John Van Luu

Member Since November 2005
Member Type Design Leader
AIGA Chapter Houston
Title Designer/Art Director
Company Schlumberger
Email gro.agia.notsuoh@uul.nhoj
Website www.slb.com
Bio

At Axiom, John works with clients to develop product branding, advertising and integrated screen and print communication programs with an emphasis on creative solutions for energy-focused companies. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, he fuses marketing strategy with compelling creative to solve business problems and drive opportunities for clients worldwide. John graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Communications.

 

As AIGA Houston Communications Director, John oversees all communications of AIGA programs/events/issues relevant to our profession and works closely with the chapter President & Programming Director to manage communication of the Chapter’s calendar. 

  • John updated a project on Behance.
    Antique Pavilion Website McCoy Global Rebrand Animation Guardian Ballistics Delivery System Animation PGS OptoSeis™ Interactive Kiosk
  • John authored "13 Warning Signs You Might Get Laid Off (And What You Can Do About It)"
  • John updated a project on Behance.
    EcoStim Energy Solutions Animation Cameron: iPad App Theming Landscape Perspectives Across AIGA HighMount E&P Website
  • John authored "8 Tips for Keeping Your First Design Job"
  • John updated a project on Behance.
    Cameron Presentation Menu Why AIGA? CAMLINK Asset Management Interface Office Pavilion Houston
  • John authored "A designer’s guide to LinkedIn"
  • John updated a project on Behance.
    Axiom Demo Reel Spring 2012 AIGA Houston Give Thanks Call For Entries Cameron Careers Website
  • John Luu commented on the article "13 Warning Signs You Might Get Laid Off: And What You Can Do About It"

    Sue, this is a pretty simple yet comprehensive checklist. Not sure if a designer would be able to execute them all within minutes (I'm picturing a Bourne style fast edit montage of someone attempting to do so in my head) but if they had hours these are all doable.  The tips regarding portfolio pieces and employment records are especially on point. Thank you for sharing them.

  • John Luu commented on the article "13 Warning Signs You Might Get Laid Off: And What You Can Do About It"

    Very good points. I will have to ponder this topic a bit and see what designers can do to bounce back from layoffs. I'm sure many of the challenges and issues are common to all professions and industries and will need to figure out how to distill it down for creatives or identify issues that are unique for designers. In my experience, the creative community within each city is typically very small and tight knit. It's very easy for studio owners and senior creatives to bypass HR and back-channel with each other to see the "real" reason someone was let go. With that in mind it's typically in your best interest to keep things on as a positive a note as possible during the aftermath. Paths do cross again. Sue's points below about portfolio samples are very much on point. If you don't have a viable copies of your work to show in your portfolio, you're at the mercy of former colleagues willing to do you a favor or omitting those pieces from your book entirely.

  • John Luu commented on the article "8 Tips for Keeping Your First Design Job"

    Those are very good points. The last one especially...

  • John Luu commented on the article "8 Tips for Keeping Your First Design Job"

    This is an excellent question. It looks like some of the tips above could be finessed to work for contract designers but rather than looking at it as an employer/employee situation, it might make more sense to think of a contract gig from more of a client/vendor point of view? If you're talking about "contract-to-hire" that might take some additional thought as well.

  • John Luu commented on the article "8 Tips for Keeping Your First Design Job"

     Maria, Thank you for your feedback and critique. I really feel it adds to the discussion and your vantage point provides invaluable insights. The title of my post was deliberately a bit provocative. A recent design grad, more often than not, is perceived to be a liability to a design firm, since many design programs don't teach their students much, if anything, about the business of design. I would say that the attrition rate for design graduates actually practicing design after graduation is pretty high. Five years out of school, most people with a design degree are doing something else. Anything we can do to improve the percentages would be a good thing in my book. In hindsight; adding an explicit tip addressing teamwork and collaboration would have been a good idea. For a variety of reasons I wanted to limit the post to 8 tips and really had to cull down my original list. I did feel though that being a team player was more or less implicit in several of my tips but could have made it more apparent. With that said, my goal was to prevent a tidy list and highlight some thoughts that were not being covered elsewhere. Regarding "Winning Creative Pitches": this can be a bit of a tough pointer in my view. In my personal experience I've seen plenty of nice talented designers get their careers sidelined because, long term, their design solutions were seldom picked by the client. On several occasions I've seen designers let go because of a low perceived "batting average" by senior management.   Now while each firm and agency is different and no rule of thumb is applicable to all situations I would encourage designers to make an earnest effort to see that their design solution is bulletproof enough to have a fair chance of being picked by the client. The ability to consistently generate design solutions that sees the light of day and makes it out into the wild is usually one of the thing that separates senior designers/art directors from employees that are doing more of the production work. I'm not saying one is inherently better than the other, it really depends on what your personal goals and talents are but if I had to guess most people who go into design as a profession have a desire to see their creativity have a positive impact on businesses, causes and the broader culture as a whole.    Also from a portfolio standpoint, having projects that were actually produced tends to be received more favorably than concepts not chosen. This seems to be a point that comes up a lot when reviewing portfolios of experienced design candidates "Was this actually produced?" "Arrive Early/Stay Late" I got some flak on this one from a couple of my design friends saying that it's a trap. I guess it's really up to each individual designer to see if it makes sense in their situation. Some firms put a very high priority on work/life balance and flex time and I applaud that. With that said most firms are in the business of making sure client demands are met and that the corporate machine runs smoothly. Each place is different. My primary intent with that tip was to make sure young designers don't get in the habit of rolling in late and leaving early, which never bodes well. At the very least I would advise young designers:  "Be on time / Don't duck out early / Avoid long lunches" I've been guilty of this enough time in my career to make note of it. Thank you again for the feedback! It's given me plenty to think about.

