ELEVATE is a student group, run out of the University of California Los Angeles. It focuses on helping the needs of minority students within the areas of Theater, Film, and Television. The branding was meant to reflect the notion of lifting up those in need. Initial sketches played with the idea of building upwards or being weightless. Later sketches focused more on integrating with the initial branding of the school and played with the idea of “elevation” in more subtle and refined ways.
KJAYE is a clothing company, based in Los Angeles, dealing in women’s accessories. The client wanted the focus of their branding to be the Giraffe, a slender figure with “it’s head in the clouds, but it’s feet firmly on the ground.” I and my girlfriend and co-designer, Mila Zuo, worked to make this idea more aggressive and edgy, in order to compete with existing brands in the market, such as OBEY and RVCA. The resulting logo was a bold but pleasing giraffe’s head, reminiscent of Shepard Fairey’s “Andre the Giant” logo.
The CCTV brief was a major project I worked on during my time at ZhengBang in Beijing. CCTV is government based institution and China's leading media network. Not only is it the dominant television provider for all China, but it is also a leading news and entertainment provider for much of the eastern hemisphere. CCTV's brief asked for a redesign of their entire branding system, as the network moves into digital content and new markets. The original logo suffers from being too similar to other network symbols like CNN and BBC. The new brand needed to stand on its own, being able to represent not just the company, but be the face of China as it emerged onto the international stage through televised media. This design needed to function on many levels, emanating both strength and confidence, but also give a feeling transparency and trust. The resulting design is a modern, flexible form that plays with positive and negative space, allowing for multiple variations, while maintaining a firm structure for development.
I worked on this China Mobile proposal when I was designing for ZhengBang Identity and Consulting in Beijing. The brief asked for a redesign of the current logo, in keeping with the current trends of mobile technology and design, while maintaining the original logo's concept of clasped hands and connection. China Mobile is one of the top two mobile telecommunications companies in China and one of the top 10 in the world. With this in mind, I wanted to create a brand that reflected the interconnectivity that China Mobile brought to the world, as well as the modern technologies it was employing to do so. The result is a modern refinement of the original design, imbuing it with light and energy, reflecting the power of this telecommunications firm in this modern age.
This work was developed from a brief for ERGO Insurance Group while working with Zhengbang Branding and Identity Consulting in Beijing. ERGO Insurance was looking to branch out their services in the Chinese market by developing a Chinese and German partnership insurance company, called Dehua Ergo (德华). The purpose of this brand is to create an identity that reflects the concepts of trust and strength in the Chinese consciousness. Each design incorporates traditional symbols of Chinese strength and fortune, such as the crane, the pine tree, and the gourd. The logo I designed however, was a text based treatment, using the letters of the company title to convey similar concepts of reflection, balance, and strength.
Ningbo is one of China's major port cities, and one of the largest importers and exporters of goods from China. Recently, the city council had an open call for a redesign of the city's logo. I developed this brand strategy in keeping with this concept of shipping in the city. Global trade is the lifeblood of the city and is the most easily recognizable feature of the area. Ningbo Port is filled with large, multi-colored shipping containers, and this design draws on those shapes and colors. The result is a brand that embodies the features of the city: strength, unity, and diversity, a symbol worthy of a modern city.
Yadea is a scooter company, based in China, exporting gas and electric scooters throughout asia and Europe. Scooters are a major industry in east asia, where families are more likely to own a scooter rather than a car. The brief presented by Yadea asked for a redesign of their original logo to a more modern and stylized form. The design was mean to utilize themes like speed, motion, and precision, similar to widely recognized global car firms that are popular in China, like Lexus, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. The resulting design takes all these factors into consideration, drawing on car design culture to create a cutting edge vehicle brand.
Public Notice is a design firm established by myself and co-designer, Mila Zuo. The name developed when we both saw government flyers, prefaced with the text “Public Notice”. The direction of the firm developed from this concept. We focus on grabbing public attention and shifting public opinion. The logo initially developed from this idea, using bold, solid forms to draw the eye. The final result, however, came from a combination of these earlier sketches, and sketches from the KJAYE campaign. The result was a surreal, airy animal form that grabs the eye while still remaining vague, sparking interest.
