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Professional Development: Personal Branding – Moodboards & Logo Sketching

This moodboarding part of the project was a lot of fun. Everything I put was on brand because I was the brand, which is so liberating! I’ve realized through this exercise that I don’t find smells or textures very exciting or inspiring. That most of my creative stimulation in visual and audible pieces. Also, after going through other peoples moodboards I noticed that a lot of people find some kind of comfort or stimulation from “therapy noises” let’s call them, like rustling leaves, wind blowing, or birds chirping etc. I’ve also learned that I’m more of a people person than I’ve previously liked to admit. I’ve come to realize that I rely on social interaction and emotional connection with people in order to function. I decided to include an illustration moodboard, not because it’s what I want to pursue as a career, but because it’s what provides a lot of my inspiration and growing up it was always been the thing that kept me from going insane amongst the garbage that grade school made me do.
Logo sketching was a lot more difficult than usual.  Again I think to design and brand for yourself comes with the unconscious self-restriction of “oh that doesn’t fully feel like me” and ideas are easily dismissed without being recorded.

Professional Development: Personal Branding – SWOT & Poster

This first “Self/ Career Assesment” had me identify future milestones that I loosely held in my head but never actually gave any real thought or consideration. With this exercise, the fears of not being able to afford my desired lifestyle in Vancouver, and the idea of freelance illustration on the side of a branding design job, is maybe a little ambitious for a post-graduation. The self SWOT analysis had me honestly evaluate myself, and admit negative parts of myself, that I knew in the back of my mind I had, but never did anything to address it. I’ve come to realize, that I have a lot more things to work on that I initially thought; not just in terms of work, but in my process, work habits and, professionalism. I have been told on many occasions that my punctuality is a huge problem, and I’ve tried many changes in my morning routine and sleep schedule to change this, to little success.
The poster assignment was interesting. It kind of helped as a jumping off point for visually representing myself, which has always been difficult. I think when creating a personal brand it’s quite easy to dismiss ideas, for logos and such, as inaccurate or unfitting to ourselves. So creating a poster that is sort of a “free-hand sketch” of our design selves, was a foundation of sorts.

Personal Poster

Process: Hand vs Digital

For most of my life, I worked traditionally using a pencil. I never considered the possibility of working digitally and it’s all its potential. Though it has its drawbacks the digital mediums provide efficiency and make it easier to fix or undo mistakes. Working traditionally comes with an inherent fear of making a mistake. Such as when I’m painting I find I work very timidly, trying to make as few mistakes as possible.

However, working by hand has a certain control to it that I have yet to replicate working digitally. I find that when a project needs to end up being digitized I always need to start at least the sketching and drafting process traditionally with pencil and paper, before scanning it in and rendering it with a digital program. Perhaps it’s because of how long I’ve been doing it, but there are a specific appeal and finesse that comes with pencil or pen line drawing that even the best digital programs can’t recreate.

Now mind you, when I say these things, I am referring to artwork. When creating art I find it is necessary to work traditionally, before rendering it digitally to maximize efficiency and maintain traditional line quality. When it comes to writing, be it an essay or story, I find it extremely difficult and draft at all in pencil or pen. I require my writing to be done 100% in a writing program. Edits and fixes can be done much faster digitally as well as adjusting the structure of a writing piece.

It is also my belief that there is a very close relation between human emotion and traditional mediums. As well as digital programs can recreate colors and textures from reality it can never replace the raw emotion and livelihood of the human hand.

Indigenizing Idea – BC Box


          B.C. Box is a monthly box subscription integrated into the British Columbian public school system, to educate, and inspire young Canadians with the First Nations Cultures of B.C. Each box adheres to a theme based on a pre-colonial aspect of First Nations Cultures and comes filled with items, games, and activities for the students to explore. Each item in the box will not only provide knowledge of B.C. First Nations Cultures, but also an appreciation for its diversity, beauty, and preciousness.


