May 17, 2016 - No Comments!


There are so many benefits to exercise and taking care of the body, but creativity is one benefit that is often overlooked. Because fitness is so crucial in keeping the mind sharp, it is essential to enhancing creativity.

Overall, increasing amounts of people are working all day in sedentary states and it is taking a toll on people’s abilities to focus, make decisions, and create. There are many studies that suggest that staying active helps with connecting ideas and reducing the stress that prevents people from being productive.

Most of the most creative people in the world have some form of routine that they use to generate ideas. Beethoven would take a long vigorous walk each morning with a notebook to unlock his ideas for music to write that day. Apple CEO Tim Cook starts every morning with a 5 a.m. workout.

Everyone is creative, whether you work in a “creative” industry or not, and there are many ways to improve your creativity through fitness. It’s important to stay active and avoid getting drained or feeling lethargic. Doing just 30 minutes of exercise each day will do wonders for your energy levels and productivity.

Tips for Enhancing Your Creativity:

  1. Meditate Daily: Use a guided meditation app (such as Headspace) and sit and breathe for 10-15 minutes a day. This practice helps keep thoughts clear and organized and puts you in a more thoughtful mindset rather than a reactive one.
  2. Draw and Write Every Day: Put pen to paper each day to record your thoughts, ideas, or even just to doodle. Physically laying down your thoughts on paper can relieve your brain and help your organize and clear your mind.
  3. Run! For me personally, going for a run is one of the best ways to get out and clear my head. I often get my best ideas while running and I feel completely rejuvenated after sweating it out for a few miles.
  4. Take Breaks: It’s easy to get in the groove of a workday and forget to take a breather. It’s good to allow the mind to take a break from focus and stress to avoid burnout. Having the space to allow your mind to wander will often bring about your best ideas.
  5. Stand Up: We are often working long days sitting at desks, so it’s important to get up and move once in awhile. There are even smart watches and apps available that remind you stand every hour.

Wellness affects every aspect of people’s lives. By keeping active and treating our bodies with care and respect, we improve and evolve both physically and mentally.

This article was originally published in the May edition of YEG Fitness.

May 10, 2016 - No Comments!


Last week I travelled to the great New York for a getaway and design conference.

What I love about NYC is the incredible energy and atmosphere, and there's always an endless list of things to see & do.

The main purpose of my trip, of course, was to attend the 99U Conference at the Lincoln Center. This is one of the most renowned creative conferences in North America and brings together people in creative industries from around the world.

The speaker lineup included Jason Fried of BasecampTobias Frere-Jones, a legendary type designer, Ryan Holiday, Chris Guillebeau, Tristan Walker, Yuko Shimizu and Brennan Dunn.

The conference was a great opportunity to meet other designers and learn from the stories of people that has accomplished amazing things in their career.

Screenshot 2016-06-29 16.07.35

April 18, 2016 - No Comments!


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As I continue to write on this blog, I'm also going to use it to show off some highlight projects I've worked on. This will allow me to show off more of the process that goes into my work.

In 2013, I was consulted to work on developing some new ways to refresh the Transcend Coffee brand. It had remained fairly consistent since the beginning of the company and so a bit of a refresh was needed.

The Brief
Because the packaging is the most important part of the Transcend Coffee brand and the main product, it needs to stand out from the competition. As Transcend was expanding to new wholesale customers and grocery stores across the country, it needed a unique style that will draw in new customers. The packaging should also represent the high quality of the product inside, so a high-end feel was necessary.

The Process
As I researched the packaging industry, figuring out which things work well and which features are unnecessary, I started to piece together the most effective ways to create an outstanding coffee bag. It had to be functional, aesthetically pleasing, and convey a message in a concise format.



The Solution
After reviewing four different concepts, we went with the boldest direction of the batch. This design met all of the criteria and pushed the limits with people's expectations. The bright geometric pattern stands out on any shelf and the gloss printing we used helps make it noticeable. The experience of holding the bag is heightened with a gloss overlay pattern on the back and punched out pattern on the sides. Hierarchy is used to benefit the readability of the label, with the most important information front and centre.

The bag has been a major success in both the business and public side of the company. Wholesale accounts have grew substantially and general sales increased dramatically.

The Dieline even did a feature on this! 

Joel Verhagen is a graphic designer based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada specializing in
print design, packaging design, and branding.

April 10, 2016 - No Comments!


I've learned a lot over the first two years of running my own business, but the main thing I struggle with is coping with fear. It's strange that I can't trust fear even though fear is what got me here.

When I got out of school, I had two choices - find a job or go out on my own. I chose the latter because I've always had that thirst to pave my own path. It was terrifying, and honestly, I took the safer, less daunting path because I couldn't handle the fear. Instead of dropping everything and starting a business, instead I took a year to organically build up a client base by developing relationships with people and companies. This process not only allowed me to stay afloat financially, but also allowed me to start working on projects I truly cared about. I didn't let the fear turn me away from doing what I love, and now I have plenty to show for it.

There is so much uncertainty in business because there is always the possibility of failure. I don't really know if my fear will ever go away, but it needs to be embraced and you must, as Seth Godin says, dance with it.

April 4, 2016 - No Comments!


This week, we launched the second print magazine forYEG Fitness at Audi Edmonton. After a successful inaugural edition launch at MKT back in January, we thought we would do it again with a new twist to launch the March/April magazine. Raising funds for theEdmonton WIN House, we hosted a casino night in Edmonton's glorious Audi dealership.

Putting together this magazine and releasing it to the public and been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career so far, which makes the countless hours of work worth it.

Thank you to everyone that came out to celebrate and support a good cause!

Read the March/April magazine here.