Tag Archives: cvo

se7en months, se7enteen days later…

Has the time really passed by that quickly? So many things have happened since September 19th of 2008. I get to work with some of the biggest brands in the world, collaborate with some of the most amazing creative minds, and took part in the first ever 3-D stop-motion animated film, Coraline. All of these opportunities are presented to me at one of the largest independently-owned advertising agencies in the world, Wieden + Kennedy. The learning curve I’m experiencing right now is phenomenal. There is always something new to explore and I am constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone to create amazing work. I have finally gotten a good feel for this place. Sometimes it’ll be really nice and relaxing and sometimes I’ll be working from 7 in the morning til 2 in the morning. This is totally the kind of environment that keeps me going. When things are being pushed and deadlines are short, I’m focused and running off adrenaline to keep the juices flowing and crank out the project without even seeing any daylight.

For those of you who are interested, I will begin posting new things that I learn and experience here to share with you on a regular basis. I know when I was in school, I wanted to read up on other creatives experiences and learn from it — so I hope I can provide that for you here.

* * *

On the flipside, these are some of the campaigns that I have taken part in during my time here so far:

Old Spice
(Wireframes + Design)

Career Builder – Anonymous Tip Giver
(Wireframes + Design)

Coraline: Bobinsky vs. Bobinsky
(Design – Standard Banners + Rich Banners)

Coraline: Bobinsky Stuck in Banner
(Design – Standard Banners + Rich Banners)

Kobe 4 Banners
(Design – Standard Banners + Rich Banners)


BramPitoyo + CaseOrganic interviews CVo + Kim Karalekas

Smile. It's contagious...

Smile. It's contagious

Tune into Hazelnut-Tech-Talk. A podcast brought to you by two of the most inspiring and tech-saavy genius’s I know {BramPitoyo + CaseOrganic}. They interviewed both Kim and I this weekend about COLABORATORY and got the inside scoop on our experiences. Check it out.

Christine Vo + Kim Karalekas COLAB Interview

beautiful day for a podcast recording

Plaid’s Visit to Ascentium

On Wednesday July 23, Plaid dropped by at the Ascentium office. Plaid is an agency that focuses on design, branding, interactive + television. They have just recently began a tour around the country meeting creative, marketing, brand and internet workers, and sharing Plaid love. Brilliant!

Plaid Nation Tour – July, 23 2008 from Plaid Nation on Vimeo.

EERrrRRRrr…… Quick interruption – CVo’s life outside of COLAB

This is totally off topic from COLAB but I think it is worth mentioning. So outside of COLAB, I have a second work life… I am the founder of cDesigner Graphics and work with companies like Nike, Wild Alchemy and fruit-eze.Β  Just recently, I have closed up a few accounts that I felt are worth noting…
Back in May, I landed a gig with one of Portland’s best sushi restaurants, Mio Sushi. They strive for the freshest ingredients and serve them at affordable prices! Great perk for college students πŸ˜€ My task was to give their website a facelift and make it more contemporary, clean and inviting. After a few months of doing all the logistics work like finding and art directing the photography and partnering up with the right developer, I was able to pull all this together:
I’ve also recently did a project for Make A Wish Foundation through Sigma Solutions (a company I’m affiliated with) and it was a HUGE success! I did all the design for the promo pieces (flyers, website, magazine ad, etc.) for their event and it raised up to $20,000!!! Can I scream?! I am really excited that I got to take part in such a great cause.
My ad is in here!

My ad is in here!

And there it is! - Walk the Red Carpet

And there it is! - Walk the Red Carpet

My last day at The|New|Group

Today is my last day at The|New|Group and part of me is sad but excited at the same time too. Time has really flown by fast and I’ve had a great time here at TNG. The environment here has been super chill and everyone is really open and friendly. I have honestly met some of the most genuine and intelligent people here and I hope to stay connected after my experiences here. They have opened my eyes to so many new things and got me thinking in different ways that will make me a better designer and strategic thinker.

Now to give you the overview of what projects I worked on, the first of the projects that The|New|Group had me working on was the Open house invitation. I had total creative freedom and a decent budget so with that, I executed designs that they all really liked. Yesterday Doug New came back from CA and he approved the design so it’s officially going to be the design that will be used for their Open House coming up in September. Super excited πŸ™‚ Along with the invitation, I also did the design for the RSVP website so that there remains a consistency between the two mediums. For the most part, that project was taken throughout the two weeks that I’m here.

