Art & Design alumna creates visuals for Edmonton’s bid for the 2026 World Cup host city

Lisa Mentz credits her UAlberta training for helping her design the creative package for one of the most popular sporting events in the world.

Erik Einsiedel - 06 December 2021

Lisa Mentz (‘99 BDes), an alumna of the UAlberta Visual Communication Design (VCD) program, recently designed the visuals as part of Edmonton’s bid to become a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

In November 2021, when delegates from FIFA and Canada Soccer made their official visit to Edmonton, Mentz designed  signage, name badges, presentation decks and other collateral that would appear in Commonwealth Stadium, Rogers Place, and other sites around the city.

“I was a very small part of a huge team who made the visit possible,” says Mentz. “Most of the projects I work on aren’t this high profile – it was amazing to be part of Edmonton’s bid to become a host city for the World Cup.”

Mentz credits her time in the UAlberta VCD program for teaching her the skills that helped her with the FIFA contract, and also provided her with classmates who became lifelong friends, supporting each other as friends and design professionals.

“The skills you learn in VCD are essential to the work you’ll do for the rest of your career,” she says. “The emphasis on conceptual development is vital in design because it’s what separates a ‘pretty’ design from one that not only looks good, but resonates with, and works for, the intended audience.”

When asked what advice she has for design students about to graduate, Mentz draws on her experience from over 20 years working in boutique design studios, and in-house for the public and private sector, and the importance of those first few years of work.

“I’ve spoken to young designers wanting to go the freelance route quickly after graduating – not something I would recommend,” says Mentz. “Spend a few years working at different places, honing the skills you’ve learned in school and pick up new ones. Our industry is evolving rapidly – try a few new things, learn from others, see where you’d really like to concentrate your design practice. Get a feel for the profession and the industry as it’s very different from school.”

Mentz describes being an independent designer as very gratifying, with a lot of love for her clients and projects. “But it’s also a lot of hard work, late nights, and sometimes whipping out your laptop at a Tim Hortons outside of Red Deer in a snowstorm to deal with a design emergency (true story). If you want to be successful at running your own show, you have to spend time doing admin; writing proposals, invoicing, and paying your taxes on time.

“That said, all of the above can be achieved while on a working vacation in Berlin, Stockholm, Croatia or anywhere with a decent wifi connection.”

The host city selection for the 2026 World Cup is expected to be finalized in April, 2022. To see more of Lisa Mentz’s work, visit her website at, or connect with her on LinkedIn.