Graphic Design Portfolio


Thinking of Redesigning MySpace?

A classmate of mine wanted to redesign MySpace, and include a Pandora-like feature. That might be a good idea, but MySpace needs much more than just Pandora to revitalize it.

I have tried the service once or twice, but it was always a bit too cluttered for my tastes. Plus, it seemed to target a younger audience (mostly school-aged kids it seemed, from elementary to high school) than I was interested in “friending” or networking with.


Korea’s Brand, the KTO, and My Initial Analysis for Beginning my Master’s Design Project

I selected the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) as my client for my Master’s degree Design Project. I selected this company for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they need help reaching their target audiences, and perhaps a new set of targets, as well as a new strategy to promote Korean tourism to the world, and not just Asia.


Do Modern Handheld Devices Cause “Technology-Assisted Distraction Syndrome”?

This is a frustration that has been voiced be many freelancers and business people:

My biggest frustration is with high level executives who want their project done yesterday but can’t seem to put their Blackberry down for five minutes when you finally get some face to face time with them. I know many of these folks like to think they can be more effective by multitasking but in my opinion the majority of them are shortchanging both the person they are emailing and the person who is trying to have a meaningful discussion with them. There is definitely an art to effectively getting someone to pay attention these days with so many portable distractions. To tactfully tell someone you need their full attention is not always easy.


What Makes Horrible Websites? – Amateur and Corporate Sites

One of my classmates made this statement in one of our discussions:

I have stumbled upon so many sites that are difficult to navigate and are poorly made websites…most bad websites are the result of clients not doing enough research and just choosing the first and cheapest designer that they can find.

It prompted me to write the following post that talks about horrible websites – amateur and corporate.


Don’t let Scope Creep creep up on You

Scope creep is where many of our problems with budgets and deadlines come from. Freelancer Miles Burke defines scope creep as what happens “when extra functionality or items are added into the project that weren’t part of the original specification.” (Burke, 2008, p 127). It is arguably one of the biggest project killers and tension points, and is no fun to deal with when it happens.


Considering What to Work on for My Master’s Design Project

Because I live in Korea, an ideal client for me to target for my Master’s Design Thesis Project would be one that has a need for English in design. The major business sectors that use English in Korea are tourism and education.

The tourism sector includes a few ideal clients: the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is the national organization for tourism marketing in Korea; the Korea International Medical Association (KIMA) is a new initiative to promote Korea Healthcare to international patients; and Jeonju tourism promotes my city’s cultural and culinary heritage.


Should We Increase Online Privacy, or Increase Professionalism?

The issue with Internet privacy has been popping up all over the place in recent weeks. Google and Facebook are currently the two largest targets, but the issue at hand now isn’t one that hasn’t already been dealt with before. Eleven years ago, in 1999, Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy told reporters that consumer privacy issues were a “red herring,” after their competitor Intel disabled identification on their Pentium III chips. He said, “You have zero privacy anyway…Get over it.” (Sprenger, 1999).


We all know freelancing “for free” is bad, right? But are there also good kinds of “free work”?

A few of my classmates were discussing the advantages and disadvantages of doing freelance work “for free.” So, I want to also jump in on the “free work” discussion. As far as “free work” goes, I think there are a few distinctions that should be made, as there are many avenues through which working for free may happen. The AIGA, the professional association for design, has posted on their webpage that they “believe that professional designers should be compensated fairly for the value of their work and should negotiate the ownership or use rights of their intellectual and creative property through an engagement with clients.” (AIGA.org). That being said, the AIGA describes five kinds of “free work.”


The Golden Rule of Social Media: Don’t Miss the Point

I’ve experienced many frustrations with Twitter since joining last year. But, I’ve learned a few things through those experiences. I’ve noticed that some companies bombard people with tweets every few minutes. Sometimes the promotions they offer are special, but most of the time it seems they’re just trying to keep their names at the top of your feed. Some people I’ve followed tweet the stupidest information, like, “Cool! Did you know it’s physically impossible to lick your elbow? Try it! LOL!” (Needless to say, those people are quickly un-followed).


