Strategy and creative production for TechHire Oakland's brand refresh.


TechHire Oakland leads greater Oakland’s role in the national TechHire movement, an initiative of the Obama White House. Their mission is to guide underrepresented East Bay residents of color to rewarding careers in tech.

Tech Hire Oakland is working to place 1k+ community members in paid emerging tech internships, apprenticeships and jobs by 2020. They asked Vanessa Koch and I to help them with a strategic refresh of their brand and as an Oakland resident, I jumped at the chance to think creatively about a project that directly impacts my local community. 

As a team, our goals were to:

  • Make TechHire Oakland a go-to place for any East Bay resident who is trying to break into tech

  • Build a brand system that stands out among other TechHire cities and speaks and visually communicates in a way that feels distinctly Oakland 

Visual style explorations

Visual style explorations

Acting Oaklandish

Oakland is a city with deep historical significance and unique culture. For inspiration, we were able to draw from the tension of Oakland being both the radical nest of the Black Panthers, and almost-home of the tech giant Uber. 

Oakland is a home to entrepreneurs, creatives, and artists ... and has an expanding tech ecosystem that's distinctly different from neighboring San Francisco. In our design explorations, we wanted to merge the innovation, diversity, and industrial elements that are essential to city culture. 

The Community in Photos

We brought in Adrian Walker to help capture members of the broader Tech Hire Oakland community and bring their stories to life through photo. I art directed a shoot that emphasized both the eventual work environments of a Tech Hire fellow and urban locations that are uniquely Oakland.



Vanessa Koch, my wonderful Paladar Studio co-founder, led all design work. Vanessa also happens to be a brilliant artist, and decided to get her hands dirty and personally paint some of the elements you see here. 

Adrian Walker is a Oakland-based artist and photographer whose current work is inspired by his investigations of the black body and dynamics of the black family. His work elicits an appreciation of urban environments and the people who inhabit them. He was everything I could have asked for in a collaborator on this shoot. 

Alexandara Walters of Pro-JTK in Berlin brought this work together on the web for Tech Hire.

And a big thank you to Kirsten Lundgren, the fearless leader of Tech Hire Oakland, for being an generous creative partner throughout the process.