I was asked by a personal friend to redesign this series of iconic Saul Bass lobby cards, promoting the film Vertigo. Saul Bass is widely regarded as the father of modern film title design, and his design work is instantly recognizable to many. Bass was able to take simple concepts and develop them into beautiful and complex designs, Vertigo being perhaps the most recognizable of his work. Recreating this poster was not only a fun enterprise, but a challenging one. Both the figures and the spirals had to be carefully reconstructed using archive museum images. While the process of re-drawing and processing each print was painstaking, the final result was very satisfying.
This series of two flyers was designed for an event taking place on the University of California Los Angeles for women in the fields of Cinema and Television production to connect. The brief required a lot of text on the page and the client wanted a design that appealed to women, without pandering to them. I final products are two variations on typographic and infographic design, forgoing images for strong layout and color palettes.
Some graphics I designed for social media outlets to promote ADayWithoutWaste, a joint venture between WillIAm, Ekocycle, and Global Citizen. The concept was to target specific types of waste and encourage participants to recycle those items. Different methods of collage were paired with simple statistics to create easily shareable media with a modern aesthetic.
CONTROVERSY!, a Los Angeles based nightclub event, has afforded me the chance to experiment with a wide range of graphic treatments. These sample flyers give a taste of the styles I've helped in making with girlfriend and partner in crime Mila Zuo, referencing everything from tabloid ransom notes to avant-garde, jazz-age, magazine ads.
DANCEiSM is an active and well respected promotions group and artist collective. They run a large number of successful electronic music events in Los Angeles as well as other major US cities. It's always a creative and interesting experience to work with them. I made this graphic for a one-off event, using the concept of comic art. Found cartoon strips and 70's color schemes combined to create this acid tinged flyer.
Our bedroom was looking a little bare since the girlfriend and I moved back to LA. So I decided to redesign the poster for one of our favorite films, Abbas Kiroastami's "Certified Copy". Unfortunately, the bedroom still looks empty, but the posters turned out nicely.
I designed this event flyer for a UCLA organization in the school of Theater, Film, and Television called Elevate. I had developed their branding, so I was already familiar with their aesthetic preferences. I wanted to create a flyer that was light and modern while allowing the text to remain readable. The final design works with abstract forms and balance to achieve a visual sense of "elevation" without resorting to tired visual cliché's.
I illustrated this sticker and t-shirt design for Filmbreak, a company dedicated to connecting new film makers in Los Angeles. And what better way to communicate dominance and power in a film company than to use "The Monolith" from Stanley Kubrick's iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey? These small designs create a playful and humorous interplay between the very serious reference material and the lighthearted and young client, positioning FilmBreak as the business to lead us out of ignorance.
I developed this presentation deck for The Global Philanthropy Group, a company that works to bring corporate funding to charitable causes. The focus of this presentation was pitching to Green Mountain Coffee (creators of the Keurig Brewing System) some worthy organizations to which they could donate. The primary challenge in this project was condensing large amounts of copy into digestable and elegant forms. Much of this was done through infographics. But high quality photography from participating charity groups was also used to give the deck a richer visual feel, and to remind viewers of who they could help.
I designed and illustrated a series of three posters for a screening of the 1992 film "Juice", with the director Eric Dickerson. This film set a standard for some of the most iconic ganster films of the mid to late 90s, with some of the earliest on-film appearences of hip-hop heavyweights including Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre, and, of course, Tupac. Since the film employs such rich and recognizeable cultural trends, I incorporated some of those elements into a simple exploration of identity, illustrating the distinct styles of the time and pairing production stills with simple visual identifiers.
The L.A. Rebellion film movement was a revolutionary period in Los Angeles film history, as well as a time of high creative output for many young, black directors in Los Angeles. The films of this stretch from the 1960's to 1980's, established the careers of directors like Charles Burnett and Larry Clark as well as a distinct aesthetic for social unrest in film. I had the privilege of designing all the graphic and promotional materials for a two month retrospective of the movement, held at UCLA, the birthplace of the movement. I was granted access to the school's image archives, from which I was able to cultivate a large collection of striking photographs. Using these as a base, a simple type layout worked to bring out the defiant but productive nature of the time.
A photo study intended to blur the lines between perceived realities. One photo shows a human figure, what might usually be perceived as "the real." The other reveals a constructed, alternate reality, challenging that initial "real" perception.
