Lincoln summers are pretty hot. And Nicholas Morrison thinks a nuVibe smoothie could save your life.
The senior business and graphic design major is a little biased, though, because he started working as a barista at the local juice and java hotspot about a year ago.
Morrison’s friend, graphic design major Tanner Deming, already worked at nuVibe, and his designer’s eye quickly noticed that the company’s promotional materials and social media pages used generic stock images. “I thought using our own photos could help us with our reach, so I did a shoot on my own and gave the photos to the manager,” said Deming.
Pleasantly surprised, nuVibe owners Thad and Colleen Potratz asked Morrison and Deming to do a full menu shoot and a complete brand redesign.
“Thad and Colleen knew Tanner and I were studying graphic design so they brought us in to make their vision happen and also brought in a friend of theirs to do more of the coding we weren’t able to do,” Morrison explained.
Neither Morrison nor Deming thought they would have a chance to work on a rebrand when they started mixing juices at nuVibe, but appreciated the opportunity. “I hadn’t taken photography classes at Union yet, so I felt nervous about the big photo shoot,” said Deming. “However, I think sometimes as designers, we see certain skills in the field we may not have learned in classes, yet because of those classes we know how to learn those skills ourselves, which is so valuable.”
“I was new to nuVibe and I wanted to do a good job, but hadn’t really done a lot with web design yet.” Morrison was taking a web design class at Union that semester, which helped too. “While I wasn’t experienced enough yet to do a lot of the coding myself, at least not quickly, that understanding helped me know what was possible and how to communicate our ideas to the coder on our team.”
For Morrison, the opportunity to redesign felt like a true step into the professional world. “It was cool because for the first time I felt like a ‘professional’ because they treated us as such,” he said. “They asked for our input, expertise and ideas. Sometimes I answered questions I didn’t think I even knew the answers to.”
After months of collaboration, the team’s work has paid off. “The website is fully functional now and it’s just a matter of updating, refining and adding features as they come up,” said Deming.
Both Deming and Morrison are happy with the results and thankful for the opportunity to learn and work on projects outside of the classroom setting. “The amount of freedom the owners gave us made it so easy and fun to work on this project with them,” said Morrison. “We really felt like we were doing something that mattered and would help their vision for nuVibe become a reality. It’s just awesome to be included in the process, both as a barista and a designer.”
By Danica Eylenstein, student writer