Aaron Snowberger

Graphic Design Portfolio

Services

I specialize in customizing WordPress websites for hagwons (academies) with an extensive reading component called “Learning With Texts” as well as all kinds of printed materials and logo design or modification. I know a good number of print shops in Jeonju and online, so I can also help you get your designs printed if desired.

  • Don’t see what you need? I also do t-shirts, PowerPoint templates, and other things.

  • One of the requests I get most often is to create some very distinct looking business cards. Check out some of my best designs here.

  • Beginning with the annual One Accord events in 2011, I’ve grown my abilities with multiple branded events.

  • I’ve been using WordPress since 2011, and building custom Themes since 2012. Now, I focus on customizing WordPress websites for clients. Read More →

  • I specialize in Print Design as Adobe InDesign is my favorite program in the Adobe suite. It’s one of the first Adobe programs I learned, and the one I have the most extensive training in.

  • Your logo is a distinct part of the brand your present to the world. It needs to stand out yet be simple, memorable, and iconic.

See all Services →

Latest Projects

The REACH Jeonju Contact Cards were designed in close correlation with the REACH Logo Redesign.

The REACH team wanted some kind of contact cards for the team to distribute to churches and other people who were interested in helping to serve and minister to the prostitutes in Jeonju (these were not designed to distribute to the prostitutes themselves).

Below, you can see the different stages this design went through until arriving at the finished product:

Design 1

Puts emphasis on the name and contact info on the back, less emphasis on the Vision Verse. The “I” in Ministries is highlighted as in “I can help” and a chain (symbolizing “enslaved”) at the bottom is being broken.
reach-card1-black reach-card1-red

Design 2

The breaking chain at the bottom wasn’t a hit, so I was thinking about how to incorporate some other symbolism from the logo or elsewhere into the design and came up with this. It uses the same triangle design from the logo and puts an emphasis on the Vision Verse rather than the contact name. The “T” in “Ministries” is emphasized with a “dagger” icon from the font that resembles a cross.
reach-card2-red-back reach-card2-white-back

Design 3

Second use of contact info. Ultimately, individual cards were decided AGAINST as a typical card printing would generate 500 cards PER NAME. Therefore, the team decided to create a single design with all their names and the Facebook Page and email.

reach-card3-contact-info

Design 4

The first look at a design with all the names (here there are only 6 of 8 names). The final design (above) also thickens the Vision Verse text in white to make it more readable against the black background.

reach-card4-concept

I enjoy making these posters (mostly because I enjoy looking at them when they’re posted – and I personally think my designs look better than the other KOTESOL poster designs).

However, when I was given the Conference title this time – “Teaching English: What’s Left to Learn?” – I was a little stumped. I wasn’t sure whether or not to take this question rhetorically or literally and there isn’t honestly much “visual” going on within the question itself to give me an idea of how to best design the poster.

Previously, I was given some pretty solid “visual” concepts to work with including chameleons and Sherlock Holmes. I even designed the 20th anniversary poster with a unique font logo and traditional Korean wall. However, with this design, all I could think about (at first) was the inside of a classroom – and that to me is usually boring to look at.

After brainstorming a bit, I decided one of the best things I could do would be to show the correlation between Learning and Teaching (and how one leads to the other and both draw from each other) by overlaying the two words on top of each other. My first concept was to create a kind of anaglyphic 3D effect with the two words:

concept-1

However, that concept made some of the text relatively unreadable, so I went back to the drawing board for concept 2.

In concept 2, I decided to just do a quick Creative Commons image search on Flickr for classrooms and I found a great image by Pierro Sierra called “Einstein’s Classroom” that he says, “is [technically] next to the Princeton physics hall Einstein used to attend.” I doctored the image up a bit:

  1. Desaturated it
  2. Added an overlay color
  3. Added a Gaussian blur

And then added some banner-like text that I was inspired to create by browsing various other “typography posters” on Google images. I also kept the Teach/Learn overlap, but greatly reduced the opacity of the “hidden” text.

