I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few of the design blogs and websites that I’ve been frequently. I hope you guys are as inspired as I am. If you have any to share with me, please comment!
Posts from the Design Category
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The other day someone at work asked if I could lead a staff training on “diversity in design.” When using photographs of people in design, you have to be very purposeful about the diversity of your subjects. To many of us it seems like no big deal, but as an Asian-American I can tell you that it does not go unnoticed when your photos lack diversity. But that much I could tell you right off the bat, and I wasn’t really sure how to fill an entire training on that subject.
So I did a quick google search of “diversity in design.” Interestingly enough, what I found was that most of the results pointed to a different issue that intrigued me more: the racial diversity of designers themselves.
A quick survey of some of the country’s top design agencies, schools, and design communities will show you that the field is predominantly white. It is also not hard to find Asian designers, especially in schools, but the number of black and hispanic designers is very very low (a top ad agency in New York, Pentagram, recently added one black designer named Eddie Opara to their staff)
To me, that says something about the overall stigma of the “designer” and the opportunities available to black and hispanic youth. I know that there are some programs out there, like Youth Design in Boston, dedicated to this issue specifically, by providing design resources and education to urban youth. I also know that certain chapters of AIGA also have active diversity initiatives that seek to promote diversity in the field, and I think this is great.
I am inspired to explore this opportunity for diversity in design. I think I would be interested in joining a design mentorship program of some sort, or in the distant future heading up a collaborative program that connects design students with young urban designers in the community.
More to come (hopefully) as these ideas evolve.
I thought this illustration deserved a quick blog post. Last year, I took an Intro to Illustration course out of a desire to develop my craft and immerse myself in a new creative environment (The course did not offer any credit, unfortunately :/). Admittedly, I was somewhat disappointed because I was expecting to learn specific drawing techniques, but the course was focused more on the process of illustration from idea to execution. One of the lessons I’m proud to have learned is to appreciate illustration in all forms. There was a part of me that had always felt that “true” illustration had to be hand drawn from start to finish, and I do think that in the design community there is a bit of pride associated with fully hand-drawn artwork.
While I fully appreciate the meticulousness and skill that goes into a fully hand-drawn artwork, through this course I found a new personal freedom of expression that allowed me to create this piece you see here. It is a mix of hand-drawn icons, digitally-generated icons, and digital texture and lighting effects. I think the result is a really compelling artwork that meshes that illustrated look with a pop of realism (by the way, I am a BIG fan of this kind of stuff: http://colinhesterly.com)
On a side note, I think I’m due for a professional rebranding of my identity. I can feel my tastes moving towards this intersection between straight-edged, Swiss-inspired design and something more expressive and tangible. Stay tuned, world…
For my typography class, our assignment was to storyboard an animated promo video for an NGO. I chose Chicago Cares, an organization that mobilizes volunteers to build a stronger community. Below is a video I created, which stitched together the keyframes of the storyboard with sample music in the background. I’d like to get this fully animated someday!
Work in progress (storyboard screenshot)
I thought I’d take a moment and plug my dribbble page! I’ll try to keep some of my more interesting works in progress here.
Typography Class Project: eBook Design
My first assignment for the typography class I’m taking at SAIC was to create a set of sample page designs for an eBook. I picked the iPad as my device, and for my fiction, non-fiction, and reference/how-to book, I picked The Screwtape Letters, Brain Rules, and a book of prayers, respectively. Having been an in-house designer for many years it was sort of refreshing to have that extra bit of freedom to choose whatever font I wanted. I was able to focus my energy on pure creativity and usability.
While you can simply view a PDF as is on an iPad, you are forced to scroll vertically so you don’t really get the feel of a true eBook. I learned that if you import your PDF into iTunes and synchronize your iPad that way, your PDF will appear as a “book” in the iBooks app, and you can view it like you would a real eBook, scrolling left to right. I learned that colors are rendered very, very bright on the iPad (esp. with retina display), so I had subdue a lot of the colors I used originally. I also learned that there is definitely an optimal text size for reading on an iPad: too small and you have to start zooming in, which is unpleasant; too big and it looks goofy.