3 Ad Campaign



For this print ad campaign assignment, I chose to advertise Karen Walker’s line of eyewear in the summer editions of a magazine. Karen Walker is a New Zealand designer who creates women’s wear, eyewear, jewellery, homeware and more.

“Karen Walker is included in The Business of Fashion’s BoF500 as one of the 500 people who shaped the global fashion industry in 2015, 2014 and 2013. Karen Walker product is available in over 38 countries, 200 cities and 1020 stores. The collections can be found in specialty shops, department stores and leading online boutiques. There are also five Karen Walker stores in New Zealand. Karen Walker has a fan base of stylish women including Charlize Theron, Anne Hathaway, Alexa Chung, Florence Welch, Christina Hendricks, Lorde, Rihanna, and Lena Dunham.” – karenwalker.com

Karen Walker eyewear fashion designer

Karen Walker, the designer

“Karen Walker lives in the sweet spot where chic meets eccentric.”

Karen Walker’s eyewear is fun and exciting and displays a sense of humour. It features unusal shapes, bold design and unexpected colours. She designs eyewear for both men and women, but there is a more extensive selection of eyewear for women.


The target audience for this product is young women and men ages 24-40, who are single or in relationships, with some college education and white-collar jobs. They are young urban professionals. Although Karen Walker is based in New Zealand, this ad campaign will target her female customers living in North America, in order to broaden the reach of her brand. The target audience is affluent and don’t mind spending more to buy well-made items: they appreciate quality over quantity.

The target audience has edgy, fashion-forward style. They keep up with trends but are more interested in originality than following what everyone else is wearing. They are bold and like to stand out; they are not afraid of taking risks with fashion and also have a sense of humour that they like to display in their style choices.


This ad campaign will be featured in NYLON magazine.

“Since its launch in 1999, NYLON magazine has been the reigning authority on fashion, music, and beauty for the modern and intelligent young woman. With award-winning photography, groundbreaking design, and a unique editorial voice, NYLON extends beyond the pages of the publication and is celebrated as the definitive lens for cutting-edge style and emerging popular culture. With Editor-in-Chief Melissa Giannini at the helm, NYLON celebrates its sixteenth year of independent publishing, continuing to deliver comprehensive coverage, bold, provocative thinking and a fresh perspective that is distinctively NYLON.” -nylon.com

nylon magazine cover

NYLON Magazine

NYLON looks at style and culture through a completely unique lens: cool, creative, fiercely confident…with an edge. NYLON’s readers are bold, free-spirited style lovers who recognize that ‘perfection’ is boring. They are bold individualists who can mash up mainstream with offbeat in fashion and make it their own. NYLON’s readers are future-focused and restless to unearth what’s new, what’s next, what’s fresh and are style role models within their social set. NYLON’s brand DNA is the ultimate mashup of high and low: they mix street style with runway, and big Hollywood stars with cool indie talent.

Magazine Demographics

  • AUDIENCE:                       Female: 93%   Male: 7%
  • AGE:                                    18-34: 80%    25-34: 39%    35+: 20%    Median age: 26.9
  • MARITAL STATUS:          Single: 63%     Married: 30%
  • ANY COLLEGE:                69%
  • EMPLOYMENT:                71%


Karen Walker’s line of sunglasses is unique because its frames are bold and edgy but also wearable. They aren’t too over the top and can be worn every day, but they are unique and stand out. Karen Walker sunglasses are unlike the rest: they are bold and exciting and are also high quality and will stand the test of time.


How can I show in IMAGES that Karen Walker sunglasses have the most uniquely fun styles on the market?




The 3 ad campaign focuses on the theme: “fun, summer and colour”. Because most people wear and buy sunglasses in the summer, the ads will have a summertime feel. Originally, I had planned to use close-up images of ice cream superimposed with photographs or illustrations of models wearing the sunglasses, and incorporating an ice cream inspired colour palette and sprinkle-like shapes. The ice-cream concept changed when I was experimenting with imagery and I decided to eliminate the images of ice cream and opt for a less literal, illustrative approach, using ice-cream inspired colours and shapes instead.

The style of the campaign is colourful and trendy, and the tone is fun and playful, which aptly represents the ethos of the brand and will attract readers.

graphic design advertising sketches conceptual

Conceptual sketches


Refining conceptual sketches

The 3 ads in the campaign are very similar: they follow the same design style and layout, but differ in that each ad represents a different “flavour”. The 3 ads have different colour schemes, the models are at different angles to add variation, and the illustrated “sprinkles” in the background are different in each ad. The difference in the advertisements will make readers curious to see more variations on the theme.