For this project, I decided on creating a Box Campaign for BC elementary schools to integrate into their curriculum, because it allows for more anticipation amongst the students with a new box every month. In order for the children to properly learn about BC First Nations Cultures, the process of doing so must in an exciting manner. 9 themes were chosen for the 9 months BC Elementary Schools are active. All 9 themes adhere to a pre-colonial aspect of BC First Nations Cultures, sparing the kids from the darker tragedies these people have suffered.

The logo for the campaign is 3 shapes illustrating the process of shaving down a stone into a versatile tool. this is to reflect how the BC First Nations Peoples made full use of the land and created things, not only for practical use but an art form in and of itself. The lid of the box is colored black giving every box arrival a hint of mystery and allure.  All the boxes have bright colors vibrant colours separating the 9 themes of the boxes. Designs for booklets such as storybooks and coloring books are kept simple but brightly colored and engaging, filled with information to encourage participation and learning.



I am not completely happy with this campaign, I was hoping to have a few more elements instilled into the booklets as well as the colored box patterns.

BC BOX – Presentation Box
Indigenizing Idea – Notes
John Michael Embalsado – IDES 244 – INDIGINIZING IDEA – Brief

Royal BC Museum, Victoria Field Trip

The Royal BC Museum field trip was surprisingly exciting considering I’ve gone twice before and have seen all the exhibitions that are all but unchanged. The new exhibit, however, was quite interesting; I found the pillars in the new spoken language display that recited common phrases such as “How are you?” and “Nice to meet you!” in different First Nations Languages from across BC and Western Alberta. Some groups that were in close proximity to one another had very different sounding versions of the same phrase. This clearly shows the diversity that the First Nations peoples and their languages have. All the languages were shown on a map of BC with coloured splotches that indicated where in the province that particular language was spoken. I found one pillar that had only a single dot on the BC map, up by Prince Rupert. It was accompanied with the recording of ,what sounds to be, a very elderly woman. This is evident that First Nation’s languages are dying amongst their population. It is horrifying to think that people have lost touch with their heritage, due to the oppression and discrimination they face. Something about that woman’s voice in the recording really hit a cord with me, in that I have spent my entire life running away from my heritage afraid that I would be made fun of for what I was. I rejected any customs, traditions and language that my parents tried to instil in me trying to ensure I wouldn’t be perceived as different in comparison to my peers. And seeing these exhibits after 4 years has made me see how depressing it is that the new generations of people are ashamed of their race and language.

Resume Design Assignment #2

For this resume assignment I’ve catered my resume to apply to Cossette Communications. I kept it clean and minimalist with lots of white space and breathing room for the content. My name is in its own space, on a vertical baseline to both give it emphasis and to imply the name itself is separate to my skills and qualifications. I placed information that was more relevant on the upper left side for quick accessibility like work experience on the left, and skills in the upper right column for the same reason. Contact information is in the top right-hand corner, easy to locate but not in the way of more important information.

John Michael Embalsado – Cossette Resume – 7

Design Manifesto Poster: From Controlling to Curing

For this project I wrote a manifesto regarding sustainability and how designers can use their influence to help encourage sustainable behaviours and practices, so i titled my manifesto from controlling to curing. This is because I feel designers need to focus less on controlling and manipulating the consumer and focus more on trying to encourage more positive and sustainable habits.  I used Euphemia UCAS – Bold for my title and header, and Avenir for my body copy. I chose these fonts because they are less intimidating, and no one wants to look at or read something when it looks like its cut from an MLA formatted essay. The illustration is meant to represent a possible sustainable future. I shaded the vector illustration purple to push a more cold and serious tone of my manifesto as well as to keep away from any green washing. I also shaded it to be lit from the bottom left, so as if the copy is lighting the way to a sustainable future.


I feel like the tone and ideas of my manifesto is reflected in the design and I do like the colours. The typography needs work and needs to better represent the copy. Design Manifesto Poster