Web Development + Design + Illustration
Summer 2018

Building a Site That Says, “AI Bots Are People Too”


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During the summer of 2018 I worked at Blackbelt, a forward-thinking marketing agency that leveraged AI technology in every process. Blackbelt had undergone rapid growth and reinvention, leaving its identity unique and compelling but jumbled and unclear. So during my time there, I reimagined their identity— adding focus, cohesion, and a human touch.

Pictured Above: A custom editorial illustration I created for Blackbelt’s online articles and various other digital materials.

Updates Ready


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The shift began with their website. As a website, it was fine. But as a means of communicating their identity, the website was disjointed and confusing to both their clients and to themselves. Blackbelt’s website was more reflective of where they came from rather than where they wanted to be.

Pictured Above: Screenshots from Blackbelt’s old website.

AI Everything


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Blackbelt firmly believed in their new AI and strategy-first approach, which meant that they needed to let go of their old content and framework. With this in mind, I re-developed their website from the ground up, emphasizing their new approach: “AI everything.”

Pictured Above: Screenshots from my re-development of Blackbelt’s website (their current website may be different from what I built).

Pen and Paper


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After Blackbelt’s new framework and identity were set in place, I created custom editorial illustrations to introduce a touch of playfulness and personality to their image, while still upholding their core mission. These illustrations featured original AI character designs and a hand-drawn style. They enlivened Blackbelt’s content and opened the opportunity for new forms of communication, including light-hearted updates within social media and more casual articles on their blog.

Pictured Above: Some editorial illustrations I did for Blackbelt as a proof of concept, a new standard, and also usable deliverables.

Our Friend, Karl the Fog


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I had a great summer in San Francisco working with the team at Blackbelt. They were quick, open-minded, welcoming, and just fun to work with. By the end of it, I really felt like I’d found a family.

The little things— like my crowded bus commutes, my lunch breaks at the Ferry Building, my late nights and early mornings— were routines that I didn’t appreciate until I left. And beyond these routines, SF offered me the coolness of its air, the variety of its neighborhoods, the can-do attitude of its people, the chaotic energy of its Chinatown, and the gentle protectiveness of its fog.

I may be East Coast at heart, but damn is it easy to miss this city.

Pictured Above: Blackbelt’s rooftop view (left), a view down the hilly streets of San Francisco (right)