Creating an Art Deco Poster for Korea – A country which knew no Art Deco Period

The early 20th century saw a large number of very rapid changes in all areas of life, particularly those of industry, architecture, fashion, and design. A number of advancements in technology, as well as two World Wars contributed a great deal to these rapid changes, while the Wars themselves greatly pushed the technological and industrial advances. Art Deco is probably the most well known and abiding design style from that period, and its effects could be seen in all areas of life (and still can be seen in many old and new designs today). However, for the enormous weight of its impact on design, the true Art Deco period itself was rather short-lived, and much of the tail end of it shifted into another, similar design style, for which it is often confused: Streamline Moderne. A brief summary of historic events is helpful in more fully understanding the transition of design into and then beyond Art Deco, as well as the reasons Korea seems to have completely skipped over this revolutionary design period.

Designing an Art Deco poster for Korea was a very difficult task, given that Korea has virtually nothing of Art Deco design in its history, save a single image I found from the 1988 Seoul Olympics, at a time when Art Deco design was going through one of its many comebacks. But, using as many resources as I could find, and as much creativity as I could muster, I made it happen:

Now, let’s get into the historic background that led to the Art Deco design period in the Western world.


Second Life: Effective Educational and Networking Tool? Or Free World of Warcraft Clone?

It has been interesting for me lately to hear mention Second Life and how highly some speak of it. I’ve been hearing a few things from various corners about its potential for collaborative learning. It turns out that one English professor at a major university here in Korea has been pioneering a combination of Second Life and Moodle (“a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites” (Moodle.org)) for a better English language educational experience for students. The professor, Chris Surridge, says that his combination of Second Life and Moodle “promotes creative problem solving, student centered exploration, and unique, personalized learning experiences.” However, as I watched his video describing energy crystals, zombies, and classic gaming puzzles, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was all, as Kayne on WiseGeek writes, “an instant guilty pleasure.”


Make Social Media Work for You

I was quite surprised by a posting I saw on Flickr.com by Brian Solis and Jess3. It was a poster titled “The Conversation Prism” that breaks down every current social media network into various categories. The thing is massive. Check it out.

It would take a full day just to investigate every site listed there, and that’s why it is important to choose carefully the right social networks to be involved with. Each network has its own pulse, purpose and body of users. That’s why Janet Fouts writes in Social Media Success!, “You’re going to want to identify where people are talking about the topics you are interested in, what types of networks they are using and where the biggest concentration of interest is.” (Fouts, 2009, p 37). This way, a designer can join a discussion that is already underway, to glean information from it, or add value to it.


Partner Up with a Social Cause for a Mutually Beneficial Relationship

As I mentioned in my previous post, a little negativity about a certain brand or product can hurt much more than a lot of praise. Therefore, I think that companies are constantly looking for ways to decrease customer dissatisfaction and increase a positive reputation in the eyes of consumers. This is where “partnering up with a social cause” can be highly beneficial, not only for themselves, but also for us, as designers who may be commissioned to design for these partnerships.


Does Social Media Buzz Paint an Accurate Picture of Consumer Opinion?

I personally am quite interested in the topic of connecting with users and customers through social media. It sure beats traditional methods of researching customer bases, such as surveys and interviews, although there can be some privacy concerns as to how much information is able to be shared and researched. I’ve noticed a few articles online recently that discuss the privacy concerns both Facebook and Google are facing these days as they stockpile user data and make it easier to share all that data between services and sites online. I even talked to one friend who was vehemently against joining any social networking groups as, in his words, “Companies can search those sites like Facebook and Twitter and use that stuff against you. If they see something they don’t like, you could get fired, or not hired.” However, if user data is used carefully and not sold to companies, then researching customer buzz through social media can greatly benefit a company.


When Considering What to Work on for my Master’s…

When considering a project to work on for my Master’s Campaign Project, a dozen ideas immediately popped into my head, based on our project type options. But as a classmate wrote in our discussion, “it is the slimming down of these ideas that begin the design process.” That being the case, I’ll briefly outline the process of “slimming down” ideas that I recently undertook to help me analyze my own options better.