VFS Digital Design Students Restore Hope & Authenticity

VFS Digital Design endeavours to teach our students how to go beyond conventional thinking, and use design to effect real change in the world. We emulate an agency environment as closely as possible so our students are well prepared upon graduation. A large part of this process is providing real client briefs on which the students can work. It allows them, over seven intense weeks, to create awareness campaigns for local non-profit organizations. This term, we partnered with Habitat for Humanity — Vancouver Restores, Hope in Shadows, and the Authentic Aboriginal Artisan Program.

Our goal in working with non-profit organizations is to:
1. Give our students the invaluable experience of working with a client while still in school,
2. Allow our program to give back to our community, and
3. Enable our students to have project work for a real brand/client in their portfolios.

Here is a sneak peek of the great work our students produced this term:

Habitat for Humanity — Vancouver Restores

Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver needed greater brand awareness and exposure throughout the lower mainland in order to attract more people to its two ReStores. ReStores are building supply stores run by Habitat for Humanity affiliates that accept and resell quality new and used building materials at 50-80% less than retail costs. Shopping at a ReStore is a socially conscious decision, as funds generated are used to fund Habitat homebuilding projects. As well, shopping at a ReStore is also an environmentally conscious decision, as much of what is sold at ReStores is product that is new, gently used or customer returns that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Habitat for Humanity partnered with VFS Digital Design students to create an awareness campaign for this relatively unknown and under-utilized gem in the Greater Vancouver area.

 Hope in Shadows

Hope in Shadows is a charitable organization creating positive social change for people and communities impacted by poverty and marginalization. Their projects empower, educate and provide employment training to low income people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and beyond.

Their flagship project is the annual Hope in Shadows photography contest – coordinated by the Pivot Legal Society – which gives Downtown Eastside residents the opportunity to portray their community through their own eyes. Hope in Shadows provides members of the community digital cameras for the contest and then a selection of the contest’s best images are featured in the annual Hope in Shadows calendar. The calendar is sold on the streets of Vancouver by homeless and low-income vendors.

Hope in Shadows partnered with VFS Digital Design students to build a new identity and create an awareness campaign to increase exposure around the annual photography contest and to encourage the community to purchase calendars from local vendors.

The Authentic Aboriginal Artisan Program

For decades, the Aboriginal people in British Columbia have been frustrated by the lack of protection of one of their most valuable resources — their artwork. Whether it relates to the potential revenue and suport it brings into their communities, or the essential teachings the artwork has offered their people, Authentic Aboriginal’s goal is to redirect resources back to their people and communities, where it is needed.

Authentic Aboriginal partnered with VFS Digital Design students to create an awareness campaign to educate and encourage both tourists and locals to recognize and purchase Authentic Aboriginal artwork.

Thank you again to Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver, Hope In Shadows and The Authentic Aboriginal Artisan Program for providing our students with briefs that allow them to change the way people see and interact with the world. And a huge congratulations to all of the term three students for jobs very well done. In the coming weeks, we will be featuring the stellar results of these three amazing non-profit initiatives within the Showcase. Stay tuned…


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