Sketch of typographic layout for Concept 2

Sketch of typographic layout for Concept 2

Concept 2’s background was a little dark and the overlay color behind the banner-text was 10% white, so I changed it up for the final design: lightening the background image and making the overlay behind the text 15% black. You can see the original “Einstein’s classroom” image and the second and final concepts below:

REACH reached out to me to design some contact cards for their small organization and told me “you might need to ‘tweak’ the logo a bit.” So, although the design request was primarily for a set of contact cards, I put in a pretty significant amount of work on the logo as well for the simple fact that a calling card without a standout logo won’t itself stand out.

Original Logos

There were two logos that had been in use previously, both designed by members or friends of members of the group:

And after receiving the go ahead to tweak these logos a little, they sent over their entire stash of logo ideas and options:

reach-logo-inspiration

Obviously “hands” were a key design element and they seemed quite fond of the paired hands in their second logo, so I decided to work with that. I asked about symbolism in the logo or color associations and was given the following guidelines:

  1. REACH stands for “Reaching the Enslaved as Christ’s Hands”
  2. The organization ministers to primarily prostitutes in Jeonju’s red light district
  3. The target audience for the card however is NOT the prostitutes, but rather other people who might be willing to support the ministry
  4. Black and white are the primary colors, red a highlight color

So, the keywords: reaching out, enslaved, Christ’s hands, blood red, darkness vs. light, and despair vs. hope influenced my design choices for this logo.

Logo Designs

I began with a moodboard to show various black, white, and red business cards as well as to introduce a small amount of color psychology to the team (as their brand colors seemed to have initially been chosen by chance).

reach-moodboard

All colors can convey both positive and negative connotations (as shown in the moodboard above). I really wanted to get at the heart of what this logo, brand, and organization was trying to convey to its audience.

Black and white

Black and white, for example, can play off each other for a deep contrast of despair vs. hope, light vs. darkness, and so that interplay between the colors had a deeper spiritual connotation to me (one that I anticipated they’d want to capture).

I felt that a pure white background with black hands was a little too “bright” – but with “sinful” (black) hands, but a solid black background with white hands was a little too “dark” and without hope.

Red

Adding in red could easily be anticipated to mean “the blood of Jesus” that saves, covers sin, and so on, but I didn’t want to just go with the “default” right away. I initially suggested “ruby red” (as in grapefruit red) because I was inspired by a similar Christian ministry design that used black, white, and pink to convey a very similar message (“hope in despair”):

But the group preferred something “bright red” so I went with something brighter.

Fonts

ubuntu-lora-paired

I found the Ubuntu font to be a good fit for the logo for two reasons:

  1. The shape of the capital “A” resembled the original logo’s “A”
  2. “Ubuntu” comes from a South African word meaning “human kindness” which I thought was a great way to represent this group that also was seeking to express “human kindness” to the prostitutes in Jeonju (plus, there were a few South Africans on the team, so I thought it would be a good fit)

Later, I paired the Ubuntu logo font with Lora for the back of the contact cards.

Designs

Below is the evolution of the new logo design:

  1. Only updating the font (Ubuntu Mono font = “Ministries”)
  2. With a triangle to contrast “light vs. dark” and “hope vs. despair”
  3. With a red highlight – highlights “I” as in “I can help”
  4. Multi-colored options
  5. Final designs (with “T” replaced with the “dagger” symbol and cut off at the bottom to represent Jesus’ cross)

reach-logo-trial-2 reach-two-tone-logos reach-final-logos

Branding Suggestions (Images)

To go along with the black, white, and red logo, I thought that black and white photography with a red highlight would be a good suggestion for future brand materials. Take a look at the example images from Google Image Search below:

reach-style-guide-black-white-red-photos

Over the years, I’ve created numerous banners for AICF to stand on either side of the cross behind the pulpit. It all started with the 2010 banners I made to go along with the website redesign that year. The full banner collection is below:

2015 Easter Banners

Click here to see my portfolio entry about these.

easter-2015-sample2 easter-2015-service

2013-2015 Matthew Banners

2012 Christmas

Click here to see my portfolio entry about this event. These banners were made entirely by hand and out of felt.

