A snapshot of my portfolio of work, including writing, design and branding work done through freelance gigs, internships and other positions.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / THE HILLTOP
I have the distinct pleasure of serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Howard University’s award-winning student newspaper, The Hilltop. The Hilltop was co-founded by Zora Neale Hurston in 1924, and has the responsibility of “Recording History. Defining Legacy.” My job includes editing content, managing a staff of student reporters, photographers and creatives, handling day-to-day operations and overseeing brand development.
The Hilltop is published weekly, accessible digitally at TheHilltopOnline.com and discussed conversationally in the podcast “Off the Top by The Hilltop.”
For The Hilltop I have spoken with and interviewed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senator Kamala Harris, Jordan Peele, Lupita Nyong’o, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Jelani Cobb. I’ve covered events like AfroPunk, the grand opening of the National African American History and Culture Museum and on-campus happenings.
EDITOR + Creator / [texture], a hip hop jOURNAL
[TEXTURE] is a Hip Hop journal that allows me to “feel out” the culture that’s been at the foundation of all of my creative endeavors: Hip Hop. In this journal I discuss everything from the birthplace of Hip Hop to its contemporary influence on fashion, advertising and politics. Included are both analyses and personal manifestos.
I write, edit and publish [TEXTURE]. Volume I is available in print and can be read online here.
TYPe + typographer BROCHURE / FRANKLIN GOTHIC
I was tasked with creating three brochures which highlighted the history and characteristics of one of the world’s most popular typefaces: Franklin Gothic by Morris Fuller Benton.
All of the copy on each brochure is set in Franklin Gothic. I used dynamic, overlapping folds, complimentary but unexpected color combinations and reliable typesetting functions to produce impactful brochures which could work for the Type and Typographer series.
“On my mind” / the lily by the washington post
I wrote about what was “on my mind” for a new series by The Lily, by The Washington Post. “On My Mind” aims to capture the perspectives of women spanning several age ranges. I wrote about something all twenty-somethings can relate to: Instagram captions. Below is an excerpt from my piece, which you can read here.
Take a picture. Take 100 more. Narrow them down. Send them to a group chat. Wait for votes. Select the one. Ask for caption ideas. Veto a joke. Veto a meme reference. Veto a Drake lyric. Veto an inspirational quote. Beg for better ideas. Apologize for being picky. Feel embarrassed for being shallow. Post the picture. No caption. Lock your phone. Unlock your phone. Check for likes. Refresh. Check for comments. One comment.
“Oh, no caption? That’s how you feel?”
PUBLIC RELATIONS / CATCH 22
As a public relations intern, I generate buzz and earned media coverage for Catch 22, D.C.'s favorite soulful seafood restaurant. Solely responsible for creating media lists, fostering rapport with media contacts and overseeing influencer relationships with the brand. Additionally, responsible for creating social media posts and event flyers.
I’ve gotten Catch 22 in Eater DC, Thrillist and The DCist. I’ve also handled promotion for their events including their grand opening, cooking classes with our celebrity chef, Sammy Davis, and their prom giveaway promotion.
The role involves graphic design as well, as I handle special logos (left), menus and promotional materials.
LIVE IN THE LEADING / TYPOGRAPHY POSTER
To design a type-only poster that celebrated the field of typographic design, I chose to highlight a favorite quote of mine from Stefan Mumaw: “One must live in the leading— the spaces between the rules.” I went for a design style that incorporated meaning in its form, placing the words “spaces in between the rule” in the leading of the headline. Similarly “one must” is nested tightly above “live,” indicating where exactly “one must live.” The “one must” is able to be smaller because the meaning of the headline does not change if you do not read it.
Color restrictions limited the piece to black, white and red. I chose to use contrasting values of red for an unexpected take, and balanced with a sharp white. The entire poster is set in Helvetica.
To balance the space, I was sure to vary the font weight and the alignment of the copy. While the headline is bold, large and left-aligned, the body copy is light, smaller and right-justified. The rest of the space was left alone as to avoid unnecessary decorative features which did not add to the functionality of the poster.
JHENE AIKO INTERVIEW / ESSENCE MAGAZINE
In a commissioned freelance piece, I interviewed Jhené Aiko for Essence Magazine after her performance at YouTube Black Fan Fest. The YouTube event kicked off Howard Homecoming. The article also consisted of a recap of the night, which included a meet and greet with YouTube stars like Khadii and a performance from Howard University’s marching band. Below is an excerpt. The full article can be read here.
The singer-songwriter opened with one of her favorite songs to perform, “Bed Peace,” and even performed songs from her latest album, Trip.
Now a part of the historic Howard Homecoming legacy, Aiko reflected on the energy of the moment.
“I loved it, it feels like a celebration. I’m glad to be a part of it,” the 30-year-old singer told ESSENCE. “There’s a youthful energy I can appreciate [about college crowds], and tonight they were super loud.”
“I’m not really about trying to have the perfect show,” Aiko continued. “It’s really about connecting and having fun with the audience and I think we had some fun out there.”