Then there was one that was just presented to me yesterday and it is to design a revolutionary interactive website interface. Kevin J.- Flash Developer genius and Toby – Technical Director and story telling guru had this amazing concept in mind and they asked me to play around with the idea and concept out some ideas of my own. To summarize their mission in a nutshell… Think iphone. Take the interactive elements of the iPhone into a website format and make it 10 times better. They are looking to build a visual interactive navigation that will provide context, engage and tell a story to the audience. I have been sketching out my ideas and will be pitching it to them in a few hours. This is such a great experience because I’m learning a whole lot about how to build an AMAZING website rather than just a good one. Toby put into really simple terms for me when it comes to evaluating a website. The basics..

a BAD website – Bunch of links and no sense of organization or hierarchy or design.

a GOOD website – Useful, has hierarchy and functional

a GREAT website – Tells a story.

It’s as plain and simple as that. This project is a year old for them and a day old for me. I really hope to bring in some fresh ideas for them and if it’s something that doesn’t really hit the spot for them, hopefully it’ll inspire them to think in different ways.

One last thing that I have to mention is the one advice that Toby kept bringing up and that is:

“Don’t be afraid to let your good idea go because there will be another one, and anotherone, and anotherone….”

Toby is a firm believer that the practice of ideation will only lead to better idea’s just like the practice of drawing will lead to a better artist. COLAB interns who will be coming to The|New|GroupMary and Bryan, try to get some face time with this guy, he has a lot of great things to say and even if you don’t have a tech background, you’ll still learn something from him.

OKAY, so those were the tasks that I had faced. Now I really want to just say thank you to everyone who has really been open to answering my questions and helping me through this process. Tom was amazing and gave me a some great insights to the agency world and was always checking in to make sure I was good and was there to answer any question I had. Then there was Nicole who was super nice and was so helpful when I was stuck on a design and pretty much answered all my questions about what I should expect when I graduate and taught me a few things on negotiating and finding a job and a ton of other things but overall she has been a great resource here. I had a really good time working with her on the invite. Kevin J. and Toby were the other two I worked with and they are both really smart guys who got me thinking differently when designing a website and all the possibilities out there when partnered up with the right people. Then there’s my neighbor Jessica who could always make me laugh. She helped me with the research project and helped me find the right internet sources to go to and she was just totally fun to talk to. Kevin S. sits next to her and he really helped me settle in and feel comfortable here. He also coordinated the whole Invitation project for me and a sweet ping pong player! Thank you Tammi for setting up my direct deposit πŸ™‚ That’s very important. Then of course Thank you to Doug New for taking part in COLABORATORY and for allowing me to come in and stay for two weeks. These were the people that I worked most closely with and helped keep me busy for the most part. To be perfectly honest, everyone here is very nice and approachable. It is definitely something that I wasn’t expecting 100%. I always pictured an agency being totally uptight and high strung all the time and it is not the case at all.

Thank you The|New|Group! Next stop… Ascentium


So as I’ve promised you before, I was going to compile a list of the TNG lingo that I’ve been hearing around this place and there are some hilarious things that I’ve heard. Ya know, I came into this thinking I would totally have to be formal and professional but no.. these guys are actually HUMAN. YAY… huge relief, not gonna lie! I figured it’d be sweet to see how this varies between the different agencies that I will be exploring throughout the next six weeks. Here goes:

  1. The “playa”
  2. White Board session
  3. Tactics
  4. Seminar Instructors
  5. “they didn’t commit with their two feet, just their big toe
  6. Who stands with you, who against?
  7. CIO: Chief Info Officer
  8. CMO: Chief Marketing Office
  9. Meeting note
  10. “It smells like…” {rather than it seems like.. }
  11. Reset your expectations
  12. proposal
  13. billable meeting time
  14. Knee-jerk reaction
  15. Tap into
  16. Unique call campaign
  17. Tradeshow booth
  18. Field application engineers
  19. forum
  20. “not to be _________in this meeting”
  21. Can’t give ideas
  22. “they can’t do without us.”
  23. “we’re the guys who know it.”
  24. Devil advocate
  25. Down-low
  26. Gut Check
  27. PHP
  28. BBF
  29. “The shit I don’t want to step in”
  30. We can
  31. “We bullshit… conversate…” – Scott
  32. “Always make it sound like you’re getting paid for all your hours… even meetings”
  33. “The beauty is… I don’t care”
  34. “No job securities… all egos… go freelance”
  35. “As usual, we wing it with a loose agenda”
  36. Have a plan
  37. “Dude piclines are the SHIZNIT”
  38. Resonate
  39. Query
  40. Internal

Ehh?!?!? pretty sweet huh? The quotes are the best πŸ˜€ There will be more. Stay tuned.

