Aside from my technical inclinations, I also have an artistic side. My work as the Vice President of Public Relations from 2006-2008 on the Northwestern University Residential College Board gave me the perfect chance to exercise my creative talent. Of course, it takes creativity to be an engineer as well, but I feel like that's more in the problem-solving department.
Aside from all my other duties and responsibilities as Publicity Chair while I was an undergraduate student, I had the chance to design beautiful posters to publicize various events of interest to the whole Residential College system, consisting of 11 residences, and to the campus in general. Now that all these events have long since concluded, it is time to show the world the artistic work I did for this fantastic organization.
Please note that certain components of these images were certainly taken from other sources. However, it is the synthesis and final design of all these components that I claim license to, and license to use my work will not be granted to anyone except Northwestern University and its officers without express written permission from me.
Architectural Boat Tour - Summer '06
The earliest dated publicity file on my computer. Here, the Northwestern chiseled N is filled with random blueprints I came across using Google. The blueprints were rearranged so as to logically fit inside the N and have rooms and windows in sensible places. The print version of this flyer did not include the silhouettes of various buildings in the background. Presidents set different pricing and subsidy levels for their own dorms.
Rock The Beach - Summer '06
This very popular campus-wide event was just getting off the ground as a Residential College-only event in 2006. I wanted to go with something that looked like a very simple painting of the North Beach of Evanston, along with a retro font to actually divulge the information. The stylized Sun designed in Illustrator as well as the sky gradient does not match the painting motif of the rest of the picture, but adds a touch of modernity.
Two Formals - Fall '06
This is the very first work I was commissioned to do, and started it even before I had gotten to know everyone else on the board. I was originally elected to fill a vacancy, on the day of the last meeting of the 2005-06 school year. There was contention over whether to have a real formal or a Halloween Party, and so we elected to have both. This flyer, advertising both formals, arrived to the inboxes of 1,100 residents.
Halloween Ball - Fall '06
I love double entendres, especially when on the surface, one meaning is implied, but by taking into consideration the context, another one is given away. So, of course, I couldn't resist doing such a "coat of arms." I went through several hideous mask choices, including a green Oprah face, before I settled on Donald Trump (note how the Trump mask is largely unmodified). Also, yay for cliche' Halloween fonts.
Be a Nonresident - Fall '06
This is certainly one of the more simplistic posters I have done, but still colorful, thanks to the use of the CTA El map. I also invoked another double meaning here, since "the Loop" is the name of where all the El lines converge and make a loop around several of the original blocks of Downtown Chicago.
Coffee Crawl - Winter '07
I put this in not because I particularly like this one, but because at the insistence of the RCB president, it was modified to say so many different things over the course of many days (and then sent out on each of those days) that I was thankful for it to be over, and I'm sure several people unsubscribed from dorm listservs as a result. :-P Some people wanted to know what certain residential colleges are like on the inside so they might apply to live there next year, so the Board had each College come up with programming and food to serve to guests participating in a bar crawl of sorts over three nights to all 11 residential colleges. Although a noble idea, it was not very well-attended and, in retrospect, could have used improvement on several levels. Also, this particular image suffers from the "looks different on my laptop than on any other computer" syndrome, which I didn't realize until writing this page: the background is intended to be a mellower light brown instead of an eye-popping brownish yellow.
RCB Field Day - Spring '07
Due to the timing of my midterm election, I did not get to publicize RCB Field Day 2006. So I started (and finished) with Field Day 2007, designed to look like a tarp set out over grass with nearby flowers and various bits of colorful information. Of course, the most curious event to transpire at the RCB Field Day is the Master's Mile, where representatives from each residential college push the master (a professor) or assistant master (a graduate student) of their residence around the jogging track of the lakefill in a shopping cart. I got a pretty good sunburn helping time the Master's Mile that year.
Halloween Party - Fall '07
Yes, the games at D&B's are pretty ghastly, but then again, the thuggish-looking people there are probably moreso. :-P One of the things I learned on RCB is that organizations change and change quickly, and this is for the better. Instead of two events in one quarter (even though when that happened, both events suffered from record high attendance), we decided to do a Halloween Party, and then a Winter Formal. The D&B pumpkin and headstone text were done using bump maps in Bryce to create a text object, and then Boolean subtraction of that object from the surface. The pumpkin took FOREVER to do!
Rock The Beach - Fall '07
I toyed around with several motifs for this one before settling on what it was. I wanted to have a more elaborate sky, but opted for text clarity instead. Usually, large New Student Week parties are held off-campus or at the frat houses, but we wanted to get the word out that the absolute biggest one would be thrown on North Beach. This turned out much better than the 2006 flier IMO, and the text is done again using bump maps in Bryce to create the text objects. There are also a lot more "rocks" than 2006's poster had, because everyone knows that real rocks are critical to rocking a beach. What was great was that more administrative groups than ever were on board with it (namely, CSI), thus making it a truly campus-wide party, and taking most of the planning out of RCB's hands.
Winter Formal - Winter '08
One reason I knew it was time for me not to seek yet another term as Publicity Chair was when visions for simple posters became less and less appealing. I felt as though this flyer would be a significant undertaking once I even got the idea for it, and the level of detail should be very evident to the observant critic. Three layers of dancing people, all in different poses, and with different levels of shadowing or detail depending on distance; strobe lights shining from above the stage, their colors mixing to illuminate the stage in white; a shiny disco ball; and finally, a layout resembling the inside of the Park West venue and their logo as well. This utilized a significant amount of Photoshop layer styles and blending effects without which this poster would look nothing like how it turned out. Incidentally, the event seemed destined to fail as ticket sales were abyssmally low (it's Winter in Chicago, no one wants to go anywhere!), but at the last moment, tons of folks signed up, and although the turnout did not set a record, the venue was jam packed with residents looking very formal.
This was probably my last serious publicity poster I designed for an RCB event. I sought retirement from my board position at the end of my second term in order to work on small projects for any campus organization or individual who needed my wide-ranging expertise or connections I formed from my long time at this position.
Before I began my work for the Residential College Board, I also produced this flyer for a musical event performed by the Multiethnic Intervarsity Christian fellowship's "Worship Team" (of which I was a part).
A Night of Worship - Spring '06
This flyer took me a really long time to do because I didn't know about how to use bump maps to make the letters yet. Therefore, I had to construct the letters using positive and negative primitive shapes (rectangular prisms and cylinders), and match up the edges so no little corners would hang off inappropriately. Then, I decided to add some people made in Poser to represent the band members (I'm in the suit), and add the cool reflection on the bottom for an extra touch of color.