Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yohji Yamamoto and Illustrator

In my Design Communications class we are doing a project where we choose a brand and design a USB drive with that brand in mind. I chose Yohji Yamamoto, a Japanese fashion designer known for his simple designs that have a good mix between classic/historical Japanese fashion and movement.

Here I learned some tricks on rendering using Adobe Illustrator.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lovegrove Genesis

Back in October, I attended the Seoul Design Festival and got the opportunity to see Ross Lovegrove speak. There he provided his personal moral and ethical code to approaching design. Since, I did not take full fledged notes, I'll just share some important points he shared.

Here are the components of his code:
1. Organic essentialism: Awareness of our surroundings.
2. Lightness: Being economical. (Note: Don't be seduced by "minimalism">can be cheap.)
3.Natural Energy is for our future.
4. Netification

Nature is our guide in form. "No one ever says, 'look at that ugly tree.'"

Good designers have instinct! Obtain super awareness! Need to have an architectural/structural sense (today, we are going through new barriers structurally. ahem, Dubai?!)

Inspire people to use their own resources, it is not our role to inspire consumerism.

On sustainability: Fixing the problem doesn't mean going backwards. We should use technology we have today to move forwards!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Check out my portfolio here.

Also, I made a teaser to my portfolio for the first time. I've gotten mixed reviews, most included laughing, so I really would like to hear some feedback about it. I just decided to have some fun and try something new... and the thing I like about it is it shows my personality. Unfortunately, my personality is pretty goofy. -__-;;

Go here to take a look at it.

It's technology, guys!

Last quarter I did some research on technologies and how it effects developed and undeveloped nations. Here is some information I learned that can be applied to the project I'm working on this quarter:

By the way, all the colors are inverted for some reason and the text is missing and I don't know how to fix it??

Friday, January 16, 2009


The key to creating a successful movie trailer involves creating the mood of the movie (through music, scenes, narrations), staying concise with information about the story, and, of course, a badass quote.

Here are two completely different movie trailers, Wall*E and 300. The scenes play like a comic book, showing the right sequence and leaving wonder and excitement. We immediately see that Wall*E is completely cute and lovable, and Leonidas is this fearless leader.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Korea Musings: Recycling

On another note, when I was in Korea, at one of the largest supermarkets, Lotte Mart, I bought some Dove shampoo there. In my experience of buying shampoo, at any supermarket in the US, I have about 10 brands at least to choose from (or that's how it feels..). In Lotte Mart (mind you this is equivalent to a Walmart), there were maybe three brands to choose from. The nice thing about these shampoos was they all had bottles with pumps and right next to those bottles were bags of refill shampoo. I have not bought shampoo in the US in a while, so I don't know if this has changed suddenly, but it was so refreshing to see.

Living in Korea, everyone is not necessarily more self conscious of recycling, but it is more of a normality. They separate plastics, foods, paper, metals, and "other" in their homes, fast-food restaurants, and cafes.

And although Korea seems to be very consumer-oriented, they are accustomed to saving.
1. Energy: My workplace, Continuum, had a checklist for making sure all the lights, computers, printers were turned off before the last person left the office. It would seem like every office would do this, but in the two other offices I worked at, at least half my co-workers would leave their computers on to suck energy.
2. Space: Seoul is a city of over 10 million people. Most families live in apartments, which are already high cost.
3. Things: Using and reusing until something is completely unusable isn't common. Why not get your money's worth out of what you paid for?

At the Seoul Design Olympiad, strings of recyclables on the Olympic Stadium.

It's pretty fascinating that despite Seoul-ans keeping up-to-date with all trends (Every year.. O.O), still have the concept recycling and efficient use/space/energy ingrained in their daily lifestyle.

*I'm pretty sure most of Asia has this kind of thinking too..^^;

Brands That Create an Experience

Looking at branding experiences that use advertising as a means of campaigning for something deeper than just selling their product, Dove really has it going on. It drives the concept of being honest to its users in its advertising through showing and promoting confidence.

As someone who has personally encountered young women who have been emotionally and physically effected by false advertising and unhealthily-thin models, I see the value of how Dove has taken this problem and chosen to solve it through its positive "love yourself" advertising, nourishing products, and campaigns. This is a great case of user-based brand experience.

*Kudos Carly G for her much deeper perception of this brand.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Branding yourself

I was looking through Coroflot's Creative Seeds and saw this article on The 3 Things You Need to Do in an Interview, since I'm working on my portfolio right now, one of my goals in my portfolio is distinguishing it from the pile of others it is competing against. One way to do this is by branding yourself. Self-branding can be described as how someone can recognize and remember you from the back of their mind just from a simple 30 second to 30 minute experience.

I think good designers have the capability of showing their own personality in their portfolios, while remaining professional, thorough, and thought-provoking.

Here are some designers I admire for their unique and awesome work:
Nancy Wu. Simply Versatile.

Alberto Villarreal. Clean.

Kimberly Wu. Lively.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tofu Robot! the tofu rock! ;]

Image courtesy of this guy.

My design philosophy

As a young, student designer, I have to say my design philosophy is like an amoeba. Every time it starts to settle, I learn about something new and want to apply it to my philosophy. That said, here are some things that are important to me when designing (in no particular order):

Cultural influence: This is where the user, global, environment... research and consideration for everything happens. One of my favorite parts of the design process. I have a personal passion for learning about different cultures. This is partly because I was raised in a multicultural environment. (whoo!)

Green: This is a no brainer. How can we make the design more sustainable? Is this harmful or helpful? These questions must be considered. Hopefully as I grow as a designer I will learn more about good green design and why it rocks.

Innovation: Making design unique, setting it apart from others in a positive way. All other aspects of design can roll into this category. I like how material choice has the ability to drastically change the feel of a design. Mechanical innovation is also interesting to me, however, I really need to work on this!

Emotion: What to say? Emotion adds value to everything. Especially when applying it to an electronic, a "machine." Lately, this has been a real interest to me. It is really important to an innovative design.

Here are a couple of strong mp3 player designs (Korean..):

Both these designs do not look like mp3 players. They are treated more as an accessory.. something that can add to the user's lifestyle. They are also iconic, use technology in a new way, and "lovable."

Validity and usefulness: Another no-brainer. Don't create another piece of junk. Also, don't design something that is so out-of-the-box that it is conceived as ridiculous.

To help me grow more this quarter as a designer, I want to...
1. develop my refinement skills. Luckily this quarter in my design communications course we will have some focus on that. In my co-op experience, I have not had many chances to work on refinement.
2. create a thoughtful, and thorough portfolio. I am actually content with my portfolio, but from my experience last quarter at Continuum, I can really add a lot of value to my portfolio.
3. work on my interviewing skills. One of my interviews last winter, someone gave me feedback telling me that I did not sound enthusiastic about my designs. This was a disappointment to hear because I am enthusiastic, so I have been trying to work on it since.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

I got to say, this is hilarious. Take a look at the guy's email that he's "typing"...

The lesson today kids: over-simplification can mean over-complication.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Kimchi Jjigae


I am back in the US. Korea, I MISS YOU~~~~!

It was always so warm even though it was freezing outside... the people, the food, the spirit. Alas, back to school I go. -_-;;;

Musings on Korean culture to come...