UX and Visual Designer
13-AKP-0633 2014 Directory No Crop Small_Page_001_thumb.jpg

Case Study: Alaska Power Directory

APA Membership Directory



We used an unusual process for this project. The client supplied us with the winning image of their annual member photo contest. Each of three designers, myself included, used the image to create a distinct cover design. The client then selected a cover, mine this year, which meant I was the senior designer on the project for the rest of the 130+ page directory.


In our initial meetings with the client they let us know that this year they were interested in something a bit more flashy than previous editions, which had stayed fairly safe in terms of color palettes and design elements. We all took this as license to push the boundaries of what you'd usually expect from a boring utilities directory.

I cropped and tweaked the colors of the original image and revived an unused geometric vector overlay style I developed for a different project. I presented my cover with three palettes to our internal project manager--a safe, photorealistic one, a moderately changed one, and the selected extreme version on the left. 

After the cover was selected, the next step was to develop the table of contents and layout system. Though we had an excellent framework based on previous versions, we knew that we wanted to reinforce the established structure with color and integrate the geometric graphics without overwhelming the content. Below are some interior pages that demonstrate how we achieved those goals.


When we wrapped the project near the end of 2013, the client was thrilled. Her favorite thing was that she should actually find it on her desk! She was also pleased that all of the information was easily tracked down, thanks to the color coding system and clear, consistent typographic hierarchy. Overall we exceeded the client's expectations in developing a fun, friendly directory that stood out from the crowd without sacrificing usability.