Coloring Parnassus Heights Neighborhood Week


By Sophia Labeko on January 06, 2022

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UCSF Community and Government Relations (CGR) team commissioned The Studio, UCSF Documents and Media’s (DM) creative and digital solutions team, with designing and producing campaign collaterals for the inaugural Parnassus Heights Neighborhood Week. This week-long celebration aimed to help support small and local businesses around UCSF’s oldest campus by encouraging patronage. In addition, the CGR team invited members of the local government and community leaders to participate in a neighborhood walkthrough for an opportunity to meet vendors.

“Their (DM) understanding of the UCSF brand made it easy to develop a design that was both unique to our needs while being unique to the project,” said Lily Wong, Associate Director, Community Relations, UCSF Office of Community & Government Relations.

Images from the event are easily identified by the presence of canvas tote bags featuring a Parnassus Heights neighborhood map stylized by Reggie Sparks, Creative Director, The Studio. In addition to tote bags, the team worked quickly to produce poster boards, digital signs, and window stickers for further promotion around the campus and the nearby neighborhoods.

The stylized neighborhood map, which became the visual icon of the event, was thoughtfully crafted by Sparks, who has 21 years of creative experience at UCSF. To realize the bright, happy, and inviting design, that Wong has envisioned, Sparks applied the recently released UCSF brand extension palette. Using the new vibrant color and tint options, he landed on a watercolor treatment for the map. “The map felt like an obvious motif to help illustrate the neighborhoods and community we are celebrating. Maps are inherently intriguing and visually stimulating. People want to examine maps, it’s our nature. We used hand-drawn elements, organic watercolor texture, and bright, warm hues from the extended UCSF palette, to align more with a personable tone. We had a lot of fun with this one!”

After the design received approvals, Tracey Long, DM, project manager and production guru, gripped the baton and steadily moved towards the finish line. Poster boards, digital signs, and window stickers cleared the production round. The tote bags, however, required something special. “We had to translate the watercolor effect into a bold single-color design that could be screen printed onto fabric,” says Long. Working in tandem through this unexpected snap, the team successfully delivered on the set expectations.

“It was such a pleasure to work with the DM team on the first Parnassus Heights Neighborhood Week event. The team was easy to work with, responsive, and collaborative,” says Wong.