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IN PURSUIT OF PURPOSE

ELLIE CHEN, MFA

S E L E C T E D W O R K S ( 2 018 – 2 0 21)

Designer Ellie (Aijing) Chen

Discipline M.F.A. in Graphic Design

ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY

00 08 In Pursuit of Purpose Selected Works


IN PURSUIT OF PURPOSE

ELLIE CHEN , M FA

S E L E C T E D W O R K S ( 2 0 18 – 2 0 21)

Designer Ellie (Aijing) Chen

Discipline M.F.A. in Graphic Design

ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY

00 08 In Pursuit of Purpose Selected Works


00 However, all these years of wandering and learning have gradually imbued me with a strong desire to seek a compelling purpose beyond merely jumping on the bandwagon. It is design that gives me the privilege to not only express my independent perspective, but also create meanings and ascribe values to the world we live in. I am grateful, for being able to meet design, to learn design and to find a purpose through design.

Introduction By the time I got into a design institute at the age of 24, I’ve already obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a Master of Science degree in marketing communications. None of them are design-related. To some extent, I was following the path that had been set before me.

Good design should always be purpose-driven. It’s more about strategy than making things beautiful. For each project in this portfolio, I began with an objective—the purpose—and introduced my approach of achieving it. In many cases my purpose is about human, be it leveling up our life experiences, envisioning a better future for the young, or advancing diversity and inclusion. But I also enjoy exploring the art and science of typography, film, music, literature and more.

It’s a long and winding road for me, to meet design, to learn design, to find and create meaning through design.


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INTRODUCTION

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Good Design Is Always Purpose Driven

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Seeking Wonder

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Looking Ahead

03 Supporting Lives

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02 Achieving Heights

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Exploring Beyond

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05 Chasing the Classics


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TA B L E O F CO N T E N T S

Purposes in My Portfolio

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P R O J E C T 01: T H E C L O U D O F FA N TA S Y

01 08 Seeking Wonder Project 01 The Cloud of Fantasy

Course Integrated Communications Instructor Hunter Wimmer

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01 Approach Based on my research, I defined a theme to explore in Gondry’s films: wandering between mundane realities and marvelous reveries. I employed light leak effects to prosaic-looking images and paired them with line illustrations of fantastical landscapes and creatures.

Objective Develop a complex set of materials that promote a hypothetical film festival for a chosen film director. The goal is to integrate various forms of messages into a cohesive visual language that fully expresses a common thread and aesthetics of the director’s films.

Typefaces Archer Office Din 2014 Clarendon (Modified)

Keywords Adventurous Fantastical Day-Dreaming

Categories Branding Book Design Packaging UIUX Design

A hypothetical film festival creating a system of visual communications that celebrate the work of film director Michel Gondry.


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Reverie and Reality “My dreams are as strong as my real experiences, so it’s natural that I include them in my movies.” —Michel Gondry


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PROJECT 02: SEGA REBRANDING

02 08 Achieving Heights

Project 02 SEGA Rebranding Course The Nature of Identity Instructor Hunter Wimmer

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02 Approach I chose the brand SEGA, a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher, with the brand soul of advancing personal development. With a considerable amount of research into the brand, I designed a new visual system based on the concept, defined detailed brand standards, and came up with a wide range of business expansions that will elevate people’s lives in many aspects.

Objective Identify a dying or defunct brand, investigate into its mission and brand legacy, and create a completely new visual identity. Based on the new brand guidelines, develop a set of business opportunities for the brand to thrive beyond its original industry.

Typefaces Halyard Zilla Slab

Keywords Driven Innovative Proactive

Categories Branding Book Design UIUX Design

A rebranding project for reviving SEGA with a new identity system and a strategic development plan that carries forward the brand soul.


