Say hello to the team of issue nine!
Left to right: Stella Ho, Thy Mai, Julia Favaloro, Huy Nguyen, Georgia Urie, Samantha Jones and Helen Yu.
We are very excitedly starting on the third instalment of our three edition series of the magazine. Before our team gets knee-deep in work there are introductions to be had! For issue nine we have graduates and students from UTS, UNSW and Billy Blue. Let’s meet Georgia Urie, Helen Yu, Huy Nguyen, Julia Favaloro, Samantha Jones, Stella Ho and Thy Mai and get to know them a little better.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Georgia: Hi I’m Georgia! I like caffeinated beverages, dark chocolate and things that look nice. While making & serving the first of these has been my career so far, I am currently working on turning the last into a full time job. I currently live in a small town called Pretty Beach on the Central Coast, where I also grew up. Over the course of my degree I have grown to love my long commute, as it is this forced thinking time that has spurred some of my best ideas.
Helen: Hello you! I’m Helen Yu (a tagline I’m trying out… what do you think? 😅). I’m a Sydney based graphic designer who has found this calling a little later in life. Growing up with Asian migrant parents, I never dreamed that I could make a living doing something creative. I took the stable route of being a Science teacher, however, over time my dissatisfaction grew. With the help of time off, lots of career quizzes, consoling my poor mother for resigning, 3 months travelling with my husband, doing some design work for my church… I finally took the leap into graphic design and I have been loving it! Honestly, I’ve never enjoyed studying and learning something so much. Hopefully I can keep growing and become an awesome designer!
Huy: My name is Huy and I am a Sydney-based designer. As a designer, I am deeply interested about the human condition and constantly seek inspiration from music, movies, literature and art that I am exposed to. I love nature and nurturing things—I have 2 cats named Pudding and Ice-Cream and over 50 plants. In my free time, I can be found tending to my garden or cycling away with my road bike.
Julia: Hello I’m Julia! I’m a Sydney-based graphic design nerd who loves all things type and print. I spend a lot of time taking film photos of friends and family and buying books with pretty covers that I’m certain I’ll never read.
Samantha: I’m a Sydney based creative and recent vis-com grad, big on design that is thoughtful, playful and socially responsive. Likes: ocean swims, natural light, analogue collage, The National, people who can laugh at themselves. Dislikes: weak showers, mosquitoes, closed mindedness.
Stella: Hi I’m Stella! When I’m not designing, I potter around the garden growing green things, binge reading fantasy novels, capturing daily inspiration in photos, collecting printed matter, practicing yoga, hiking, catching up with friends, and always drinking tea!
Thy: I am a Visual communications student who always has an itching desire to create and engage with other people. I am still trying to determine my own place in the design industry and am currently experimenting with a wide range of different creative forms and mediums to find a cohesive visual style. At this point in my design journey I am compelled to produce stylised human fruit illustrations using black ink, but this might not last long as I tend to lean towards change and trying new things quite often. In my spare time, you can find me unsuccessfully trying to improve my driving skills, buying another denim jacket or applying blistex.
How did you get into design? Was there a defining moment that made you want to pursue it?
Georgia: I wouldn’t say there was one defining moment that made me want to pursue design, but rather years of my resistance towards it, before finally giving in. For as long as I can remember I have had an innate interest in visual language, and the way it can be used to communicate a message. This can be found in everything from the detailed birthday cards I made as a child, to the depth I went in to coding my Myspace profile as a teenager. I have never been the person with a ‘dream job’, but I always new that I loved creating. It wasn’t until my 3rd year out of high school that I realised that I could turn my passion in to a career.
Helen: It took a while to get my head around pursuing design as a career, but the leap was quick. It was the day I took my car in to get fixed. Knowing that it would be a full day without a car, I decided to plant myself in the nearby Westfield food court with my laptop and apply for admin jobs (at this stage I had been resigned for a year and really wanted income). I wasn’t excited about any of the listings, and before I realised, I found myself opening up TAFE and Billy Blue graphic design courses. I messaged my husband, we chatted that night, I enrolled and started classes a couple of days later.
Huy: I’ve always been creative growing up and never had I thought of myself being in another field. However my journey took on interesting turns and quite a few detours. When I was finishing my HSC, I was deadset on either architecture or fine arts and I ended up choosing architecture because my ATAR allowed it. I went on to finish my undergrad in architecture and got an offer to do my Master’s in the same discipline. However, 2 weeks after graduating, I got a job in publication and marketing and I really enjoyed what I did. That experience inspired me to explore further into the realms of graphic design, both digital and print and so I decided to go back to uni to do my Master’s in Design and major in graphic design instead.
Julia: I’d say I got into design through a love of art. I was a very curious kid and was always drawing things around me. My grandma is a poet and a ceramist and I loved the way she talked about art and her experience of being a creative. Design became a way for me to channel my curiosity and creativity.
Samantha: I think I’ve always been a creative person, and spent a lot of high school getting in trouble for drawing in class (something that I continue to pay for in my inability to do simple maths). But I also have a big old soft spot for writing and words. In graphic design, I found my happy place being creative with the intention to communicate meaningfully – a meeting of type and imagery, art and messaging.
Stella: I started out with an avid interest in fine arts, and was always drawing and painting. In high-school I chose design studies as an elective, which expanded my interests to graphic, product, costume and set design. Things have just evolved from there!
