San Francisco Bay Coffee is a multi-generational, family-owned coffee company that originated in San Francisco in 1979. They were the true pioneers of fair trade coffee, valuing not just the quality of the beans but the families who grew them. Their commitment to improving people’s lives led them beyond paying fair wages, to building schools and renovating farms in Central America. The owners are humble and refuse to publicly acknowledge their contributions. They believe this is the way coffee trade should be.
In addition to their ethics, the owners possess an experimental spirit equal to the Third Wave Coffee movement, despite the fact that they prefer not to align with any trends or fashionable labels. They experiment with roasting times and temperatures, constantly testing and developing new blends.
The primary market for San Francisco Bay Coffee is Costco buyers. They also reach their audience through coffee tastings out of mobile trolleys purchased from the City of San Francisco. The trolley has become a symbol for the company, a marker of quality for a coffee maker embedded in the Bay Area culture and landscape.
The company recently launched a new campaign to bring attention to their brand and address both Costco shoppers and a younger audience. I decided to introduce a bold new brand along with the campaign, with a palette of colors that would reference the Bay Area and a new logo that put the trolley at the center. The brand strategy was to bring attention to the company’s integrity and commitment to trade fairly, to take care of their employees, and to provide superior quality coffee. We emphasized the brand through the campaign tagline: Brew with Integrity.
San Francisco Bay’s coffee is made in a highly personalized way, with great attention to detail. Experienced employees carefully examine each roast; some of them have twenty years of tenure. I extended that personal touch via the online store by designing labels that can be signed, numbered and addressed to each individual customer, making the experience of receiving coffee unique and special.
With each order of coffee the customer receives one of a series of “Meet Our Family” flyers. This personalized message introduces not only the coffee but the people who take part in creating it: farmers, roasters and even other customers. The Rogers family brings everyone into the fold, giving their customers a sense of belonging, and greater community based on the love of coffee.
Client: San Francisco Bay Coffee
Agency: Emotive Brand
Brand Strategy: Tracy Lloyd and Saja Chodosh
Studio O+ A is an award-winning design and architecture firm in San Francisco that creates modern and unique interiors for some of the biggest companies in Bay Area like Uber, Cisco and Yelp to name a few.
I was asked by Studio O+ A to create a unique holiday gift for the firm's selected list of clients. The project was to embody the simple and bold elegance of the Studio's design aesthetic, and the holiday spirit without using the tired Christmas motifs.
The resulting gift was a practical and lovely set of 6 coasters, letter pressed with copper and white foil, that punched out of three cards, along with a holiday message.
Basix is a company that "offers personal loans at fair rates". Their main target audience are lower and middle income families, specifically women, and the loans are designed to get the borrower out of a short term financial predicament.
The company requested a blue-collar, all American type of presence that this demographic would respond to so we employed a calm and corporate color scheme and allowed the design to be carried by photography.
The logo mark had to feel very straightforward and simple to support the name of the brand. We chose a clean serif font that was slightly manipulated to give it a bit of modern appeal.
The identity needed to feel solid, convincing, bright and clean. The accents of bright blue and aqua elevated the brand to feel more contemporary.
In the end we added a bit of design flair for the T-shirt design with a fun robot illustration, based on company's internal mantra "Trust the robot."
Design Direction: David Albertson
Design and Art Direction: Paulina McFarland
Robot Illustration: Fin Wang
Creative Direction: David Albertson / Albertson Design, SF
Designers: Paulina McFarland and Christine Herrin
As a part of identity development for the TED2015 Truth & Dare Conference in Vancouver I designed a series of collateral and environmental graphics which included main stage guide, air-wall graphics, wayfinding, Ted Fellows guide, maps and TedU booklets.
Social spaces at TED2015 - Truth and Dare, March 16-20, 2015, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED
A new identity proposal for Zest Finance — a company that prides itself on a being made up of "some of the world’s best data scientists and lending experts" and analyzes thousands of potential credit variables.
The company is smart, agile and technologically innovative. The CEO requested Albertson Design to create an identity that was fun and funky, away from the stodgy and corporate look and feel of other B2B companies.
For this challenge I used the concept of data (as the company's primary product is technology that collects data) and created an illustrated expression of that concept.
I used geometric shapes to express bits and chunks of information and added fun and bright colors to give an overall expression of "funkiness".
Ultimately the company decided to reign in the colors and go with a more traditional look and feel, but this proposed identity based on strong modular geometry and bold colors remains one of my favorites.
Art Direction and Design: Paulina McFarland
Created at : Albertson Design, 2015
Creative Direction / Design / Exhibit Curation / Print Production
In 2008, along with two collaborators, I founded Project Aorta (501c3) — a collective of artists, independent curators and writers who set out to impact the Bay Area art community. The project focused on representing a diverse range of artistic voices across many disciplines; creating access to funding and building awareness around issues facing young artists in launching their professional careers. It was a publication, a space of visibility and a center for resources all in one.
The project was sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts and Intersection for the Arts, and was a recipient of the Alternative Exposure Grant from Southern Exposure.
As a creative director I was in charge of design of all branding materials, media campaigns and print production in addition to art direction and design of the bi-annual Aorta Magazine publication.
Creative Direction / Design
Nervy Design studio is a small art /clothing online boutique inspired by the rich textural effects of woodblock printing, typography and minimalist design. The branding challenge was to create an identity that would marry digital, textural, and geometric aspects of company's design.
