Maria Smith

Part 1

My name is Maria Smith, and I’m a graphic designer from Seattle, Washington. While I design to fit a variety of platforms, my specialties are environmental graphics and signage solutions. My designs are simple and bold, making them versatile enough to fit into almost any space. When I’m not designing, I’m either drinking coffee or spending time outdoors. 

A logo design workshop gave me an opportunity to completely brand and design graphics for a local Spokane restaurant, Eyvind Restaurant & Bar. While these designs were not used in the actual construction of the restaurant, they are a demonstration of the kinds of work I would like to continue. 

Exterior Neon Sign, 2020, digital design

The design brief provided a darker, jewel-toned color palette and ideas from the 1950s Disney classic, Sleeping Beauty. The logo and graphics were heavily inspired by the illustrative aspects of the movie, with a modern twist to make it unique and present. I decided to expand on this project with wall graphics and exterior signage to make it relevant to my current field of work. The appearance and aesthetic of a restaurant has a significant impact on the customer’s experience, so it was important to make sure the environmental graphics were not only eye-catching, but cohesive. 

Business Card, 2020, digital design
Wall Graphic, 2020, digital design
Menu, 2020, digital design

Part 2

University of Washington Softball Boardroom

From 2016-2018, I had an internship at SuperGraphics in Seattle, Washington. During the summer of 2017, the UW Softball coaching staff approached our firm seeking environmental graphics and signage to revamp their boardroom.

Wall graphic and brushed silver plaques, 2017
Dimensional logo, 2017

I was provided with the dimensions of the space, a brief on the types of graphics they were looking for, as well assome photography to include. As a softball student-athlete myself, I felt well prepared for the project, and excited to design for such a well-known program. I intended to create graphics that would inspire the team, impress the coaching staff, and excite the team’s new recruits.

Acrylic dimensional lettering, 2017
Wall graphic, 2017

It’s important to show versatility in my work and demonstrate my ability to work with a variety of clients. My style adapts depending on the kind of experience my client wants for their audience, and that varies greatly between different environments. Contrary to the simple, geometric designs of my last project, these athletic designs needed to be bold, dynamic, and attention-grabbing.

Custom mannequin display, 2017
Wall graphic, 2017

Part 3

Night Owls Coffee Shop

Two things I’m known for: drinking too much coffee and not getting enough sleep. This led to the idea behind Night Owls, a fictional coffee shop that opens at 5pm and closes at 9am for the “night owls” like me. The style was inspired by the hipster cultures of Seattle and Portland, along with the outdoorsy vibe of the Pacific Northwest.

Exterior Overhead Sign, 2019, digital media
Interior Accent Wall, 2019, digital media

The goal was to create a chill, peaceful environment primarily for college students to pull all-nighters and finish their projects and papers. This project expresses the grungier side of my personal style, with chalkboards and exposed brick being key components to the aesthetic of the shop. The combination of script and typewriter fonts also contributes to the grungier style.

Outdoor Chalk Sign, 2019, digital media
Overhead Menu, 2019, digital media
Coffee Cups, 2019, digital media

Part 4

Mariah Athletics Retail Store

To round out this presentation, I decided to design an environment I hadn’t yet explored: retail. I transformed my own logo and branding into a fictional “athleisure wear” store called Mariah Athletics. This project combines my love of black and white with my identity as a student athlete, and stands out from other stores because of the use of script.

Exterior Overhead Sign, 2020, digital media
Storefront, 2020, digital media

The graphic style of the store design combines simple, geometric elements with brushier fonts and accents to create a high-contrast, eye-catching environment. I wanted this environment to be a mix between high-end athletic wear stores, like Lululemon, and a messier, graffiti like style. The simple color palette and the sans-serif font in the logo and sign give the high-end vibe, whereas the script font and graffiti textures provide a bit of an edge.

Wall Graphic I, 2020, digital media
Wall Graphic II, 2020, digital media

Find me on Instagram @mariasmithdesigns or on the web at http://mariasmithdesigns.com

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