Student Project: TED Talk Idea

I completed this project for a recent course, Integrated Design Media. It was a difficult task throughout the course of the semester, but I’m proud of the final results of this piece!

See full process book here:


The Ask
You must envision and create a fictitious TED conference. Explore visual identity through media appropriate to the theme, space, and audience you are designing for. The goal of this project is to learn the nuances of articulating communication needs, and to craft an innovative execution that meets a specific communication goal.
Conference Mission
In trying times, we turn to art. Through art, we can change perspectives and emotions—hearts and minds. This conference will explore how we can continue to boldly make art to connect with the world around us, when we ourselves, our families, and our communities are struggling, and how to move forward with courage and hope. Through this conference, we hope to bring together diverse attendees and speakers to connect a wider community of dedicated artists and changemakers.

The Deliverables

  • Conference Mission and Ideation
  • Conference Program (with ten proposed speakers)
  • Website (and mobile functionality)
  • Intro Video clip
  • Environmental Graphics (signs, wayfinding, etc.)
  • Conference Promotional Materials

Typography Poster: Type Design

I was so excited to start this photography course at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)! Typography is an area I aim to continue personal growth in, so it was an excellent opportunity to develop important skills in layout, kerning, hierarchy, and other type design focuses. This piece had a pre-created text for us to practice through multiple hierarchy exercises and spacing exercises, in addition to color palettes and layout.

The full process book can be downloaded here: Kristin Phillips, TYPO Poster Process Book


“For Project A, you will create a 20 x 30 inch multilanguage poster to promote the TYPO International Design Conference. This is a global design conference with a focus on typography, and speakers from around the world. You will design the poster for English, German, Chinese or Arabic. The text is provided for you. The poster must engage the target audience and be appropriate to the context in which it is meant to be displayed. Your goal is to achieve a perfect balance between aesthetic and function.”


“The great transformations of our era are based on flexibility, agility, and diversity. While the creative elite of the last generation still followed the “march through the institutions,” today’s creative minds allow themselves to (side)track into curiosity and the joy of experimentation. Incorporating social values and community strategies plays a central role in that, boosting the gain of one’s own developments.
Many people still haven’t embraced the joy of change. TYPO Berlin 2017 will tackle methodological agility, and aims to facilitate a rethinking. How do I get out of my comfort zone? At which points can I permit fluid structures? How do I develop new potential for innovation? Those are the questions typical of traditional organizational models, which won’t help us make headway in the future. TYPO Berlin 2017 »wanderlust« will take place from 25–27 May.”


Resume Template

Project: Resume Redux

I’ve always liked the idea of a visual resume, one that would showcase what I did and what I could do while standing out from the standard templates. I created this template in Adobe Illustrator after researching some other resume layouts.

The colors I chose have a united cool palette, with orange and brown as accents. It’s a palette I enjoy, and one that I feel keeps the visual nature of the piece less distracting than a palette of warmer tones might.

I chose to include coffee and a phone (that looks similar to the suite of Androids I’ve always had) in order to serve as a way to split up the information, and to provide insight into my personality as a creator. I love coffee, so that is part of where my identity literally sits. I also love digital creation and social media, so the phone made the idea of connecting very literal. The notebook is an additional idea, taking from the concept of a side note that I use to mark down my ideas on the go. I tinkered with adding a sticky note, but a key part of my growth as a designer is learning when to stop editing! It’s always a challenge, but I hope the overall effect is streamlined and effective.

Resume Template-01

Website Icons

Image shows the outline of a feather in white and grey.

Project: Icons

Minimalist icons are a new experiment for me, and one I wanted to incorporate into a website for work. I needed three icons for the front page, one to use for the history section, one for the bird research, and one for the mission. The three needed to match in style and simplicity while being a visual explanation for the text. I created all three in Adobe Illustrator from scratch, without prior sketches. All three were created using only pen tools and circles.

Creating completely digitally is not always easy for me, so this project served as a challenge.  Envisioning minimalist birds that would match the other two icons was also a difficulty that took me the most time to overcome. Overall, I’m very happy with how the icons came out and hope they’ll be used in the final web project.

See full suite below:

Business Card Idea

Image shows a business card with a blue watercolor texture. The left side says "Kristin Philips, Multimedia Creative" and the right side has an octopus and contact information.

Business Card Design

For a possible business card design, I tinkered with a variety of ideas. I wanted the card to be a mix of traditional and digital media that featured my octopus mascot (see portfolio piece “Darcy”) with an original font. I created this lettering using a brush pen for my name and a fine tipped pen for the smaller words. I paired this with a sleeker rendition of the octopus and a watercolor texture that I then edited in Adobe Illustrator.

The font itself is experimental, a mix of my calligraphic style and longer, curling lines to mimic the octopus. Making a font by hand first gave me the option to allow the design to be “imperfect” in a way that made being organic and creative easier. Editing the font in Adobe Illustrator allowed me to clear up any imperfections and streamline the letters. I chose an open-source sans font to deliver the contact information; I felt the fonts paired well and kept the key goal, contact, as the most accessible part of the design.

Image shows a business card with a blue watercolor texture. The left side says "Kristin Philips, Multimedia Creative" and the right side has an octopus and contact information.

Tawas Sponsor Form

Image shows the logo for the Tawas Point Birding Festival, which features a stylized Piping Plover flying toward a lighthouse silhouetted by the sun with the words "Tawas Point Birding Festival, May 19-22 2016" next to text describing how to "Become a Sponsor" on an orange background.

