creative thoughts & pensive concepts

Uncas

Aurora is the multi site WordPress installation used for many of UConn groups and organizations. Along with supplying users with a WordPress CMS, UITS Web and Mobile Services provides default themes that they develop and maintain. Uncas is one of the default WordPress themes for Aurora. Sherman was realized in 2014.  Its design introduced Uncas to new design styles such as metro,, flat, and minimalist design.

Test Site: Uncas WordPress
Github Repo: github.com/MikaCaldera/uncas/


Mood boards & Wire frames

Design stages included wire frames and mood boards. 


Style Tile

Designing for the University means taking into consideration the traditional needs of a University while introducing new innovated graphic designs. The design must keep the integrity of the establishment  and represent it respectfully. These style tiles were developed using the theme and feel of the previously developed mood boards. Each developed with their own 


Design Development

After client choose which direction to take it was time to develop the user interface more. These mock ups were based on original wire frames. The wire frames included side navigation as well as top navigation. 

MyUConn

MyUConn is a web application for the University of Connecticut. It encompasses many aspects of the University, transportation dining, activities, events etc. It in reality, it is one application that consist of many other apps, radio, maps, etc. In creating each app there was a long thought process, as I  considered how to help the audience navigate the  information they would be interested in, and how to make it easy to use. First, we worked on a dry erase board, creating little thumbnail mockups of the app, then we moved to wireframes. Afterward, we moved into actual design.

MyUConn App


Initially created as a mobile application MyUConn soon there was a demand for a tablet option. 

Initially created as a mobile application MyUConn soon there was a demand for a tablet option. 


Bus Application

Created to help students, faculty and visitors navigate the University of Connecticut Campus.

Bus application was soon adapted to a tablet format. 


Tour UConn

A in depth digital tour of the University of Connecticut. It included audio information about buildings and points of interest.  User can select from different tours, some user created. 


UConn Dinning

The UConn dining application collects all the information from the dining halls and allows users to find meals they are interested it.  It also provided the user with nutrition information. My task was to create a consistent experience that would display the information clearly.  

My system was to create a color and graphic icon system that is easy to navigate. It displays name, calories, and secondary information about the food. 


Map Application

Map application tells user where her or see is located on campus. It also allows them to see what is on campus like food, entertainment, events etc. 


UConn Today

The UConn Today application creates a tablet format for reading articles written by the university. 

WHUS

WHUS website redesign project. WHUS is a  radio status at the University of Connecticut.  It first aired in 1922 and is still running strong on campus. In 2013 I was honored with the task of recreating their online identity and with the UITS Web & Mobile Services team developing a WordPress site for WHUS.. Previously themed with a activist type site using communist colors of red and black the site was due for a redesign. There were many factors to consider during this project. Different show types, show times, revamping their style, creating a user friendly online radio station for users to listen to and much more. It was a project that required many different perspectives and forms of development. 

Github Repo: 
github.com/MikaCaldera/wp-whus  
Testing Site: uits.uconn.edu/wdlmika/wp-whus/

 



Screenshot of Previous Design

This is the previous WHUS design. It incorporated black, white and red. It was not responsive or user friendly. It was also not run on a central management system which made it difficult for staff and DJs to update content. 

The clients wanted to display their shows more prominently. The clients also wanted to the newest blog post to display on the front page. They also wanted tin incorporated their twitter page and music albums.  


Mood boards

Samples that were presented to WHUS staff

Clean Surface

Neon Play

Strong Authority

Clean Surface 01

Neon Play 01

Strong Authority 01

These are just a few of the mood boards offered to WHUS at the initial stages of the project. It was important to me to respect their previous design as well as offer them something completely outside the realm. 


Detailed Mock ups

Style tile created for WHUS site

Style title created of secondary items for WHUS

For WHUS I built style tiles to show different instances of the site at different moments. 


WordPress Live Site

While working on WHUS I was pushed to consider many different components. With UITS I was pushed to create a design for a WordPress theme what would be pliable and hold massive constantly changing content. The challenges I faced made it fun to built and implement. 

Unesco

The Unesco Chair website is a custom design with a custom WordPress theme. I was very excited to work on this site. As a designer I find it hard to find work that let me practice my social responsibility. I loved the opportunity to work on UConn's UNESCOCHAIR site and do my small part to help humanity. It made me practically giddy. The group wanted to completely redesign their current site and make it so that they are able to update the content easily. They also has many articles and events that they wanted to update and feature.

Live Site:  UConn Unesco Chair
Github Repo: github.com/MikaCaldera/unesco


Screenshot of Final Design

Front page of website.

Front page secondary view. 


Previous Site

This is a screenshot of the previous design. It was not responsive and not built on a central management system. It did have the three logos  associated with the programs and a institutional academic theme.  

It was important to the client to carry over the three logos as well as the academic feel. They wanted to create a responsive experience and be able to list their publications and events easily. 


Mock up and Themes

To say that I enjoyed creating options for this client would be an understatement. I wanted to give them as many strong options as I could that represented a worldly view while being respectable and scholarly. 


Sherman

Aurora is the multi site WordPress installation used for many of UConn groups and organizations. Along with supplying users with a WordPress CMS, UITS Web and Mobile Services provides default themes that they develop and maintain. Sherman is one of the default WordPress themes for Aurora. Sherman was realized in 2014.  Its design introduced UConn to new design styles such as metro,, flat, and minimalist design.

