Hello! My Name is Claire Wheeler
Hey Claire! Tell us a bit about you?
I’m Claire, a massive fan of design and now looking forward to doing what I love for real. Once I drag myself away from the computer and in no particular order, I foster rescue dogs, drink a lot of coffee, love music and comedy and if I didn’t have to work, I’d swim all day at Sydney’s beautiful beaches.
Leon & Harper
Leon & Harper produce premium organic foods which are sold in local gourmet food stores. To coincide with the launch of their new chocolate bars, I designed the concept for the new packaging. The packaging was designed to be beautiful, special and eyecatching in store.
Firebrand Bakery is a well established business in the local community and was looking for a new identity to modernise its traditional sourdough bakery. I designed the logo, colours, packaging and store signage to give it a distinctive modern and bold look, whilst respecting its character.
Claire’s personal identity and branding
Festival in the Park
The design of this poster and flyer is for a local food, music and family entertainment event. The concept is based on being outdoors in nature and I chose a mid-century style, using texture and colour to evoke nostalgia. The campaign is designed to attract local passers-by.
Illustration Design Concept
This is Claire’s personal design project completed in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop,
This booklet is an additonal design to accompany an interactive online learning module I designed and developed for BreastScreen Victoria. It provides clinical staff with tips on how best to provide assistance to clients with disabilities. I co-wrote the content and designed the layout and illustrations.
Kin is a streetwear store that prides itself on its authenticity. To launch their new store, I created campaign around the concept of a block party, a summertime tradition in New York. I designed the logo, campaign copy, typography, posters, postcards and mural, to reflect the target market.
Who or what inspired you to be a designer?
I knew I wanted to be a designer when I started buying magazines for the layouts and not the articles! But I came to study it late (in my 40s). It was seeing uninspiring design (mostly mine!) that made me go back to school!
What are you up to in the design world at the moment?
I’ve been working as an education and training designer for ever and ever and get to do graphic design as part of my job. But I want to get experience working in different types of design, so I’m planning on volunteering in my spare time.
What is your favourite part of the design process?
Feedback! I do love the research side of things when I’m trying to generate ideas but I find it rewarding to take on board feedback. I always learn something.
You were really into all sorts of design disciplines at TGDS, branding, campaigning and even packaging. Have you a fav?
Information design is so much fun! There’s something really rewarding about finding ways to communicate a lot of information effectively, to help inform and educate people. I’m wowed by people who work in editorial design and love the conceptual illustrations and infographics they create to illustrate news articles.
Tell us anything you would like to about your featured works.
My work shows my love of typography, illustration and colour. Before studying, I didn’t know whether I’d be capable as I’ve never done this sort of thing before but it’s about trusting your abilities and persisting.
My favourite pieces of work are:
Identity design: Firebrand Bakery.
This design was inspired by a gorgeous bakery near me, in a beautiful old village. My moodboard and visual research examples grew and grew for this one, as I tried to find the right typeface and colours. I wanted the logo to be weighty and chunky, a bit like a loaf of wood fired bread. I got there in the end and love the design I ended up with.
Campaign: Kin Womenswear
I got the inspiration for my streetwear campaign after binge watching a really amazing Netflix documentary called Hip Hop Evolution. I’m a bit of a hip-hop fan and I wanted to celebrate the authenticity and individuality of street culture, particularly for women. It was really great fun to learn how to do graffiti but I didn’t tag anything for real!
Another typographic logo. I seem to be drawn towards typography. I was looking at how to lock my initials together when I saw an impossible triangle and loved how it grabbed my attention. My logo is not impossible but I hope it is attention grabbing, without being too loud (I’m definitely not a loud person).
Awareness campaign booklet
The infographics I created for my education campaign on disability awareness were the thing I liked doing most of all. My goal was to try and illustrate the concept of disability and after some bonus feedback from my tutor, I was really happy that the final design was an effective piece of communication for my audience.
What did you love about studying design?
To me, the course was not about getting a qualification but having the opportunity to learn from others. I got the most value from being mentored by the tutors, whose feedback I really respected. I listened, absorbed and then pushed myself to do the best work I could.
What’s your dream design job? Don’t hold back!
I’m good at helping others learn and one of my skills is being able to explain things clearly, so I’d love to be able to work in educating the next generation of graphic designers, writing and developing courses, teaching or tutoring.
What would you say to someone about to embark on his or her own journey in design?
Whatever reason you’ve chosen to study design, there are many opportunities to use your skills, often in unexpected places. Look outside the obvious jobs and be open to other ways you can help people. In return, you’ll build your experience and continue to learn.