Category Archive: OSU

  1. U-too: Union Annex

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    The OSU Student Union is getting a major remodel over the next year. Over the summer (and probably a while after that), the largest student union in the world  is going to be under construction. So while they work, the dining and retail part of the Union first floor will be moved into 18 temporary trailers set up north of the building. They’re calling it U-too. Not my naming, but I think they could have done a lot worse. So I was tasked with the identity. It’s going through the ranks now for approval, but my boss likes it and I do too. It’s got the iconic Union spire from the original Union logo and the shipping container/temporary building style box. The type is Alte Haas Grotesque and Chevin.

    I also did a little motion intro for it.  When I say little, I mean very little. Vimeo wouldn’t even let me upload it because it was too small. But it’s just a start for a video we’ll be making to introduce the students to U-too on the Union web site and social networks.


  2. Recent Work I Like

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    Working for the Student Union at OSU, I get a lot of projects I don’t particularly enjoy. But recently I’ve had a couple that have given me more freedom (and time) to work with.

    Here’s some recent work I’ve been doing for OSU University Dining Services. Sometimes I get to squeeze something cool past the client and onto the OSU campus.

    The organic fact table tents started out as an infographic project, but the data from the client dried up quickly and it turned into a general fact illustration. Either way, it was a lot of fun to do, since I haven’t done much illustration before. Some of the illustrations at the bottom didn’t make it through. Still working on the “lower health care costs through organic food” one.

  3. Healthy Union Branding


    I designed a logo last semester for the new Healthy Union program at OSU, encouraging Student Union employees to live healthier lives by giving incentives for specific program participation. The program is still being developed and they asked me to work on an identity for it. My first attempt was sent back, looking for a happier, less-hospitalized look. They were right. It’s kinda of scary now that I look back at it.


    It’s a cool look, but with the Helvetica and the syringe look of the Union spire, it was definitely too medical. So, for this round I tried to make it a happier, more participatory feel by using icons to denote certain (made-up for now) programs and options.

    These icons will be used to visually describe the options and can also be turned into badges as rewards and reminders of employee commitments. Kind of like flair. I used Chevin as the typeface, because it’s clean and modern, but much softer than Helvetica. After using Foursquare and Gowalla for the past couple weeks, I’ve been inspired by their icon design. Hopefully they like the idea so I can do more of that in the future.



  4. Very Very Very Successful

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    This was my final response for my Internet Communications class. This was the best class I’ve taken at OSU. It made me think. It made me try. Jason Collington asked us this question.


    After taking this class, how do I plan to continue to separate from the pack so I can get a job and be very very very successful?

    I have a Web site. I have a blog. That means nothing if they’re not both full of reasons I should get a job. Thousands of kids graduating college with my degree, skills and ambitions have Web sites and blogs. The difference will be in what I have to show on these outlets.

    This class reinforced for me the importance of having real, quality work in my portfolio. I’ve done some freelance projects, a few mediocre school projects and a lot of personal spec work, but not enough fully developed campaigns. I need to focus on creating work that is closer to what I want to do as a career in the future. I don’t want a lame career where I can just get by. I want an awesome job where I can become very very very successful. Employers hiring for awesome jobs don’t want to see a few school projects with signs of creativity to be ready to produce professional work in two years. They want people who can come in today and start doing excellent work. They want people who think and innovate and are better and fresher than the people that have the jobs now.

    I should not be handicapped because I’m only a student. I should be creating fresher, more creative work because I’m only a student. I have more time now than ever to develop my skills. I need to start spending my 168 hours more wisely on making myself better at everything: design, marketing, creative thinking. I will not be mediocre at a lot of things. I will be excellent.

    I will not just separate from the Oklahoma State student pack. I want the next pack. The bigger, better one. The one changing the world and doing awesome things. I need to constantly improve my ideas, my skills and my personal brand. With this last semester before graduation, I will dedicate more time and effort to separation. I will not be satisfied with mediocrity and neither will my future employer. A 4.0 doesn’t matter if you don’t learn anything getting it.

