By Tatiana Tarrio
This past Friday I had the privilege of meeting with members of California State University of Long Beach marketing team. This allowed me to see behind the scenes and an insight on the rebranding that has been sweeping through the campus over the past couple years. Over the course of the day I was able to meet with the associate vice president, Andy Hoang, digital media producer, Michael Sullivan, photographer, Sean Dufrene, and lead art director Jorge L. Hurtado. Each with different backgrounds, experiences, yet all with similar goals for their work and mindsets.
Jorge L. Hurtado described it as “ equivalent to a marketing agency.” Each of them represent the student body and all have the goal of sharing their stories, each in their own unique way and evaluating the school. Hurtado as the Lead Art Director helps to steer the direction of visuals. “ As a team of designers we can come up with an idea of what we want to do, but at the end of the day we all disperse,” said Hurtado. “In the end everything looks different, everybody takes their own direction.” One idea can be represented in many different variations. Hurtado’s goal for the university visuals are to be confident, elegant and consistent. As an alumni from the university he has especially seen the vast changes that have shaped the campus we see today.
Once the new idea has been decided the photographer and digital media producer shape their visions. As the digital media producer Michael Sullivan creates the videos. “ My favorite part is being able to play with cameras and computers all day,” said Sullivan. He spends an average of 6 - 8 hours a day on the computer editing videos, animating pictures, such as the one posted on CSULB’s Instagram with the paddle boarder and the water moving. He hopes to tell interesting stories that inspire people, which is much simpler due to the variety on campus. He hopes to do this by capturing people's eye through email or social media. Similarly Sean Dufrene, photographer, evokes stories through pictures. “ This entire university is like a blank canvas and their just always stories to be told,” said Dufrene. Like Sullivan, Dufrene enjoys the diversity on campus,“ you have different shapes, genders, colors of skin, and hairstyles.” Similar to Sullivan Dufrene wants to capture the eye of the audience through his work. Get them to grab a magazine, analyze the picture and become intrigued to read the article. Hook the reader to want to the look at the picture over and over again. See things they didn’t see at first. “ I want to create imagery that makes people not want to throw away a magazine. I want it to sit on their coffee table, said Dufrene.”
Along with Hurtado, Andy Hoang works closely to create the idea. Finally, after the vision had been chosen and the imagery is created it will be inspected by Hoang. Some of his goals are to build the brand and build relationships through digital media. He’s ultimate goal for CSULB is for it to be elevated to the level of a UCLA or USC. When people think about CSULB they will hold it to a high regard as those universities. Through the rebranding of the school Hoang has played a giant role into what the school will look like. One of the criterias stories has to pass is the emotion they evoke in people. He wants people to love it or hate it. If someone feels indifferent then they have failed. Hoang helps keep the image consistent and reinforces the brand.
At any given time the team can be working on multiple projects from the magazine, to an event, to sports. There is always an opportunity for a story. With the project, Imagine Beach 2030 and all the rebranding, CSULB will not be the same campus we see today. “ All the visual changes that you see are going to have a huge impact in the next few years. It’s not only going to change the way the university looks, but how we see ourselves, how Long Beach sees itself,” said Hurtado.
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