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Experience Design, Branding, Web Design

Back Story

Be Honest is a celebration and a student showcase of — Portland State University Graphic Design’s program held within the walkways of Wieden + Kennedy every year. Every year, a team of design students is tasked with the role of organizing, branding, marketing, and executing the showcase which features over 100 students (sophomores through seniors) showcasing their work.

  • Come up with an art direction for the current year and build brand collateral for the event
  • Work behind the curtains, prepare students, faculty and guests for what they’re about to experience and manage all the details along the way
  • Establish a digital presence for the event for the show through the creation of a website and social media.

The Concept

For the 2018 theme, the team wanted to focus on being honest and showing the public what the students go through to get to the show. It focused on the design process and showing how it will always run its own course, and everything will eventually fall into place in the end. This idea was visually executed in the framework of a Rube Goldberg machine.

Digital Media,
UI/UX Design, and Development

One of my primary roles within this project was to help create and design the digital channels (website and social media) related to the event. The purpose of these channels was to fully embrace the sense of movement. This was achieved through a series of stop motion vignettes showing the process of a ball dropping through a series of environments. These vignettes where first shared through PSUGD’s social media channels over a months time. This release schedule was used to help build hype and curiousity as the events drew closer.
Two weeks before the event occurred, the event’s website launched showcasing all the vignettes together to help create a complete conclusion to the event’s storyline. The goal of the website was to promote the primary details of the event, plus highlight the profiles of each student showcasing their work in a single page format. 

Each student profile needed to be able to show the student first and last name, their class standing (sophomore, junior, senior), a bio, and links to their portfolios and social media accounts. Years prior to 2018 all this infomation was hand coded through the use of HTML and PHP, which was extremely inefficient. To streamline the process of creating the student profiles, I discovered a way to make the content dynamic through the creation and use of a low-fi CMS system that you can read more about here.

Impacting The
Status Quo

The event turn-out was best to date with over 130 participants across 4 floors of Wieden + Kennedy’s Portland office. Over 1,200 people stopped by the event from family and friends to local professionals.

The 2018 event set a new standard for Be Honest, and how it can be organized. Maryana Kuznetsova and I continued working past the date of the event to ensure future Be Honests would be fully equipped with all the information they needed to continue progressing the yearly event forward. Check out the most recent event here.

The Team

Anya Gearhart, Eileen Ewing, Skyler Weissenfluh, Maryana Kuznetsova, Jordan Salazar, Ciera Tague, Jenny Vu, Brennen Reed, Leah Maldonado, and Sydney Bardole under the guidance of Kate Bingaman-Burt and Sean Schumacher.