A/PIA HIGH SCHOOL CONFERENCE
Designed and defined the conference's brand through the creation of all creative & marketing materials
The Asian/Pacific Islander American High School Conference (A/PIA HSC) is a free, annual conference held at the University of Michigan that aims to help A/PIA high school students explore their identity, gain insight into college life, and meet others in the A/PIA community.
Design Chair - My responsibility was to design all creative and marketing materials in order to define the overall conference’s brand and aesthetic.
My projects included: Logos, flyers, website, t-shirt, Snapchat filter, program, signs, and name tags.
Asian/Pacific Islander American High School Conference (A/PIA HSC), under the University of Michigan’s United Asian American Organizations (UAOO).
All designs are by me, but I worked closely with Co-Chairs and Outreach Chairs to identify design requirements and materials. Overall, the A/PIA HSC Executive Board consists of 12 members.
September - November 2019 (3 months)
The theme for this year’s conference was “Superheros: A/PIA Assemble!” When someone thinks of superheroes, they usually think about all the bold and strong characters. As a result, when designing a brand around the theme of superheros, designs must also be bold.
However, as my art style tends to be much more modern and minimal, this conference theme posed a large challenge for me. Designing outside of my comfort zone with unfamiliar elements, I knew that these designs would require much more time and effort to be up to par with my design standards.
1. Go out of my comfort zone - Create designs that fully encapsulates this year’s theme of superheroes. Utilizing this opportunity to try out new design styles, learn, and expand comfort zone.
2. Increase conference attendance through design - Designs should appeal to the conference's audience of high school students. Additionally, work closely with Outreach Chairs to determine what promotional materials would be most effective in increasing participant sign ups.
3. Make HSC into a brand - Through design, make HSC more recognizable and well-known to University students and high school students throughout the Greater Detroit Area. My hope is that if someone saw a person walking around wearing a HSC T-shirt, they would know exactly what HSC is all about.
STYLE & TYPEFACE
Style and typeface elements must match the theme of "Superheroes," giving off a sense of boldness and strength. Looking at a few comic books for inspiration, the contrasting primary colors of red, yellow, and blue are extremely prevalent, along with loud and flashy typefaces.
Continuing with the theme, I wanted the logo to look comic-book-esque, utilizing the bright primary colors to catch the viewers' attention. Starting with a few simple ideas, these rectangles eventually turned into speech bubbles. These speech bubbles not only further expanded on the comic book theme, but also related back to the values of HSC, which is to open up discussion about A/PIA identity, culture, and experiences.
RECRUITMENT FLYERS DESIGN
Purpose: To provide information and recruit University of Michigan students as volunteers for facilitating workshops and leading groups of students.
The square graphics were designed for social media (Facebook, Instagram, and email), suitable for posts, stories, and profile pictures. These graphics left out the detailed descriptions and only featured crucial information, as additional information could be attached as captions.
The large 8.5” x 11” flyer was designed as a physical flyer to be passed out in person and posted on walls. These flyers needed to to include detailed information, as it would be the only source of information viewers would receive. Black and white versions were also created, to save printing money :)
EVENT FLYER DESIGN
Purpose: To get attract high school students’ attention and encourage them to sign up for the conference.
To better attract the attention of high school students, the comic book-esque designs were transformed, as comic books are probably not too popular with their generation. Instead, the flyers featured a more modern superhero design, seen in the biggest movies in the past few years: the Avengers.
Purpose: To provide potential participants with a platform where they can find all the information they could possibly need about the conference.
Compared to previous conferences’ websites, this year’s website featured frequently asked questions and a gallery. With these new additions, participants are able to get a better sense of what to expect at the conference, without going through the extra steps of contacting our board with questions.
Purpose: T-shirts were given out to all participants, volunteers, and board members. Not only was this a small gift for those who came, but it also provided all of us who were a part of the conference with a sense of unity and belonging.
The design of the T-shirt was the best opportunity to make HSC into a more recognizable brand. With this in mind, I wanted to create a design that people would not be afraid to wear outside of the conference and in public. (At the conference so many people came up to me and told me they loved the shirts!)
SNAPCHAT FILTER DESIGN
Purpose: As Snapchat is extremely popular among university and high school students, a Snapchat filter was created as a fun gift for our participants. Little did we know that the filter would be so effective at reaching so many people!
Purpose: Programs were given out to all participants for them to carry around throughout the entire conference, containing important information about the conference’s schedule, guest performers, and keynote speakers.
SIGNS & NAME TAG DESIGN
Purpose: To make HSC rooms and participants easily identifiable. Bright colors were chosen so that these signs could be seen from across an entire hallway.
Hopefully I will have the opportunity to be the Design Chair of A/PIA High School Conference next year as well, so I can continue to expand my skills and styles in design.
1. Try new styles - Working outside of my comfort zone, this was the first time I ever used such bright and contrasting colors in design. As one could probably notice in the final products, I tried many new styles in the process; however, they all stayed central to the conference's theme and style.
2. Mistakes are opportunities to learn - Early on in my role as Design Chair when I was still unfamiliar with the whole theme, there was a graphic I created that I am not the most proud of. This graphic was later used as the entire board’s Facebook profile pictures, reaching hundreds of people. Following this experience, I studied up on the design of comic books, using them for inspiration.
Thanks for making it this far! Here's another fun fact:
You know the Rainforest Cafe crocodile animatronic? I'm absolutely terrified of it :o