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Graphic Designer Appreciation

I don’ t know about you, but some days, I feel unappreciated.

Many people take design for granted, never realizing the work and frustration that can go into every design. I’ve seen on the internet where people don’t classify design as a “real” job, making comments that designers spend time coloring or doing other simplistic tasks. I often see posts calling for people to abandon creative careers and push for more people to enter STEM fields, as if design is not important.  As you and I both know, they are absolutely incorrect about that.

As someone who has done freelance design work for many years, I am often confronted with clients who try to low ball me on payments, because they feel that my job is not difficult enough for the computer does the work for me. I’ve advertised on places like Facebook and many times people suggest that I post offers on sites like Fiverr where you can hire designers for as little as $5.00 per job.I know they mean well, but I get offended by that. I know all the hard work that goes into coming up with concepts and the actual design process. It ‘s worth more than five dollars just to turn on my computer.  I won’t sell myself short.

As designers, I don’t have to tell you that design is in everything we do. From your packages at the grocery store, to your smart phone, a designer has had their hand on all of those things. Designers make the world more attractive and pleasing. We can be the difference between a best selling product and an epic failure. Designers are essential to the world we live in, but so many people feel that we aren’t as skilled or important as other careers, and that is just not true.

I am thinking of starting a graphic designer appreciation day page on Facebook to help promote the importance of design and creative careers. I want to help promote respect for my craft, bringing attention to all the work that we do. Would that be something that you would “Like”?

Legacy appropriation in graphic design



In February of this year I found several flyers online advertising Martin Luther King day events, mostly parties at clubs and other entertainment venues. But what was rather unsettling to me was that a lot of these flyers used Dr. King’s image in ways that to me at least, seemed borderline disrespectful. They Photoshopped gold chains and rings onto his photos, and placed him next to scantily clad women with event titles such as “Freedom to Twerk” or “Free At Last”, as seen in the image above. There was even a stripper event entitled “All The King’s Men.”

As someone who benefits greatly from the legacy of Dr. King’s work, I was bothered. As a graphic designer, I was uncomfortable as well. It called me to question the integrity and professionalism of someone who would do that. Now I know that design is a client driven field, and often we will often run into clients that will ask us for crazy things. But how do you feel about creating things that mock or go against the ideals of a greatly admired figure, from past or present history? What about if the person is deceased?

The other issue is that the images of Dr.King were used without the permission of the family and his estate. Granted there are some liberties that can be taken, as he is a public historical figure and part of the public domain. But with that comes the responsibility to make wise choices regarding the use of his image. Dr. King’s family has expressed their distaste for such promotional materials and have made statements that this was not what his work in life was about.

Some may not think this is a serious thing, but as a designer you have to guard your reputation and whenever possible, avoid questionable design choices if you want to be taken seriously. I personally would never do this. I don’t care how much they paid, or how badly I needed the money, I cannot  condone this type of design. However, as with most things in life, what you won’t do, someone else will.

As a designer, are there any circumstances like this that you would avoid? What are your limits?

Below is a Google search link to more flyers like the one above.

MLK Day Flyers 2014

Hand lettering

Today, many graphic designers solely work digitally and would not even have drawing or painting skills. Like other bloggers state here, it makes it hard for designers to stand out when there is not unique skills that can set them apart from others. I personally relate graphic design more towards drafting, maybe because I have a background in interior design. I still use my drafting table, t-square ruler, and tracing paper from my interior design and apply them to my graphic design projects. I think creative designers can incorporate any medium into their work and the beauty of graphic design is actually its unlimited freedom of applications. I came across a graphic designer, Colt Bowden (, who is known by his hand painted lettering and wanted to share this amazing video: . I think he has a true talent and his works remind me of a real “American” typography design that I grew up seen in cowboy movies. He takes a paint and brush and directly paints on a surface and creates amazing works that literally looks as if digitally done. He is got a true talent that not many designers have today and he definitely stands out as a distinctive graphic designer. For some students who think general education classes, such as painting and drawing, being unnecessary in graphic design curriculum, Bowden’s story demonstrates an example of how traditional skills can be utilized in design. So hopefully, graphic design students can see the benefits of both traditional and digital creation of design and try to incorporate both skills to their works.

What the X is the Real Art?



I have little grievance in Art School. and I am not going to mention which art school or TPO. because I do not want to offend anyone or organization.


When you learn aesthetic, principle of art, even art history classes, You are often listen that they said,

“there are no high art or low art”


“Art includes any forms of itself”


“anything can be art”

Then when you actually went into drawing class, art class, and sometimes even design class, and you experienced strangest things.

If you make the art that medium of they are not recognizing, immediately you are getting weird staring. then you get grade “B”

You will never going to get A or highest grade in class even your work earns it. They do not give you C anymore. because they know if they did what it should look like.

then they disliked you to bring this dispute to them. because they could not stand along when they use traditional brush, charcoal and ink when you are using your software, tools, laptop, or trustful Wacom tablet.

digital source or new medium was perfectly welcomed by the school and curriculum. they have computer and all the fancy stuff. so it does mean they accept the new medium

It just you do not graded as much as the classic.