  5. Stout Coffee

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    I’ve been working on a 36×90 banner for Stout Coffee at OSU for a couple weeks off and on. It’s a large banner to fill up a ridiculously blank green wall. The lame part about the place is that the back half looks very late 90s youth group lounge and the front half has a very rustic wood and aluminum Starbucks feel. The green wall is in the back, but I felt it still needed to not totally ignore the newer, cooler front half.

    Here are a few versions I’ve gone through. The first one is the one in the lead with my boss and the one that goes best with the colors in the shop. I like the 3rd one because my inspiration for the effects was my favorite album art of all time: Rilo Kiley – Take-offs and Landings. I really just did that one for fun.





  6. Identity Work


    I haven’t done any identity design in about a year, and this week I’ve done two. And another one a few weeks ago. These two are works in progress for the OSU Student Union health initiative and Poke Your Vote.

    The Healthy Union brand is a tentative name of the OSU Student Union health program. The Union is encouraging employees to stay healthy by giving incentives for things like losing weight or quitting smoking. I wanted to keep the look clean and medical. The Union dining already has a healthy eating program with a rough, organic style, so this needs to have a distinct feel. The Union tower (placed here on the cross) has been used in most of the building’s branding materials by itself for years, so it associates it specifically with the Student Union. is a web site our internet communications class is working on. I’m designing the preliminary look of the site this week. This is the logo. It’s a combination of the iconic Cowboy fan finger gun and a check mark in a voting box. The site will be a blog dedicated to hearing the unbiased, collective voice of Cowboy fans, students, alumni, staff and faculty and promoting public discussion of campus issues.



  7. Break Away

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    I’m in an Internet Communications class this semester, and until about 10 minutes ago I was the only person here with a blog. Last week, I was the only person with a web site. This is shocking to me. I figured, people at least have a Xanga or something. Apparently, I’m much more of a nerd than I anticipated, coming into a class called Internet Communications.

    Our professor, Jason Collington (the web editor of the Tulsa World), keeps emphasizing what I’ve been stressing about for the past 2 years – breaking away from the pack. In media today, you can’t just waltz into a job that doesn’t suck. You have to try things and participate in things, outside of your classes that teach you to memorize 200 of the same terms every semester. Most of college is worthless if you don’t do anything else to better yourself. So better yourself. Geez. A great job isn’t going to fall into your lap. You will have to jump into it’s lap and beg. I don’t know about you, but I’m practicing my puppy dog eyes and trying to become as desirable to an employer as possible. Ok, enough with the dog imagery.

    AdAge published an article last month by a recent grad, Adrienne Waldo. I immediately e-mailed/twittered it to my advertising professors. Every advertising student who wants/thinks they will get a job, should read this and pay attention.

    As college students or recent grads in the fields of advertising, marketing and PR, we’re charging out into the work force armed with an arsenal of acronyms: IMC, CPM, SEO, CTR, the Four P’s … I could go on, but I’ll spare you. Our education has turned our brains into a mushy alphabet soup of marketing terminology.

    I think it’s unfortunate that we spent the formative years of our marketing careers staring at color-coded note cards through bloodshot eyes, attempting to memorize definitions — many of which we would never see or say again.

    I’m a big believer that marketing can’t be taught from a book. Marketing is an ongoing socioeconomic experiment, changing and evolving every day. If you’re starting your fall semester with a textbook that was written in the spring, it’s already outdated.

    I don’t want to undermine the importance of learning the nuts and bolts of marketing. You absolutely have to know the basics to be able to communicate in the industry. But it’s not hard to memorize the definitions. It took me at most a year to learn the terminology and core principles. The next three years should have been spent putting those concepts into action — creating and analyzing real integrated campaigns from start to finish, conducting research, studying the marketplace and experimenting with the most current tools. Thanks to a handful of good professors and an amazing internship program, I feel that I got a good education, but I wasn’t just going to class.

    If you’re a college student in a school that has you regurgitating acronyms day in and day out, I would recommend taking control of your own education outside of the classroom. Here are a few ideas:

    Try to find an internship that allows you to be hands-on and creative. The big companies look pretty on your resume, but a small company will give you some real responsibility, and you might even (gasp!) get paid. You’ve got four years — why not do multiple internships?

    Start a blog or a Ning network. Create a marketing plan for it, brand it, promote it, and then analyze your successes and failures. Not only will you be putting things you’ve learned in class into action, it will be awesome for your portfolio.

