& I am a graphic designer.
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Underneath it all, what makes something work and what do those elements mean?
Can we make and develop something like it for ourselves?

CV

hello@gabewong.com
phone. (780) 803 2591
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Teurastamo is a food incubator/catalyst for food culture in Helsinki. Once a large butcher centre and abattoir, most of the buildings were converted into restaurant spaces and multi-use rooms. To further the use of the spaces into the evening, a night market was produced. The history of the space was central to the design. From a small directory of the original floor plan, a custom typeface was made from the original hand lettered sample. It was then taken into a bold weight and used on the poster. To highlight the type yet to also evoke the night, a simple use of type printed with high gloss varnish on black paper was used. Initially and in somewhat ironic fashion, the varnish was supposed to be glow in the dark ink, but because of the near-midnight sun in Helsinki at the time of the festival, it was discovered that it wouldn’t have worked.

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The overall idea for this project was based on an idea that graphic design stems primarily from the written language, and ultimately to typography. Thus, a brand, campaign, and culture can be held entirely through a typeface which embodies its values and purposes (i.e. culture represented through calligraphy).The design of this typeface reflects an experimental yet human approach. Its design is based off human proportions, using the size of the head as a base unit. The proportions of the typeface informed the margins, leading, type scale and also offered a visual theme of undulating lines for the images.








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This was a public information campaign to encourage safe practices when going out and having a night on the town. To inform the public of important considerations when engaging in risky behaviour required a light-hearted approach which also acknowledged the seriousness of the issue. I approached this by referencing dystopian science fiction in pop culture, such as The Hunger Games, Battle Royale, and Ender’s Game and combining it with an aesthetic of 16-but video games. A map and icons were created which described danger zones but also depicted the prescribed behaviour. This printing was 2 colour with fluorescent inks. 


The work of Mile Zero is extremely diverse and experimental, focusing not only on dance but also in installation, sound and environment. However, for all of its experimentation, they remain accessible to the public. The tone of their yearly publication/program must have the same tone, a mix of refinement and curiosity, play and introspection.
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How does one design a brand within a brand? How do you create a voice that is independent yet fits within a larger context? Such was the dilemma with Simon Fraser University’s Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC). Many departments made their own logo and rejected many of the branding guidelines provided by the university’s existing system. This was the initial problem with the TLC old brand, which looked disconnected from the university. My approach to the problem was to create a more strict brand guideline under the existing SFU guidelines but to also make it dynamic. This rebrand achieved that by using a responsive system of grids based on the document size and a four-square system of photographic images and flat icons/pictures. This system portrays the TLC’s diverse offerings of
programs, reports, and marketing materials consistently and dynamically.



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Making a poster is always a highlight. For me, posters are the extension of graphic design and image making into the public realm forming the visual identity of a place. It seems that every city has a different aesthetic and it subtly spreads itself by remaining passive in the background yet also active in space. Even global brands often adapt themselves to the look of place while maintaining its brand. Maybe like having to wear the same clothes differently when appearing to different people?

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Installed on the outside of a transit station, this public art piece intends to create curiosity into the biodiversity of Alberta as passengers wait for their bus. The animals, all drawn on a system of a grid, creates consistency and abstracts the animals such that they are visually cohesive. The image is printed onto high density laminate panel to last the temperature variation in Edmonton (-30° – +30° is common). This illustration was featured in the 2011 Communication Arts illustration Annual.

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We are the dream-animals and the dream-people. Our world begins with you right here, right now. Start with a single letter, a shape, a colour . Add another, and then another. Put us together, take us apart, move us around. Find a pattern that tells a story.
This installation was for the AGA’s BMO World of Creativity, in other words, the children’s room. Probably one of my more challenging projects, as the room had to be safe & durable (as there is no provided supervision) but had to also be entertaining. I now understand why playground design is its on specialized field. For the room, I explored the creation of a culture through creating basic visual rules; everything must be built on a rigid grid sytem and the only colours that could be used were red, yellow, blue, black and white. A sound floor (whose sounds could be changed), a cryptography mural and an origami table were made. Canadian writer Thomas Wharton was commissioned to write a short story for the wall and sound artist Mark Hannesson created the noises for the floor. The cryptography wall was a 2012 American Illustration Selected pick. The end result looked very Mexican.

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You would think that making your own product would offer you unlimited freedom and let you be your own best client, but in truth, the market as client is bigger then one may expect and paying for everything up front can be daunting. However, it is a great learning experience and offers a different perspective. As a designer, it is almost like having a superpower to be able to create something from the ground up and make it look professional, with almost total autonomy.


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Three things that I like: space travel, animist spirituality and things without words. I made a story about a child who has no memory of Earth having grown up in a space station where all is man made.In this story, the child eats a “souvenir” of Earth, along with a daily nutrition item.
The potato’s soul feels isolated in space. After it is eaten, the potato it gives an idea to the child of Earth and its purpose is fulfilled. I enjoy the imagery of a lone potato floating in space.



This graphic narrative is an idea that I wish to explore further. It’s not so much about a story but a system of grammar and language visualization. The frames of the image represent the verb tense of the elements (i.e. past,present future, conditional, etc.). and the colour indicates what is a verb or noun. Although this system most likely has a English and French grammar bias, one could possibly use this system to develop their own grammar rules. One example would be casting tense onto the noun rather then verb, thus one could say/write, “the past-person eat past-apple, delicious, at the past-store”. Inefficient but possible.