I respect the preference of them. however, what is this BS of teaching two different values in same pool?

One side, they teach you all good story

when the other side grade you low

It is really time to questioning yourself about what the heck is the real art.


A sound mind in a sound body

“A sound mind in a sound body”

Juvenalis, Roman Poet




I personally believe that a right amount of deprivation and discipline is necessary and good for soul. creativity is not cheap. It comes with the price.

Hypothetically, If our body and minds remains fully satisfied, then Hunger for needs and creativity is also satisfied. desperation for desire is the alpha and omega for your great work. and desire only grows with insufficient and deprivation.

Relaxation and comfort is very important. nobody would deny the truth. in fact, we can’t make an design in middle of pain. wouldn’t we?

However, this hollow for desire and discipline is much significant as anything else.

Often time, many designer accomplish this practice through exercise. exercise is much more important then what you are think as a designer. perhaps, you could say it is essential to be a great designer.

Once you are exercising, metabolism is give you three things. discipline, improvement, and refreshment. moreover your body start to learn to anticipate that you are moving on to next level.

exercise does not mean to work out to exhaustion. It does not mean you have to work out up to 1 hour daily. When you wake up, you  just give your self few push up, walk, or crunch to make your metabolism into prepare action. give your self some walking time instead of brainstorming. It is also exercise to you to go 15-20 min away coffee shop and order your coffee.

Give your self huger, it might returns as great idea.



Test Vehicle Camouflage


Here is a picture of a BMW test vehicle covered with interesting camouflage patterns.

Before launching the new cars, car manufacturers have to go thorough series of testing processes to make sure that the production vehicle does not have any issues with safety and performance. During the testing process, the test vehicle has to be on various tracks and roads. Therefore, there is a high change of people noticing the new car. The manufacturers like to keep it secret until the official launching of the vehicle.

As the solution, the vehicles are covered in order to keep the original shape in secret. One of the most commonly used way of disguising is covering the vehicle with rugged type of cloth. Another famous way, especially in Europe is the camouflage patterns. It really is harder for people to notice the actual design through the dazzling camouflage.

I think it is an effective way of keeping the design in secret. Also, it is an interesting pattern in terms of graphic design.

Graphic design in different languages



Movie posters are always a good topic when it comes to graphic design.

The attached poster is actually the Chinese version of the movie Avengers poster. The Image is not really different from the original, but the text is the interesting part. The Avengers logo is written in Chinese but it delivers the same “Avengers” theme. Even though it is written in a different language, the font has similar style. The circular shape next to the first letter also resembles the original logo. Everything else written on the poster also gives the same feeling, except for the fact that they are Chinese characters.

It is not only about the movie posters. The company logos are often transformed in a similar way when they are written in different languages. Since I am a non-native speaker of English, I have always thought that this was interesting. Sometimes they look brilliant and even better than the original one.



By the way, 復仇者聯盟 literally means avengers.

Asiana A380 painting


This is about an aircraft livery again, but I wanted to share this video on the blog.

Even though I am not really a fan of Asiana Airlines, I think the aircraft, the process and the video itself all look great and beautiful. Airbus A380 is actually the largest passenger aircraft and the dimensions are just unreal. The basic concepts are not that different, but the process of the painting actually looks incredible. Aircraft livery is one of the most important design element in the aviation industry, and I think Asiana‘s design represents its brand identity beautifully.

Painting an aircraft involves a lot of calculations, because a slight miss calculation can become a disaster. Because of the size of the aircraft and the difficulties, the process takes days. During the process, tons and tons of paints are used. It sure is a difficult process, but it does look good when it is done.

Norwegian Air unique livery design


Norwegian Air Shuttle has one of the most unique livery designs in the industry. An usual airline liveries features a colorful tail fin with the airline’s identity. The name of the airline is then located on the top front section of the fuselage. Except for special liveries, most of the airlines have consistent tail and front fuselage designs. However, Norwegian Air Shuttle does it a little differently. The colored part is actually the front section of the fuselage with the name of the airline written on the bottom. The tail fin section is dedicated to the portraits of noteworthy Scandinavians. For example, LN-KKL, a 737 aircraft features the portrait of Roald Amundsen.

I think the opposite livery design is one way to be very unique and creative.

Sell Yourself


Earlier in the semester, someone showed me a link to this story. This young woman was applying for internships and came up with a very creative way to get noticed.

She turned herself into a Lego project kit, complete with pieces, and used it as her resume. I think the idea is brilliant, for one. No one else is going to have anything like this and you will definitely stand out. She definitely went the extra mile and was hopefully rewarded for her creativity.

And she wasn’t even a designer!

Granted, she was applying to advertising agencies, which is also a creative career choice, but this required so much more than clever copywriting.

As designers entering one of the toughest job markets in American history, we need to be able to go the extra mile sometimes to get where we want to be.  Showing creativity as your first impression can get you a dream job. Take a risk and come up with something unique!

What are some of your strategies to sell yourself and get  noticed?

Here’s a link to an article about Leah and her Lego resume: