New Testament Studies

Mark is the only Gospel writer who recorded that Jesus Christ addressed His Father in prayer using the Aramaic term Abba, meaning “Father” or “my Father.” There is no scriptural record of anyone before Jesus Christ addressing God in this manner. Typical Old Testament ways of addressing God in prayer included “O Lord God,” “O Lord God of hosts,” “O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel,” and “O God of our salvation.” In later years, some people developed a tendency to address God with a litany of titles that paid homage to His sovereignty, glory, graciousness, and other divine attributes. The Savior’s use of “Abba, Father” was a striking contrast to this practice. It was both simple and profound; it indicated a close, personal relationship with a personal Being. The Savior taught His followers to address God in prayer as their Father: “Our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the significance of the Savior’s plea to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane: “In that most burdensome moment of all human history, with blood appearing at every pore and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought—His Father … [Mark 14:36]. This is such a personal moment it almost seems a sacrilege to cite it. A Son in unrelieved pain, a Father His only true source of strength, both of them staying the course, making it through the night—together” (“The Hands of the Fathers,” Ensign, May 1999, 16). On another occasion Elder Holland commented further:

“Mark says [Jesus] fell and cried, ‘Abba, Father.’ This is not abstract theology now. This is a Son pleading with His Father, ‘All things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me’ (Mark 14:36).

“Who could resist that from any child, especially the perfect Child? ‘You can do anything. I know You can do anything. Please take this cup from me.’

“That whole prayer, Mark noted, was asking that if it were possible, this hour would be stricken from the plan. The Lord said, in effect, ‘If there is another path, I would rather walk it. If there is any other way—any other way—I will gladly embrace it.’ … But in the end, the cup did not pass.

“In the end, He yielded His will to the will of His Father and said, ‘Not my will, but thine, be done’ (Luke 22:42)” (“Teaching, Preaching, Healing,” Ensign, Jan. 2003, 41).

Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God and is His Only Begotten. I love this principle because it is an extremely important moment for us to remember. Christ gave us the perfect example of how we must follow Heavenly Father’s plan for us. We must remember that we have to follow God’s will, not our own.


Product Design Revamp

There comes a time in (almost) every brand’s life where a little bit of updating is required. Just like people, sometimes the things that we have become accustomed to grow old right before our very eyes. Does this mean they need to be killed? Absolutely not, but a little bit of tender love and care certainly go a long way. As such, I decided to rebrand one of my all time favorite hot sauces: Valentina.

Selected Target Group

Hot sauce is a young man’s game. Or young woman’s game. No gender bias here. Hot sauces are targeted at people aged 18-35 and that is where the inspiration for the new design came from. Younger people are more likely to use the design of a product to determine whether or not to buy it. Valentina’s initial design was not bad, but it left something to be desired. As such, I believe that a more modern approach is the way to go.

Big Idea to Redesign the Package

Hot sauce is market that is full of competition. It seems as though there is a new hot sauce craze every couple of years. As such, keeping a heightened brand image is vital for the success of the sauce. A hot sauce from Mexico has the capability to show off the heritage of hot sauce in Mexico. The Aztecs used sauces made of chili peppers and salt that are the origins for hot sauce today. Valentina’s ingredients are simple, like those of the ancient Aztecs, which could be used to showcase that legacy. I redesigned the label for Valentina Hot Sauce to bring forward this legacy and show that hot sauce is the future, because it is the past. People are interested in the story behind a brand. Promoting this story can drive more sales as the information leaves more lasting impressions on the consumers.

Now, package redesign isn’t something that happens all at once. Inspiration is key. As such, I created a Pinterest board and looked for inspiration from people that have already been successful at rebranding. A link to that board can be found here

Color Scheme and Swatches

Redesigned Logo

From this point (after I redesigned the logo and determined color schemes) I needed to create the rest of the design for the label. I needed to make a label that would fit and that would match the theme and feel that is produced from the logo.

