Yellowbird Hot Dip

Yellowbird Hot Dip

In the summer of 2020, Yellowbird Foods made its dip debut at Whole Foods Market nationwide. Made with 100% organic ingredients, Hot Dip’s visual identity took a lot of cues from the Yellowbird’s Whole30-approved organic sauce line that launched early 2019. With illustrations of fresh garden veggies and vibrant colors that pop right off the shelf, Hot Dip is the perfect addition to the nest.

To learn more about the process of this project, you can access my blog entry here: Branding a Product Line  

My team focused heavily on the journey our condiments take: from the pepper farm, to our kitchen in beautiful San Marcos, straight to your Friday night feast. Hot Dip’s illustrative direction is primarily inspired by floral prints found on oilcloth. We champion anything that encourages us to play with our food — no matter how messy we get.

Our illustrations are brought to life by a key component of our brand identity: color. Much like our other sauces, color acts to differentiate different flavors of dip. Hot Dip utilizes a mostly-monochromatic, surrealist approach to color. The ingredient illustrations harmonize with the background’s overarching color; however, the radiant leaves interrupt the monotonous monochrome with sparks of unexpected contrasting hues inspired by Sandy Skoglund’s A Breeze at Work (1987). This adds a visual interest that would be lacking otherwise.

We complimented our lush illustrations and unexpected color palette typographically with heavier letter forms as a reference to the thick, rich consistency of the dip.

Compositionally, we were driven by the cyclical form of our dip container and used it as a method of story-telling. The lid has a border of fiery ingredients arranged in a circle to reflect on our commitment to holistic and clean nutrition. The Bird peaks out from his garden of fiery produce to challenge our Flock to think beyond the chip. Hot Dip is a journey. Once you buy it, you embark on an experience that’s hotter than a pedicab seat on a summer day. When you open your first tub of Hot Dip, the inside lid surprises you with a literal wave of flavor. It encourages you to dip, dunk, and drench any food to make it infinitely yummier. Make sure to put down an oilcloth — things are going to get messy.

Want to know more about this project?
For additional animations, web content, and more insight detailing my design thinking, visit my blog post, “Branding a Product Line.”

Building X

Building X, Grand Opening

The grand opening of Redwood’s 20th building, Building X, is a week-long celebration with multiple surprise and delight activations scheduled for campus employees. Affirma Consulting developed the core branding and art direction, while collaborating with several other event planning organizations to provide full event design support. The event needed everything from digital collateral to share on social media, to in-person event support and everything in between.

It took nearly 600 days to create the Redwood Campus’s 20th building. Construction of this 350K sq ft. building was a long time coming. Originally kicked off in September 2021, the project faced multiple delays—from COVID-19 to the hardships that faced the tech industry in early 2023. Now more than ever, it was crucial this celebration felt as monumental as the building that stands today.

This event was a much heavier lift than previous engagements we’ve had with this client. Affirma would provide digital and print support to cover the entire week-long event. This included cohesive art direction, brand development, digital assets for promotion on social media, in-person wayfinding, print collateral, swag, and microsite support.

The Affirma team met the initial standards and elevated the quality of work to create an atmosphere that was unmatched by previous campus events.

The Affirma team is responsible for the design work on the Redwood Campus, as well as its events and activities. This creates a homogeneous wayfinding package that has scalability and flex. Eventgoers are familiar with the aubergine framing element that remains consistent across all a-frame signage. This only strengthens wayfinding on campus.

All large-format on-site signage features an interactive QR code element redirecting to the event’s microsite. The Affirma team tested the presence of the QR code and the user experience prior to print/production. Minding contrast and scale, this element can be scanned from a distance by multiple users at once.

Affirma collaborated with the event team to brainstorm a collection of illustrations that would live together on a sticker sheet that could be handed out as swag during Building X’s first week of business. Once content and conceptual direction were established, the design team illustrated each individual sticker within an environment that interacted with the content. The illustrations were then rebuilt as vector graphics to ensure the artwork could be scaled and used anywhere.

