Logo design

I had been helping to run She Shreds magazine for approximately one year when we agreed that the magazine needed to change its visual identity. Our old logo was a reference to a promotional photograph we had taken long ago–one that our newer readers wouldn’t know of–and, most importantly of all, the old logo utilized a middle finger:

She Shreds Magazine's former logo


The logo just wasn’t working. We wanted kids to be able to read it. We wanted companies to advertise in it. And we wanted to be taken seriously. She Shreds magazine is bold, innovative, interesting, and a vital addition to the music world. Our logo needed to represent that. Not to mention the fact that the logo needed to be legible in a much smaller size. Here’s what I came up with:


Simple, classic, yet bold. Hope you like it.


Magazine Cover Design

She Shreds Magazine Issue #2 CoverFor the second issue of She Shreds Magazine, we decided to launch a new visual identity for the magazine, moving towards a cleaner, more classic look. In addition to redesigning the magazine’s logo, I brought in a new line of typography for the magazine and its cover. I prioritized simplicity, white space, and symmetry in designing the new cover, but my biggest priority of all was making sure that our logo would be visible and recognizable from far away. The response from our readers has been incredible!

Promotional materials: Brews for New Avenues coasters

Brews for New Avenues promotional coaster design

(Original design, first draft)

Brews for New Avenues coaster photo

(Final product)

New Avenues for Youth’s ambassador board conceived of a pretty fresh event idea: host the first live auction of rare beers to ever take place in Portland (as part of a larger brew-centric event) and have all the proceeds benefit our programs. Initially, I struggled with the notion of funding programs for homeless and at-risk youth via explicitly booze oriented phenomena. After all, a lot of kids living on the street deal with the overwhelming daily struggles they experience in, well, the same self-destructive ways that people who live in houses deal with their problems. And alcoholism is up there on the list. But, eventually, I came to embrace the idea. Portland is, among a handful of other not-as-unique-as-it’s-chalked-up-to-be phenomena, a beer haven. And if half a thousand people dig the idea of bidding on (ridiculously) rare beers and rinsing the experience down with a couple local sours and stouts, then let’s do it, and let’s fund some expensive, vital social service programs at the same time.

Anyways, having overcome my moral speed bump, I had a lot of fun branding the event. The marketing needed to be hip but accessible, beer-centric without being beer geeky, and it needed to somehow appeal to both a VIP crowd (collectors) and general admission folks (drinkers). My organization (and nearly every other nonprofit I can think of) has always promoted events via e-blasts and postcards. Pretty straight forward, hard-to-screw-up stuff. But a unique event like this had so many opportunities for marketing strategies that were a little more creative. I quickly pitched the idea of promoting our event to the public by creating promotional coasters and placing them at every participating brewery or retailer. Well, that and Facebook ads. But the coasters were a clear highlight. I’ve still got a stack of them in my apartment, I love ’em so much.

Website design: Brews for New Avenues

Screenshot of Brews for New Avenues website

Designing this site was basically epiphenomenal of the larger task I took on in September of 2012, which was branding a new signature event of ours, and then developing a comprehensive marketing plan around it. The site was largely based on promotional coasters I had designed for the event, so it was much more about applying an already existing concept than creating a new one from scratch. I’ve still got a lot to learn when it comes to web development and information design and if it weren’t for [insert various excuses] there are a handful of elements I would have done differently, but this project was definitely a lot of fun. My friend Kellen gets credit for writing the code.

Annual Report conceptualization and design

I had been working as New Avenues for Youth’s communications coordinator for two months when I was tasked with creating the organization’s annual report. We had just completed an amazing collaborative mural project between professional artists and thirty youth we served, so I drew on the visual themes of that project as design inspiration. I worked closely with our quality assurance specialist to select statistics and facts from the past year that best encompassed our mission and organizational strengths, and wove in the narrative of one of our most successful clients to provide a human face to all those numbers. The project was one of my favorites to date, and I loved the entire process, from developing its color palette out of visual themes in our youth’s mural to deciding on a minimalist layout, to interviewing Charlyn so we could share her story, to deciding that we should share the report as a slideshow on the internet rather than in a printed publication, as a means of both saving money and lessening our environmental impact.
2013 Annual Report design by Natalie Baker
In April of 2013, I designed a second annual report for New Avenues. For the six months leading up to that, we had been trying to decide whether or not to re-brand the organization due to a watered down identity that felt out of touch. Finally, the decision was made that without the full resources to re-brand, I would instead subtly modernize the brand and implement that identity across all channels. I identified our upcoming annual report as a great opportunity to launch the renewed identity. The agency’s main colors, navy and gold, were brightened slightly and served as the report’s primary color palette. I also decided to place higher emphasis on showcasing our organization’s amazing programs and outcomes by dedicating full spreads to each program and an accompanying youth narrative. In one year, our annual report went from twelve pages to twenty-six, significantly increasing its mission-based appeal.

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natalie.x.baker [at] gmail [dot] com





Hello there, fellow internet user. I'm a communications coordinator for New Avenues for Youth during the day and help run the world's first guitar magazine aimed at women during my spare time. This blog is my recently renovated collection of projects I've worked on. Enjoy, and feel free to contact me if you'd like!