Process of Flat Design

In order to make the design appear more clean and professional (and after some critique from colleagues), I upped the font size, fixed some of the issues with leading, got rid of old branding materials, and worked to make everything more legible and clear. I then swapped the one label out for two, with the nutritional facts being located on the back. This is the final version of the flat design:

Then came the process of actually getting the label onto a bottle of Valentina to see just how successful the design was. After about 8 rounds of printing, I got to a place where I was satisfied. I then took an Exacto knife and trimmed the label out of sticker paper and secure it to a freshly de-labeled bottle of Valentina.

Overall, this project taught me a lot about how to adequately design packaging and labeling for products, which was an area I had never ventured into before. There were definitely unexpected areas that caused problems, like the printing and cutting as securing the label, but in the end those things helped me grow.

Pitch Book

Infographics: A Screamin’ Good Time

The Idea

People are looking for ways to ingest information as quickly as possible. As the world becomes more and more fast paced, people are turning to infographics more than ever before. This is because they allow for a quick transfer of information and are easily accessible. I have produced only one other infographic before, so I figured it was time to try my hand at it once more. As I started work on this project, I realized quickly that the road ahead was not an easy one, or one that would be done quickly. I was in for the long haul. The hard, long haul.


Whenever I start a new project I start with paper and pencil. I feel like I am going back to my roots in the classroom in elementary school. I’m fine with that, because I feel like a lot of people peaked creatively in 4th grade anyway. Before I could actually start sketching though, I had to do research. Quite a lot of it.

I knew that I wanted to choose a topic that was timely and relatable. It is newly October and as such I decided that an infographic on the history of some Halloween traditions would be an effective topic to test my skills. So I set off sketching potential constructions for the flow of the design, vectorizable graphics for easy-to-receive information, and typefaces for potential use. At the end I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do.


From here, I worked on turning my physical drawing and sketches into a vectorized graphic. That all started with the background. I did all of the design work in Adobe Illustrator, because I am familiar with it and I knew I could make the end product scalable based on the vector nature of Illustrator. I initially started with a creamy colored background, but after some critique from peers I figured that having an “action” filled background would be more aesthetically pleasing. As such, I set out making a lot of fun stuff for the background. I had the whole design as a night sky with a moon and some gnarled trees at the bottom. The whole overall feel matched the design objectives, so I felt better about it.

I pulled the design of some of the objects from popular reference points. The witch flying by on her broom is a classic view, as is the view of the moon coming out from behind the clouds. Everything else was created entirely by me to practice my skills in Illustrator. I made a color scheme in the early stages of digitizing and made myself stick to it to simplify the design. Another thing I wanted to include was a stylized graph. Most people can take data and run it through Excel and make a chart or graph. I wanted something a little more substantial. As such, I chose to take a statistic about the amount of Americans that celebrated Halloween in 2016 and make it into a chart made out of the United States.

I then took the entire vector project and applied a texture I have of some old and weathered canvas over the top in photoshop. This brought an aged look and feel that I feel helped the design overall. I then went through a second round of peer review and critique. From what I received, I changed the amount of text for each point made in the infographic, did a better job of bolding the text to bring the information out of the rest of the text, fixed the leading on the graph, and redesigned some of the icons to made the design more cohesive.

In the end I really enjoyed this project, even if it was fairly time consuming and demanding in terms of effort. It made me consider things like flow and color schemes in a way I never had before. I uploaded the design to Pinterest on my Graphic Design board. You can check that out here.

Personal Identity Project

The Reason

I’ve always been drawn to brands that have consistent and appealing design. Call it the graphic designer inside me. Call it being drawn to the beautiful, to the neat and tidy. Regardless of what you call it, I always wanted that. I always wanted something to call my own. Something to set me apart from the rest. That was the end goal of this project. I wanted to brand myself in such a way that made me that neat and consistent brand.

In order to do this I had to start somewhere, and what better place to start than to create my own personal logo? I needed it to be refined and professional, versatile, timeless, and a good representation of myself and my abilities to design. I needed it to be scalable so I could stick it on a business card or a billboard, so vectorizing it was essential. Lastly, I didn’t want to be like the thousand other designers that throw their name on a business card with a neat sans-serif font and call it good; I wanted more. 


