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School project S6 – Aids initiative poster

This poster project was targeting another social awareness subject: Aids. The objective was to promote the Federal government initiative to fight against HIV / AIDS in Canada. This initiative provides funding for different prevention and support programs.

The first poster symbolizes all the support given by the population and AIDS programs. A group of red ribbons forming a balloon supports the AIDS victims. The hand-written words “Together we can support AIDS victims” ties with the poster’s visuals.

aids poster

This poster is one of a series of three. Two hands holding in the shape of a heart with a mosaic of symbols in the background representing heterosexual and gay couples. The hand-written word “Together we can fight the prejudice of AIDS” ties again with the support given by the different AIDS programs and the population.

aids poster

aids posteraids poster

This poster was not submitted because it didn’t tie well with the government initiative. Nevertheless, I posted it because I liked the idea.

aids poster

All the posters below were abandoned ideas and work-in-progress.

aids posteraids poster

aids poster

 copyright Dany Pepin 2012

School project S6 – Sandblasting kills

For this project we has to create a poster expressing the horrors resulting of sandblasting jeans. What’s wrong with sandblasting jeans? Look it up on google. Here is the translation of the text featured on my poster.

The damned of denim. Thousands of workers are condemned by the sandblasting of jeans. Exposure to silica dust cause irreversible lung disease called silicosis. It is contracted by workers who inhale it. This desease continues to grow even if the exposure has ceased. Many companies refuse to abandon the practice of sandblasting, including: … (logo of companies).

As you can see, my approach was the horror movie poster. It is a photo-montage of around 15 images and bit of digital painting from my part.

Sablage des Jeans / Sandblasting jeans

 copyright Dany Pepin 2012

School project S6 – The 2012 Student Exhibition

Each year for this project, graduating students need to create a poster, a directional sign and an invitation for the graphic design student exhibition. This year the tag line of the expo was “Warning: Creative Zone“, so we had to design our applications around this idea and include the 2012 color: Tangerine Tango. Lots of cool designs were created and three finalists were chosen. My design, which finished 3rd, represent a vibrating mass of creativity hovering inside a closed perimeter. I made the orange mass as alienish as possible. You can almost see it moving and transforming itself. The student exhibition will take place April 17th from 5PM to 8PM at La Nouvelle Scène in Ottawa (333 King-Edward ave.).

 copyright Dany Pepin 2012

School project S5 – Beer branding part 2 : The labels

For this branding project we have to develop the visual identity, the packaging and the advertising campaign for a beer. Here is part 2 of the creative process behind this project.

The labels

Because this beer is inspired by tradition, folklore and the heartland of Quebec, I had to go back in time and develop a visual that would reflect this period. I wanted a label that looked old and worn. A label that seemed to have been made a long time ago. The shape of a shield made out of worn paper with gothic letters made the effect I was looking for. Since the bottle was dark brown, a beige label created a excellent contrast.


Front, back and top labels


Photoshop mockup


 copyright Dany Pepin 2011

School project S5 – Exposition visual signature

The mandate for this project was to design the graphic signature of the Acadia 2012 exposition. Acadia is an organization that is committed to the research and development of computer aides that enhance design creativity, rather than simply production, and that aim at contributing to the construction of humane physical environments. It promotes fusion of technology and nature.

This project allowed us to work in teams. I allied myself with one of the best student in my class and a close friend, the wonderful Katherine Proulx. We wanted to work together for a long time because of our individual success and our excellent chemistry when it comes to design and brainstorming.

The project required that we design a poster, directional banners, an invitation card, a program and an uncommon display element with the same visual signature. On top of that we needed to present our design in front of a panel composed of the teacher and two communication specialists. This was a huge task for the time we had. The explanation below is similar to what we presented to the panel of experts. The presentation was mimicking the order in which a potential visitor would meet these graphic applications in real life.

The concept

Knowing what the Acadia organization stands for, we developed a concept around what we find to be the most natural of things…the ground beneath our feet. But more specifically around the smallest element representing the ground … a grain of sand. This opaque grain of sand has been transformed into glass and is now a reflection of the technology. Glass is the thing that separates us from technology the most. Your computer screen, your TV, your smartphone and your tablet are all technologies which information reaches you in the form of light rays through the glass. In the past, you had to set foot on the ground and walk a long distance to communicate with another person. Now, the same ground carries your communications as binary pulses of light through the glass of fiber optics. Light going through glass is also a symbol of innovation and creativity … the light bulb.

