Library Lions™ is a literacy program that was born out of enthusiasm and frustration (and my renewed interest in UX Design).
Frustration that kids are becoming less literate and that leveling the playing field despite their economic challenges is proving more and more daunting even as society prospers.
Enthusiasm for the possibilities that new technology and UX design offer. The option to immerse children in a life of reading that caters to their individual cultural and academic needs and taps into their imagination to fuel the desire to make reading part of their life and community.
What is Libray Lions™?
Library Lions™ is an app, and real-life club kids can join through their public library. The club offers events, workshops, and most importantly community; the app is the glue between the kids, home, and the library.
The samples show my exploration of the User Experience for the project.
Role: Concept, Strategy, UX Design, Art Direction
After decades of expanding an online presence that started to resemble more and more the widow Winchester house, Scholastic took the plunge to invest in a new digital platform that would allow for real-time diagnostics and a fully responsive user interface. Each business group used this opportunity to reexamine their branding, UX, and UI. The Book Clubs division was the first to establish themselves on the new platform.
This iteration of their branding had at its heart the desire to tie itself closer to the mothership, since in the mind of the consumer all Scholastic business entities were not separate but the same.
Role: Team Art Direction, Design, UI, Composite Illustrations
Part of Scholastic’s larger literacy campaign Open a World of Possible this live webcast event was built around a close and intimate encounter with a small group of 4th and 5th Graders and the country superstar and role model Taylor Swift. Talking about their everyday life experiences and challenges with bullying, Swift shared her own personal perceptions and wisdom gained with the group, while thousands of classrooms throughout the United States connected via Skype to discuss her strategies of converting these challenges through her writing into transformative, positive experiences.
Role: Art Direction, Design, UX, UI,
In the branding rules, we established that the branded characters were to be used whenever Reading Club talks to the user, consumer about the organization itself and not a specific product. The samples shown illustrate how the characters help convey the messaging in different marketing scenarios.
Role: Strategy, Art Direction, Design, UI, Illustration, Gif Animation
Rebranding Scholastic Reading Club
In an effort to refresh their brand experience and attract new market segments, Scholastic decided to rename their age-old institution Scholastic BookClubs to Reading Club. To underline this drastic move, we decided that the re-design should equally make a departure from their previous identity. Some of the key elements of the new experience are the flat colors, a controlled color palette with color coding assigned to the different age groups, branded characters for not product-driven marketing messaging.
Role: Art Direction, Design, UI, Illustration, Photo Composite Illustration
Kids across the country were asked to side with either cats or dogs in a pledge to read every day to help make their team reading champs—while also helping to donate books to kids in need.
This is Paws for Reading, a reading competition with philanthropy at heart, follow the link below and learn what it's all about.
Role: Art Direction, Design, Character Development, Photo Composite Illustration
If it's really hard to explain and in danger of being boring—make an infographic. This new trend has really taken the internet by storm, me included. What a wonderful way to package a list of numbers and dry facts into a story readers actually want to engage with.
I decided infographics would be the ideal vehicle to translate the amazing data of Scholastic's new SPOTLIT collection for sharing with the public, bloggers, press etc.
Role: Art Direction, Design, Illustration
The collection pages are curated selections of seasonal, thematic or audience driven titles. Each collection has its own mini-branding ID that is consistent throughout the Reading Club site as well as outside of the Reading Club environment in touts, ads and social media. The mini-branding ID allows for a more fitting representation of the collection's intent.
Role: Art Direction, Design, Illustration, Photo Composite Illustration
Scholastic Book Clubs Brand Identity - case study and style guide for 2013
Create an integrated customer experience that amplifies the unique “Classroom Connection” Scholastic Book Clubs creates with teachers, students, and parents.
Detail the creative strategy to define Scholastic Book Clubs as a relevant, modern brand to integrate the customer experience across cross-channels, and to define the specific age/grade club-specific brands.