With all of this in mind I set off to work. I started with sketching. A lot of sketching. At first almost all of my efforts were directed at creating a logo with my initials. There was enough steam behind this idea that it almost ended up being my final concept, until I started to loathe it. I don’t know if it is the curse of the graphic designer, or some subliminal hatred of everything I create, but the longer I spend trying to refine something, the more I start to resent the work, and then I start to resent myself. To keep my sanity, I went a different direction in the end. 

I decided to scrap this idea because I am more than just my name; so I went back to the drawing board (or sketchbook in this case). I thought about who I am and what I represent. As I was sitting there stewing over potential identifiers and branding the word “Apex” came to my mind. Normally I don’t think that epiphanies are the best source of valid design choice, but this time the word just wouldn’t leave. Plus there were some subtle connections: I’ve always been a big guy and I like to think I can make myself a presence in a room if necessary. As such I went along the route of including an animal mascot to accompany my logo, and I settled on a gorilla in the end.


At this point I vectorized the logo and settled on the name of Apex Design: feeding from being an Apex predator, having the word APE within the name, and showing that the design I create is at the top of its game (and I’m humble too). I then received critique from colleagues and peers and fixed things about the design until I felt like it was refined. I struggled slightly with making sure that the balance between realism and simplicity that I was going for was met. The critiques I received helped in that regard.

When I had the overall shape and layout firmly in place I went through and played around with some color schemes. I won’t show them to you here, because frankly none of them worked. Despite my best efforts on the front of implementing good color theory, I was unsuccessful. As such I settled on a deep gray with a white contrasting logo to work on darker backgrounds. 
Overall, I am proud of the way that the logo turned out and I believe it is a fair representation of who I am as a designer and as a person. There were numerous changes and redos that occurred over the course of this project, but I believe they were all for the better and helped me learn and grow along the way.

Photo Contest

Photos that I submitted:

jacobhayes-top5 jacobhayes-hdrportrait jacobhayes-sidecomp

Entering this contest was actually really quite simple. I went to and clicked on ‘submit entry’. I chose to submit three portraits to their “Shoot the Face” contest. The contest was $15 to register for three photos, and it was as easy as uploading the images and paying for the registration and hitting submit.

I chose to go with the because their style looked like something I could relate to and submit photos for. It was also one of the only contests that was still open. Obviously, I would like to win, but I’m not holding out too badly for that.

Contest here –

I entered the contest on Tuesday December 6, 2016


BYU-Idaho Student With Celiac Disease Finds Comfort in a Changing World

At BYU-Idaho there are more students with celiac than you may think, and as with any other disease there are challenges that sometimes go unnoticed by others. Jordan Noall is a student that has hope and confidence in a strifeful world because of the attention that celiac disease is getting. Watch the video below to see his story and hear his message of comfort.

Related Links 

Find out exactly what celiac is by going here.

To help support research for a cure for celiac go here.

Behind the Scenes

A person with celiac goes, on average, between 6 and 10 years to be correctly diagnosed. For people like Jordan, it’s easier because he comes from a family with a history of the disease, but the effects of the disease still persists. I interviewed Jordan because I have known him for quite some time and he has always been a cheerful person despite the challenges he faces. Getting to interview him and hear why he remains so positive was a great experience.

Music in this video

“Ticker” by Silent Partner.

2016 – Licensed under
Creative Commons
Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)


Map of Celiac Occurances



Photobook Comm 300

Learning how to capture and edit images has brought me extremely useful skills that will carry me far in my communication career. In order to showcase some of the skills that I have gained over the semester, I designed and printed out a photobook. This way, I can show my work off to potential employers as a representation of what I can do.

I designed this photobook using primarily Adobe Indesign (I also used Adobe Photoshop). I used the sans serif font Lato as the font for the whole book, but with differing weights to add variability and contrast. I used MyPublisher’s software and services to get the book printed, and I quite pleased with the results.


This is a link to my photo book.