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PROJECT 02: SEGA REBRANDING

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IN PURSUIT OF PURPOSE ELLIE CHEN , M FA PROJECT 02: SEGA REBRANDING

Path to Leveling up Be it physical or mental, educational or p ofes ional, the n w SEGA aims to adv nce p rsonal dev lopment to he n xt lev . 050 051


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PROJECT 03: MEDST FIRST AID APP

03 08 Supporting Lives Project 03 Medst First Aid App

Course The Nature of Interaction Instructor Phil Hamlett

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03 Approach Approach I Iconducted conductedboth bothprimary primaryand andsecondary secondaryresearch researchtoto understand the pain points people often experience in understand the pain points people experience while learning about first aid skills. My design solution involved learning about first aid skills. My design solution involved simple and colorful user interface a refreshing and colorful interfacewith withreader readerfriendly friendly languages and intriguing illustrations. Meanwhile, languages and intriguing illustrations. Meanwhile,I built I built aaprocess processsite sitetotorecord recordmy mydesign designresearch, research,strategy strategy and andapplication. application: medst.org.

Objective Objective Create Createaauser userfriendly friendlyapp appthat thatoffers offersquick quickaccess accesstoto first aid supplies and motivates people to partake first aid supplies and motivates people to partakeinin online onlinetraining. training.The Thegoal goalisistotodevise devisea acohesive cohesivebrand brand expression and apply the principles of user-centered expression and apply the principles of user-centered research researchand anddesign designinindeveloping developinginteractive interactivesolutions. solutions.

Typefaces Typefaces MuseoSans Sans Museo

Keywords Keywords Engagement Perspicuous Simplicity Intriguing Interactivity Interactive

Categories Categories UIUXDesign Design UIUX

digital product product design design elevating enhancing AA digital people’s experience experience of of learning learning people’s first aid aid knowledge knowledge and and skills skills first funand andengaging engagingway. way. ininaafun


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PROJECT 03: MEDST FIRST AID APP

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Offering fun, engaging and easily understandable first aid guidance, training and resources.


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PROJECT 04: LEGO FUTURE REPORT

04 08 Looking Ahead Project 04 LEGO Future Report

Course Type Systems Instructor David Hake

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04 Approach After delving into LEGO’s brand messaging and core businesses, I synthesized the information about toy innovations as the major content. Line graphics and mono-spaced types were applied to create a sense of science and technology. Accent colors were used in a subtle way that made black and white photos visually engaging.

Objective Design a book for a future report based on a chosen brand LEGO’s existing publications. The goal is to challenge our approach to typography principles and explore innovative ways of communicating through the lens of technological advancement.

Typefaces Atlas Typewriter Atlas Grotesk

Keywords Technology Playful Aspirational

Categories Typography Book Design

A LEGO future report mapping out the blueprint for the toy industries and inspiring future generations with technology.


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PROJECT 04: LEGO FUTURE REPORT

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FUTURE FOR THE YOUNG “We continuously explore the opportunities offered by new technologies to create fun experiences for children.” 10 6

—Tom Donaldson, VP of The LEGO Group

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PROJECT 05: HONG KONG CL A SSICS

05 08 Chasing the Classics Project 05 Hong Kong Classics

Course Digital Design Studio Instructor Bob Slote

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05 Approach As a Hong Kong movie enthusiast, I realized through research that many of us hope to visit the film locations, but have no idea where they are and how to replicate the famous scenes. I developed an integrated app that locates filming sites with powerful search, navigation and photo-taking functions, satisfying the need to fully immerse oneself in the intersection between movie and real-life experiences.

Objective Identify a problem of our own interest and design a digital product solution that applies the principles of user-centered design in the creation of user interfaces. The objective is to understand user behaviors and build a friendly and engaging experience.

Typefaces Freight Text Skolar Sans

Keywords Oriental Evocative Urban

Categories UIUX Design

An app that enables movie lovers to find filming locations and recreate their favorite classic scenes from Hong Kong movies.


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Locating where classic movies are filmed in Hong Kong, with powerful search, navigation and photo-taking functions.


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PROJECT 06: LIGHT OF HER LIFE

06 08 Retracing the Past Project 06 Light of Her Life

Course Type Experiments Instructor Stan Zienka

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06 Approach As a classical player of the cello, I selected the Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 by Edward Elgar. The piece was played by Jacqueline du Pré, who was considered one of the most talented cellists at the time and known for bringing this piece to life. The senses of nostalgia and yearning were what inspired me and I experimented with lighting and typography to fully express the idea.

Objective Develop a poster that interprets a piece of music and the story behind it through typography, imagery and layout. Screens and projectors are used to compose different elements onto various surfaces and thus to create more a dimensional design solution.

