Mercedes La Rosa | ABOUT
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Hi.


I am a full-stack designer building on 20 years of diverse creative work in print and digital media, marketing, institutional education, fashion, food, non-profit, start-up and small business industries. I excel in creating and producing concepts, artwork and various marketing collateral online and in print for major national and international campaigns. Deliverables include: specialized digital content (websites, app features), advertising materials (print media, environmental and dynamic web ads) large-format signage, marketing material and annual reports.

 

The creative and results-driven success of projects with my involvement ascribes to my keen design sensibility as well as my conceptual ability to identify clients’ needs and pair design with it accordingly. This comes from my genuine enthusiasm in learning as much as I can about clients’ goals and my willingness to explain design rationale / solutions to them based on my findings.

 

In my career, I have consistently demonstrated that I am an efficient, cordial, resourceful, communicative, analytical and solutions-driven worker. I am also a motivated, quick-learning, self-starter who can happily lead or co-operate with a team or easily work independently and be attentive to managing expectations.

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Collaborations

BMWi
Elle Magazine Vietnam
Fault Magazine
Ford Motor Company
Hipstamatic
Nissan Motor Co.

Past Clients

NextCity (funded by The Ford Foundation + The Rockefeller Foundation)
Pop Montreal International Music Festival
Ziff Davis
NewsCorp.
Le Gourmet Burger
Puretea
Maisonneuve Magazine
Naked Eye Magazine
FH International
Arielle De Pinto Jewelry
WearElse
Kafein Cafe

Tech skills

UI/UX Research + Design
CSS, XHTML, CMS front-end customization
Sketch
Adobe CS (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Bridge, Acrobat)
Microsoft Office (Powerpoint, Word, Excel)
FinalCut
Lightroom

Design

Capable of creating concepts, artwork and layouts based on project intakes. Able to write and explain design rationale behind proposed design solutions and contribute to critique discussions.

 

Extensive pre-press experience planning and laying out information in a current, professional and tasteful manner for large format signage, displays, print ads, magazine (print, online and iPad) and newspapers articles, brochures, linesheets, presentations and websites.

 

Designs with user-friendliness in mind; keen interest in UX / UI, mobile design, typography and colour application.

Work Approach

Deals with change efficiently, detail and deadline-oriented, motivated self-starter, resourceful; receptive to learning new skills and learns quickly.

 

Establishes and fosters positive relationships with coworkers.

 

Efficient and communicative worker.

 

Solutions-driven. Attentive to managing expectations.

Certification and Education

Nielsen Norman Group. UX Certification (UXC#1010152). Vancouver, BC, Canada. Nov. 2015

 

Dawson College. AEC, Commercial photography.

 

Concordia University. BA, Western Society and Culture (Liberal Arts College) + Communication Studies (Specialization: Visual Design). Arts Editor + Graphic Editor at The Link.

 

Bishop’s University. Liberal Arts + Arts Administration. DJ at CJMQ (Campus and community radio station).

Work History
Concordia University
Graphic Designer. Client specialization: John Molson School of Business

Present – August 2013


Notable projects:

Concordia App features. Conceptualized and designed the first 2 communications-related digital content features on Concordia’s app: JMSB Magazine and AskMeagan

 

University re-branding.
Conceptualized and developed leading visual direction. Oversaw
application on high-visibility displays such as buses and digital screens throughout campus.

 

Recruitment material. Innovative design of critical material contributed to increased applications for 2015. Appointed to lead 2019 re-design.

 

Ad campaign 2015. Implemented a design solution that saved the school’s highest visibility campaign from bearing similarity to a competitor soon before its production and release in national and international print, online and transit media. Saved the potential cost of printing new material.

 
Key function: Designated to JMSB to meet its extremely heavy volume of design work.
 
Ensures design themes and visual branding of marketing, business and promotional assets for its 35 programs (undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, professional and executive levels) supports Concordia University’s overall visual identity.

 
Executes multifaceted design projects for print, online and environmental ads as seen in: Business Insider, The Financial Post, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Transit Commission and Societé de Transport Montreal, La Presse and The Montreal Gazette.

 
Continually initiates mobilization efforts for more efficient work flow from the conception, production and execution phase of major marketing projects.

 
Leads ideation and strategizing phases of major marketing projects –input consistently results in efficient production marketing collateral.

 
Top performer in productivity and consistent on-time completion of multiple projects on extremely tight schedules mitigate client and production stress while surpassing design quality expectations.

News Corporation
Digital Designer + Producer + Photo Editor
Online division: AskMen

June 2013 – July 2011


AskMen is the largest men’s website in the world

 

Innovated custom visual solutions and UI/UX design processes to execute business, marketing and editorial goals concurrent to website re-design.

 
Developed a network of photographers, artists, image providers as well as marketing and publicity agencies preferential to AskMen.

 

Negotiated cost-effective licensing fees for high-quality, editorial imagery and managed outsourced contracts for artwork.

 

Fostered relationships that led to the approved use of exclusive imagery.