Finally Illustrator design.

Final Illustrator design.

Up in church.

Up in church.

2012 Easter

Click here to see my portfolio entry about this event.

306915_3504959056938_221430218_n

2012 Evangelism Banners

evangelism-banners-trimmed
Initially, I didn’t know what size to create the banners at so these banners are disproportionate to what was actually printed. I came to learn later that a typical banner size in Korea is 60cm x 180cm, so these were stretched by the print company to meet those measurements.

Horizontal Banners

long-banner-plain long-banner-cloud 3-service-banners

The first three matching designs above were given to me to improve upon. I felt that the simple black and white with big typography was easiest to read from the street, and the fourth design (on the bottom) resulted from that.

2010 Banners

2010-big-banner

As I’m the graphic designer at church, I have the option to produce almost anything I think is interesting that matches the theme of the week or message series. One thing I’ve enjoyed producing for quite a while are double banners (60cm x 180cm) that hang on either side of the cross behind the pulpit.

easter-2015-serviceInspiration

  1. Dark vs. light; despair vs. hope; death vs. life
  2. Contrasting “Good Friday” with “Resurrection Sunday”
  3. Crucifixion: An image from BrutallyHonest.org
  4. Resurrection: The Resurrection Mural by Ron Dicianni
  5. Verse: Isaiah 53:5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

After gathering some inspiration, I drew the designs in Illustrator and also created some new sermon art and PPT backgrounds for the service. It was important to me to keep a similar kind of visual feel, flow, and message through the three pieces (including the PPTs). Therefore, I thought vector cutouts with lots of solid colors (particularly black) would be best.

Check out the Sermon Art below. Click the link to see more of it.

Easter 2015

Easter 2015

 

I’ve made two separate sets of One-Year Bible Reading Plans for AICF. The first was a double-sided A4 made of my own initiative in 2011 and the second was a smaller, B5 booklet made by the request of the pastor to go along with a similar one made by the Korean church.

2015 Booklet

Download the printable PDF here

Special features include:

  1. Motivational verses to promote reading
  2. A summary of facts about the NIV on the back
  3. A short one-sentence summary of each book on the back
  4. The main church’s 1, 5, 3 initiative on the front
  5. Color coded by book type
  6. A table checklist inside to mark off as you read
  7. The text on the front cover is in the shape of a cross (if you draw a line around it) to show Jesus at the center even of this design

one-year-bible-tracts-front one-year-bible-reading-plan-flyer

Compare with the original Korean church design:

2011 Document

Download the printable PDF here (in color here)

Special features include:

  1. A dated calendar of what and when to read
  2. Shaded cells to demarcate each book
  3. Division of books by type (or color coded)
  4. A summary of facts about the NIV on the back
  5. Author & date of writing information
  6. A Bible timeline of writing
  7. TWO lists of “Jesus in every book of the Bible”
  8. A Chronological reading plan
  9. A concise summary of how to read each book (taken from book introductory notes in the Ryrie Study Bible and a Bible dictionary)

visualize-one-year-bible-front visualize-one-year-bible-back visualize-one-year-bible-color-front visualize-one-year-bible-color-back

Since around mid-2012, I decided to begin creating Sermon Art for the pastors’ sermons at church. Here is the collection as it stands so far:

  1. Isaiah 43:25
  2. Philemon: Charge it to me
  3. James: Put your faith to work
  4. Philippians: A study in contentment
  5. Galatians: Justified by faith
  6. Matthew: The book of Kingship
  7. Easter 2012
  8. Easter 2015
  9. Christmas 2012
  10. Christmas 2013
  11. Christmas 2014

Click any of the links above to be taken to an individual page for each series with various PPT downloads available.

One of my coworkers asked if I could help “rebrand” Jeonju University’s Global Lounge (formerly the English Cafe). The previous banner had absolutely no University branding whatsoever and was just filled with what looked like a Tag Cloud of (English Cafe related) English words.

