creative to work on a project with. I tried to bridge this gap by using colour and typography to create a tactile, engaging and friendly brand.
How has what you’ve recently been working on influenced your design process, and what momentum does it bring to your practice?
I am really excited about developing interesting concepts for up and coming brands/projects/people, and I love working in print and experimenting with typography, so really this project has just added more fuel to my fire. It helped me work faster and has given me grounds to freely experiment so I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve now than when I began.
What were some of your most exciting discoveries?
The use of typography to create feelings of tactility and generate more engagement from the desired audience has really opened my eyes to more unconventional ways of using letter-forms. Rather than sticking with the expected left to right, top to bottom standard procedure when reading, I tried to utilise the edges of the pages and tamper with the orientation of text to encourage the reader to turn the page and engage with each piece of information as they come across it.
And also some of the challenges along the way?
Most of the usual challenges arose throughout the course of this project such as budget, juggling conflicting deadlines, and dealing with a difficult client… the difficult client being myself! I pushed myself to create work with every element considered and questioned almost every decision along the way! Classic pedantic design student.… but this helped me grow as a designer, and learn to put a real purpose and intent behind every aspect of my project.
What did you love doing most?
I really like the niggly jobs, so I loved the packaging refinement stage of this project, and also creating my brand manual flip book that was spiral bound and sits on the desk as you work. The pages were different sizes so all sub sections within the manual could be seen at the same time, making it easier to find the page you need.
Where do you go to find inspiration (websites, resources, designers, etc)?
I’ve been listening to podcasts recently—specifically Design Life. It answers all of my design questions with spooky accuracy and is really down to earth, which I really enjoy. I’m really into It’s Nice That at the moment as well. It gives me a good look at what’s going on in the creative world in one place when I drink my coffee in the mornings. I think seeing all the other great projects out there in the world motivates me to get into gear and get some good design happening.
Why did you choose to study at Wintec, and what do you feel you can take away now that you’ve completed your course?
I have always been a Hamilton girl, so it made sense to start at Wintec when I finished high school. It was very hands-on, which was a major selling point for me, and had a really nice sense of community too. I actually only completed my first year at Wintec before I moved to Wellington with my partner for a few years. That time away from study helped me identify what I wanted to focus on and prepared me to come back to study design at Wintec and really give it everything I had.
Now that I have finished, I have learned that even when you think you have done as much as you can, there is always a little more you can do. It’s always worth that extra push to make sure the work you are putting out in the world is as tidy as it can be. Juggling conflicting deadlines is tricky and a balancing act, so I have learned to write myself a good list and make time to get something right.
Where to next for you? What does 2017 hold?
I’m really excited for the year to come! I was lucky enough to lock down an in-house design role in Hamilton so I am staying put for a while. I’m excited to work with one brand and really get to know their audience with an amazing team. This will free up some space in my creative brain to work on my own personal projects this year on the side and squeeze in some special freelance design jobs too.
To see more from Wintec visit: www.wintec.ac.nz