Find out all about our rebrand, website redesign, and the CAT graduates that helped make it happen.
If you have been online recently, you may have noticed some changes taking place. CAT has been busy updating its look, and the results are pretty stunning, if we do say so ourselves. In this blog post we meet some of the people responsible for the upgrade, who also just happen to be CAT graduates.
Janell is CAT’s in-house graphic designer and was responsible for the overall design direction. She is also a CAT graduate.
CAT: When did you graduate from CAT?
JA: I graduated from Centre for Arts and Technology July 2009 from the Graphic Design program formerly known as Graphic & Digital Media Design (GDMD).
CAT: You started working directly for CAT post-graduation correct? How did that come about?
JA: Right after graduation I was working for a small Okanagan children’s magazine for a couple months and then was hired at CAT in the Graphic Designer role. At that time the position was being formed and my Department Head from the program had recommended me to the Marketing Director. So, I got the call to come in for an interview and the rest is history.
CAT: What do you love most about design?
JA: What I love most about Graphic Design is having all these different types of elements that need to be organized in a way that allows people to digest the message easily. It’s fun and frustrating at the same time and I love it.
CAT: Tell us a little bit about your role at CAT – what are you responsible for on a daily/weekly basis?
JA: My role at CAT is creating and maintaining all creative collateral. What I am working on during the week is always different throughout the year.
CAT: What is the most challenging thing about your job?
JA: Making sure everything visual is consistent. That includes all of CAT’s creative, the website, social media, etc… Internally and externally.
CAT: What is the most fun/rewarding thing about your job?
JA: After completing a project or multiple projects and seeing them either printed or posted. It feels nice.
What I love most about Graphic Design is having all these different types of elements that need to be organized in a way that allows people to digest the message easily.”Janell Alm
CAT: What tips or words of wisdom do you have for aspiring graphic designers?
JA: Stay organized, at least in your own way. Future you will be very thankful when you have to find that thing you did a long time ago for something you’re working on right now and it’s due within the hour.
CAT: What was your brief for the redesign?
JA: The company’s main goal was to be able to allow Google to better track our SEO. Secondly, we wanted the website to take you through a journey, and showcase more of what our alumni are doing. Lastly, they also wanted the website to be more visual.
CAT: When was the website last updated previous to this?
JA: It’s been a while. I think it was about six years ago, give or take.
Peter is a CAT graduate who has not only worked in our Graphic and Web Design program as an instructor for the past 12 years (along with dealing with many of CAT’s website issues) but has also made a name for himself around town, working for companies like Hiilite and Lifeblood Marketing. He has recently gone solo with his own company, Vigilante Marketing.
CAT: How have websites changed in the past six years?
PSV: They have definitely gone more ‘mobile first’. It’s also now more about filling up an entire screen with as little information as possible but in a very creative and engaging way.
CAT: What were you needing to think about with the new design?
PSV: The biggest thing was how the back-end would work in terms of relating every bit of content throughout the site. How we related our blog, student work and pathways to their related programs and vice versa. It was very important to follow the methodology for making every page on the site feel like a landing page. No matter where you land now, you will get all the info you need to make an informed decision about CAT, with less need to click around to research.
CAT: What are some of the things you really like about our new website design?
PSV: I love the use of the bold colors, and filling up the space with large blocks of color and images. I also like the backgrounds – the larger text and headings in the background – it really fills up the space and engages the user’s eye.
CAT: We have moved from CAT orange to CAT red – tell us about our new color!
PSV: It was a controversial change, when it was presented to the teams it became apparent that the orange had become outdated. The red is bold and a great new direction.
CAT: What, in your opinion, should good website design do?
PSV: It should communicate everything the user needs in as short and concise chunks as possible, making sure that they can always make a buying decision in one page. That would include your about page, or any sub pages of the site.
I like the ever-growing and expanding nature of this industry, the exciting opportunity of being able to work with all different types of clients, and the challenge of constantly being faced with problems that need solutions.”Peter Singh-Vigilante
CAT: When did you graduate from CAT? and from what program.
PSV: I graduated in 2008 from CAT’s 3D Game and Animation program. I was a cage guy at CAT for a few years (helping students with equipment), and then a part-time instructor, before going full time and becoming the lead instructor on the Graphic Design and Web Development program.
CAT: How did you segue from animation to GWD?
PSV: I was originally a painter and artist who was heavily into programing and gaming; 3D was a direction I thought I wanted to go in my career, but fate led me back to websites and programming. But 3D was really helpful in understanding the creative side of web development, and even programming. It also expanded the skills sets for what I could offer in web development – for example video and 3D technology.
iF: What do you like best about what you do today?
PSV: It’s the ever-growing and expanding nature of this industry, the exciting opportunity of being able to work with all different types of clients, and the challenge of constantly being faced with problems that need solutions.