I am a brand designer, ethnographic filmmaker and educator with a passion to help project the authentic voices of people I work with.

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Visual Story Practice + Workshops
I am a brand strategy designer and documentary maker who teaches courses and workshops in branding and visual storytelling. My expertise is articulating the purpose of stories and visually communicating their messages. My passion is helping my clients and students project the authentic voices of their brands and stories. 
Shirin Raban
Shirin Raban
USC Graduation MVA Visual Anthropology Cohort
USC Graduation MVA Visual Anthropology Cohort
with David Carson at AIGA Conference
with David Carson at AIGA Conference
with Prof. Paula DiMarco
with Prof. Paula DiMarco
with Michael Dooley, speaker at CSUN
with Michael Dooley, speaker at CSUN
with Paula Scher at AIGA Conference
with Paula Scher at AIGA Conference
with Students at LACMA
with Students at LACMA
at Saban Theatre
at Saban Theatre
with Gemma O'Brien at Adobe Max
with Gemma O'Brien at Adobe Max
with CSUN Design Communication Colleagues
with CSUN Design Communication Colleagues
with Students at the Broad
with Students at the Broad
3D Printing Workshop for CSUN Students at Tool Box LA
3D Printing Workshop for CSUN Students at Tool Box LA
3D Printing Experiments at CSUN Packaging
3D Printing Experiments at CSUN Packaging
2018 Winner Cultural Feature Documentary Award
2018 Winner Cultural Feature Documentary Award
Visual Story Practice
Contact me for new projects and collaborations:
shirin.raban@icloud.com
At UCLA Extension and Cal State Northridge, I teach courses in the history and practice of graphic design, portfolio preparation and career building. In 2010 and 2017 I received the UCLA Extension Design Communication Art's Outstanding Instructor Award. I have served as the UCLA Extension-AIGA Student Group Faculty Adviser, and on the board of Los Angeles Youth Orchestra and Adat Shalom.
I received an MVA in visual anthropology from USC and a BA in graphic design from Cal State University Northridge. For over fifteen years, I have collaborated with marketing and technology teams of national and international brands in the role of designer and art director to create integrated branding and package design for products and services. My branding design client list includes fortune 500 companies such as Fox, Mattel, Herbalife, Korbel Champagne, and startup and ethnic companies including The Daily Shake, Sadaf Mediterranean Foods, Okami and Chef Select Asian Foods. The package designs I created for Sadaf Halva won the American Graphic Design Award for Branding and Packaging. My designs for Okami Japanese Seafood were published in the Big Book of Packaging.
I make films about culture, identity, art and education. My ethnographic documentary, “The Fifth Question,” on the evolving cultural identity of first generation immigrants in postmodern Los Angeles won the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Award (HIIDA) and was screened at USC School of Cinematic Arts, USC Casden Institute and UCLA Near Eastern Studies. My latest film, "Between the Shells" is about the story of a Jewish Iranian artist who lived through WWII, the Islamic Revolution in Iran and migration to the United States. It broadcast on Jewish Life Television and was recognized as official selection at the Lift Off, Film Girl, YoFiFest and Cine Tornado Film Festivals. I am currently working on a new documentary about an Iranian Jewish general who served before and after the Islamic Revolution, and ultimately immigrated to the United States. 
In 2015, I created the promotional short film, "VAPAE: The Making of a Teaching Artist" for the UCLA Arts and Architecture Art Teaching Minor program. 
Visual Story Workshops
To participate in workshops contact me:
shirin.raban@icloud.com
During Covid times, all workshops take place through live Zoom sessions. Workshops are limited to 15 students.
Ongoing Workshops:
Individual Mentorship
This is a focused opportunity for visual arts students who are interested in articulating their career path strategy and exploring their creative voice. Through questioning, research, idea generation and design development, the student creates unique and effective portfolio pieces.  
Creative Practice Workshop
This is an ongoing advanced creative workshop where students and instructor work on their personal projects side by side and benefit from the critique and collaboration of each other.  Workshop is open by invitation only to students who have completed at least 12 "individual mentorship" sessions or 4 of the above workshops.
Summer Workshops: 
Six sessions at three hours each
Your Brand Story
This is a great opportunity for visual arts students and professionals to discover and articulate their career intentions.  Students create an effective and memorable pitch that aligns their strengths with their employers/clients of choice. 
Portfolio Piece Design
In this workshop students create one portfolio piece based on their personal portfolio needs. The prerequisite to this workshop is two individual mentorship sessions or "Your Brand Story" workshop. 
Visual Storytelling
Students use their smart phone cameras to explore a topic of their interest. They learn how to edit their photo/film footage into a meaningful short film. All you need is a smart phone.  
Visual Story Making
This is an advanced creative workshop where students write a short story and bring it to life through a handmade book or short film. Prior knowledge of graphic design, typography or illustration is recommended.
Film Title Design
This is an advanced creative workshop where students design a film title for an existing or fictional movie or television show. Students must already have film/motion graphics software skills. Working knowledge of Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator are recommended.
THE BIG BOOK OF PACKAGING (2011)
​Published package design for Okami Foods
AMERICAN GRAPHIC DESIGN AWARD 2008
​Branding & Package Design for Sadaf Foods Halva
Client Testimonials
“I was lucky enough to work with Shirin at Mattel and found her to be a top-notch creative with great design, branding and packaging knowledge. She's filled with innovative ideas and is always willing to go that extra mile on projects and for people. She's a true professional and is a joy to work with. After she left Mattel we continued to work together on various projects and I always look forward to collaborating with her.”
 