Project: Sponsor Form

At my work with Michigan Audubon, I often have to design documents. Designing documents that are branded, streamlined, and visually easy to comprehend is one challenge, while convincing my coworkers that I wanted to take the time to expand the design or put extra work beyond half an hour into a design is another. Managing coworker or client relations is an additional struggle for designing, especially when the design becomes eroded by minor changes that gradually alter the entire look of the document.

This document I was relatively left alone on to complete, so I was able to develop a color scheme and a stylized image that matched our logo for the event. Creating a layout for the sponsor design that would accommodate color palette and picture changes with ease was my goal, and I feel that I was successful in driving a compromise between design and leaving room for my colleague’s inputs.

Tawas Birding Festival Sponsor Form, Kristin Phillips

Red Dragon River

Image: Artwork depicting a red dragon perching on top of a mountain. Art work is stylized with a minimal color palette of reds, blues, and purples.

Project: Fantasy Graphic Design

For school and work, I’d created a variety of pieces in Adobe Illustrator. Creating one of my own for personal experimentation was a project long overdue. I love the work of John Howe and other classical illustrators, but I also have found a recent inspiration in the minimalistic work of present-day graphic designers.

Creating a minimalistic fantasy piece for personal practice was a great experiment. I researched graphic design depictions of mountains, and decided I liked a clean style with minimal gradient. I also spent a while on this piece seeking the perfect color palette that would allow me to depict nighttime but still complement the red dragon. Overall, I’m very pleased with how this piece turned out and hope to have the time to make similar pieces in the future.   

The piece is titled “Red Dragon River” and was heavily inspired by Tolkien’s Hobbit and a trip to Mount Pilatus in Switzerland.

Image: Artwork depicting a red dragon perching on top of a mountain. Art work is stylized with a minimal color palette of reds, blues, and purples.


Photobook: Finding the Fantastic in the Mundane

Project Photobook

This pdf is a book I designed as a capstone for my photography class in college. The goal of the class was not only to learn photography methods and techniques, but also to practice experimental photography. I took all of the photos and per class instructions, completed the layout in Lightroom.

My focus with photography is often either macro and textural or landscape. For the course, I mostly focused on the former. I love to pick up the subtleties of manmade objects and compare them to natural macro scenery. I also included several “fantasy” scenes with Photoshopped mixed media pieces. Working on the book presented me with the opportunity to combine my love of book layout with my study of photography. It was especially opportune timing as I had my internship with the book printing press at the same time. Being able to have control over the entire process (within the restrictions of the assignment) was a great challenge, and I loved the end result.

See the full book: Fantasical Mundane

Rusty Blackbird Blitz Infographic

The Rusty Blackbird Blitz Infographic was another piece created for my current job at Michigan Audubon. This piece fit into a broader conservation project that I developed with a coworker. She spearheaded the organization as part of a national project to help count elusive Rusty Blackbirds, a species believed to be in a dangerous decline. To help spread awareness, I crafted these two infographics to be employed on social media. I relied on her expertise of the birds when I crafted the drafts, and was able to make an accurate and understandable infographic.

Like most infographics created on a short deadline, I utilized a simple design that was easy to read. I employed each piece separately and on several occasions over the weeks that our contest took place. The Rusty Blackbird Blitz was intended to raise awareness for the conservation of Rusty Blackbirds, and also to help get birders to go and count the birds for our contest. Combined with press releases, our mass email listserv, and our organization’s networking, the infographics played an important role and served their dual purpose well. This design project gave me the opportunity to combine art and social media planning for a good cause.

Kirtland’s Warbler Infographic

After having created an infographic for use on social media, I was tasked with creating a large format infographic for use on a vinyl 3 x 7 foot banner. This project had a broad audience, as the banners would be displayed at public libraries, so the language and art needed to be accessible to various ages but professional-enough to display for business partners as well. The project had four stages, research, conceptualization, creation, and printing.

For research, I needed to do little on the subject itself. We were partnering with Huron Pines, who focused on conservation of the Kirtland’s Warbler. Our partner and my boss provided me with all of the necessary facts they wishes to include. This done, I focused primarily on the style and design of the banner. Infographics being a growing media, I wanted to create a unique design, but also take cues from other conservation-focused projects. I spent several hours and narrowed down styles and information delivery I liked.

From experience, I’d learned my boss required concrete options to choose from. I split my research into three categories: open-illustration style, segmented with bullet points, and factually focused with charts. I completed some very rough sketches and gathered color choices and some of my inspiration infographics. After presenting this, my boss chose a segmented style and I went from with the design.

The creation involved four main sections for four topics: introduction on the Kirtland’s Warbler, tours and awareness, conservation and community, and commerce benefits. Each section had a unique design and purpose, but had to be cohesive. I kept the section united by colors, fonts, and similar stylizations of the artwork. Each section used multiple programs and involved traditional pencil work, inks, and then digital coloring. My boyfriend, another designer, assisted me by rendering all the people in the banner, which I colored and placed per my sketches. I chose a minimalistic style that would appear streamlined and modern for the business audience, and but also appeal to families.

Although this project had a more focused and organized planning and art stage, I encountered some difficulty with color matching on the vinyl material, as well as with fitting the banners into their stands. Just goes to show that no matter how organized a project can seem, difficulties can always arise in the process.

Kirtlands Warbler Banner Infographic by Kristin Phillips