Create a consistent copy voice across all customer touch points.
Create a consistent and recognizable photographic style.
Role: Strategy, Art Direction, Design
The-N on-air summer promo graphics - a case study
In this case study, I would like to show the different options presented to The-N for their summer on-air promo graphics. The challenge of this project was that the campaign needed to be adaptable to hold information for three new shows, but also be able to stand alone as an overall happy summer-sizzle announcement. It had to be modular. In addition to the on-air life, the campaign needed to be flexible enough to expand into other mediums as well. On a technical level everything had to be executable in After Effects, there was no time or budget to delve into CGI or live-action shoots.
The first option shown here is the concept Knickknack- box. The box represents a snapshot of teen life, a jumbled collection of objects and tidbits, witnesses of the ever so fleeting teenage experience. The objects also represent the juxtaposition of opposing ideas and emotions of the developing individual; silly, childish things live in the same world as the serious and reflective, the rebellions and the sentimental, the daring and the shy. The camera, the witness, sits atop the box and also serves as vehicle to a broader campaign, "show us your snapshots of a teen-summer" an extension of the campaign into the online community of The-N
In Tunnel the second option the emphasis is placed on the experience of traveling through the tunnel and the surprise effect of where we end up at the end of the journey. The location of the entry point and exit point of the tunnel can be exchanged. Per example instead of entering through a manhole on a schoolyard, we can also enter through the lid of a top-loading washing machine. The exit point offers even more variation, we can exit on the ocean, and the N-logo is a flotation device. In any case, the intention is that we end up in the "promised land of teenage summer with The-N.
The tunnel is constructed of layers of varying materials, cardboard, construction paper, felt, etc. making it very tactile, a quality that is very important in the world of The-N.
At one point I experimented with having different objects enter and exit the tunnel on popsicle sticks— while we travel, it proved impractical though, since the speed at which we would have to travel would make the experience too frantic and confusing. And the popsicle sticks felt too young for the target group.
Diorama, the third option presented to The-N and also the one that was then ultimately accepted.
The World of N shows the hustle bustle of a busy summer life where the unexpected is the expected. Contrasting concepts live harmoniously in this imaginative scenario. Big and small, skewed proportions, what lives in water flies through the sky, the watermelon becomes a half-pipe, what is stationary is moving, anything is possible this summer on The-N.
The reduced color palette and black&white treatment of the photographic elements were deliberately chosen to keep the look and feel more sophisticated, "grown-up" so it would not feel too young and fall into the age-category of Nickelodeon with a younger audience.
The device with which we enter the live action footage to promote new shows can change to reflect the content of the shows and to keep the promos interesting over the course of the summer.
Role: Strategy, Art Direction, Design, Storyboarding
This unique project conducted by Scholastic Book Clubs and the nonprofit PENCIL in elementary schools in NYC, kids learn the ins and outs of publishing in a fully immersive program – and now they can say they are authors themselves! In eight hands-on workshops, kids go through the processes of writing, editing, illustrating and marketing a book. For this experience, I developed an age-appropriate design curriculum and art workshops. The pilot book Thoughts of Home shows the beautiful results that can be achieved when we help kids believe that they can.
Role: Design Curriculum Development, Teaching, Art Direction, Design
The Treasure Hunters Club is a cross-platform series that integrates gaming and fictional stories under one big story arch, the quest for the elusive Ultimate Treasure.
Kids read the adventure stories in the book in which they are asked to participate actively by solving games and riddles to move the story forward. The effort is rewarded with the number combination to unlock the treasure chest. Kids can also play a treasure hunting game online in which they can earn game-coins to buy treasures or the answer key to the book's puzzles. The original story concept was created by the very talented editor Laura Uyeda, and then brought to life by THE TEAM: Scott Ciencin, fiction writer; Francesco Francavilla, fiction illustrator; Yancey Labat, travel sticker illustrator; Jeff O'Hare game support; and Michaela Zanzani for art direction, game concept and design, research, design execution, composites, development and illustration of the treasure map.