I started browsing the Internet for some inspiration and found the following image below on Envato’s Graphic River that inspired me to create the design you see above.
jju-banner-inspiration-pv_590I limited this design to only use the University’s own blue and yellow brand colors, a light gray, and a light brown. This kind of “limiting exercise” can often help me to think more creatively about the design and colors.

Here’s another image of the design alongside the printed banner as well as my initial sketches to brainstorm my ideas.

banner-sketches

Click to download the (printable) PDF

  • Size: 60cm x 180cm

 

Bulletin Design Evolution

I’ve been working on AICF’s bulletin designs since as early as 2008 (though I’ve only taken over the design since 2012). Here is a summary of the bulletin designs over the years including software used and the main bulletin creator.

  1. 2012 – present: Adobe InDesign (creator: Me)
  2. 2010 – 2011: Apple Pages (creator: Missionary from the US)
  3. 2008 – 2009: MS Word (creator: Pastor)

In the images below, you can watch the design evolution of the bulletin from its current design to the first.

2015 Design


2014 Design (with new circular logo)

2014 Family Worship Flyer (bulletin supplement)

2014 Christmas Design


2013 Version 1

2013 Version 2, 3

2013 Version 4

2013 Christmas


2012 Version 1 (my first designs)

2012 Version 2

2012 Version 3

2012 Easter

2012 Christmas


2011 Christmas (first non-tri-fold design)

 

2011 Update (with circular logo)

 

2010-2011 (Updated Salvation info)

 


2008-2009 (MS Word tri-fold design)

 

This is a design I created to go along with our Key To Korean rebrand in 2015. The shirt (and model above) would be purchased from www.dantee.co.kr which is the company I usually use for t-shirt printing.

I haven’t yet printed the shirt as there hasn’t been a lot of interest expressed in it, but I think the design with the logo like this looks great, so I’m still interested in getting a copy for myself at least.

More details about the shirt design can be found on our Key To Korean website here →

These posters do not promote Winning Story Cafe themselves, but were created to be put up in the cafe to promote various events happening in the cafe.

  1. Language Exchange Party (above)
  2. WordPress Meetup (only English)
  3. WordPress Meetup (English/Korean)

10855057_10152723840616482_1376273703363452947_o

jjwpmt-flyer-2-dual

My wife has been after me for quite a while (a few years?) to design her some business cards for her Korean tutoring lessons.

We started a website in 2012 to (hopefully) bring in a little supplementary income while she was a stay-at-home mom. She tutors expats in Korean in a study cafe in town and I manage the website – uploading supplementary learning materials and resources to aid her students and others.

She wanted a Contact Card with the following:

  1. Her contact info (phone number + email)
  2. A link to our website
  3. A link to our Facebook page (our most active/largest social network)
  4. Her bank account info (for students to have a reference when paying)
  5. Her services (Korean Lessons + Translation)

After a few false starts, I came up with the design above to match the other elements of our new brand in 2015:

  1. A new logo
  2. A new website Theme (hand-coded by me from January-February 2015)
  3. A t-shirt design
  4. New Facebook and social networking branded materials

printed-cards

They look pretty good printed~~ But now we wait until summer for her to take on new students and actually use them. (She’s in grad school full time during the school year to “officially” learn her trade – teaching Korean to non-Koreans.)

For the JHOP business cards, I wanted to do something a bit more unique than the typical business card. So I did some searching on the Internet for “unique business cards”  and came up with the following ideas for this one:

  1. A vertical card
  2. One side black, one side white
  3. Pull an element from the logo (the flame) out and set it huge and semi-transparent against the background on the front of the card
  4. Display part of the logo (the house) on the back of the card along with the contact info

First Design

jhop-1st-print-cards

As you can see above, on the first design, the logo was a bit too small and didn’t look spaced and positioned quite right on the card. So I enlarged the white outline as well as the logo for the second set of cards to print (Post featured image above).

Additionally, I had designed the cards in InDesign first, then transferred them over to Illustrator for the print shop, but somehow they ended up printing the semi-transparent hidden InDesign layer along with the main Illustrator design. It did give the back of the cards a unique effect although that wasn’t the original intention.