Live Site:  Sherman Info
Github Repo: github.com/MikaCaldera/sherman/


Style Tile

Designing for the University means taking into consideration the traditional needs of a University while introducing new innovated graphic designs. The design must keep the integrity of the establishment  and represent it respectfully.  The design called for three theme colors, light grey, UConn blue, and dark grey. (Many additional colors were introduced later.)

The style tile shows different aspects of the design. Colors, typography, imagery, and layout. 

Previous Style Tiles

Navigation Investigations. 

Motion Graphics

These are a collection of videos and reels I have worked on over the years. 


Youtube: youtube.com/user/MikaKitty


Fun word transitions playing with audio from friends. It an inside joke meant to make you laugh.

Balloons mean more.

Music: Horizon 12.2 by Thomas Newman He is am amazing musician, I can honestly say his music is like emotions to me that I can access by pressing play.

Quick stop motion animation for short audio Audio: They Might Be Giants "Fingertips" Underneath my Pillow Audio First Brief - Uconn Design

Transformations and self identification.

"Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable". -Rainer Maria Rilke

Motion graphics animation created to introduce a Brazilian stamp about their national hypertension day. Song: Sail by AWOLNATION

Motion graphic created by me using after effects and photoshop. "You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters?

Your Lips 

I decided to start a collection of lip imprints. At first, the imprints were those of friends, but soon I started collecting those of strangers. My collection grew, and I was proud; I felt like I was rich and lip imprints were my currency. Each imprint had its  own value and meaning. Soon, I wanted to share my collection with others. I created a sculpture that displayed a good amount of lip imprints. Again, I was giddy with happiness on sharing these seemingly small things.


These are not just lip imprints; they represent so much more. Each represents individual stories, feminism, stereotypes, struggles, illnesses. Each imprint is the soul of the person who pressed their lips to the napkin. It carries their energy.  

Behance: Lips


Sculpture 

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"I am" card filled out. 

Sincere Chaos

This project connects to my greater interests in humanity and social issues. My own personal philosophy is at the heart of everything I do, my work, my life-- everything. It’s only when I have a full understanding of where I am and where I stand that am I able to create work that makes me proud and makes me come alive. It is necessary that I care about what I make. I want my work to have value, intrinsically and personally. Recently, I have turned my personal investigation of understanding outwards, in hopes of making connections and inspiring critical self-reflection.

 

To understand others, you must understand  yourself. Self awareness helps build a strong personal foundation, increasing a person’s ability to connect to others, socially, culturally and politically.


“Sincere Chaos” is a three part investigation. “I am” asks each person to identify themselves in whichever terms they wish. “In your skin” asks them to correlate a tone with their self-identified ethnic background. “You are the author” explores their inner thoughts in few words. At its core, the investigation involves brief, yet contemplative, human interaction. Its very manifestation cannot exist without the gathering of personal material contributed by the participants. The goal is to connect people through a moment of self identity, and to provoke a genuine and intimate moment between strangers.

Behance: Sincere Chaos


Exhibition


Collection "I am"


Individual "I am" Cards

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Among the deliverables were bookmarks that artist handed out to friends and family.

Among the deliverables were bookmarks that artist handed out to friends and family.

Bachelors of Fine Arts

Every year at the University of Connecticut, the seniors in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program give a final show. The exhibition has been held at Artspace in Willimantic for the past few years. It is a gathering of all concentrations; printmaking, painting, sculpture, illustration, design and individualized.

 I was able to get together with three other designers: Bryce Elizabeth, Amanda Sims, and Kathleen McIntyre. We created an identity that would work well both on digital screens as well as print items. We concentrated on making eye catching material that incorporated all types of of tools that the artist may use. The design was intentionally bold; it  was meant to embody the spirit of the class of 2013


Posters

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Posters were printed out at different sizes and scattered throughout the University campus.


Website Design

The website was a four page design that had information about the event, listed all students and their perspective webpage, and other detail the audience may find useful. The print identity was carried over into the web design to create a cohesive feel.  

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Word treatment which includes images within th elet

Linguistics

Designed and built website for the Department of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut. The department of linguistics was looking for a redesign of their existing site. The site includes a treatment of the word “linguistics,”  in which  images of people are found within the letters. 
 

There was a huge sense of community in the department. They had a constant stream of events, photos, and articles that they at the forefront of their web site. 

UConn Linguistics Department


Front page of website.

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Single screw post bond. 

Empathy

This zine was inspired by my mother's battle with cancer.  I wanted to portray females in a wide range of emotions. The images used were found throughout the internet. I tried to find photos around the world, not just based in the United States. I display the image, the emotion and the description. It is important to understand empathy, our ability to feel what others are feeling and understand what they are going through. In my print work, I am most proud and happy with this zine.


Emotion

Fanning out to reveal standalone image followed by stand word and short story. 


Spirit

The back side of zine has quotes that I found fit the idea of feelings and emotions. 


Outcome

As cliché as it may sound, it means so much to me on so many levels. I am engulf with a never ending curiosity in our emotions.  The sky is blue, the grass is green and everyone cries. There is a copy of it at the University of Connecticut Design Zine Library.

Featured in the Long River Review: longriverreview.com/blog/2015/power-of-words/

 

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Emergence

The PRLACC (Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center)  held an exhibition for multiple student artists. These artists were scattered in different concentrations and focuses; therefore, the flyer and poster had to represent their variety. Hands are being the main tool in any artist life across each discipline, so my solution was to photograph each artist’s hands in their different work areas, each holding the name of the exhibition. The colors chosen are vibrant to match the PRLACC’s colorful logo.

Behance: Emergence


Poster & Digital Ad Designs

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