Shirin is a pleasure to work with! She’s not only talented and extremely creative, she’s energetic, insightful and always professional. We worked together on a billboard project and I found her to be a truly inspiring colleague. I hope I get the chance to work with her in the future.

–Julee Shapiro (Copywriter, Mattel Toys)
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Shirin's graphic designs for the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra have created a new level of excitement and respect for our organization. How rare that a graphic designer excels in so many formats!  Shirin's  logos, invitations, posters, and brochures all inspire a "wow" effect from everyone that sees them. I am struck by her flair to intuit the heart of the message we are after, and then to create striking visuals that bring that message to such life.

–Russell Steinberg (Artistic Director, L.A. Youth Orchestra)
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Shirin is a solid designer and her "can do" attitude is a big plus. She is devoted to her craft and finds unique solutions to a variety of assignments. She is a pleasure to work with and would be an asset to any organization fortunate enough to work with her.

–Andrea Bell (Supervisor: Art Director, Radical Communication)
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Working with Shirin to develop a flyer for my Boot Camp was a pleasure. She is creative, professional quick, and enjoys her work. Shirin listened to my ideas, understood my needs and came up with a design that targeted my audience perfectly. I know that the success of my camp this summer was helped by her work.

–Mitch Newman (Client: Founder, Hilltop Boot Camp, LA Phil 1st violinist)
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Upon our decision to improve our company's branding and expanding our product line to gain a competitive edge, there were several qualities we identified that were most critical to us. Understanding our industry, creatively incorporating our views and ideas, and working closely with us toward a timely fulfillment.  Shirin surpassed our expectations on all accounts. We've received countless compliments from consumers and distributors and I look very forward to continue working with her on all our designing needs.

–Jason and Mark Rofeh (Client: Serengeti Tea Company) 
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Shirin was my mentor for a quarter while I was studying at UCLA Extension. She helped guide me through the completion of my first full case study of a logo redesign. I really enjoyed working with her because she really knows the branding field and posed great questions for me to answer during the whole process, which helped me learn a lot. I was extremely happy with how the project turned out thanks to her guidance.” August 9, 2011
 
–Ryan Lyse (Mentorship Student, Branding Case Study, UCLA Extension)
Student Testimonials
You are a wonderful professor and mentor. Thank you. I will continue to improve, I will never forget your teachings. I have truly learned a lot. Some students like myself just need confidence, and thank you for showing the way. Product design wasn't my major when I came to CSUN, after taking your class and talking to you it helped me a lot to make that decision. Hope you will continue to teach and I wish you all the best.
–Mark Miranda (Packaging student CSUN) 
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I really liked your encouraging style of teaching. I know design is about solving problems, but it's still filled with very sensitive creative types, so encouragement and gentle criticism is very helpful. I think everyone can agree that when a teacher gets excited about and appreciates an aspect of a student's work it feels really great -- and it makes a student want to work even harder.

–Dylan Stewart (Online Logo Design student, UCLA Extension)
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I feel like I'm already learning a lot in this class! I previously thought designing logos was extremely difficult because they were created based on name and image alone. But here, I've learned to ask questions about the core values of the company, know what the client wants to convey in the logo, who is the audience/customer, etc... And although designing logos is not an easy task, it's much easier after having to consider the answers to these questions, and more ideas can come to mind while drafting potential designs for a logo.
 
– Stephie Sajor (Logo design class UCLA Extension)
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I loved learning about packaging. It has opened a whole new world for me noticing packages EVERYWHERE! Everything was well organized and the progression of projects is very logical. Each step builds on itself to a final piece without being overwhelming. I had a fun experience in this class. Hopefully, I will be able to create some packages at work. Thank you Shirin!

– Carolann Jerome
​(Online Package Design student, UCLA Extension)
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This was one of the better online classes for a computer program I took so far. I thought the video lessons were very well done and the assignments were challenging but I learned so much from it. I had never used Indesign before and I'm feeling very confident with it now.  Thank you so much for showing me how to use InDesign .

– Linda Booth (Design student, UCLA Extension)
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Your class was so helpful for me this past semester.  I really benefited from the lectures on interviewing and resumes, and all the group work. I applied for Anthropologie and am now a part-time employee there! (I did what you said, I created a vintage inspired resume and folder (handmade). You were right about going out and "Just doing it" once you know what you love.  I also created an artistic resume and spread sheet of some of my make-up designand have an interview with Clinique.  

Thanks again, your class was such a great experience for me.  I've really learned how to sell myself by going the extra mile with the resume and overall presentation.

–Jackie Burch (Illustration student, Senior Project, CSUN)
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All the assignments you have given us have been so relevant and helpful for my career.  I know it was hard for you to figure out how to accommodate such a wide variety of fields of study.  Somehow, you really pulled through and managed to organize the class in a way that was beneficial and relevant to each one of us.  I hope you teach this class again in the future.  I was fortunate to have been enrolled in your section.  Not all professors genuinely care about the student's needs as you do.  Thank you!

–Jessica Pride (Fine Arts student, Senior Project, CSUN)
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