Portfolio of Sarah Jade Aubé

Print Layout Design

The constellation Leo One of Hercules’ labours was to fight the Nemean lion (Leo), whose hide was impervious to blades and arrows. The demi-god defeated the beast by strangling it and from then on used its hide as a cloak for protection.

Designing for print can also sometimes be a bit of a battle – incorporating many elements and finding the right approach to overcome the struggle for balance. But at the end of the fight, the message emerges stronger than if it was being presented on its own. Fair warning, though, I cannot vouch for any of my designs’ ability to deflect swords and such...

A brochure handed out to customers during the long trip to a conference we were holding in Thailand.

The challenge

Finding the balance between work and play related content. I approached it as making a sort of mini in-flight magazine, separating sections with large photos and putting content in boxes to make it more dynamic and fun.

Highlight

Managing to combine our company’s image with some of Thailand’s cultural flavour. I’m particularly happy with the ornate diamond that uses our 3 brand colours in the background.

Room for improvement

With all the beautiful photos in the brochure, I wish I’d have had the time to find one to use on the puzzles page instead of the illustration. I think it would’ve made the page feel more like part of the whole. It’s still a pretty good quick fix, though.

A catalogue for a distributor of costume jewellry.

The challenge

Picking out a limited number of accessories out of hundreds and finding a concise way of presenting them without using any models.

Highlight

Consulting Pantone’s guide on the season’s fashion colours and teaming up with our sales rep helped me narrow down the selection of jewellry and group things together into a more easily digestible format. My colleagues and I had a lot of fun searching our homes for things in the right colours to use in the photoshoot.

Room for improvement

This catalogue would’ve been lifted to a higher level of professionalism with better photography. With virtually no budget we had a pretty makeshift setup to take the photos and a completely inexperienced photographer: me. All things considered, I think I did a pretty good job staging the shots.

All the printed material for my wedding, including invitations, table cards, game instructions, prizes and thank you cards.

The challenge

Creating something completely from scratch I would be happy enough with to show my closest friends and family. I’m a perfectionist who, for once, had the time to indulge in getting all the details right, so this felt like a lot of pressure!

Highlight

My scanned doodles turnout out to be a lot more versatile than anticipated. I used them as different types of frames and borders without changing much and it resulted in my creating a sort of brand for the whole event. Serendipitously, even our wedding rings and party favours had heart motifs.

Room for improvement

I spent a lot of time getting every single comma and fold perfectly into place – this was for my wedding, after all. If I can’t say I’m entirely happy with it, I don’t think there’s any project with which I ever will be!

Magazine advertisements aimed specifically at hairdressers, beauty and skincare professionals.

The challenge

Communicating to people who are focused on their analog craft that digital tools can help grow their business.

Highlight

Managing to make some of the fact boxes feel more relevant and part of the whole by pointing them to details in the large photo and adding new thumbnails of the same people. This helped by literally putting a face to the numbers.

Room for improvement

Some of these feel a bit busy when I look at them now, particularly the ski cabin one. My first instinct was to keep the box colour from the previous ads, but now I’m better at making exceptions from consistency when I know it’ll improve the experience, like here to make the boxes pop more from the photo.

A brochure for a design firm catering to Canadian musicians, featuring photography by the very talented Andy Scheffler.

The challenge

Creating something completely from scratch I would be happy enough with to show my closest friends and family. I’m a perfectionist who, for once, had the time to indulge in getting all the details right, so this felt like a lot of pressure!

Highlight

My scanned doodles turnout out to be a lot more versatile than anticipated. I used them as different types of frames and borders without changing much and it resulted in my creating a sort of brand for the whole event. Serendipitously, even our wedding rings and party favours had heart motifs.

Room for improvement

I spent a lot of time getting every single comma and fold perfectly into place – this was for my wedding, after all. If I can’t say I’m entirely happy with it, I don’t think there’s any project with which I ever will be!

A student project to adapt one of Montreal’s free cultural newspapers, Voir, to a magazine.

The challenge

Needing to incorporate elements from the original newspaper, while still being fresh and vibrant as a magazine. This was one of my earliest attempts at looking at other designers’ work and distilling the essence of a brand in order to use it myself – something I feel I’ve grown quite good at over the years.

Highlight

Oddly enough, files getting corrupted and unusable are what made this better. I originally created two mockups: one used Voir's mix of wide lines with rounded cutouts, while the other focused on the paper’s recurring bull's-eye symbol. When needing to recreate everything from scratch, I found that I could combine elements from both proposals for a much more dynamic spread.

Room for improvement

This spread would have benefited from more breathing room. A recurring thing I see in my earlier work is that there’s hardly a blank centimeter anywhere, but I’ve grown much better at balancing the use of white space.

A printed piano leaflet for a catalogue merchant.

The challenge

Our pianos would never be seen in person before purchase, so we had to convey the luxury of this lifetime investment on paper. With limited printing options, it was important that the customer didn’t feel like we were skimping on this catalogue, lest it gave the same subconscious association to the product.

Highlight

Creating a subtle texture and combining it with the large black borders made it feel classy and a little old timey. With this I aimed to mirror the glossy finish of a piano and remind the customer that this instrument is made to stand the test of time. Keeping things aired out also suggested luxury – we didn’t cut pages to cut costs.

Room for improvement

This catalogue was made fairly early in my career and I feel that I’ve since grown to be much better at typesetting. Making slight adjustments to spacing, font sizes and weights, would’ve made it easier to catch the information you need with a quick glance at the page.

A printed catalogue for iPod cases and other accessories sent to retailers.

The challenge

Presenting the full line of DLO products, without showing every single case. The goal was to introduce buyers to the strengths of these products, without bogging them down with details such as which version of iPod it’s for and what colours it’s available in.

Highlight

While DLO’s brand is very straightforward with white backgrounds and clean fonts, I managed to make some pretty dynamic spreads with my choice of product photos and their placement. The products are well emphasised, yet it doesn’t feel like an aggressive sales pitch.

Room for improvement

It was important to include the compatibility icons, but they should’ve been more understated, either with their colouring or placement. I’ve since become much better at isolating key information, such as the sales copy here, in order to give it the emphasis it needs.

An evening program for a casino night held to raise funds to fight breast cancer.

The challenge

Emphasising the experience of this exclusive and luxurious event while including a lot of information – in two languages no less! Despite it being a symbol for the breast cancer cause, it was also important to the organiser not to overuse pink.

Highlight

I’m particularly happy with the gold, silver and bronze sponsor badges. These were used to highlight the top contributors to the event. I like how simple and elegant these turned out, in addition to how well they worked for our limited page space.

Room for improvement

Over the years I’ve grown much more skilled at playing with text and margins, and have developed tricks to maximise spacing on a page. I look at this – one of my very first paid design jobs – and find that the pages feel a bit crowded. With just a bit of tweaking I could improve this program a lot today.

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