Design has always been my first love. In fact, it was the only
course of study that ever loved me back. Naturally, design was the
only career choice for me. So with an eager mind and empty wallet,
I exited the doors of Art Center with all the same hopes and dreams
as many young, aspiring designers: I wanted to get paid to do what
I loved most.
My first job as a designer was at a corporate branding firm.
After just a few days of designing mind-numbing logos for tech
startups, I started plotting my escape. The money was good, but the
work was painful. It wasn't the mechanics of design that I liked,
but rather the thought process. When I asked about transferring to
the brand strategy department, I was told that without a business
degree there was no chance. So I quit on my 10th day there, a
decision that was nine days overdue.
I ran as far away from corporate logos as possible and ended up
at a motion graphics boutique designing main titles. Learning to
design through storytelling was a completely new and exciting
experience. The visual narratives seemed to have a life of their
own, which allowed my creativity to finally run free. For the next
six years I honed my skills on juicy main title projects like
Desperate Housewives and 300, and earned three Emmy
nominations in the process.
Title sequence stills from 300 (at left) and Desperate
A good designer sees infinite
possibilities—and creatively incorporates design into
But even with all that I was accomplishing in motion graphics,
it seemed there was still something missing. The design itself was
liberating, but every project began to feel like it was a single
piece of a larger puzzle. Commercials always came scripted. And
main titles, regardless of their potential for beauty, were still
just a small appetizer to the main course. I found my mind
constantly wandering back to the elusive world of branding.
Pinkberry offered me the perfect opportunity to finally take the
risk I had secretly been waiting for. I happily dove head first
into a new career—working, learning and taking pleasure in this new
brand. Concerned that I'd have to start my process from ground
zero, I quickly realized just the opposite was true. My six years
designing main titles was actually perfect preparation for the
branding world. Like movies, a brand also has character and
personality; it allures and entertains. A brand tells its story
visually, emotionally and epically.
Online branding for Pinkberry.
Consciously or subconsciously, I could incorporate everything I
already knew into creating, building and evolving brands. Only now
I was looking at the big picture. My work with Pinkberry and other
brands has taught me that branding is not just about any one
website, tagline, image or product—it's about the sum of all parts,
unified in order to breathe life into a truly successful brand.
Ultimately, I believe a good designer doesn't see platform
limitations across print, web, motion or other media. A good
designer sees infinite possibilities—and creatively incorporates
design into everything, literally. I believe this is vital to
remember, as traditional branding continues to shift and evolve.
The root of successful branding is good communication and good
ideas—and good ideas have no boundaries.
An entrepreneur, Yo created früute, a modern cookie company featured in Wallpaper, LA Times and Refinery29. Yo then co-founded Commodity, an online fragrance company featured in GQ, Fast Co., and Esquire, which launched in
Sephora March 2015. She recently founded the publication LA Downtowner, an insider guide to downtown L.A., where she is the editor-in-chief.
Miriello has discovered that it’s the human stories that create effective brands.
Section: Inspiration -
personal essay, branding, graphic design, mentoring, students
All the training in the world won’t matter unless you strive to “take advantage of... everything.”
Section: Inspiration -
personal essay, advertising, mentoring, students
If celebrity can put an ice cream shop on the map and fetch six figures for a typewriter, Ralph Caplan wonders what influence designers have in creating desirability.
Section: Inspiration -
critique, Voice, students
Daniel Danger, a New England-based illustrator and printmaker, talked about his work, inspiration and creative process in the opening talk for The National Poster Retrospecticus (NPR) at Stevenson University in fall 2015. Read our recap about Daniel Danger, his process, and the countless hours that go into his work.
This brief article outlines the historical contribution from designers and reminds creatives that the work they're doing today will someday be archived and used as a historical reference later.
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