The client requested ‘merit badge’ stickers and pins that represented each of the surprise & delight activations taking place during the week-long event. The stickers were designed to look hyper-realistic—as though they were embroidered and stitched into existence. For an added layer of realism, the Affirma team deliberately mapped in ‘miss-stitches’ and loose threads.

Illustrations used for the Redwood Trail Maps match the stylistic cues pulled from the Building X sticker sheet. To differentiate the pieces of collateral, the trail maps were colored in a magenta-leaning palette. The figure in the foreground is rendered in high fidelity with shading, texture, and intricate detail. Figures on the birds-eye map are rendered in a lower level of detail with a sketchy appearance as they’re pushed to the background and viewed at a distance.

This large-format signage installation was originally based on the hand-drawn trail maps created for the event. A series of nature trails underpin the wooded area surrounding Redwood’s 20th building. The Affirma design team created a whimsical/picturesque map that leverages perspective shifts to illustrate the trails that sprout from the northern end of the campus. The design was mounted to a weatherproof frame and post sign with an attached awning to reduce glare and prevent bleeding from rain.

A tight-knit dream team of 5 visual designers worked to develop a multifaceted design system for an office grand opening. From signage/wayfinding and print collateral to digital, animation, and web design, this team ensured every touchpoint of the event felt curated.

The Affirma team designed a series of diecut, monochromatic bamboo keychains as swag for the event. It depicts a simplified version of the journal design in magenta, cyan, blue, and purple. 

Illustrated journals are a staple for the parent company. This design features a scene plucked from the PNW with a subtle nod to the launch of Building X. The color story was intended to lean evergreen.

One of the surprise & delight activations for the event was screen printing your own tote design! Affirma created 4 variant single-color designs based on the different approaches to collateral within the visual system.

This project as a whole was an excellent demonstration of the skills Affirma’s Visual Design team is capable of. We created a design system that was so versatile it covered over 30 individual assets, while still maintaining a sense of purpose and intrigue. We worked closely with event planners to deliver full design coverage and day-of support—ensuring the event ran smoothly and looked beautiful. Despite working under a condensed timeline, Affirma’s project management maintained a steady pace.

One of the major challenges of this engagement was that Affirma wasn’t able to go on-site to ensure quality ahead of time. Affirma is a global consultancy capable of providing around-the-clock support. This also means the designers had to develop all collateral and deliver while working remote. Our team kept close contact with our stakeholders, vendors, and print/production contacts to ensure all items met our high-quality standards, despite the distance we had to overcome.

Redwood Campus

Branding & Design Support

A technology-focused research institution approached Affirma asking for a cohesive brand identity for their Redwood-based campus. Their parent branding was starting to feel a bit stale, and they wanted something fresh, vibrant, and fun to accentuate their research facility. To achieve this, Affirma created an expansive brand system that continues to reach different areas of their touch-point collateral.

As COVID-19 restrictions lifted, Redwood leadership was looking for a brand refresh to greet employees as a ‘Return to Office’ gift. Affirma provided a detailed brand guide along with a print collateral package (postcards, stickers, fliers).

Pleased with the brand deliverables, the client has employed Affirma as their official off-site design team. We continue to support their continued brand development, event design, digital assets for promotion on social media, presentation templates, swag, poster & signage design, animation, video editing, and more.


This branding system pushes the idea of geometry and color. It is vivid, bright, and electric in tone. The letterforms in the logo are abstracted to augment the direction of the stroke to create a sense of dynamism. Lines with vibrating contrast emanate from the logo and pulse—creating textures that breathe and vibrate through color assimilation.

The effect alludes to sound vibrations traveling and bouncing through space. With patterns featuring different shapes, compositions, and colors, this system could never feel stale. It is a testament to the collaborative, colorful, and innovative nature of the campus. Captivating colors and eye-catching graphics represent the individual voices of the many, coming together for creation.

