Born, raised and now studying a Bachelor of Design and Arts, majoring in Design Media in Whanganui, Jordan Erickson knows a thing or two about design, his hometown and fashion magazines.
Jordan was fulfilling his dream, studying design in Wellington. And then he pulled the plug and came home. "It wasn't right for me. Big classes, and no one really cared if I did an assignment."
Fortuitously, he arrived home as COVID-19 locked students in one-room apartments and flats for weeks in New Zealand's central cities. "I escaped before COVID and joined the team at Hunting & Fishing – it was good to be home," he said. "Then, after a year and a half, I was ready to hit the books again, this time at UCOL Whanganui."
In the final months of his third year, he completed the rebrand of the Whanganui Business Awards and is now waiting for his rebrand of the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce to be unveiled.
In January, Helen Garner took over the reins of the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce which was established in 1887.
"Last year, the Chamber Board agreed to rebrand the Chamber to better reflect the mahi we do now."
With UCOL Te Pūkenga being a strategic partner of the Chamber, Helen was aware of the emerging talent coming through and reached out.
"It's been four years since our last business awards due to COVID-19, and a lot has changed. I thought it was time for a refresh and celebration," she said.
Helen also contacted David Silvester of Liquid Edge, a Chamber member, to help support Jordan. "David guided Jordan through the design phase and developing brand guidelines."
Jordan's origami star design is bold and optimistic and is the key feature of the Business Awards – there'll be a large origami gold star at the awards – "it'll be the perfect backdrop for photos," said Helen.
With the design of the awards being well received by the Chamber's Board, Helen asked Jordan if he'd take on the Chamber's brand as a whole.
"The mahi that the Chamber of Commerce does with businesses across our city, district and neighbouring districts is changing. I asked Jordan to reflect the positive enthusiasm evident in our city and district."
He's done a fantastic job, and the new look will be launched at a Chamber event in October.
Jordan said he wanted to continue the brand's connection with the Whanganui River while introducing a more modern look and optimistic colours.
"We get some cool sunsets here; the new colours in the brand are all there in our sunsets."
Senior Lecturer – Design, Andrés Salinas, said Jordan has brought design, light and colour together.
"He has given the Chamber a modern, optimistic look while reflecting history and the awa."
Jordan said it was the first time he had created a brand guide document. "Fonts and imagery trademarked – it's all new to me, thanks to Dave at Liquid Edge, who helped me out. In the past, I've made logos before and put them on tee shirts. But that's not the real world. It's about fonts, typeface, and checking to ensure they work in New Zealand and that you can use macrons for Te Reo Māori."
"Now, I'm wanting to see the printed work. I need to see it printed, to know the colours work on paper as they do online."
Helen says we'll have to wait to see the new brand, along with everyone else, as it'll be launched at one of the many Chamber events next month.
Jordan says life studying a bachelor's degree in Whanganui is pretty cool. "We kind of keep an eye on each other when you're in a class of ten, and we talk to each other about our work."
You will see Jordan's mahi on display at UCOL Te Pūkenga | Whanganui in the Atrium later this year.
His work will be alongside his fellow students work – final display exhibition for third year Bachelor of Design and Arts ākonga | students – check out the UCOL Te Pūkenga Facebook page or Instagram account for dates.
As for the future, Jordan expects he'll head back to Wellington and his love of fashion and magazines will be central to the work he does with his Bachelor of Design and Arts under his belt.
Nominations for the Whanganui Business Awards close on Friday, 23 September 2022 and the Awards dinner is on Saturday 5 November 2022.