Shirley Liang and Katie Luke

Meet The Makers: Shirley & Katie

Author: Adrianna LeBlanc

Katie Luke and Shirley Liang, IN’s dynamic duo have been working as a team this summer to carefully curate a new George Brown College (GBC) line that appeals to the creative mind. Set to launch this fall, the GBC line includes Notebooks, Water Bottles, Popsockets, Travel Bags, Lanyards, Notebook Covers and a GBC Dominos Game . The designs are “full of school spirit” with a modern twist and provide a variety of gift options in multiple price ranges.


The Process

So what goes into creating an IN store line? Katie and Shirley described the first stage of their design process as “aggressive research”. Shirley spent the first week of the project exploring colour and pattern ideas on Behance, Pinterest and Google. Their ideation process switches between the old fashioned “pen and paper” method, and opening illustrator “to see where it takes” them. After completing 20 illustrated designs, Jen and Lori began a careful selection process, which resulted in a 5 pattern design line.



After focusing on the George Brown College 150th branded line last year, Katie and Shirley wanted to shake up the way the 9 GBC colours were represented in the new line. “Our biggest challenge was putting 9 colours together in a way that doesn’t scream rainbow. “We wanted to pair the colours in a way that is pretty, sophisticated and wearable” says Katie. Printing 9 colours can also be a challenge because many suppliers only print a maximum of 5 in one design. Adding extra colours can get expensive.

Person holding a GBC Waterbottle

Photo by Henrique Salvador


Favourite Design

When asked which design was their favourite, Shirley responded “they’re all our children”. Katie added “I want them all to be represented equally, because we have dedicated hours to carefully crafting each design”.


Designer: Katie Luke

Katie Luke joined the IN Store in September 2017 after meeting with Lori about the Copenhagen Charrette. On route to graduate next spring, Katie chose the George Brown College Graphic Design program because she wanted to be “an artist without the starving”.

Design styles with vintage elements like Art Deco and the 1950’s, inspire Katie’s designs. She plans to create her own unique designs that will go on IN store products in the near future.


Designer: Shirley Liang

Prior to joining the IN Store in September 2017, Shirley Liang worked with our User Experience Designer and Store Manager, Larissa Waterman at the George Brown College library. Larissa introduced Shirley to Lori and the rest was history. Shirley comes from a fine arts background and she decided to focus on Graphic Design because she wanted the chance to work in a more lucrative career.

Katie describes Shirley’s design style as soft and organic, while Shirley describes her design style as “memphis-inspired”. Her design idol is Ikko Tanaka.

Katie & Shirley

Photo by Henrique Salvador


Working as a Team

If you work at IN chances are you’re going to need to be a good team player, because we work together a lot. Katie and Shirley optimized their design process by developing a “no nonsense” policy. Katie says that they are “honest, but not hurtful”. If a design doesn’t work they are up front about it.

We can’t wait to share the new products with you. Keep checking back on our website for updates or drop by room 142 at 230 Richmond St. E to chat with one of our awesome designers.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.