 

Resourceful asset acquisition on 2 major online features (Top 49 Most Influential Men and Top 99 Most Desirable Women–each generating over 3MM visitors and 20MM page views within the first week of launch) led to securing an imagery budget for subsequent editions and projects.

 

Consistently used visual tactics and used site analytics (audience research) to guide design. Contributed to increased daily page views, conversion rates and social media engagement.

 

Introduced the innovative and extensive use of customized Photoshop filters to differentiate the AskMen brand. Expertise in Photoshop proved essential in creating the customized filters necessary to achieve a desired distinguished look.

 

Role evolved to include producing e-commerce and video projects to establish strategic partnerships and reach a company-wide goal of communicating “aspiration” (a term intrinsic to AskMen branding strategy at the time) to its readership, advertisers and potential clients.
 

Conceptualized, produced and shot successful market editorial gallery on sunglasses.

 

Surpassed its targeted metric (10,000 visitors within the first week), significantly increased pageviews, generated meaningful social media engagement and established relationships with brands such as Ssense.com (luxury e-commerce store), Tom Ford, Dior, Sunglass Hut (Oliver Peoples, Ray-Ban) Karmaloop (popular streetwear e-commerce store), Vans and Converse.

 

Initiated, planned, shot and produced 8 editorial videos to leverage on major international brands as advertising anchors intended to tap into a more lucrative advertising client base.

 

Organizations and notable people involved include BMW (Benoit Jacob, Adrian van Hooydonk), Ford (Alan Mulally, Mark Fields), Nissan, the North American International Auto Show, Behance (Scott Belsky), Ogilvy, Erwan Bourellec and Hipstamatic.

 

Recruited a team of interns to keep up with the growing workload and complexity of the position.

Organized projects and milestones for interns to accomplish, mentored them with insight and feedback on creative deliveries, identified their strengths and matched them to suitable tasks, motivated them to innovate ways to translate the new, “aspirational” AskMen look to various photo-based social media platforms.

 

Productivity and success from of the initiative was precedent setting. Peers in other departments replicated the closely mentored, focused and objective-driven interning process.

Design Freelancer
July 2011 – May 2009

Assessed, developed and designed websites, visual identity, print and online ads for clients in the food, restaurant, retail, construction and non-profit industry looking for better value alternatives to design firms.

 

Developed projects within client’s budgets. Self-initiated consistency in communication led to exceeding clients’ expectations of quality projects delivered on schedule.

SAV Technology
Graphic + Web Designer
May 2009 – August 2007

Designed website templates and marketing material for clients in retail, real estate, entertainment and small to mid-size business industries.

 

Photographed, styled and retouched product images.

 

Consistently produced deliverables on time and on budget.

 

Assessed, developed and designed websites, visual identity, print and online ads for clients in the food, restaurant, retail, construction and non-profit industry looking for better value alternatives to design firms.

 

Developed projects within client’s budgets. Self-initiated consistency in communication led to exceeding clients’ expectations of quality projects delivered on schedule.


Maisonneuve Magazine

Visual Designer
August 2007 – May 2006

Maisonneuve Magazine is Montreal’s literary magazine self-described as “the New Yorker-meets-Vice”.

 

Conceptualized and delivered magazine’s spec work for 2 major project pitches:

 

M Magazine, a monthly positioning itself as the city magazine for Montreal (like New York Magazine).

 

A publication in collaboration with IdeaCity, a Toronto broadcast media company, for its ideas festival.

 

Assigned to act as holdover manager on the abrupt departure of incumbent Art Director at a critical production phase.

 

Prioritized and managed workflow over unexpected events, filled-in functional gaps and essentials including the sourcing and selecting of cover image options under extremely short deadlines.


The Link
Arts Editor + Graphics Editor
August 2006 – January 2004

 

The Link is one of Montreal’s university news publications with a weekly circulation of 10,000 copies.

 

Mastered skills and abilities to develop an efficient workflow for producing multiple design and editorial projects on tight deadlines

 

Concurrently recruited and managed a roster of 20 freelance contributors.

 

Created relationships with key cultural organizations and people to help foster arts community at a grassroots level.

 

Assessed, developed and designed websites, visual identity, print and online ads for clients in the food, restaurant, retail, construction and non-profit industry looking for better value alternatives to design firms.

 

Developed projects within client’s budgets. Self-initiated consistency in communication led to exceeding clients’ expectations of quality projects delivered on schedule.

 

Conferences and Workshops

2018: International Conference of Asia Digital Art and Design + CUMULUS (presenter) • Typo Berlin International Design Conference • Monocle Media Summit • Monotype Brand Day

 

2017: OFFF Barcelona • Emotional Design Psychology & Neuroscience • Psychology for Digital Behavior Change

 

2016: Core77: Designing Here Now • Torino Graphic Days • Web Summit Lisbon

 

2015: Nielsen Norman Group UX

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

art direction • creative consultation, production, planning • asset management, negotiation and acquisition • contract negotiation and management • project management • staff, freelancer and resources management • diverse client / stakeholders relations experience • creativity and workflow solutions • print and online media trouble shooting • HTML + CSS / CMS • UX / UI design + research • Adobe CC • offset printing and online production • commercial photography