  • John Luu commented on the article "13 Warning Signs You Might Get Laid Off: And What You Can Do About It"

    Sue, this is a pretty simple yet comprehensive checklist. Not sure if a designer would be able to execute them all within minutes (I'm picturing a Bourne style fast edit montage of someone attempting to do so in my head) but if they had hours these are all doable.  The tips regarding portfolio pieces and employment records are especially on point. Thank you for sharing them.

  • John Luu commented on the article "13 Warning Signs You Might Get Laid Off: And What You Can Do About It"

    Very good points. I will have to ponder this topic a bit and see what designers can do to bounce back from layoffs. I'm sure many of the challenges and issues are common to all professions and industries and will need to figure out how to distill it down for creatives or identify issues that are unique for designers. In my experience, the creative community within each city is typically very small and tight knit. It's very easy for studio owners and senior creatives to bypass HR and back-channel with each other to see the "real" reason someone was let go. With that in mind it's typically in your best interest to keep things on as a positive a note as possible during the aftermath. Paths do cross again. Sue's points below about portfolio samples are very much on point. If you don't have a viable copies of your work to show in your portfolio, you're at the mercy of former colleagues willing to do you a favor or omitting those pieces from your book entirely.

  • John Luu commented on the article "8 Tips for Keeping Your First Design Job"

    Those are very good points. The last one especially...

  • John Luu commented on the article "8 Tips for Keeping Your First Design Job"

    This is an excellent question. It looks like some of the tips above could be finessed to work for contract designers but rather than looking at it as an employer/employee situation, it might make more sense to think of a contract gig from more of a client/vendor point of view? If you're talking about "contract-to-hire" that might take some additional thought as well.

  • John Luu commented on the article "8 Tips for Keeping Your First Design Job"

     Maria, Thank you for your feedback and critique. I really feel it adds to the discussion and your vantage point provides invaluable insights. The title of my post was deliberately a bit provocative. A recent design grad, more often than not, is perceived to be a liability to a design firm, since many design programs don't teach their students much, if anything, about the business of design. I would say that the attrition rate for design graduates actually practicing design after graduation is pretty high. Five years out of school, most people with a design degree are doing something else. Anything we can do to improve the percentages would be a good thing in my book. In hindsight; adding an explicit tip addressing teamwork and collaboration would have been a good idea. For a variety of reasons I wanted to limit the post to 8 tips and really had to cull down my original list. I did feel though that being a team player was more or less implicit in several of my tips but could have made it more apparent. With that said, my goal was to prevent a tidy list and highlight some thoughts that were not being covered elsewhere. Regarding "Winning Creative Pitches": this can be a bit of a tough pointer in my view. In my personal experience I've seen plenty of nice talented designers get their careers sidelined because, long term, their design solutions were seldom picked by the client. On several occasions I've seen designers let go because of a low perceived "batting average" by senior management.   Now while each firm and agency is different and no rule of thumb is applicable to all situations I would encourage designers to make an earnest effort to see that their design solution is bulletproof enough to have a fair chance of being picked by the client. The ability to consistently generate design solutions that sees the light of day and makes it out into the wild is usually one of the thing that separates senior designers/art directors from employees that are doing more of the production work. I'm not saying one is inherently better than the other, it really depends on what your personal goals and talents are but if I had to guess most people who go into design as a profession have a desire to see their creativity have a positive impact on businesses, causes and the broader culture as a whole.    Also from a portfolio standpoint, having projects that were actually produced tends to be received more favorably than concepts not chosen. This seems to be a point that comes up a lot when reviewing portfolios of experienced design candidates "Was this actually produced?" "Arrive Early/Stay Late" I got some flak on this one from a couple of my design friends saying that it's a trap. I guess it's really up to each individual designer to see if it makes sense in their situation. Some firms put a very high priority on work/life balance and flex time and I applaud that. With that said most firms are in the business of making sure client demands are met and that the corporate machine runs smoothly. Each place is different. My primary intent with that tip was to make sure young designers don't get in the habit of rolling in late and leaving early, which never bodes well. At the very least I would advise young designers:  "Be on time / Don't duck out early / Avoid long lunches" I've been guilty of this enough time in my career to make note of it. Thank you again for the feedback! It's given me plenty to think about.