    If you have a good advertising or marketing club at your school, join it. If not, how about starting one?

    Volunteer to help with marketing or fundraising for a local charity or nonprofit organization.

    At the very least, stay up on industry news and make sure that you’re testing the latest marketing tools.

    Learning takes place inside and outside of the classroom, and some of the most valuable experiences probably won’t happen until you roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

    I’ve talked with enough pros and struggling young advertising and media men and women to know that getting a good job is hard. Especially out of college, regardless of this [insert cliché comment about the state of the economy]. So please try. Please. Try. Or fail.

  8. Bookstore Buybacks

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    The OSU Student Union Bookstore has 3 problems at the end of the year:

    1. Competition for textbook buybacks from 100 other places in & out of town, including sororities, charities, eBay, and other private and corporate bookstores.
    2. Professors wait until 2 weeks after the deadline to get next year’s book lists in, keeping students from selling back their books for a decent price.
    3. People see the SU Bookstore as an evil empire, campus program, even though they do more for students than any other place that would buy their books.

    The Student Union Bookstore helps pay for a year’s worth of campus programs that everyone on campus benefits from: Finals Pancakes, Wi-Fi, Casino Night, Campus Life jobs and activities, Orange Peel, just to name a few. Our task was to communicate that message to the students, while still managing to sell a crapload of books. We used the O’Colly campus newspaper, Union-branded banners all over campus, posters, and e-mails. Michael did the banners & posters. I was assigned the newspaper campaign.

    We ran four half page ads and three full page ads with a cyan spot color in the two weeks leading up to finals. The daily ads promoted specific books with high prices and high buyback quantities. Our goal was not just to list book prices as usual, but to communicate to students the many benefits that students and OSU get from the Student Union Bookstore that they don’t even know about.

    This is my favorite ad (the MacBook Pro may or may not have played into that choice). Hit the jump to see the whole campaign. I’ll be adding it to my portfolio site this week when I get a chance.



  9. The [Super] Big Event

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    OSU does a mass community service project every year called The Big Event. This year, they’ve assigned us the posters at work. There will 11x17s and A-frames. So I’ve been working on this new poster this week. I suggested using original illustrations to my boss, but the client is set on actual superhero imagery – copyright or not. But it’s advertising a non-profit event for a week at OSU. So I’ve been banished to copyright infringement.

    So I incorporated some Stan Lee-esque comic fonts and comic-inspired themes like the text boxes and the halftone background. I’ll be polishing it up and actually adding real content (this is just a mock up for now) next week.


    I’ve also posted some characters my cousin Ryan drew for it this week, in hopes that we could use his original illustrations. Sucks that we didn’t get to. But they’re awesome, aren’t they? Everyone at OSU thinks everyone here is an idiot – which I guess kind of makes sense in a roundabout way. But they always want “orange and black” *cough* camouflage *cough*. And they wanted the typical characters. One of these days I’ll get through. I embellished the color a bit in Photoshop for the poster initially, but his were more pastel versions. Check out his blog. He’s got some incredible characters and a recent post of these drawings too. I love how nonchalant he manages to make the characters. They seem like they’re just chilling on a corner against a wall, not preparing to save the world and such. Definitely check out his blog for more awesome characters (even a spot-on charactature of me).


  10. New Job – New Printers!

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    So I’m pretty excited that with my new job at Student Union Marketing, comes a new fancy printer I get to use every day. 3 new fancy printers to be exact: laser b&w, large format roll printer, and this beauty pictured above. Prints off 100 11x17s in a couple minutes – beautiful color – beautiful paper. No more ink problems at home with my lousy, free-with-a-Mac, all-in-1, scanner ink-jet piece of trash. I apologize for the barrage of adjectives there.

    But, I am happy to have this printer at my disposal.

    So far I’ve made the catering guide I posted about earlier and 2 poster campaigns: SGA Elections & Latin Dancing and Cultural Club.

    I was able to convince the SGA representative that posters printed in OSU’s “orange and black” would be like printing them in camouflage. So he let me add my blue to it, to make people actually fee like looking in that direction – or actually read it.

    I’ll post pics of the posters soon. Forgot to flash drive them. Yes – it’s a verb now.