Ensuring our color story provided enough color contrast to pass accessibility standards was an early challenge for our team. The saturated colors in this design system had to be revised multiple times due to their vibrating color assimilation.

During initial branding discussions, our stakeholder wanted to pull away from using the natural PNW landscape as a point of inspiration. They were disinterested in earth tones and tree motifs. Understanding that the client is an industry disrupter looking for an innovative and eye-catching solution, we referenced loud art movements with electrifying color palettes. Our design team was particularly drawn to ’60s psychedelic rock posters because they featured vibrating colors and expressive typography.

Campus Collateral

With the Vibrant Voices brand system established, the Affirma Design Team had all of the guidance and tools needed to flesh out an ever-expanding collateral package. From signage and advertising to smaller print collateral, we cover all bases.

Redwood Campus is bustling with daily events, perks, and promotions for their employees. To ensure they get the word out, Affirma has created a versatile template for quick advertisement designs to be broadcast across campus. In line with Redwood branding, this template library includes layouts in a number of colors and compositions to fit your every need with designs that feel fresh every time. To implement this new system, Affirma hosted multiple trainings and provided process documentation for the Redwood team to adopt the design template.

The Affirma Design Team has created a collection of a-frame, easel, tabletop, and door signage for the Redwood Site Team. This holistic wayfinding package stands out in the environment and makes navigation clear and colorful. Most of the signage created takes the form of simplified PowerPoint templates to empower the client. It allows them to take ownership of the design in their space.

This continued engagement is an excellent demonstration of the wide breadth of skills Affirma’s Visual Design team is capable of. We created a design system that was so versatile, it has covered over 200 individual assets and counting. The branding remains fresh, engaging, and strong.

Event Sub-Brands

All events that take place on the Redwood Campus have a strong visual relationship with the core Vibrant Voices brand identity. They pull colors from the established palette and maintain typographic guidelines. This approach ensures that all design present on campus feels homogenous and curated.

RED Culinary Tour: For the adventurous foodies on campus, the RED Culinary Tour provides the opportunity to test your tastes. This design is inspired by the Private Client’s new Global Culinary brand identity. We’ve incorporated a map motif alluding to the theme ‘culinary tour.’

Munch Bunch: The Munch Bunch is a monthly group lunch for new-hires on campus to connect. Nostalgic and whimsical visuals support this brand system.

Resource Fair: This event is for employees looking to join a community within the Redwood Campus. The theme is, ‘Community soaring.’ Otherworldly visuals drive the look and feel of this branding.

Holiday Bazaar: With the days getting shorter in the winter months, the Holiday Bazaar is your chance to explore a vendor lineup at the end of your workday. This look and feel dazzles you with vibrant neon and hanging string lights—inviting you into the lively party within.

This continued engagement is an excellent demonstration of the wide breadth of skills Affirma’s Visual Design team is capable of. We created a design system that was so versatile, it has covered over 200 individual assets and counting. The branding remains fresh, engaging, and strong. We’ve worked on a number of projects ranging from branding, print/production, web, illustration, animation, video production, and more. From start to finish, Affirma’s project management always maintains a steady timeline with room to spare.

Affirma prioritizes accessible and effective visual design. Ensuring our color story provided enough color contrast to pass accessibility standards was an early challenge for our team. The saturated colors in this design system had to be revised multiple times due to their vibrating color assimilation. The Affirma Team’s advanced knowledge of color theory allowed us to navigate this challenge and achieve the best of both worlds: a design system that’s exhilarating and touches everyone.

The Enterprise Center

The Enterprise Center

The Enterprise Center is a Philadelphia-based not-for-profit that supports minority entrepreneurs and under-resourced communities by advising and delivering on transformative economic development connected to minority business growth cycles and community wealth-building initiatives. Their work for communities in the Philadelphia area is crucial—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Enterprise Center was looking for a visual designer to help establish a cohesive brand identity in preparation for their upcoming website redesign.