Role: Art Direction, Design, Photo Compositing, Game Concepts, Illustration
KAKOOMA is a ground-breaking new math puzzle game that turns math learning into incredibly add-ictive math-fun, created by Greg Tang, one of the country’s leading experts in elementary and middle school mathematics, and best-selling author of children’s books, including The Grapes of Math and Math Appeal. KAKOOMA’s unique “puzzle-in-a-puzzle” format requires kids to perform dozens of calculations in order to finish a single round of play.
The game was fun, but what it needed was a Brand Identity and a way not only into kids' minds but also their hearts to gain brand loyalty, longevity and opportunity to expand.
Staying true to the math Michaela created a logo and brand identity based on the structures of the game and packaged it in a fun upbeat visual interpretation of it. But the world of Kakooma still needed life, so she created the MATH-TASTICS, with their fearless math leader Mr. KAKOOMA and his trusted sidekick PLUSMINUS. The Math-tastics represent other mathematical learning principles that have the potential to become fully realized additions to KAKOOMA.
Role: Character Development, Art Direction, Brand ID, Conceptual Illustration
Skill Zone is a subscription based summer learning program with comprehensive activity kits. Lessons in the workbooks are supported by chapter books and games to reinforce the learned concepts.
Role: Art Direction, Design, Cover Illustrations, Package Design, Game Design and Illustration.
A new brand of Science experiment kits and books, teaching kids ages 8 and up science—hidden in the fun and wacky world of Dr. Phizz. The premise of the series is that the reader applies for a job as the new lab-assistant in Dr. Phizz's lab and needs to prove his or her worth. The reader receives help from Einstein, the lab hamster along the way.
Kids playfully learn science principles following the step by step instructions in the Lab Assistant's Handbook included in the experiment kit.
Michaela developed the art direction for the brand-id, the book design, the characters, and the science illustrations. The final character renderings where created by the talented illustrator Bill Alger.
Role: Art Direction, Design, Character Development, Concept Illustration
A ten book and activity kit series that teaches kids ages 7-11 kid appropriate magic tricks with easy to follow instructions. Each of the ten packs of the Ultimate Magic Club includes a guidebook, an instructional DVD, and the magic gadgets/tools needed to perform the featured tricks, packed in a practical box for decorative storage. The ultimate magic club became one of the best-selling clubs for Scholastic at Home and was featured in Genji Magazine—the international magic magazine for the savvy conjuror.
Role: Art Direction, Design, Photo Compositing, Package Design
Now here's a dream come true for a comic book fan and designer, to create a superheroes collectors club for Marvel Entertainment. This subscription-based club was made up of ten monthly kits. Each set focused on a different superhero character or team. Kids received in their packs:
One chapter book; one magazine packed with games, fun facts, and comic creator interviews; a booster pack for the trading card game, a character sticker sheet; another piece of the giant wall poster; plus the access code for new exclusive web content.
Giant Wall Poster Illustration and Chapter Book Cover Illustration: Yancey Labat
Editor: Laura Uyeda
Writer: Scott Sciencin
Role: Art Direction, Design, Conceptual Illustration, Game Development, Dialog Writing
Written by planetary scientist and Mars Institute mission leader Dr. Pascal Lee, Mission Mars is the first comprehensive nonfiction title for younger readers that skimps neither in facts, details, nor fun. The interactive experience online had to follow this principle and immerse the young visitor into the realm of outer space exploration. I conceptualized the website from an "I'm there" perspective, looking out into the vastness of the Martian landscape with his two astronaut companions in the distance, centering the video-diary content in a handheld tablet that a potential mars explorer might use on their mission.
Editor, Video Producer: Mona Chiang
Video Footage: Dr. Pascal Lee
Role: Digital Art Direction, Design