Typefaces Titling Gothic Centaur MT

Keywords Yearning Passionate Nostalgic

Categories Typography Poster Design

A music poster paying homage to cellist Jacqueline du Pré, who left an indelible mark on the history throughout her tragically short life.


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PROJECT 06: LIGHT OF HER LIFE

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Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 When Jacqueline met the Elgar Cello Concerto, it became the light of her short, but brilliant life. 14 4 145


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P R OJ EC T 07: T H E P L A N E T S T R A I L E R

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07 08 Exploring Beyond Project 07 The Planets Trailer

Course Motion Graphics Instructor Frank Pietronigro

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07 Approach The book I chose was The Planets, for which I set up a sense of infinity and timelessness throughout the whole video. I managed to experiment with 3D techniques to build dimensionality, and transformed flat, texture images from NASA into believable planets. To make the scenes visually more interesting, I employed lines and geometric shapes that mimicked the structure of the solar system.

Objective Create a two-minute video trailer for a chosen book that encourages the purchase of the printed matter. Employ design and imagery from the book itself or apply original design, to pique the audience’s interest by providing an intriguing look at the story.

Typefaces Museo Sans

Keywords Immersive Mysterious Alluring

Categories Motion Graphics

A book trailer that visualizes the themes and ideas of exploring our solar system through an immersive viewing experience.


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The Planets Introducing the solar system as you’ve never seen it before: an incredible journey through worlds that defy imagination.


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PROJEC T 08: M FA THESIS: ADCLUSION

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08 08 Thesis: Be the Change Project 08 MFA Thesis: AdClusion

Course MFA Thesis Development Instructor Phil Hamlett


08 Approach I began with researching into why diversity in advertising matters to the audience and what barriers ad producers often encounter in representing different people. I also generated insights into some of the best practices in the industry by conducting in-depth interviews with over 20 ad professionals. This information became the foundation of my deliverables, which included both print and digital solutions that help brands and advertisers to thrive with diverse and inclusive ad messaging.

Objective The lack of diversity and the issue of underrepresentation in advertising have greatly impacted people’s perception of themselves and the world. The goal of this project is to foster a better understanding of diversity, strengthen empathy for people of different cultures and personalities, and empower diverse talent in the ad industry.

Typefaces Utopia Adelle Sans

Keywords Engaging Empowering Empathetic

Categories Poster Design Branding UIUX Design Book Design

An MFA thesis advocating diversity and better representation in ads by fostering understanding, empathy and empowerment.


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Advertising Misfires Advertising plays a critical role in shaping the perception and decision of different members in society. Stereotypes and racist portrayals in ads can exert negative impact on how we think about ourselves and others.

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Brands are constantly struggling with diversity and representation in the ads they produce. Misunderstandings around the idea of diversity, inability to empathize with people of different backgrounds and the lack of empowerment of diverse talent in the ad industry are accounting for the misfires.

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To advance diversity and representation in ads by enhancing advertisers’ abilities to understand diversity, empathize with audience and empower their voices.


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Understand: Awareness Publication Brochures | 1.0pt

Website | 2.0pt

Handbook | 2.5pt

Seminars | 0.5pt

Mobile App | 2.0pt

E-Management | 1.0pt

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To start with, I equipped myself with knowledge of the media and advertising world through reading the latest industry publications that address the idea of diverse representation. To elevate my design skills and develop a better solution for diversity in ads, I also read design-related books that advance my ability to make my work appropriate for the topic.

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Secondary Research

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Primary Research To have a deeper understanding of the topic and generate content for my deliverables, I took a variety of methods to conduct research, synthesize data and information, and create reports to record the whole process. I held a focus group of 12 participants to uncover their views on diversity in ads, and conducted in-depth interviews with over 24 working professionals in the advertising-related industries to understand their motivations and frustrations.

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“We are thinking about not only demographic diversity, but also diversity of thoughts.” April Carlisle, VP of Marketing Coca Cola

“Diversity is like a fact, and inclusion is more of an action and a verb. You have to work hard to be inclusive and to foster an inclusive environment. Even a step further is equity.“ Alexandra Givan, Senior Manager, Comcast

“You can’t just show people that you understand without empathy. Diversity without empathy is hollow and meaningless to me”. Angel Valdez, Contractor Premier Talent Partners

“For me, diversity is really about how we can work with people that are unlike us and be respectful of where they are coming from.” BorFang Su, Creative Director Huge


“We should be ensuring that the work that is being made doesn’t play into stereotypes or offensive content, and that there are guard rails put in place to help facilitate that.”

