Tag Archives: Victoria

An industry ahead of the rest

13 Mar

Contextually rich communications. Advanced technological applications. Early adoption of emerging technologies. Augmented reality.

Does any particular industry come to mind? How about the Health Care industry?

Augmented reality (AR) has applications in the diagnosis as well as the treatment of disease, and has assisted in the professional medical community for over 10 years.

AR’s interactive imaging helps doctors accurately visualize their patient’s insides – and I mean their patient’s actual insides. Various scans can be combined with each other and then be projected onto their patient to allow doctors and surgeons a completely non-invasive look inside.

AR is also applied to medical communications and education. Genzyme, a biotech company used AR to demonstrate the risks of taking calcium-based binders. Schools are now also using AR to help students visualize the systems of the body, and understand their functions.

I could talk about the exciting marking, branding, and advertising opportunities in medical communications, because you’re right, there are many. But the opportunity that excites me the most is the chance to make the lives of patients and caretakers a lot less stressful, and maybe a little more fun.

AR on the patient level could provide additional support on administering drugs or treatments and injury rehabilitation. As patients we are often bombarded with more info than we’re capable of retaining (I know I struggle to remember even a quarter of it just a little while later). AR markers added to medical product packaging, informational brochures, and patient starter kits would provide instant follow-up demonstrations, instructions, and support for patients and caretakers.

The organization that can also infuse some entertainment (read: fun) into the experience, as well as some subtle-but-effective branding wins all the prizes.

Are there other ways we can create shared-value with customers using AR? Where are the opportunities for businesses and organizations in Victoria?

(photo courtesy of Medical Augmented Reality)


Into The Wild

26 Jan

This time last year I was preparing to finish my last year of design school. While most days were spent worrying about project deadlines and final presentations, I also remember being clouded by thoughts regarding what I was to do once I was forced to leave this comfy nest called art school. Where will I work? How will I get there? Where do I start?

A year later, now three weeks into my role as Art Director, I thought I’d look back at what I’ve learned since then and see if I can’t share it with the next crop of students. Having just gone into the wild – here are a few tips that worked for me and a few more I didn’t get the chance to try.


Often times people would say to me “Victoria is so small that all the good design jobs are taken”. The way I see it, the smaller the town the easier it should be to stand out amongst the crowd. So before you decide to pack up and move to that neighbouring metropolis, remember: you have to ability to make a mark in your small town, too. Find out exactly what your dream job is and make it your goal. Stay optimistic and keep focused. The unfortunate reality is that as time passes your competition will slowly drop out of the race. If you manage to outlast you’ll start to move up the ladder.


Don’t sit idle between dropping off resumes. Do something to get your work noticed. Start a design blog and post local content, re-design your school newsletter and offer to maintain it, pitch your designs to companies you admire. Take a chance and don’t be afraid to be shot down. Sure you could get rejected, and at first you probably will – but if you’re lucky you might at least gain a pro’s insight regarding your work. While these ideas might not get you paid, they’re all are great steps towards growing your portfolio with real world experience.


Don’t stress this one. Networking will come naturally, if you’re here reading this blog then you’re already doing it. Because most jobs aren’t advertised, networking can be your best bet to get your foot in the door. Consider a student membership to the Graphic Designers of Canada. Your local chapter has dozens of social events each year. Why not start by volunteering to check coats or take tickets at an event? These events are meant to be fun, so relax. Nobody’s there to interview you, try to have fun and enjoy yourself. Your personality should be on show, not your portfolio.


Get to know any potential employers in your area. Navigate your way through the company, introduce yourself to the staff, find out what the mood around the office is like. Now the fun part – don’t just tell potential employers that you’re creative, show them!  Go a step further by customizing a package based on what you’ve learned. Put aside the typical resume. Try a website, video or DVD portfolio.


Now is the perfect time to start seeking out internships, scholarships and awards. Internships are your best bet for work right now, it’s how mostly all designers start.

Check Applied Arts, Communication Arts and Adobe for student awards. They’re a great way to get regional and even worldwide recognition for your work. Another benefit of the GDC is that they’ll do much of the work for you. A student membership gives you access to up-to-date job/internship postings, scholarships and awards info.

Get yourself a website to showcase your work but keep it simple, and remember when it comes to a portfolio it’s always quality over quantity. Be sure to replace old pieces with new ones as your skills progress. And if your web skills aren’t up to snuff yet, there’s plenty of easy-to-use portfolio sites out there. Try Behance , Carbon Made or Cargo Collective.