I created a dynamic logo based on four simple shapes: a triangle, hexagon, square and a circle to emphasize the use of geometry. I employed a stamping method as a main vehicle for creating tags and business cards.
The 2014 Lookbook concept derived from combining digitally generated geometric images which were projected onto the models during the photoshoot. The photography was than incorporated into the 2D print collateral.
A second set of collateral material was created that combined the raw black and white aesthetics with the boldness of green, which suggests a 'digital' language.
3D Illustration / Design
Proposal for promotional posters for an exhibit about minimalism and modular art in interior design held at the Center of Culture and Art in Warsaw.
Art Direction / Design
A design proposal for Jan Švankmajer and Brothers Quay film festival.
Having grown up in Poland in the 80’s, I had watched a lot of animation from Se-ma-for Animation Studio. I fell in love with the genre and proceeded to make my own small animation sets. This early practice of building imaginary landscapes inspired me to try this process on a larger scale and to translate it from sculpture to print.
I proposed a title Behind The Secret Door, since all directors present us with a very rich and surreal worlds that seem hidden away from reality. I used their distinctive aesthetics for the collateral pieces and overall look and feel.
I created several character puppets from simple found objects like roots, pieces of cloth and small metal parts and photographed them to be used in a catalog, postcards and advertising. I also photographed a lot of natural objects such as burned wood and seaweed to add a variety of textures.
Art Direction / Design
Erath Winery is a vineyard located in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. They produce some of the most interesting and complex wines due to the red iron-rich Jory soils and the marine climate.
The challenge was to come up with something that soaks up the flavor of the surroundings as much as the grapes soak up the flavor of the earth. I thought of shrubbery and wild grown flora and of their earthy character and coarseness.
I went scavenging in nature and took photos of many plants, which I used for the various wine labels. The textural richness of the plants emulates the warmth of the climate and mineral complexities of the earth.
Art Direction / Design
The goal was to revitalize Chic Jeans — a ‘soccer mom’ comfort brand with a very bland appearance and to make it appealing to a younger demographic and people who wanted to feel good about their purchasing choices.
Since the brand was based in New York I decided to involve the city and its history as the center of the campaign and to re-brand it as Chic, NY. New Yorkers have a lot of pride in their city, its history and cultural diversity so I responded by focusing on creating a clear message — Chic is New York.
Creative Direction / Publication Design / Print Production
As a creative director of Aorta Art Collective (2008-2012), I art-directed, designed and managed print production of the Aorta Magazine, a bi-annual art publication. In addition I assisted with production of print collateral such as posters, postcards and email newsletters, conducted interviews and edited parts of the magazine.
Art Direction / Design
A proposal for a look and feel for a bicycle shop in Oakland, CA.
The objective was to create a presence of real competence, style and tough cool. The company prides itself on building solid fames for bikes, on hard work and building a bike-obsessed community.
I chose to render the logo in 3D software with a back lit-iconic representation to underline its idol-like status – something to be worshipped and revered. I created a strong stone-like presence to emphasize the solidity and strength.
I borrowed from Oakland's bike messenger culture and used predominantly black color for the identity. By using phrases like 'black magic' and 'horsepower', I further aided in shrouding the identity in a cult-like appearance.
Art Direction / Design Direction / Photography
Constraint Magazine was a publication based on a set of constraints both physical and conceptual in nature from color schemes to fashion constructed in under 10 minutes.
Art Direction / Design
Harmony Korine Film Festival was inspired by the Dogme 95 filmmaking movement started in 1995 by the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, who created the Dogme 95 Manifesto. The basic principles of the movement were a return to a more 'pure' and low budget film-making with materials available on the spot and a semi-documentary, intimate style without special effects or even studio settings.
I wanted to take on the design in the same way Dogme 95 filmmakers approached the making of their films — from a totally conceptual and low- fi perspective. The challenge in designing the festival's aesthetic was to create the same raw intensity which is often so present in their movies.
I chose to work with a theme of isolation and loneliness and entitled the festival End is Nowhere to express hopelessness of many protagonists in Korine's work.
To convey this mood I experimented with various styles of low-fi photography and tactile materials. I made a list of uninviting, coarse objects, drew awkward and simple lines and scouted for stained books, bent up magazines, odd toys, old cameras and household appliances.
In the end I chose to work with grey industrial felt and constructed all cd/dvd and collateral cases by sewing the fabric. I chose three colors for the three different movies, white (Gummo); red (Julien Donkey Boy); blue (Mister Lonely) and used the colors throughout the project to design tickets, cd's, and the catalog. The latter was a 400 page collection of movie stills, personal photographs (taken around San Francisco at garbage dumps and on rooftops) and light effects.
The move campaign involved mainly a series of guerilla tags around the city.
Art Direction / Design
Audiotype project was a proposal for a San Francisco based conference which combines typography and sound. It was driven by typographic experimentation with the use of 'fresh' ambient colors in combination with black and white photography.
Music and typography are somewhat parallel art forms with similar formal elements such as rhythm and typographic color; pitch and font character; negative space and silence and so on. I focused on electronic music since it is often both mathematical and organic and has more consistent layers. I based the rhythm of my typographic explorations and my layout on actual musical compositions.
I used Vitesse Sans as my primary body copy because of its square shape, "electronic" feel and high readability and used a variety of bitmap fonts in combination with some script fonts for contrast.
Audiotype conference collateral consisted of a takeaway catalog, a poster, a conference schedule and a set of passes.