Since embarking on my journey here at the Navy Yard in 2014 I have evolved artistically and professionally. This year I’ve contributed to a multitude of projects. Each of these projects require working with other BNYDC departments, the outcome of these projects can be a testimony to my proficient collaboration skills and work performance. One of my largest collaboration was working on the new transportation materials with Shani, creating bus shelter maps for each stop, selecting images for the new bus wraps and participating in fabricating the new bus shelter art. I’ve also worked with security on creating directional maps for each gate, leasing to produce marketing materials for available spaces, finance to find vendors for special promotional projects and Human resources formatting an employee handbook and ordering / designing BNY collateral (BNY t-shirts, lanyards, note cards). One of my goals last year was to work on transitioning the old marketing materials to the new BNY branding, I’ve made great headway in doing so. I was able to redesign the BNY events deck, standard PowerPoint, Yard maps, flyer templates and much more. I’ve also had an opportunity to design new resources like the BNYDC newsletter, transportation and food and beverages brochures, Mailchimp templates for each department and ordering / design premium swag. There’s always room for improvement, I’d like to work on organizing these design files, so they are easily accessible by staff. In addition to design work I’m also responsible for BNY’s image bank. I’ve organized all of images which permitted me to help curate the photos featured on the new website. With the site being so massive it took a lot of time to select images with the same tones while assuring they were cropped to the correct dimensions. Overall, I think my work ethic steadily meets expectations and sometimes surpasses them. A continuous goal for me is to meet the specific needs of all design request; while also creating pieces that exemplify the overall mission of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
One thing I like about being a part of the External Affairs teams is the large exposure to different types of projects. Since recently undergoing a new rebrand BNY has been working with Radish Labs a design agency on developing a new website that is generated based on our new branding and populated with tons of our exciting content. I have been working to help curate the images that should be used on each page of the website. With the site being so massive it took a lot of time to find images with the same tones and moods while assuring they were cropped to the correct sizing. In addition to this I was responsible for guiding a professional photographer across the Navy Yard, informing him of the types of photographs that are needed for the website. I was sure to identify the image subjects and types. For example, I needed photos taken in close focus that displays community engagement and tons of wide angled photos of newly developed buildings.
Today the External Affairs team visited the Brooklyn Information & Culture best known as BRIC. BRIC is a Brooklyn based non-for-profit organization devoted to providing free cultural programming, showcasing and developing work by various artist and offering many media resources. Our External Affairs team arranged to meet their team, tour their space and gain an insight on the team’s role inn BRIC’s overall success. The Brooklyn Navy Yard and BRIC are similar institutions, it was great to network with people performing similar task as us and discussing opportunities for future collaborations.
Although I am officially a member of the External affairs department I play a role in creating design materials for all of our departments. I had the pleasure of working with the development and Planning department to help create directional signage. On the ground floor of our newly renovated building there is a food hub, right above that space is a catwalk and office that belongs to another of our tenants. The development and planning department needed me to create a mockup of signage in the space that clearly directs visitors to the space. The lead on this project and I surveyed the space and took various pictures of where the signage should be located. We also worked together in determining the material, size, design and content of the signage. I then used the images from the site visit to create a mockup of the desired signage in the space. After creating various mockups and presenting them to Development for feedback, we were able to come to an agreement on the mockup we wanted to present to our tenant.
With each project, I work one there is always something new that I learn. In school, we are taught a sufficient amount about the principles of design and key production techniques however there is so much more to consider when producing a physical print for an actual company. All of the new bus shelters I talked about in my last entry have arrived and been installed. In addition to each shelter featuring a piece of artwork it also needs a transportation map. I was tasked with creating 12 maps for each shelter, each bus shelter needs a unique map with the correct bus arrival and departure times for the stop. There were countless revisions on this project. I first created the map and route and revised that to make sure it was accurate. Then I created a layout consisting of the map, map key, arrival and departure times, once that layout was approved I went ahead and used it to create the other 11 maps. It was tricky selecting the correct paper stock for this print. It needed to durable enough to withstand the moisture from the rain as well as it needed to be transparent so the light from the shelter could shine through and allow legibility at night. Another difficult thing was determining how much bleed space was needed for all of the content on the artwork to display properly in the map case.
