Manifest Urban Arts Festival '13

Columbia College Chicago’s annual end of the year urban arts festival, Manifest, is a student-powered event and features graduating students’ showcases, live musical performances, film screenings, gallery shows, lectures, readings, and various other activities. The event is open to the public and spread throughout Columbia’s buildings in the Loop of downtown Chicago. Several large name groups have played at Manifest including Ozomatli in 2005, Lupe Fiasco in 2007, and OK Go in 2008. At the 2013 festival, Chance the rapper headlined the final performance of the day. Every year, a competition is held to find the next creative director and out of about 50 applicants, my initial designs won the public vote and I was chosen to brand Manifest.

Columbia College Chicago

Creative Director, Graphic Designer, Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop

Manifest wordmark with a simpler star.

I developed the look and feel for the entire brand, which included the color palette, typography, pattern, wordmark, logo, posters, postcards, sticker set, button graphics, tee shirts, lanyards, billboards, and window displays. In addition, I also art directed the festival day of signage and decor for the student booths and alumni events.

The concept for the Manifest 2013 campaign was based on the many different “layers” an individual can have. I drew inspiration from my personal identities as an immigrant, Vietnamese woman who was raised in Oklahoma City. Almost everyone I met at Columbia had such intricate identities too and I felt the best way to showcase these layers was to design a brand that utilized photography, illustration, iconography, and typography together in a fresh and fun way. The result is a colorful identity that allows you to play around with different elements to create individual pieces that stand out on their own, but work perfectly together.

Logo with ornamental star in 3 different color schemes. The MANIFEST typeface, Nilland, was chosen because of the interesting directions of the letters’ serifs. It’s bold weight and square tittle above the “i” lends itself to the sharper edges of the star. Quicksand, the second typeface, matched the rounded shapes in the brand’s constellation pattern.

Hype poster, designed to be hung up around campus to promote excitement.

Save the date postcard (blue) and Alumni Celebration card (patterned).

Alumni Celebration card (left), Shop Columbia blank customizable card (center), Shop Columbia coloring card (right).


When Manifest was founded, the star was chosen as the symbol to represent all the wildly creative and talented students that graduate from Columbia. Upon doing some research, I saw that past star designs were always solid, so I set out to reimagine a star that has a little more pizzaz. I used the constellation pattern and shapes and layered them together.

Patterned banners for student organization booths.

Large billboard banners for the day of.