My name is Haley Yacavone and I am a graphic designer and photographer. When I was about 10 years old my brother brought home a bootleg copy of Photoshop CS3 from his Web Design class at school. I learned how to use the selection tool to place different colors and I used it as a coloring book. From then on, I taught myself how to use Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Bridge, Premiere Pro, Animate, Dimension and Experience Design and I am always eager to learn more.
I aspire to be a student in an amazing graduate program and obtain a career in a top advertising agency soon after graduating. I am confident that my education and life experiences will prepare me to work at a leading advertising agency and leave my mark on the advertising industry.
In March of 1997, I was born in a small hospital on the outskirts of New Orleans, Louisiana. Even though my family moved to Jacksonville, Florida when I was little, I have always carried my Cajun pride wherever I go. Growing up, Cajun cuisine was a staple in our household. Just about any dish, derived from New Orleans or otherwise, usually ended up with Tony’s Seasoning or Louisiana Hot Sauce on it anyways. I love the culture and traditions surrounding my home town which has given me a huge amount of appreciation and respect for other people’s cultures. When I make a giant pot of gumbo for my friends, I feel like I’m home. I love sharing the quirks of my culture and learning about where other people came from as well as their cultural traditions. When I tell people I’m from a city that has a month-long, city-wide party where people drink, eat a cake with a plastic baby Jesus in it, and catch beads with panties attached to it off a parade float in the Bacchus Krewe, it makes for great conversation.
For almost 3 years I was in a relationship with someone who didn’t appreciate me. I found myself constantly working to help him build a better life for himself but in the process, I lost sight of who I was as an individual and what I wanted in life. After we stopped dating, I was able to worry about myself and my future. Now I know what I want and I’m never going to stop growing. I’ll never let anyone hold me back.
During my second year at USF, I was taking the required “Portfolio Building” course for my degree. My professor, Coby O’Brien, came in every morning at 9 a.m. sharp with something to pass out to the class. It was always an unconventional, seemingly insignificant item. For example, one class he gave us all acorns. He’d then go into an hour-long lecture about some profound insight into the meaning of life that would inspire all of us to use these tools he’d given us to change the world. So, naturally, I was intrigued to see how an acorn was going to change my life, but he just wanted to see how many people could use it to whistle.
One day, he brought in pamphlets for VCU, Creative Circus, and Miami Ad School. Up until this point, everyone in the advertising industry had told me that getting anything more than your Bachelor’s Degree was a waste of time and money so I had never considered furthering my education. I was hanging onto his every word while he told us about these amazing programs that these schools offered and where the graduates had ended up. I began my research to find the school with the best fit for me. I found the portfolios of previous graduates of the Brandcenter programs and I got in contact with Christina Foy, a 2017 Graduate of the Experience Design program. Between Christina’s and Coby’s passion for VCU, I knew that I wanted to go to the Brandcenter.
The graduates of the Art Direction track are responsible for bringing the vision of campaigns to life through design, illustration, typography and technology. We translate the messages that people want to convey and make it a visual experience for the audience they want to speak to. In this track, I will learn how to develop ideas and communicate them through design.
I think Starbucks was trying to jump on the "minimalism" train but unfortunately, it didn't work out. I found their design (on the left) difficult to read, flat and unappealing. I first saw this design when I was walking past the Starbucks in the library at school and initially, I thought it was just a yellow, incomplete sign but in fact, it was an advertisement for one of their new products. I think the yellow certainly captured my attention but white text was not a smart design. So, I remedied the legibility issue. I left the text black and took a photo of an espresso to clip into the words "blonde espresso". I also used a subtle gradient to give the display a little depth. I think this makes customers more inclined to try the product given the beautiful imagery of the classic espresso foam and the product at the bottom of the poster.
Espresso Shots: Google Images
Image in "blonde": original photography
Logo: Google images
Blind Tiger Cafe is a small, speakeasy-inspired coffee shop in Ybor City, Florida. They don't really advertise themselves aside from posting on social media so, I wanted to have a little fun. I created fliers that would be available for customers to give to their friends. The fliers take part in the fun, speakeasy theme with a code in a postcard for the receiver to decipher which will lead them to the cafe. Since they already have a loyal following, people would be more than happy to participate.
For those walking around Ybor City, they will find white wraps around light poles and crosswalks, leading them to the cafe. This is meant to be fun and engaging for those that participate so they'll pass it along to their friends. For those who remove the wrap from the tiger, they will find a 10% discount with a code word to present to the cashier at the cafe.
Logo: Google images
Light pole/ Hand: original photography
Growing up, dinner made in the Crock-Pot meant it was ready by the time you walked in the door. It always gave my parents a sense of ease by saying, "Dinner's in the Crock-Pot". I wanted to focus on the extra moments people might not notice they get to experience when dinner is already taken care of. Crock-Pot is a family-friendly company and I wanted to reflect that in this campaign.
Part 2 of this campaign consists of giving back to the community and hard-working parents. These will be social media posts that will ask or inform people to participate in donating money or entering to win a home-cooked meal.
Images: Adobe Stock Photo
Logo: Google Images