Hot New Things — Annabelle Fraser, Yoobee School of Design

3 years ago by

Welcome to Hot New Things 2019 – an opportunity to profile a selection of the top design graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions. This week, we speak with Annabelle Fraser from Yoobee School of Design.

Annabelle Fraser
Diploma in Creative Digital Design (Level 6)
Yoobee School of Design

You completed your full time studies at the end of 2018. Can you tell us what your final year’s project was about and what you focussed on?

2018 was a very exciting year. At Yoobee we focused on a range of projects over four modules, branding, information design, product launch and event design. My favourite project came under the product launch focus. For this project I was required to choose a food pairing for a Constellation Brands wine range. I created packaging and a series of symbols and icons for fish fillets for New Zealand’s Moana fishery. It was important to celebrate the unique values of Moana Fishery as well as the freshness of their product while finding a way to clearly match the fillets to their wine pairing.

Additional projects I really enjoyed were, a sustainable packaging update for Healtheries Tea, creating branding for New Zealand restaurant ‘Kai Tahi’ and a special edition collector set for Wutang.

How has what you’ve recently been working on influenced your design process, and what momentum does it bring to your practice?

This year has taught me that planning, experimentation and strong research is just as crucial as creativity for a designer. Fighting the natural urge to jump straight to the final solution by instead engaging in a thorough underpinned process has helped me create clarity and cohesion for my outcomes.

Pitching my ideas early has also made me a more confident public speaker and more articulate at communicating my thinking efficiently and effectively.

Not only has this year helped me develop my practical design skills and critical thinking but has also made me a more organised designer and given me the ability to communicate ideas strongly in a visually appealing way. I am no longer afraid to push the boundaries of a brief and enjoy overcoming the challenges along the way.

What were some of your most exciting discoveries?

Something that was exciting for me was exploring different software. Experimenting with applications such as After Effects, XD and Dimensions really widens the possibilities of how I can enhance my work and display it in a visually striking way. It felt good showing off my work in a way different to just downloading a mock-up from the internet.

And also some of the challenges along the way?

One of my challenges this year was overcoming creative blocks and realising the importance of not getting too invested in your initial idea.

The process of brainstorming/idea generation at the beginning of a project can make all the difference to the final outcome and give you something to bounce back on if something isn’t going the way you expected.

What did you love doing most?

Having the freedom to explore a range of ideas and mediums was something I thoroughly enjoyed. Each brief had the opportunity to allow students to find a way to have a personal investment and allowed us to produce a wide range of outcomes all different to one another.

On top of that, producing work that I am proud of and seeing everything come together after consistent, hard work is a great feeling.

Where do you go to find inspiration?

Its easy to jump on the internet and search up visual examples of what you want to achieve, but I found more reward in taking inspiration from the things I was designing for.

For example, the Moana fish packaging. For the design of the packaging I wanted to celebrate the freshness of their product. I took inspiration from the natural structure of fish to create a scale pattern and line treatment derived from the fish itself.

This is an approach I want to continue doing as I think it creates a unique outcome which forces me to start from scratch with a design rather than basing it off someone else’s work.

Why did you choose to study at your design school, and what do you feel you can take away now that you’ve completed your course?

I liked the idea of smaller classes and a tight knit learning environment. Yoobee offers flexibility within projects as well as covering a wide range of deliverables that help us discover where we want to be in the future and what type of design we thrive in. I absolutely hated high school so coming into a more open and supportive learning environment was refreshing and helped me grow as a person as well as a designer.

Where to next for you? What does 2019 hold?

I’m still tossing up between either continuing my studies at Yoobee or searching for a graphic design role. Its going to be a scary progression into the industry but I’m excited for it none the less. Ideally I can see myself working in a small, tight-knit team at a cool little design studio.

Either way I can’t wait to see how I can further progress as a designer and continue to learn, experiment and push the boundaries.

Instagram: @annabellemadethis |


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