You’d be surprised what opportunities that might arise from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to access all three. Each one is different, so learn which to use for particular content. They’re a great way to engage with people, and give them a reason to follow you. Share unique content specific to you: your opinions, your portfolio pieces, and discussions that you’re taking part in.

Thanks for reading, I hope that helps. I’ve included my icon pack for download if you’d like them for personal use. For now you can get to know us @YourCopeland. We love students.

How Social Media woke up sleepy little Victoria

2 Sep

Start with a beautiful time-warped seaside town (19th century England for the model), with a large and growing retirement community. Add in an old boy’s network that for decades has had its liver-spotted hands wrapped around the throat of the City, so that things like city planning, social networks and business communities are dominated by the same established voices.

Sprinkle in a prodigal son/daughter phenomenon, that sees disgruntled children heading off to more vibrant and forward thinking communities in their callow youth, only to return with their own families more or less espousing their parents conservative view of the way things should stay the same here, thereby extending the cycle.


And there’s old Victoria for you.

Now, spread a layer of emerging social media networks over the top and you end up with a remarkably different flavour.

As Janis La Couvée commented on our blog yesterday, Victoria has an active culture of people who have used Twitter to meet face to face. This has created the counter-culture business community that the old boys’ network has no part in: they don’t even get it, let alone like it.

All of a sudden, it’s a new game:

  • Tweetups are regular and well-attended.
  • Paul Holmes led a push – and succeeded – to have June 30th declared Social Media day by Mayor Dean Fortin.
  • Social Media Camp on October 3rd is going to be huge.
  • Our Twestivals out-pull Vancouver’s.

The result is a dynamic new vibe led by people who embrace growth, challenge, change and collective spirit…and they don’t even have proper names: b_west, RussLoL, cpudan, lacouvee, footbutterguy, YukariP, tpholmes, Rod_Phillips…these are some of the new voices of influence in our town.

Victoria is leading the way for communities across the country. Not a bad place to be as the digital worm turns!

No way on a two-way

19 May

After over 40 years, the city of Victoria is contemplating returning Fort Street from a one-way back to a two-way street. The Times Colonist has covered the story, and mentions that a primary reason for the proposition is to increase traffic flow for the area business. It’s certainly a theory that it could work. But at what cost?
Fort Street is currently three lanes plus a bike lane. In order to cram a fourth lane in, something has to go. Certainly they can’t remove the parking spots – that would certainly deter shoppers – so the bike lane would be cut. In a world that is promoting green-friendly travel versus the dependency on fossil fuels, adding more traffic in lieu of bikes seems a bit back-asswords doesn’t it? Suggestions for beautification of the area have been proposed, and would certainly benefit the situation.
The online comments feed is filling up quickly with locals weighing in. It will be interesting to see with the addition of the Times Colonist on Twitter and Facebook whether feedback will stream from those sources. Will it be enough for the council to stop and listen to the masses? What is your take on the topic?

More green means less green

27 Nov

Today in the Times Colonist I read about BC Transit reviewing their transit fares and proposing fare adjustments scheduled for April 1, 2010. They want to increase their adult monthly bus pass to $90. What?? That is an increase of $16.75 from the $73.25 it is now. The increase in adult tickets and the fare itself is not too bad. Regular fare now is $2.25 but could increase to $2.50.

Fares have been frozen since April 2007, and during that time transit demand has gone up and the amount of service has grown by 13%. That is great for our economy, environment, and BC Transit. But why have such a big increase in price in one fell swoop? I think you should increase the monthly bus pass amount a few dollars at a time.

There are various reasons as to why people take the bus and a few are: they can’t afford a car, they want to keep the pollution down, they don’t drive, or they do have a car but work downtown and parking is too expensive daily, so it is more affordable to take the bus.

I work downtown and take the bus. I do not want to pay for gas, maintenance of the car, and parking each day of the week.  I think that taking the bus meets my budget and it is an easy form of transportion for me to get around.

I personally think that by such a high raise in fares at one time you may find that people won’t take the bus and you will see a decrease in ridership.

BC Transit wants to hear your comments by December 14, 2009 before the Victoria Regional Transit Commission members meet in January 2010 to discuss the fare proposal. You can fill out a survey and read more at www.bctransit.com, just click on Victoria.