One issue that the Brooklyn Navy Yard has always battled with is transportation. With the B67 being the only form of public transportation through the Yard, visitors have always complained that the Yard is inaccessible. So as of recently the Yard developed a new transportation strategy. We now have about 10 shuttle buses with two routes one to DUMBO and another to Atlantic Ave. These buses have designated stops outside and inside the Yard. With all these new features came many opportunities for design assistance. I have been able to help choose the images that were featured on the shuttle bus, each bus features a business, building and product of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I’ve also had a hand in working on the new bus shelters. We had a competition amongst our artist and selected one piece of art work to be featured on each of the 9 shelters. I was tasked with creating a mockup for each artwork/bus shelter and resizing each image and making sure they were all a good DPI to be printed at a large scale.
Recently I’ve been working producing a new brochure for BLDG 92. It’s supposed to be a two-panel brochure that exhibits all of BLDG 92’s resources and features. While working on this project I learned the importance of resizing images before placing them in the art files. Since these are such high-quality images they are very large and prohibit the file from being a reasonable size. When there are too many large images in the document the file runs slower and also can’t be emailed internally amongst staff or externally to other parties. Another issue I had to figure out with this product is each brochure needed to receive a unique barcode at the upper back of the brochure which led me to learn about variable data printing. Variable data printing is a type of digital printing that allows text, graphics and images to be changed from one physical print to another. It pulls the information from an excel sheet opposed to recreating each brochure individually.
Since I’ve been at my site for four years I’ve been able to witness a change in the corporation’s office culture. When I first started as an intern BNYDC had a small staff with a family oriented environment. Now since the Yard has grown so much and continues to grow there are a lot more new hires and the environment has become a little more professional than before. We currently have all the different departments sectioned off from each other, some departments have cubicles and some just have an open concept. A typical full-time employee here works from 9-5 and receives an hour lunch at whatever time is most convenient for them. Since I work in the external affairs department my coworkers are required to attend events that occur after work hours. I work about 6 hours a day and take a 30min lunch break, I’m not required to attend after work events however I attend them when I’m available. I find that these events allow me to see my designs in action and stay aware of the significant occurrences taking place at the Yard. Business casual attire is required, I typically wear dress pants and a button up shirt or a formal dress. The company has a policy against flip flops, sneakers, casual attire and outrageously colored hair. I try to be as minimal as possible with my choice of accessories, shoes and hair.
In 2014, I began my journey with the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I received an opportunity to work as an intern to assist with their Graphic needs. I was able to obtain this position through the Cuny Service Corps program. I went to many orientations for Cuny service corps, they provided trainings on professional behavior, attire and overall conduct. My actual interview for BNYDC was at an “interview fair” held by Cuny Service Corps. I was interviewed by two staff members from the company’s employment center which was a little intimidating but productive. When I first began my position the corporation didn’t have a graphic designer so they were very grateful for the assistance. They were so happy with my work and professional conduct that when the internship was completed they decide to hire me part time as a Junior Graphic designer. In my position, I’m responsible for effectively conceptualizing and producing majority of BNYDC graphic design projects. I collaborate with other departments within the organization to create various flyers, newsletters, templated materials and much more. An essential part of my job is ensuring all the collateral aligns with the brand guidelines and meets the deadlines.
I’ve had the privilege of working for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (the Yard). BNYDC is a not for profit corporation that acts as a real estate developer and property manager of the Yard’s 300 acres. The yard is home to over 330 businesses and 7,000 employees. There are 22 different job sectors meaning we have a very wide range of business types. Within this diverse community there are some huge business. Just to name a few there’s:
Steiner Studios – A major film production studio were movies like Spiderman, Batman and Wanted were filmed.
Brooklyn Grange – A rooftop farm that grows actual crops and cultivates bees.
New lab – A tech lab for entrepreneurs working in advanced technology.
Kings County Distillery – New York City’s oldest operating whiskey distillery and first since prohibition
The Brooklyn Navy Yard use to be a fully operating naval shipbuilding base for over 150 years. Some of America’s most famous naval ships like the USS Maine, USS Arizona, and USS Missouri were all built here. In addition, this property was home and workplace to many veterans as they served our country. The naval base was decommissioned 1966 and reopened in 1981 as the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The ultimate goal of BNYDC is to develop New York City’s economy. It does so by creating high quality jobs, growing the City’s modern industrial sector and its businesses, and connecting the local community with the economic opportunities and resources of the Yard. BNYDC tries to connect with the surrounding communities through BLDG 92. BLDG 92 is a program of the yard that showcases the history and innovation. BLDG 92 has many public programs, a museum and an employment center; all of these helps the yard preserve its history and grow the surrounding communities. My role a junior graphic designer allows me to create all types of collateral for BNYDC, BLDG 92 and it’s Employment Center.