Print ad #1


The layout for these print ads is centered and relatively minimal. The product is in the center of the page, and because it is also rendered in a different style than the rest of the imagery, the product is the focal point of the layout and the eye goes directly to it. The viewer then sees the model on which the glasses sit, and then the eye goes to the text, which is the brand’s logotype, centered at the bottom of each page. I used a 7 x 8 grid to help me lay out the elements and establish consistency between the three advertisements.

I chose not incorporate a tag line because the product speaks for itself, and I wanted the focus to be on the aesthetic as the selling feature of the product.The brand’s website is included in the top right corner, using 12pt. Trebuchet MS. Trebuchet is a serif typeface that  is neutral and contrasts with the sans-serif Karen Walker logomark. I set the type with a bottom to top vertical baseline, in order to slightly obscure it, so as not to disrupt the visual impact and symmetrical feel of the layout.  I wanted the website to be the last element of the hierarchy that the reader would look at.


Print ad #2


I chose an ice-cream inspired colour palette for a bright, happy, summery feel. I considered the colour of the sunglasses and chose complementary colours for the backgrounds to make the glasses pop. The colours for the outline of the illustrations were chosen to add more colour to the composition and to make the logotype stand out even more. The illustrations are filled in with white so as to keep the focus on the sunglasses and communicate that they are advertised product.


To create this 3 ad campaign, I incorporated photography with illustration. I manipulated photography in Adobe Photoshop by tracing the sunglasses with the pen tool and isolating them from the rest of the photograph. I traced the photograph of the model by hand, scanned it, and turned it into a vector image by using the Image Trace tool in Illustrator. The lines of the illustration were then cleaned up using the pencil and eraser tools. I drew the background patterns using the brush tool in Illustrator.


Print ad #3


This 3 ad campaign would be successful because it plays on more traditional editorial-style fashion advertisements, but it incorporates unexpected elements for a more creative, artistic aesthetic. The mood of these advertisements effectively represents the Karen Walker brand and what it stands for, communicating that the eyewear line is fun, fashionable and bold, and will appeal to young women with an appreciation for high fashion and streetstyle.  The colourful, hand-drawn, whimsical aesthetic of these ads will attract and interest potential customers and create brand recognition of the Karen Walker eyewear line.

Vector Portrait

I drew this self portrait in Adobe Illustrator! First, I posterized a photo of myself, traced over it using the pen tool and coloured it in. I added highlights and shadows using the multiply and screen blend modes, and made custom brushes to draw the details of my hair and eyelashes. It took a really long time but I’m happy with the result.

THEN I recoloured the portrait using colour harmonies, which was super fun! I literally couldn’t stop playing with the colour combinations. Did I mention I love colour?

adobe illustrator portrait face pen tool custom brush

Natural colouring

adobe illustrator vector portrait pen tool face


adobe illustrator vector portrait face pen tool

High contrast

adobe illustrator vector portrait face pen tool


Nuit Blanche Poster


Nuit Blanche is an event for all demographics; it is geared towards all genders, economic statuses and likely professions. Because Nuit Blanche is an all-night event, it is geared more towards adults than to children. People attend from all over the city and many come from out of town. Artists, art enthusiasts and people without much art experience all attend the event for a night of fun and spectacle.

The purpose of this poster to attract passersby, to get them to read the poster and intrigue them to want to find out more about the event.

nuit blanche toronto 2016 poster process sketches

Process sketches

nuit blanche toronto poster 2016 talie shalmon graphic design typography

Final design

Design Strategies

My poster design aims to convey the edgy tone of Nuit Blanche, and communicate that it’s an exciting, vibrant contemporary art event. I chose a bright, eye-catching gradient as the background because it recalls the aesthetic of screen printed posters and concert posters that I grew up seeing around the Toronto. It’s an aesthetic that I associate with cool art and music events and I wanted that to be reflected in this poster. I chose blue fading into hot pink to represent daytime fading into a sunset.