My first day at The|New|Group

Where do I begin.. aside from what you just saw me say, when I finally got to TNG, Tom Bennett, strategist, took me around to meet everyone on the team and everyone was super nice. The vibe there was really chill and collaborative. People were up and visiting others desks and it was really cool to see first hand how it was like at this particular agency. I have tons of videos for you guys from today so keep reading and you’ll find them… Throughout the day, I went around the office and met everyone and also sat in on 2 meetings with the strategists Tom, Kaci, and Scott. One meeting was an internal client brief meeting and the other was through the intercom with the client.

It was amazing to see how the three of them just threw out their ideas and thoughts so quickly and communicated so well. Also when we were in the phone meeting, it was interesting to see how its like to see people interacting with one another to communicate what’s on their mind silently as they are trying to tell the person who is speaking to the client to also mention this and that. I learned a lot just from that one meeting. The way they talked, the lingo they were using {which by the way, when I get more time, I will be posting an exclusive list of the TNG Lingo… Stay tuned for that}. Also after the meeting I was able to converse with both Tom and Scott both strategists/planners/whatever else needs done on what it exactly it is that a strategist does and to keep it short and sweet, they basically take their knowledge about what they know about the client and what they’re looking for and point them in the right direction. A little bullshitting and a little push push shove shove and saying sweet things they wanna hear will do the job.. {hopefully}.



My schedule for today was:

  • 9:30A – 12:30P: Tour and meet everyone in the office
  • 12:30P – 1:30P: lunch + blog
  • 1:30P – 2:00P: meeting with the strategists
  • 2:00P – 4:00P: Meet more people + take mugshots of everyone
  • 4:00P – 5:00P: Client meeting + strategists
  • 5:00P – 6:00P: talked and wrapped up the day with the designer

Aaron Bean is the Director of Strategy and I got a little time to talk to him about branding and strategists and the pros & cons of owning your own agency and working for an agency. I encourage those who are interested int his topic to watch it below.

At the end of the day, I got to speak to

NicoleΒ  {Art Director} +

Eric {Senior Art Director}

about design and what it took to get a good job out of school and their insights on TNG. We also spoke about how the word “retarded” totally means a good thing and Noah {3D designer} stood up and informed us that it was a term that was used greatly in the eastcoast. So next time you hear someone say retarded, they’re not ignorant, they’re totally rockin the ish. *if that makes any sense… poo.

Anywho, so then Nicole {art director} and I also started a conversation about the benefits of having a big corporate company {like Nike, Intel, Microsoft etc.} on your resume. I asked her this because I am currently working with nike as a freelancer and have also done stuff through school with Adidas and one day I had gone to discuss my resume with my Career Advisor Barry Wall {which btw, if you in the Seattle area and looking for a super smart and awesome recruiter, check him out}. Well I told him about my recent experiences and asked if I should throw Nike into my resume now that I have that under my belt. He had said that I shouldn’t and that what I had was totally good enough. After telling Nicole all this, she really believed that having such a large company on your resume REALLLY helps with the hiring process. I can totally see where she’s coming from but if you think about it logically, there are LOTS and LOTS of people who have people like Nike and Intel on their resume but these people who have gotten involved may have only had a task to past a sheet of paper to a board for 2 hours long. Nicole totally understood where I was coming from but she still felt that having that on your resume would still help. She also mentioned a really good point and that was, “it’s all on the way you present yourself and how you tell the story.” I think that’s absolutely vital to doing anything successfully. I think that After having this discussion with her, I feel like I’ve got some unanswered questions. I need to explore this more and go back to my adviser to see what his reasoning behind not having them on my resume was. If any of you have any thoughts on this, I would love to hear them.

Here are the people I met today, a few were out of the office.

After my TNG, Allison McKeever and I got together along with Jodie DeSimone from Kotes Kokes and Allison’s boyfriend Matt to go out to the driving range. We went to the Portland Meadows Golf Course and it was pretty ghetto {we couldn’t use a driver unless we couldn’t hit more than 200 yards out.. boo} but the lady who was there managing it was super cool so that’s okay.

To wrap up this blog, i’m going to leave you guys with a few videos of Ryan Christensen from Same Underneath and his story below. This was taken yesterday at our orientation presentation:

Stay tuned to hear more about my project proposal tomorrow πŸ˜€