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Devika Premsukh, Client Operations Supervisor Starcom

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“I struggled a lot with gossip within the company, like, ‘she didn’t deserve it.’ And I realized that it was really the white people saying that, versus people of color saying ‘this is awesome for you and its an example for me.’”

Kaitlyn Thompson, Strategy Director Energy BBDO

Andres O. Rodriguez, Account Supervisor C+C | All About the Good

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“How is my career gonna grow? When I look at this decision making table, when it comes to my upward mobility, there’s nobody there who looks like me. It feels like I don’t have that same kind of advocacy other people have.”

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“All of these things like language, age, immigration status, income. You have all these things that you are trying to balance out in order to understand who you are talking to.”

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Sharable print materials paired with an awareness website that identify common misunderstandings of diversity and propose strategies on how diversity and representation can be better achieved.

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Understand Diversity: Awareness Publication

The image presents the multifaceted concepts of diversity beyond race and ethnicity. Diversity can be about diff erent shapes, genders, sexual identities, personalities, capabilities and more.

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A comprehensive toolkit with frameworks and industrial insights that help generate better representation by advancing the experience of empathy. This includes a comprehensive handbook on the path to inclusive ads as well as admission to AdClusion seminar events.

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Empathize with Audience: Insight Toolkit

The image is from Sephora’s 2017 Reach Out and Gift Campaign that intends to celebrate diversity and connect with all clients and their own unique beauty preferences and styles.

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A mobile platform that shares information and resources for diverse talent, and an corporate management system which assesses and analyzes whether a brand’s employee profile is inclusive.

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Empower Diverse Talent: Digital Platform

This image is intended to show an inclusive work environment for advertisers where they can have open and honest conversations, and bring their authentic self to work.

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To My Instructors Thank you, Mary Scott, Phil Hamlett, Hunter Wimmer, John Nettleton, David Hake, Stanley Zienka, Bob Slote, Sandra Isla, Frank Pietronigro, and more, for sharing the invaluable knowledge and expertise of yours that truly enlighten my learning experience at the Academy of Art and equip me with the necessary skills to thrive in the professional world.

To My Family Mom and dad, thank you for respecting my decisions and allowing me to pursue my passion without having given back much to the family. Thank you so much for raising me up with love and support, and making me a better individual.

To My Fiancé Thank you, Qiyang He, for always standing by my side for the past five years and being tolerant of my rather eccentric personality. Thank you for being supportive of all my endeavors and pushing me to enjoy the beauty of my life. And of course, thank you for bringing Haru home and making us a stronger family.

To My Friends Melody Chang, my dear roommate from Northwestern to the Academy, thank you for taking care of me and the time we spent together burning the midnight oil. Ali Deng, my only MFA-mate, thanks for offering me your generous feedback and encouragement all year round. Jingjun Kong, Stella Fan, Eva Ma, Alice Wang, Mingzi Zhang and more, thank you for being my best allies, role models, and companions, making my life in a foreign country less lonely and more connected.

Thank you all for your guidance, support, patience, encouragement, and love that allow me to make this happen.


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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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My Sincere Thanks for the Support

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Instructor Mary Scott

Course Senior Portfolio

School Academy of Art University School of Graphic Design 79 New Montgomery Street San Francisco, CA, USA

Contact Ellie (Aijing) Chen +1 224 703 8023 elliechendesign@gmail.com elliechen.design

Colophon

Bookbinding blurb.com

Typeface Vultura FreightSans Pro FreightText Pro

Book Title In Pursuit of Purpose

Photography Ellie Chen unsplash.com pexels.com shutterstock.com rawpixel.com

Copyright © Ellie (Aijing) Chen All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording and other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission from the publisher. Some images and text are used exclusively for inspiration and educational purpose only.


elliechen.design

Profile for Ellie Chen

In Pursuit of Purpose | Graphic Design Portfolio  

Selected Works of Ellie (Aijing) Chen

In Pursuit of Purpose | Graphic Design Portfolio  

Selected Works of Ellie (Aijing) Chen

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