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AMPLIFY: WOMXN AUDIO ENGINEERS 

UX RESEARCH, BRANDING, PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO EDITING, PRINT PRODUCTION
WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

PROJECT:

Amplify was an exercise in designing a multi-faceted event for a specific demographic. I chose to focus on Womxn Audio Engineers.

TEAM:

Sophica Greif: Assistant, Photographer

PROBLEM:

Womxn working in professional audio make up just 5% of all audio engineers.
As a womxn musician, I have first hand experience with the exclusive and male-dominated nature of music fields. Having fem friends who mix sound, run live shows, produce and record audio, and are hosts on radio and podcast shows, I felt the need to create an event that could not only unite womxn of sound and provide a safe learning space.

SOLUTION:

Create an annual event that foster inclusive workshops and speakers in a friendly environment that would help forge life long friendships and work connections. With the help of my feedback team of 11 womxn in audio engineering, I was able to brand a mock-up event that will serve as a prototype for a future event in Bellingham. By getting together and talking about audio engineering and how it feels to be a womxn in this profession, many womxn in the group were able to connect and share experiences. 

COLLECTION:

I started by photographing a local sound enginneer at a session she was mixing at Champion Studios. I used these photographs to inform my icons and used my tablet to draw her and her surroundings. These drawings appear in the brochure and the poster I made. I shadowed local enginneer’s doing live-sound at both The Shakedown and at Make.shift in Bellingham. This gave me an idea of what sound engineers do during live shows and the general skills that sound womxn need to be able to perform.

SKETCHES:

I used my photographs to inform my icons and later, used my tablet to draw her and her surroundings. These drawings appear in the brochure and the poster I made. 

IDEATION:

This stage was a combination of working with the feedback group and also working within my timeline to create compelling and meaningful branding for the event. Along with the help of Sophia Grief, I met up with sound engineers at a local event space to discuss the branding and overall needs of the event. Sophia took notes and wrote up comments and ideas on a big sheet of paper. I asked questions to the group about what they wanted out of the event in terms of speakers, workshops, gear, swag, and overall feel of the event. This session heavily influenced my ideation for the branding and I changed many of my initial choices on workshops and speakers through the feedback I received. The womxn wanted to feel comfortable and not like the event was branded specifically towards women (pink or “girly”). They voiced that the event should be LGBTQ friendly and support womxn of color. Much of my branding was intended to cater to a wide variety of womxn, and to showcase their vibrancy and dedication.

DELIVERABLES:

For my final product, I presented a 4-panel Z fold brochure, with a poster on the backside. I made psd mockups of ID Cards that would be used at the event to denote beginners vs advanced tracks that the event could use as a way to give people a suggested itinerary. Along with the brochure I made a promo video for the event as a sort of teaser trailer, which you can view here!

IMPLEMENTATION:

Although this event has yet to be implemented, I presented the finished project to both my class and to the eleven womxn in our audio engineering group. I received a lot of positive feedback on the poster/brochure and overall branding for the event. I created a facebook group for Womxn Audio Engineers, and am excited to work with this group to create an actual event in Bellingham that will be modeled off of my mock-up event. Because of my work on this project, I was able to reach out and connect womxn of audio together in Bellingham, and to foster a conversation about how to better equip and help encourage more womxn to get into the Bellingham audio engineer scene.



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Whitney Flinn 2018 — Bellingham, WA