Print media has been forced to reassess its methodology as social networks become the primary means of news aggregation. "Compressor" was an attempt to reformat the traditional newspaper structure, for a younger audience with a shorter attention span. Text heavy stories are summarized with easily digestible phrases and a larger emphasis is placed on visually rich imagery.
Praxis is a catalogue designed to illustrate the crossing of two design worlds, that of the learning student and the established master. The text consists of interviews conducted by students to a professional designer of their choice. The questions and answers are divided into two separate, smaller books, allowing the work to be viewed in different ways. One book lays out the questions and notes of current design students, while the other provides insight into the minds of today's design professionals. When read together, the book becomes a conversation between multiple generations of designers.
When nearing the completion of my undergraduate design education, I often reflected on the validity of what I learned and the quality of what I made. The result was an attempt to experiment with the creation and meaning of typographic design. A simple note to my parents, laid out in Helvetica, takes on a larger ironic meaning using a change in dimension and material.
This flyer series was created to promote a weekly house music event in Los Angeles. Utilizing bold, fonts and processed photos of youth culture, each flyer represents the fun, relaxed, and fresh nature of the night.
My design partner and girlfriend, Mila, myself, and some business associates in New York have started a clothing line called "Two City", as we work in two cities, bi-coastally. The focus of the line is high-fashion anti-culture. I develop the graphic elements including the clothing designs and branding. This venture serves as an outlet for the frustrations we encounter in our every day lives and allows us to shape to this visual landscape in our own, small way.
These samples photographically depict a study in sub-culture. I embedded myself within a a group of "Furries," people who enjoy wearing plush animal suits as a celebration of anthropomorphic animal forms. I lived with and met many Southern California's Furries, with the subject of these photos as my guide into this world. The photos were an attempt to portray these people in their "natural environments" as fair and even-handedly as possible.
This photo shoot was taken for UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, an organization promoting meditation within workplaces, especially schools. The purpose of each photograph was to frame each child in a meditative state, something usually unseen for the energetic age of the children. The setting and position of the children create a sense of peace and weightlessness which is a firm endorsement the for center's research.
I worked on this video for up and coming electronic music artist "DATALOG", with creative partner Mila Zuo, in our creative firm, PublicNotice Design. We wanted the content and style to stand in stark contrast to the bulk of mainstream media by using underrepresented women of color and a more traditional, stereoscopic 3D style. The final product is a bright and joyful reinterpretation of the music.
Pogoseat is a company working to get sports fans into prime seats as fast as possible. They were looking for an informational video to communicate their business identity and function to a wide audience. We conceptualized the idea of using a "rough sketch" style to illustrate the new and experimental nature of the company. Once a script was finalized, each image was illustrated and then painstakingly animated to create cute interpretations of complex business concepts.
A continuous series of modified photographs, creating a surreal, constantly looping series, passing endlessly between spaces. The fluid blending of each frame accents the eerily empty settings, forming a dream-like experience.
An attempt to capture the kinetic motion of Lia Halloran's still painting, "The Irreversible Downfall of the Intercoastal Six." Elements of the painting float with the subject in empty space and are revealed in quick, bleeding streaks that reflect the artist's brush strokes.
A continuous series of modified photographs, creating a surreal, constantly looping series, passing endlessly between spaces. The fluid blending of each frame accents the eerily empty settings, forming a dream-like experience.
This series of animations was made for the documentary "TunaHAKI" by director Mason Bandewald. The film focuses on a group of acrobatically trained orphans living near Kilamanjaro, Tanzania as they are given the chance to travel and study their craft in the U.S. These sections were created using photography taken during shooting and were designed to let the viewer feel as if they are traveling with the children through each setting.
Two prototype commercials for the Uni Watch, designed by Takemura Ori for Qixen-p Design Studio. This watch allows the user to customize their watch face with any number of colors and designs. The setting in each commercial is filled with vibrant, moving designs that reflect the variation this watch can produce. The overall message of each commercial is to impart a feeling that the watch owner can be as changing and unique as the the watch itself.
A short story, based somewhere between reality and fact, depicting an old fisherman's final ritual for a loved one.