Visit KeyToKorean.com →

Key To Korean is one of my personal “pet” projects. I started this website back in September 2012 with TWO goals in mind:

  1. To motivate myself to learn Korean to fluency
  2. To provide supplementary (“blended”) learning materials for my wife’s Korean tutoring classes

2015 Redesign

gojoseon-responsive

I’d wanted to do a total overhaul of the brand since early 2014, but never really had time for it until winter break 2015 when I DIDN’T work an English camp. I took two months off to redesign the site and code a totally custom WordPress theme called Gojoseon.

Features of the theme include:

  1. Fully responsive template
  2. Extensive menu options (I specifically wanted a menu in the sidebar for quick grammar reference – still building that on the live site)
  3. A social menu (specifically for social networking sites)
  4. A Pinned Posts slider
  5. Built on the Foundation 5 framework (so includes a nice CSS grid and other sweet features)
  6. Uses Google Fonts – Roboto & Roboto Slab originally
  7. Has the option to use Google’s Hangul (Korean) Early Access fonts
  8. Utilizes FontAwesome icons
  9. Uses Masonry.js in the footer widgets to float them and responsively resize them properly
  10. Custom Color options in the Theme Customizer
  11. Custom Layout options (right, left, no sidebar) in the Theme Customizer
  12. Additional Theme Customizer options for background image, header image, logo, breadcrumbs, and so on
  13. The color scheme was “inspired by garlic and mugwort” – from a famous myth about the origin of Korea’s Gojoseon dynasty

This work was inspired by and based partly on the FREE Magazine Theme by Gavick Pro. Compare the two of them below:

Upcoming Features for 2015-2016:

  1. Forums (bbPress)
  2. Social Interaction (BuddyPress)
  3. Shopping (WooCommerce)
  4. Memberships (Paid Memberships Pro)
  5. A blog network (WP Multi-site)
  6. Online courses (WP Courseware)

Of course, all of the above features require significant time and energy to implement, so it will be an ongoing process over the next 1-2 years to get them all implemented.

2012 Version

Visit the Archived 2012 Version →

2012-homepage

The 2012 Version of KeyToKorean was built with CyberChimps Responsive Theme. Compare the two of them below:

In 2013, I added Learning With Texts to the website which is a feature I’ve included in a number of different websites by now. It’s a separate PHP web application that utilizes its own database tables and is built specifically to help users practice reading in a foreign language. Perhaps someday in the future I’ll consider trying to turn it into a one-click-install-type WordPress plugin.

One of the main reasons for creating the JHOP logo in the first place was to get it printed on t-shirts. Below is a collection of t-shirt concepts I sent upon request:

The above purple design on light gray was not approved for printing.

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About: Combining Korean and Western Design

I’m currently a student at Full Sail University in the MDMFA program (Media Design Master’s of Fine Arts). This blog is a place for me to express my thoughts and write about what I’m learning as I go through this program. Hopefully, it will help others learn and think more about design. But, I will not post any Full Sail teaching materials or assignments as that would hinder both them as institution and me as student and graphic designer.

I live in Jeonju, South Korea where I teach English to university students at Jeonju University. I’ve lived in Korea for 4 years, and recently married my Korea sweetheart. I plan to stay here for a long time and hope to get a job in a design firm, or as an in-house designer for a company in Korea (but I’ll need to brush up on my language skills first). I’ve been doing a good deal of freelance design for various clients in Jeonju and abroad. I’ll post my full (updated) portfolio later at www.aaronsnowberger.com.

I’m additionally a Christian and teach at a Christian university. Therefore, I’ve been commissioned for church design work more than anything else. It’s becoming something of a specialty for me, although I hope to focus more closely on Korean design in the future.

It is my dream and passion to combine English and Western design with the beauty of the Korean alphabet and Eastern design.

Latest Articles

One classmate wrote some great advice:

When working with some pesky clients, instead of a contract, I will simply hold on to all high res files/printed pieces until full payment is received…

I think those are excellent ideas there. I fully agree that it is always important to hold on to all high-resolution files, and completed materials until full payment is received. I’ve done this in my freelancing work as well, and have never run into a problem. Even though a client may complain about critiquing a low-resolution print design as they “can’t see the sharpness and quality of the images,” sending them lo-res images will prevent them from just printing them without paying you.

