Welcome to the online portfolio of Nic Oliver, a graphic designer & web developer located in Vancouver, BC.
Look down thereto check out my web, graphic, and motion work, or
Using HTML and CSS that conforms to web standards, I develop websites from the ground up. The first, and most important, step is planning. This includes making sketches and wireframes based on the site requirements and design concept.are created to get a feel for what the finished design will be like. The best web technologies for the job are selected and then the design is coded to life.
Urbanscape Design is a landscape architecture company operating out of Vancouver, BC. The project was to develop a portfolio website and blog to showcase the company's work. A responsive design strategy was chosen, allowing the maximum amount of screen real estate to be utilized to display the portfolio images, while optimizing the experience for tablet and mobile devices. The site is built in WordPress and uses the jQuery library to facilitate animations and interactivity.
Drawn to Learn is a literary resource for children and parents of young children. A custom Wordpress theme was developed for the website.
I like Flash because it allows the creation of unique user experiences and adds interactivity to my designs. Using timeline animation, ActionScript 3.0 and a dash of creativity, something ordinary can be transformed into something extraordinary.
This image gallery was built in Flash using ActionScript 3.0. Several custom classes were constructed for the gallery's structure. The photos are all stored externally and handled by an XML file, which contains the image descriptions and title attributes. This makes it so easy to update, even grandma could do it.
Prototyping is a critical part in my web design process. It starts with pencil and paper sketches – my sketchbooks are filled with chicken scratch of grid layouts, box models, wireframes and mock-up sketches. Depending on the design's level of complexity, a number of digital prototypes are built in Photoshop and Illustrator. The final high-fidelity prototype is a visual representation of what the completed design will look and feel like, before any coding happens.
Every graphic design project presents a unique set of challenges. What stays the same, is finding an effective way to communicate a message. I usually start with a sketchbook and let all my ideas flow onto the page regardless of how awesome or terrible they are. Ideas get refined and then make the jump into the digital world for some computer lovin'.
The Node brand identity project involved the creation of a logo, business card, letterhead and mail-out flyer. The concept was strength in simplicity, which is reflected in the geometric typeface and simple lines.
The goal of this project was to create poster whose main elements are composed of type. I chose the Futura typeface and was inspired by a certain vodka brand.
Along with the website, a handbill was created to promote ulla's opening. The light fixtures in the restaurant were the inspiration for the imagery on the back side of the bill.
This is a redesign of a Lady Gaga CD cover. The goal of the project was to use a retro style, but not lose the feeling of the original CD cover.
Some of my sources of artistic inspiration come from old photographs, Japanese woodcuts and culture, and Vancouver's scenic views. Learning a new set of techniques and then applying them to digital artwork is a perfect exercise in the creative process. I love it when skills and creativity come together and make something awesome. Everything shown here was created for print.
This piece was created using old photos of my grandfather. He was a rear-gunner for the RAF in a Lancaster bomber during WWII. I can't even begin to imagine how intense that experience would have been. When I saw the original photos, I knew I wanted to make something to honor him. Photoshop was used to prepare the old photos and then they were imported to Illustrator.
I love Japanese culture and art. This piece was created as a final project for my Illustrator class, so no Photoshop could be used. I had fun making brushes for the mask's hair, and getting detail in the fish scales with multiple pattern fills and blending modes.
Another Japanese inspired piece, I saw a woodcut by the artist Hiroshige and wanted to recreate that type of piece using vector illustration.
This image was created by capturing three frames at three separate exposures. The nine images were then processed in Photomatix Pro to achieve three separate HDR images. Finally, the images were stitched together using Adobe Photoshop and everything was desaturated except for the red barges.
Designs for digital display. These were never intended to make the jump from pixel to paper.
This project involved the creation of a theme for an HTC Android Smartphone. The theme had to be related to the environment. I thought the northern lights would make a nice looking Smartphone theme, so I used that as a starting point and then designed all the icons and overall feel of the theme around that.
Adobe After Effects is like Photoshop on steroids.
This is a short commercial for a fictional mountain bike company. It uses 3D layers to gain a sense of depth in the animation.
The 3D simlation effect is made by slicing an image into the layers of fore, mid, and background, and then importing the file to After Effects. The layers are then positioned in 3D space and a camera is animated through them. This animation project was made with photos from the Whistler Bike Park website. They are being used solely for artistic purposes.
Kinetic typography piece created as a school project. Please note that the use of the Camel brand and the sound recording was purely for artistic purposes.
I design stuff, mostly for the web. My macbook pro is my weapon of choice. But, I have other interests too. I love spending time in the great outdoors. I feel most alive when I'm on a mountain bike or a snowboard, which is a big factor in why I choose to call Vancouver home. I'm an avid home cook. Making a trip to the market and finding inspiration in fresh produce to create something delicious is the tops.
My passion for New Media and Design comes from an interest in computers and an artistic background in ceramics and visual art. I love both the graphic design and coding aspects of web design because they each require a unique type of problem solving, which I find highly rewarding.
I really like sushi.
My design toolbox.