The rest of the elements in the layout are black and white for high contrast between the background, image, and text. I used the moon image to convey “nuit”, so that people would understand that the event is about or is held during the nighttime just by glancing at the poster. It also serves as the focal point for a bold, symmetrical design. I used the typeface “Moon” as the only typeface on the poster, in bold and regular and in different sizes, to add contrast and hierarchy to the layout. I like Moon because it’s a rounded and graphic sans-serif that, like it’s name suggests, has a circular, moon-like feel. I actually already had this typeface downloaded and felt it was the perfect opportunity to use it.

I placed “Nuit Blanche Toronto” on the moon in white so that it would contrast with the dark moon and stand out, and it’s also a literal application of the word “blanche”. I chose to place each number of “2016” in each corner around the moon to add an interesting, more abstract and artistic element to the layout. The moon imagery, numbers, symmetrical layout and thick border around the edge were influenced by tarot cards, which are often very graphic, with a mysterious tone. Finally, the cross pattern was added in the background to represent stars and to add visual interest.


I established visual hierarchy in this poster by establishing the moon as the main focal point that draws the eye in to read the bold white event title, which is also the largest font in the layout. The eye is then lead to the “2” in the upper left corner, and follows the numbers around to understand that they make up the date. The numbers are meant to be abstract and take a little figuring out to understand the meaning. The horizontal lines then lead the eye to the date & time in the centre and then follows the smaller text down the centre of the layout to the bottom contact information and logos.

My poster should be chosen as the local poster for Nuit Blanche 2016, because it is bold, modern, artistic and playful, which perfectly represents the spirit of Nuit Blanche.

Type Pairing Aesop’s Fables

For this type pairing project, I chose the passage “The Rivers and the Sea” from the Project Gutenberg transcripts of Aesop’s Fables. I chose a background image that I felt represented the content and mood of the passage (from Unsplash.com), and two Google Fonts: Courgette and Noto Sans, that pair well together because of their contrast. Courgette is a brushy italic script type that works well as a display typeface. I chose Courgette because its slanted, flowing form is reminiscent of water and waves. I paired it with Noto Sans as the paragraph typeface because Noto Sans is unembellised, very readable, has vertical stress and no serifs, contrasting well with Courgette. In laying out this project, I focused on contrasting the size, structure and isolation/position of the text.



Hand Lettering Workshop

Last week our class participated in a hand lettering workshop lead by Ligature YYZ’s Leslie Harrod. It was so much fun and it was neat to see how much better everyone’s lettering got by the end of the workshop. The workshop inspired me to practice hand lettering so that I can get better at it, and to use hand lettering in future design projects.

typography hand lettering tombow brush marker

Pages and pages of lettering

hand lettering typography rupaul you better work

Hand lettered RuPaul quote

Photo Retouching!

Today in Photoshop class we learned about “Dust Busting”, i.e. editing and correcting photos. We learned how to retouch and soften a portrait “magazine-style”, so it looks super smooth and flawless. Pretty crazy. It’s easy to take it way too far. I prefer a less retouched look, but it’s interesting to experience, first hand, how much retouching goes into most of the photos we see in the media. Here, I retouched and softened a photo of Cameron Diaz. Sorry, Cameron!

We also learned about the Clone Tool, so I used it to make a little picture of everyone’s favourite American politician.

Photoshop portrait editing photo retouching Cameron Diaz and clone tool Donald Trump orangutan

GDPW005 Typography: Expressive Word

Expressive Typography

This assignment explored the use of typographic contrast to give visual meaning to a word.

Typography can express the meaning of a word, not just by the structure of the typeface, but through contrast. We learned about Carl Dair’s Seven Contrasts of Typography: size, weight, form, direction, structure, colour and texture, all of which can be employed to create visual hierarchy. Additional contrasts are isolation/position, non-typographic (like embossing and glossy/matte inks) and imagery.

For this exercise, we had to use Futura Bold to express the meaning of a word. We could only change the type’s direction, position, size and colour.  It was a fun challenge to think about how to represent words through typographic contrast, rather than typeface.

Here are some sketches of my ideas before I chose to go with the word “subtraction”.

sketches of expressive typography

Sketches of expressive word ideas

And here is the final piece:

the word "subtraction" using expressive typography


My First Webpage

We just started learning HTML in class and I made my first webpage ever! I’m pretty excited because I didn’t know I could do it. Now I understand why people say coding is like its own language: it really is! But it’s a language I can learn.

All About Pomeranian Puppies

Coding my first HTML website in Dreamweaver

Coding my first HTML page in Dreamweaver