I have been editing a continuing series of videos for Conscious Commerce, a blog dedicated to promoting healthy and earth conscious living. Every video focuses on an individual who has had an impact on the conscious lifestyle, and video presents the challenge of matching their tone and personality while maintaining the voice of the site itself. All of the subjects are unique and particular attention is paid to making these videos reflect that.
Effectively a saturation of violence in a medium already saturated with violence. This video was meant to demonstrate how much visual violence the average media consumer intakes and how little attention is paid to that fact.
This is a short vignette, made in Sanhe, China, in partnership with Mila Zuo as part of PublicNotice, exploring the wonders of a traditional chinese breakfast.
This is a short video I helped to produce and edit with TheRiotHouse. The client wanted a video to promote their new campaign to raise awareness of the need for family planning services in developing countries. The process was arduous and we went through many iterations of this edit, finally settling on this final version, a combination of kinetic type, image montage, and video.
This music video, produced by PublicNoticeDesign, was created around the idea of memory. Mila came up with the idea of using old 8mm video and VHS of her childhood and the bay area girl duo of BAM!BAM! loved the idea. The result is a purely retro, thrash and grunge, teenage shennanigans on tape.
This was the second music video PublicNoticeDesign produced for electronic music savant DATALOG. He had referenced a number of very minimal "city symphony" films, with stripped down aesthetics and lush color and motion. And that's exactly what we made, a visual soundscape of one night in the city. Bright, dreamlike visuals match the tone of the music as the audience passes from dusk to dawn.
This is an experimental project made between me and my girlfriend / design partner Mila Zuo. We each took footage from a trip we took to San Francisco and edited it in different ways, without telling the other. Then, with edits of identical length, we played each back to back, producing new perspectives and juxtapositions in the work. This is a process we plan to repeat again in the future.
Motherhood is often seen as a pure, organic entity. Technology stands in opposition to that, seen as a hard, forever-evolving force. This video was an attempt to show the merging of the two, motherhood as machine.
A short representation of the color red as I perceive it, a sexual and tantalizing shade.
A study of voyeurism, its subjects, and repressed sexuality in the frame of modern technology. A cyclical relationship, voyeurs watch from the shadows and in turn are watched. The lens through which voyeurism is viewed is dark and rough, a trademark of CCTV footage.
A short progression through 5 terms of political dissent. The font and color choices reflect the themes and styles of Chinese Cultural Revolution propaganda, while the motion simply mirrors the often violent connotations of each word.
A logo treatment for UCLA's Design|Media Arts Department, created to depict the fluctuating nature of an arts education. Physical type forms were formed using metal filings and then disassembled using neodymium magnets. This footage was then paired with the sounds of a scanning radio to compound the shifting sensations.
This video was made around the time of my 22nd birthday, as my undergraduate education was ending. The purpose for its creation was to review the short life I experienced thus far and to explore the uncertainty of what lay ahead of me.
My personal relaxation is often very private and very rare, as my work consumes most of my time. This installation video projection demonstrates that point, both sharing my relaxation with the public, as well as capturing my image within a work space, denying full relaxation. A streaming video feed of me in my apartment was projected on a wall at UCLA campus, allowing passersby to enjoy interacting with me and share in my relaxation.
Houhai is a surreal place and a notorious one in Beijing culture. A once royal lake, now open to the public and surrounded by bars and restaurants, it's easy to feel as if one could become lost in the atmosphere of this area. It overflows with sound and color, in a seemingly endless circle of food stalls and nightclubs. This video was PublicNotice's attempt to capture that fluid and surreal feeling of Houhai.
This is a lyric video I worked on with TheRiotHouse for singer Cillie Barnes, of Family of the Year fame. We assembled this project from previously shot material and developed a strategy for displaying the lyrics in a way that matched the feeling of the music. I acted both as editor and MGFX artist, developing the visual style for the piece. The end product pairs spacey, "last night's party" style video with bold, abstract text.
I worked with TheRiotHouse to produce, shoot, and edit, this video promoting the partnership between the Cellairis "Shout" case generator and Erica Domesek's DIY flagship "P.S. I Made This". We worked to create a fun and lively video that captured the feeling of both companies.
