Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dordt Alumni in Design: Nicole Vandenberg

We're starting something new on our DC AIGA blog that features, once a month, Dordt art graduates (those who are working as designers or photographers). This may help serve to keep alumni connected to Dordt as well as connecting current students to alumni, who are practicing design. Our alumni are doing design in multi-faceted ways. For our initial piece I asked Nicole Vandenberg to send some information and work examples. — editor

Nicole Vandenberg, class of 2007

postcard design front and back

front (top) and back

Aside from the friend/family/church commitments that are my life at present, I work as a graphic designer for Preferred Nutrition, a company in Southern Ontario that distributes products like Vitamin B12 and other natural health supplement combinations exclusively to health food stores. No day is an average one and a week can be incredibly varied in both pace and content. One can be spent primarily on one large project, such as a product catalogue, while another can be made up of numerous smaller projects such as ads and newsletters.

Above are some samples of projects completed recently. As any designer will know, the challenge to create a final product that is both personally creative and fully appreciated by the company/client is often complex. However, I find there is a great level of intrigue in uncovering the final result.

In the case of the Fiddleheads card, the final result involved certain specifications that did not allow me to design it quite as I otherwise would have. That too is a constant part of a designer’s life and while some specs can be limiting, others force you to discover new ways of presenting a piece to its audience. If the opportunity was available, I would have given more white space to the front of the card. I think there are also some copy-size issues that make it a bit too busy, but I am content with the back.

Also, to give you some context to the French postcard, it is an advertisement regarding a seminar about natural alternatives to health/well being (The question on the front asks if the viewer really knows what it is that she is putting on her skin).

As an interesting side note, here's something I didn't think much about when studying graphic design as a student: Since Canada is a bilingual country, I get to design almost everything twice, first in English and then in French. The process can be a bit problematic because French copy takes up a lot more space and sometimes looks very awkward in an area that was initially designed for English.

In addition to my work as a graphic designer, I have thoroughly enjoyed re-familiarizing myself with the Greater Toronto Area since graduating from Dordt. It practically bleeds opportunity for all things art/design related. There is no end to exhibits, courses, workshops, lectures, art groups, etc. I encourage anyone on their way to graduation to seek out similar opportunities wherever you end up. Seizing these opportunities does wonders for feeding your creativity and keeping you up to speed with what others in the design world are up to as well.

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