In the past, they’ve had a number of freelance designers help them layout reports and advertising collateral with entirely different styles. Early on, I put together an audit of all design collateral the organization had commissioned over the past two years and tracked what colors, typefaces, and motifs were used, along with their frequency. Once I pulled that data together, I was able to work with The Enterprise Center’s stakeholders and decide how they wanted to represent themselves. The design directive the organization settled on was something modern, clean, and vibrant. The Philadelphia community is artistic and full of life, and they should represent the community they serve.

Color plays a huge role in The Enterprise Center’s brand identity. It works to distinguish the different facets of the brand, while also speaking to its roots within the Philadelphia community.

The finalized brand identity is clean, modern, and trustworthy. The Enterprise Center is organizationally broken up into three pillars: Business, Capital, and Community. Its color palette helps speak to this distinction. As a whole, The Enterprise Center is represented in its core blue hues. The Business pillar is represented by orange accents, Capital by green, and Community by teal. The color palette derives inspiration from the Philadelphia community with each proprietary color named appropriately. Aside from color, I wanted to also create a fun textural element the brand could use as a way to activate background space and add visual interest. The official pattern was inspired by Art Deco prints and was created by outlining the logomark.

The brand’s streamlined typography is both borrowed and improved. Its primary typeface is Univers, 59 Ultra Condensed—pulled directly from its logotype. I added Kulturista, a slab-serif, as the secondary typeface as a way to contrast the clean modern structure of Univers’s modern letterforms. Not only that, Philadelphia has a deep-rooted history with the printing press, and I felt incorporating a slab-serif would be an excellent way to imbue a sense of community within the brand design.

“Like many small businesses and nonprofits, it had been years since we gave our branding guide the attention it deserved, and increasingly, it was starting to show… Theresa was amazing to work with: she truly took the time to understand our needs, our goals, and our identity, and she used that to develop a branding guide that provides a strong foundation for both our physical and our digital collateral… The agencies we work with appreciate (the branding), too: I constantly get compliments on how easy it is to produce content for us because they’re able to start with Theresa’s clear, comprehensive guide! Whether your brand is due for a refresh, or you’ve never formally had one completed, I promise that you will be pleased with Theresa’s work!”

—Elizabeth McGinsky, The Enterprise Center

While I prepared the official brand guidelines for The Enterprise Center, I also worked to create several examples of collateral. I included them as examples of the extended brand system—making sure to account for both the digital and print landscape. Once stakeholders had a chance to review, they requested some of the design collateral previewed in the brand guidelines document. In addition to the completed brand guidelines and prepared assets, I also developed letterhead and business card templates, a PowerPoint template, and Zoom backgrounds.

By the end of the project, the team was delighted with their new brand standards and excited to use them moving forward.

Michael Graves Design

Michael Graves Design

Michael Graves Design is the official retail line of Michael Graves Architecture & Design products. During my time at MGA&D, I worked to rebrand the product line by creating a new logo, modernizing the touchpoint collateral, and designing the outdoor signage.

The new identity is influenced by the stacked letterforms in the logo. In the past, the logotype was laid out placing the most importance on the name “Michael Graves” with “Design” secondary. This new logo brings all elements up in scale to communicate that the name is just as important as the work it does.

This modern typographic approach in Gotham Bold extends into the touchpoint collateral to further solidify the identity. Bold knock-out type sits on a vibrant new color palette that echoes the hues and tones Michael Graves was famous for using in his Post-Modern architecture.

Thank you postcard

A brand identity that communicates a famous name is just as important as the design it delivers.

The system is made up of Agenda booklets for client meetings, notebooks for brainstorming sessions, a guide to Princeton, NJ for those staying overnight, and a thank you postcard.

Exterior signage