The term "Public Space" in Los Angeles has always been somewhat of a loaded term. What little usable public space there is in LA is often either used towards a commercial purpose or is appropriated by those who don't have private spaces, rendering those spaces largely unusable in the communal sense. This is documentation for a physical installation project, commenting on the loss of Los Angeles Public Spaces. A small, uncomfortable, and artificial "state park" was constructed and placed in public spaces. The confused reactions of LA residents formed the true message of the piece.
These are some small motion title designs I made while working at TheRiotHouse, made specifically for presenting the ItTakesTwo Campaign, run by the Global Poverty Project.
While in China, PublicNotice design stayed in a suburb of Beijing, called Sanhe. This was in the first few days of our journey, and we were taking with the beauty of the surroundings, and the vast differences from the places we were used to. In that spirit, we edited together some of our documentation footage, in tribute to this area.
Spark: Painting Mosuo Country is the cumulative result of 3 weeks of filming in rural southern china. PublicNotice Design travelled through the Sichuan and Yunan provinces of China, with a group of artists, funded by the group Spark - Chinese Contemprary Art Invitational. The purpose of this trip was to allow artists the opportunity to travel to the most rural parts of these regions, into areas held by one of China's least known minority groups, the Mosuo. This group of people represents one of the last surviving matrilineal societies in the world, and their culture has stood, unchanged, for thousands of years. We wanted to create a piece that reflected the experiences we and the artists had on this journey and the cultural exchanges that took place between us travelers and the native people in these areas.
Zuo Duo is a friend of PublicNotice Design and a cousin of Mila's. His youthful energy and often times explosive personality makes him a truly unique individual and a person, and we felt these traits demanded a documentary. We lived with Zuo Duo and his family for 3 days of near constant filming. The result is this comedic, moving portrait of one man in Beijing.
I shot and edited this video with Bryn Mooser of Ryot News. Miguel Forbes approached us to shoot and direct this short PSA for the 2013 annual Forbes Company town meeting. He wanted to put a face to the supporters of Forbes and add genuine feedback to the edit. We had a one day shoot on the Venice boardwalk in California. The rest of the footage was comprised of crowd sourced videos pulled from Miguel's own twitter feed.
I designed this portfolio page for San Francisco director and cinematographer KC Smith. The client wanted a simple, straightforward that presented his video work in cleanly on both desktop and mobile screens. I build this site using the Wordpress CMS and a modified Super Skeleton theme to create this functional system. The final product allows the client to easily add and promote new work while creating a professional storefront for new clientele.
I acted as lead developer in the design of the website for the 2013 Global Citizen Festival while working at TheRiotHouse. The focus in building the site was to create a centralized location where visitors could glean all the information they would need about the festival with the minimum about of clicks possible. Much of the work came in editing the information into easily navigable sections while allowing the visual content to be displayed in a prominent way. The inclusion of parallax effects on images gives the page a sense of depth and gravity for what is very much a momentous event.
One of the first projects I worked on when I started working at TheRiotHouse was revitalizing the company website. The owner wanted a the front page and much of the content to have a more organized, cleaner look with some more current HTML5 features. I developed a new solution that pushed recent work to the front page while also adding an interactive slider element at the top to point users to other important endeavors. Not only did I get the satisfaction of completing the overhaul, but I also got to enjoy seeing other projects I had worked on generate on the page.
These are four industry studies videos for Topshop Clothing, focusing on their four US flagship sotres in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas. I acted as the creative lead for this project, shooting two of the videos for Los Angeles and Las Vegas and carrying all four videos through post, which included editing and sound mastering. I tried to give each of the stores it's own unique feel, based on its location so each of the videos has its own color parameters and graphic style, to accompany its music choice.
This is a side project developed by The Riot House, a blog generating content and insights focused on conscious living. Aside from the normal site development, including site structure and content layout, I did a lot of server side development, migrating the CMS onto a dedicated server space and working Ruby to contend with traffic spikes. This is an on-going project and I am still involved in daily updates as new posts and interviews are created.
Dougal was engineered in the wilds of northern New York to be the ultimate design assistant. His technical abilities were honed and refined at UCLA’s Design and Media Arts research facilities. After achieving sentience, Dougal went on to help firms around the world. Now he works as a gun-for-hire, working in all manner of design media. When not working, he is in “sleep mode”.
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