“A grain of sand is the reflexion of today’s technology”
Katherine & Dany 

As pixels of an image, the assembly of several small elements forms a distinctive whole. We have strengthened the association with nature by representing a leaf, which is an easily recognizable. The leaf is formed by each small triangular piece of glass that refracts the light in different ways. Every person on earth has a different vision of what nature is today and this is what each individual piece of glass represent. Only a collective effort with technology will standardize the overall vision of nature.

In addition to the visual concept, the assembly of these pieces of glass is an abstract work of art in itself, as are many projects submitted to the Acadia competition.


The poster

The poster takes the concept explained above for the background, but we used a close-up of the glass mosaic rather than the full leaf. The veins are sufficient to understand that this is a leaf. This prevent the audience from seeing the shape of a simple leaf from afar. Furthermore, the use of the full-page mosaic offers an interesting texture that attracted attention for its vibrant green color. The information is arranged on black stripes reminiscent of a “bar code” an provides an excellent contrast with the background and maximum visibility. The text uses a font very visible to help readability. The poster could be printed on a translucent surface and applied to windows or light boxes. The light passing through the display increases the concept of glass.


The invitation

Our potential visitor first receives the invitation. This 5×7 in. invitation contains the glass mosaic in the background on both sides. On the front we find the name of the event and the title of the exhibition. The back shows all the information with an emphasis on the date that is visible on longest black line. This format is easy to carry and can also be used as a flyer.


The bus shelter

Our potential visitor is now interested in attending this event. He decides to take public transit to get to the convention center since he has an environmental awareness. He therefore takes the bus and arrives at the Novotel Centre bus stop.

The bus stop has been dressed with the graphic signature of the event. To explain the composition of the shelter, we show you in two phases (see images below). First, the three back panels shows the glass mosaic that has been printed on a transparent adhesive in order to let the light through. The poster is affixed to the inside and outside of the side light box. Secondly, the remaining glass panels have received a seamless application that mimics the triangles of the mosaic, but without the leaf pattern. Each triangular piece has a variable thickness resulting in a refraction effect of the image passing through it. This allows the bus users to see their bus coming, but also allows them to see the surrounding environment in a quite different way. This out-of-the-ordinary application is the highlight of the outdoor advertising because of its originality and visibility.



The directional banners

After disembarking the bus, our visitor must find his way to the entrance. Nothing could be simpler. He only has to follow the directional banners.

There are two types of banner signs. The first type of banner is rectangular. It overlooks the ground from a height of 18 feet and strewn the perimeter of the Novotel Centre property at regular intervals. The second type of banner has a shaped curve, a height of 10 feet and guides visitors from the different entrances to the main gate by marking a path. Some banners of this second type can also be used indoors. The banners also uses the original graphic signature and shows only the name of the event. A third type of sign, not shown here, consists of several small triangles as seen on the mosaic. They are individually affixed to the floor of the convention center and create a path from the main entrance to the reception booth.


The event program

On arrival at the reception booth, our visitor shows his invitation to the attendant and then receives the event program.

The event program has a dimension of 3.75 x 7 inches and is printed in two colors (Duotone). The front cover is deployed as a letter fold pamphlet to reveal the word from the President and the calendar in a separate saddle-stitch section. The leaf mosaic is used on the cover in colour over a black and white background. The triangular part of the cover, which simulate transparency, is also used as a bookmark for the calendar. The calendar section is inserted vertically in the pamphlet and each spread shows the schedule of one particular day. Having one spread per day lets the schedule breathe and keeps the readability to a maximum.





The presentation

Finally, our presentation went extremely well and we impressed every members of the panel by our preparation, our professionalism and our attention to details. They loved the program, the situation scenario in which we presented pour graphic element and the small presentation brochure we handed them to help follow our explanations. Katherine and I were told that even professionals rarely match a pitch like we just had done. We nailed it!

 copyright Dany Pepin & Katherine Proulx 2011

School project S5 – Event posters

For this project we had to design 3 large format posters of variable sizes for a fictional event. Being somewhat of a geek, I chose an event I would like to see: Ottawa Comic-Con. It is a convention for fans of all kind (comics, sci-fi, horror, movies, TV, video games, etc).

