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NUWIT

A club for women in tech

Project Type: Banners, Posters, Flyers, etc.

Time: May 2018 - May 2019

Role: Designer

Skills: Graphic Design, Typography

Tools: Adobe Creative Suite

Overview

NUWIT is an on-campus community that supports women that are interested in computer and information science and all things tech. We host tech talks, community events, and business leaders from around the Boston area on a weekly basis. Our goal is to create and inspire a strong campus community of women in technology fields. We bring support, networking and mentoring to help women on our campus find success in the classroom and in the office. As Design Chair, it was my responsibility to create social media graphics, posters, flyers, and merchandise for the club.

Style Guides + Research

Before joining NUWIT, I had already been a part of the club for a semester. The club already had an existing color palette and font that I had to work with (The website used Lato and Raleway). When I started the position, I analyzed graphics from prior events and the logos needed on our posters to get a feel for what kinds of posters I could design.

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My very first design for the club was a flyer to be used at tabling events over the summer. I used the existing blue color and logos to maintain consistency with branding and stuck to the same fonts as the website as well. I then made my own illustrations to add to the poster. Below is a picture of me tabling.

Summer 2018

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My next design was for a club fundraiser we were having at Kung Fu Tea over the summer. To stick with the same style as the flyer, I also made some small illustrations with a complimentary color palette. I also added a shadow behind the main text to make it stand out.

Fall 2018

As the semester started, we started getting into the groove of having weekly meetings. I wanted to continue the use of the same color palette, so for many banners I maintained a similar illustration style of flat vector images like the one to the right from an event we held with Datadog.

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Towards the middle of the semester, I wanted to experiment a bit more with color and to work on my illustration skills. I was trying to think of a way to show apps being built and came up with the idea of making it look like the app was physically being constructed. While I think the illustration was successful, I think the color was a bit too off-brand and if I were to make it now I would keep the same blue background.

Towards the end of the semester, I started working with the same type of background again and similar vector graphics. Here is a banner I made for our last meeting of the semester, which was our traditional potluck.

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Spring 2019

At the beginning of this semester, I was excited that it was a new year and I wanted to experiment a bit more with what I could do with our color palette. I chose complimentary colors and decided to try and stick to that palette, and I also experimented with more types of graphics like the skyline and decorative lines.

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For our next event, I decided to keep the background the same and to just try changing up the text. When it looked a bit too boring, I added a magnifying glass graphic and tried to make the text under it look distorted. just to add some new style to the banner.

Later in the semester, we had an event with Runkeeper and at this point, I was once again tempted to play with colors. I used the same background again, just a different color, and added the company logo and graphics of girls running.

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For my next banner, I was back to the same colors. This time, I experimented with the colors of the text as well as layering to see how I could keep the banners fresh and interesting.

For our next event, I wanted to experiment with texture and patterns. I wanted the banner to look as 'crafty' as possible to fit with the theme of the meeting, and I played with different graphics that looked handmade or scribbled.

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Finally, came our last big event of the semester, our annual 'Website Hack Day'. For this, I wanted to do something totally different that would be eye-catching and hopefully entice people not already in the club to check us out. I decided on going for a bit of a retro theme, and I searched the internet for different fonts, graphics, colors, and textures to use. This is the final poster I came up with, which was printed out and hung up around campus and below is the accompanying social media post. I wanted us to have a strong finish to the semester and my time as Design Chair, and I'm proud of the final design I came up with!

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Apparel

Something that I really wanted to do was introduce apparel so that people could show their club pride. I ended up going for a minimalistic style of just our logo embroidered in white on a black hat. It was satisfying to design something that I then got to actually wear. To the right is a picture of me wearing my hat in Australia!

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Collaborative Events

Our very first collaborative event of the semester was with IDEA: Northeastern's Venture Accelerator and WISE: Women's Interdisciplinary Society of Entrepreneurship. I was already involved with IDEA as a Venture Coordinator, and I wanted to encourage more girls in computer science to explore entrepreneurship which is why I suggested the event.

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To start out the advertising process, I made a few rough drafts of ideas for posters and banners. I then handed these designs off to the WISE design team, and they completed the finished design below.

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Our next collaborative event was with Scout, Northeastern's student-led design studio. We were going to do a workshop on accessibility in technology, so based on that I thought of making a graphic of a computer screen reaching out with different aspects of abilities that designers should consider.

After sending over my drafts to Scout's design team, this is what they came back with. Based on discussion, we made the body copy smaller, got rid of the bottom dashed line that didn't have an icon,  and darkened the subtitle which ironically didn't pass the color contrast test. They also tried different graphics on the computer screen, coming up with these two options.

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For the final version, we lightened up the weight on the dashed lines and made the icons the same size. I'm really proud of this poster, especially because it was really eye-opening to work collaboratively with a team. The event ended up being really successful, and a ton of students came out to participate which was a great feeling!

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Final Thoughts

I definitely learned a lot from my time as the NUWIT Design Chair. I had the chance to work collaboratively with a lot of different people, and I had a lot of room to experiment and play around with my designs. I think that the experience overall was very rewarding, and I enjoyed having a new challenge each week to design a banner for our next event. In addition, I really care about this club, and although my time on e-board has come to a close, it is still near and dear to my heart as I think it's important for women to have space within the technology industry to educate and empower one another.