The Mayad Academy
Internationally recognized wedding videography group, Mayad Studios, has consistently shared their knowledge and skills to curious videographers around the world through The Mayad Academy for five straight years. I am very much honored to be working with the design of their 2013 website as well as several collaterals for the event. It was a very tedious task of switching from web to graphics in a snap. But it was all worth the time and effort.
Logo Redesign, Web Prototyping, Online Advertising, Collateral Design
Since the venue for The Mayad Academy was at Beijing, China, we agreed that the colors to be used on the entire design would reflect elements that could give that “Chinese” feel. Much research was done to find symbols and useful design elements and I decided to do some color changes in the logo based on the official 2012 one. The other elements like textures and paint spatters were reserved for the web prototyping. Fact is, the logo could stand alone – it’s better to make it as simple as possible so that there can be space for more “play of design” on the next phase. (Well, technically it’s not really redesign at all. Haha. Pardon me.)
“It looks so easy to recolor the logo.” My friend mentioned to me when she saw me working in the hospital room. It’s easy to look at, really. But it took me half an hour to figure out which color would go where and which color would best fit the theme. I can simply put the golden yellow on top, the red on the bottom, the black in the middle, and the dark red will be the text. It would then look like:
So recoloring isn’t always as easy as it may look.
Coordinating with the team, they have provided me with some clippings of design elements that could reflect the over-all feel of the site. So piecing together some little bits of fonts, colors, and images, I came up with several mock-ups, each with their own individual personality.
We were gearing towards a more “modern” China feel and I experimented on the different fonts that could relate to the design. The colors most likely were based on the logo (primary), and the rest were used as accents to support the scheme (neutrals).
As a result, we ended up using a plain white background with simple elements carefully placed on the layout. The first “fold” of the page contains almost all the very important information of the event. This way, without even scrolling, any user will get the information they need.
I am not only limited to the English language in this project. This opened my eyes to a wider view of text characters and their thickness. Quite frankly, I like working with Chinese characters despite my lack of fluency (and definitely familiarity!) of it.
From pre-registration to early bird promos to extended promos, the playful yet minimal style of online advertising materials of The Mayad Academy is definitely an attention-seeker. The bold use of golden yellow and streaks of soft brush painting combines the modern and the little traditional feel of China (at least that’s what I think).
It’s really fun once you get your hands busy with collateral design. Part of my work in The Mayad Academy is the design of their collateral. This includes their handbook jacket design, handbook, shirt design, pen, and tote bag; as well as participant IDs and Certificates. Of course, previous design elements still remain: texture, colors, shapes, white space, English text with Chinese translations.
It was a great experience working with the people of Mayad. I really learned a lot from them and discovered some new things about my work process too (switching from Photoshop to InDesign to Illustrator). I’ve learned also about design consistency and its importance with the branding.
This project challenged me, though – most especially the days I spent working around the errors from the “Chinese character incompatibility” with my software. Thank God for portable versions which saved a lot of time if I were to repeat everything.