Graphic Design Seniors

Lydia Bickal, class of 2015

July 29, 2017


The project

Welcome to The North is the full branding campaign surrounding this new region of the United States. Its highlights include a kit of starter products, an event to bring people together, and a social media platform to keep everyone informed and excited. It began with research, including personal testimonials and hand-written surveys. These quick questionnaires asked Minnesotans simple things like what they do for fun in the winter and more involved questions like how they would convince someone new to move into their chilly climate.

The information was gathered and processed into infographics and a detailed book, showcasing what makes Minnesota different and inherently special. That was then used to form a clear regional identity and full fleshed-out brand for The North. The starter kit of physical products was created to give people the essentials for becoming a Northerner and to give them a taste of what The North looked like visually. It had everything from a chic and cozy flannel for staying warm, to a set of coasters for a locally brewed beer. 

A “Flannel Friday” event brought the believers together and it was all captured on social media with #flannelfridaynorth. The social media campaign not only highlights the event, but the products and prideful people as well. Northerners are encouraged to host their own Flannel Friday events at work or with friends to keep the tradition alive and help it spread across the region. Welcome to The North is the comprehensive collection of all the things that have happened for The North so far, but leaves room growth after this initial launch of the brand.



Lydia's advice

1. Choose a thesis topic that you care about. It’s a lot easier to motivate yourself to work when you’re doing working towards something that has meaning for you. 

2. Set your own deadlines and stick to them. Know yourself and set realistic goals, and then do everything you can to meet them on time.

3. Leave time to experiment. Don’t get too set in your ways early on, eliminating any room for change. Give your project room to breathe and push yourself to try new things.

4. Go outside your comfort zone. Don’t always make the safe choice. Something you’ve never tried could be the best solution.



Lydia is currently a designer at Colle + McVoy in Minneapolis.
See more of her work at