Read more

The early 20th century saw a large number of very rapid changes in all areas of life, particularly those of industry, architecture, fashion, and design. A number of advancements in technology, as well as two World Wars contributed a great deal to these rapid changes, while the Wars themselves greatly pushed the technological and industrial advances. Art Deco is probably the most well known and abiding design style from that period, and its effects could be seen in all areas of life (and still can be seen in many old and new designs today). However, for the enormous weight of its impact on design, the true Art Deco period itself was rather short-lived, and much of the tail end of it shifted into another, similar design style, for which it is often confused: Streamline Moderne. A brief summary of historic events is helpful in more fully understanding the transition of design into and then beyond Art Deco, as well as the reasons Korea seems to have completely skipped over this revolutionary design period.

Designing an Art Deco poster for Korea was a very difficult task, given that Korea has virtually nothing of Art Deco design in its history, save a single image I found from the 1988 Seoul Olympics, at a time when Art Deco design was going through one of its many comebacks. But, using as many resources as I could find, and as much creativity as I could muster, I made it happen:

Now, let’s get into the historic background that led to the Art Deco design period in the Western world.

Read more

As part of my schooling, I was asked to consider “The Brand Called You” about myself. My first thoughts were posted here, and this is a follow-up, “faux interview” that asked me to consider all kinds of various aspects and angles of the brand that is me, as a designer and freelancer, both now and in the future.

Read more

I found the following video about Steve Jobs’ presentations to be quite good.

Read more

As designers we are always the problem-solver/ therapist to our clients.

This is an interesting quote that brings up the idea of designers as problem-solvers and therapists to their clients. I personally have always loved describing myself as a “professional problem solver” and I love the satisfaction of being given a very difficult task, breaking it up into smaller pieces, and successfully “solving” my problem. It feels like the satisfaction of scaling a tall mountain to stand at the peak and breathe in the fresh mountain air. But is that really all we are as designers?

Read more

Because I live in Korea, an ideal client for me to target for my Master’s Design Thesis Project would be one that has a need for English in design. The major business sectors that use English in Korea are tourism and education.

The tourism sector includes a few ideal clients: the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is the national organization for tourism marketing in Korea; the Korea International Medical Association (KIMA) is a new initiative to promote Korea Healthcare to international patients; and Jeonju tourism promotes my city’s cultural and culinary heritage.

Read more

I always have a tough time saying no to designing for friends and family. It’s really hard to explain these complications to your dear grandmother who simply wants a logo for her newsletter. You could easily be misunderstood, and come across as lazy or discourteous. –Classmate

I really agree with that statement about working for friends and family. I’m sure we’ve all had experiences like that. In my last post, I made “Mom and Dad” the difficult clients that were trying to negotiate a sweet deal on a website (and many other things). Although that exact situation has never happened to me, I’ve had friends who have experienced that (my uncle offered his son $20 for $500 worth of professional photography – and got it because his son still lives at home and he fell into the “family trap”).

Working for friends and family is always a difficult situation. Many people say, “never, EVER, do it” while others say that it’s OK. And sometimes, as the earlier quote mentions, “You could easily be misunderstood, and come across as lazy or discourteous” if you don’t help out your friends and family. Read more

I was quite surprised by a posting I saw on Flickr.com by Brian Solis and Jess3. It was a poster titled “The Conversation Prism” that breaks down every current social media network into various categories. The thing is massive. Check it out.

It would take a full day just to investigate every site listed there, and that’s why it is important to choose carefully the right social networks to be involved with. Each network has its own pulse, purpose and body of users. That’s why Janet Fouts writes in Social Media Success!, “You’re going to want to identify where people are talking about the topics you are interested in, what types of networks they are using and where the biggest concentration of interest is.” (Fouts, 2009, p 37). This way, a designer can join a discussion that is already underway, to glean information from it, or add value to it.

Read more

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