Thy: I have always had a deep interest in drawing, painting and general little crafty projects but never realistically thought I’d pursue a creative course or career. I was in my final year of high school when my friend told me she was going to do Viscomm in Uni and because I was really stuck and had nothing planned, I just thought I’d do the same thing. Over the years studying Viscomm, I have realised its full scope and diversity of work, and have since tried to deeply broaden my design understanding to contribute my skills to our society.
Who/what influences you and the style of your work?
Georgia: I often find myself inspired by the things outside my immediate discipline, regularly turning to architecture, history and culture to inspire my work. I am constantly observing my everyday encounters and how they could translate into my own designs. The way light falls, people interact and the built environment grows. I want the things I create to be unique and reflective of the complex yet beautiful world we live in, with a sensitivity to environmental sustainability and human experiences. Of course I also have a neurotic collection of Pinterest mood boards, and a therapy-worthy addiction to Instagram scrolling.
Helen: I love so many things… it’s really hard to narrow down! Bright colours, maximalism, utilitarianism, dark colours, vintage/retro, swiss, romanticism, flat vectors… the list is endless. A big part of my process is filtering through this and narrowing down to a solution. As a result, I believe my designs have a bit of lateral thinking, imbued with nuance, pairing something straight-laced with subtleties of quirk and character to convey a tone or message, and vice versa.
Huy: Stylistically it would be Helmut Schmid and AG Fronzoni for their bold and stark typographic works. The photographs of Araki Bobuyoshi and essays of Joan Didion also inspire me. These people are experts at world-building with strong distinct styles – something I continuously strive to achieve with my design practice.
Julia: I’m influenced by such a variety of things and people. I often look beyond graphic design work when seeking inspiration. Names such as British photographer, Martin Parr, and American artist, Ed Ruscha, stand out but there’s too many to mention. In terms of my style, I try to focus more on the concept behind a work. A teacher of mine once recommended the book ‘A Smile in the Mind’ and I’ve been influenced by its display of witty thinking every since. In saying that, my general style would be refined and minimalistic with bursts of bold colour and strong typography.
Samantha: The thing that inspires me most is designing for good – especially work that communicates difficult information in a moving way. The Guerrilla Girls and For the People’s recent rebrand/campaign for WAGEC spring to mind. I’m also interested in the intersection of art and design – and often look to music posters, album art and book cover design to find those worlds colliding.
Stella: It’s a great big world out there and I’m always on the look out for new sources of inspiration! As they say: “We stand on the shoulders of giants”. I’m inspired by design that is thoughtful, humorous or witty! I love to draw so I have a soft spot for illustrative works, character design and hand-drawn typography. There is usually at least one of these aforementioned influences visible in my work.
Thy: I am a strong believer in the power of design and the resonance of visual imagery and forms. In this way, I strive to create work that is engaging and that doesn’t exist to just be pretty, but rather to strengthen meaning and connect to the viewer in any way. Taking visual inspiration from the everyday, I like to make typographic work that uses simple text and experimental techniques to enhance its meaning. Illustratively, I often go for a more bold and witty style.
Ask 6 people you know what colour they think you would be. let us know what colour you think you are too.
Georgia: I thought I was pink but apparently I’m yellow!
Helen: Me: Burnt orange.
Philly (husband): Purplish pink. It’s something that is direct and people never dislike it. But it has some sense of power. Like trippy. People can’t say no to you hahaha. Like the cat colour in Alice in Wonderland. But darker.
Mum: Pink. It’s in your (Vietnamese) name. I’ve always liked pink.
Lynette: I’m really boring but I associate you with a dark teal haha that’s your colour on WhatsApp for me.
Flick: Orange is the first colour that comes to mind.
Vivien: I’m thinking maybe yellow or blue. Turquoise?
Giada: I see you multi-coloured. Or maybe yellow.
Huy: 3 greens – apparently because I’m such a calm person. 2 whites – they didn’t have a particular answer for it. 1 black – because of all the black I wear. I never thought about this but I think green speaks to me the most. Shades of green, like of a pine tree or a sugi forest, make me really happy.
Julia: I got two emerald greens, regular green, mustard, yellow and gold. I have to agree with my friend that said mustard as, in his words, ’it shows that you’re young and bold but also that you have an old soul’.
Samantha: People close to me said: midnight blue, teal, sunflower yellow, violet, “sky blue, and sheer like a chiffon fabric” (lol) and mauve. I think that I identify most with blues, maybe a navy.
Stella: I received three blues and a purple, along with the rationale that I’m calming, caring and gentle. I also received two yellows, because I have a sunny and bright personality. Personally, I’d say I’m orange for its warmth and liveliness.
Thy: I had two people tell me orange, two others telling me yellow and one person telling me purple. I think it’s really sweet that people see me as vibrant colours as I would like to see myself that way- like a bright, olive green.
If you were a typeface, what would you be?
Georgia: National—carefully thought out but happy to blend in, with hair to match its curling terminals and heavier weights
Helen: Ogg. Traditional, but a bit offbeat.
Huy: DIN 1451, basic and severe
Julia: Probably Space Mono. A little quirky but very readable.
Stella: If I were a typeface, I would be Latinotype’s Recoleta, because it’s fun, friendly, open and a little quirky!
Thy: I think I would be something like Mr Eaves Sans (Emigre fonts), just because I admire the simplicity and clarity of the typeface, whilst having that subtle uniqueness and charm.
Describe yourself using just 2 emojis.
Georgia: 〰️☕️ curly and caffeinated