Ottawa is a city with a rich architectural history, so going back in time graphically was an interesting idea. The overall look of the three types of posters is the “Art Nouveau” movement and the Vintage 40s with a touch of “propaganda” style. There’s a little “futurism” on the horizontal banner and triptych. These artistic styles feature many diagonal lines, perspective, movement and color desaturation. The chosen typography is the most representative elements of the time period illustrated in this poster. Although a vintage style is used, the mixture of minimalism and retro is very trendy nowadays. So this is a good marriage between the old and the new.

The parliament building has been used to identify the city of Ottawa. It is the architectural element most identifiable to Ottawa and is easily recognizable for Canadians and potential visitors of the convention. The new convention center is also represented more or less subtly on the three posters. The superhero representation is generic. It could be any superheros from Captain America to Batman

The poster

The title highly visible and the Peace Tower serves as a guideline to the bilingual information at the bottom right. The Superheros is transparent, otherwise we would have conflicted with the tower. It would also look as if it was ultraman or godzilla wanting to destroy the parliament while standing in the Ottawa river. The radiation effect brings attention to the parliament building and the fact that something is happening in Ottawa. The ground triangular texture is reminiscent of the new convention center.



The bus sign

Here, the big splash of color catches your attention and the direction of the superhero points to the title and the parliament. The irradiation is still a focus point on the parliament signifying the event in the capital. The motion effect of the flying superhero is reminiscent of the futurism style (repetitions) and the convention center is represented with its oval shape and triangular texture.


The triptych

The triptych was a good challenge especially if when you want to keep continuity between the posters but also for each part to convey its message. The title banner placed on the left draws attention and the eye follow the flying superhero (with the splash of yellow) and then goes to the convention center and the information. Then the eye goes back up to the silhouette who is looking at the parliament building closing the loop. It is a story from right to left. The hero first sees a threat, then it activates his powers and flies away.


copyright 2011

Paul Demers «Encore une fois»

Here is the final product available in stores and at See my previous blog entry for more details about the design of this album.












 copyright 2011

The Making of «Encore une Fois»

As mentioned in a previous blog entry, I was chosen to design Paul Demers new music album «Encore une Fois». It was an interesting summer project I was looking forward to, but I didn’t expect the album to be redone from scratch. A monstrous task since I was working full time as a support web designer at La Cité collégiale at the same time. So after the meeting with Paul and his producer Jean-Michel Ouimet, we had an idea of the new direction: Paul’s return. I submitted the idea of having a logotype for Paul’s name which he could use later on for different applications including his album. With his blessing, I started to work on different word marks.

Logotype/wordmark sketches


Surface test with the word mark chosen by Paul

logowoodlogo rust

logo vintage

Paul really really REALLY liked the wordmark on the vintage wallpaper and he wanted THAT for the cover. I tried several alternate covers to keep the same look as my original cover, but since Paul and Jean-Michel were the artistic directors, I didn’t had any weight in the final decision. Even if you don’t agree all the time, the important thing is that you please the client.

Some of the alternate covers

Website that was never used.


 copyright 2011

School project S4 – Book illustration

For this project we had to pick one of 4 classic tales (Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, Hansel & Gretel, the Three Little Pigs) and create a modern interpretation of the story. Since we didn’t have to stick to the original age group the story was written for, I decided to tell the tale of “Red Riding Hood” for an adult audience in the form of graphic novel. You’ll notice my inspiration from Frank Miller’s “Sin City” graphic novel where everything is in black and white with a touch of color. This color contrast created by the light and shadow offers a dramatic and mysterious setting, perfect for a tale with sexuality and explicit violence. My sketches were very explicit so since this was a school project, I had to tone down the illustrations by changing the viewing angles.

The story isn’t complete since we had a limited number of page to illustrate. But you’ll get the idea even if the text is in french.

Click here to see the flash book (drag the lower right corner to turn the page) or look at the PDF for full resolution. (WARNING : For adult only)


 copyright 2011

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