The Coolest Portfolio Book Ever

The beginning of this year, I mentioned that one of my 2016 professional design goals was to upgrade my physical portfolio so that I can bring it to interviews and client meetings. After eight months since I first announced it, I finally invested in one. After some research, I decided to look into Klo Portfolios.

For my book, I designed a simple cover with just my logo, using the color fill engraving treatment with my brand colors, and my name with regular engraving on white acrylic. The binding of the book uses screwposts so that I can easily insert pages. The overall ordering process, including communication with Klo’s customer service and shipping, took less than two weeks.

Once I received my book, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the piece. Klo did a great job in turning my design and custom specifications into reality. If you’re looking into Klo Portfolios, I do have to say you would have to pay a pretty penny. To me, I find this as a great investment, especially if you want to make that good first impression with your future employer or client! To learn more about Klo Portfolios, please check out the website or like their Facebook, @kloportfolios.

Getting Back to Art Basics at Pinot’s Palette


Yesterday, I was at my cousin’s bridal shower at Pinot’s Palette in Montclair, a BYOB art studio that provides a really cool concept of teaching a painting class while having fun with friends over food and wine.

I never heard of Pinot’s Palette until I went to the bridal shower and I have to say that this place offers a fun atmosphere for everyone, whether you’re an artist or not. You get to network and catch up with friends while admiring the artwork hanging on the wall. The place is also great for date night, a girl’s night out, birthday parties, and even for unique bridal showers. All you have to do is bring your own food and drinks, and Pinot’s provide the paints, brushes and canvases. Depending on the location, the Pinot’s Palette also offers general art classes and holds private parties at their spacious studio, which you have to reserve in advance. I definitely recommend this place if you want something different than a usual happy hour at a bar.

One of the activities we did at the shower was to paint flowers in celebration of spring (even though it’s snowing right now!). I haven’t used a paint brush in over 15 years and it felt like I was a student back in my art school days before all the things that adults had to do — working, paying bills, having responsibilities. I definitely have to thank Pinot’s Palette for bringing back the artist in me after not painting (or doing anything artistic outside of the computer) for many years.

Design Inspiration – Japanese Toys Exhibition at SFO Airport

I’m here in San Francisco on vacation for a wedding. It’s my first time here in this city so I’m very excited to explore the place.

Once I arrived at the SFO airport, the place has a museum while walking towards baggage claim. Wanted to show you quickly the Japanese Toys exhibition here. An array of posters featuring Speed Racer, Godzilla and other Japanese animation. Very nostalgic!

So, What’s Your Job Title?

Embed from Getty Images

This topic has been in my mind for awhile because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. My little dilemma (if you call it that) is based on The Creative Group’s recent post on modern creative job titles.

Whenever I go meet people in professional networking or social events, the first question they would always ask is “So, what do you do?” What’s my answer? I tell them that I’m a “graphic design and communications consultant.” However, in my mind, am I really? Does this job title accurately represent the work I do?

In my experience, I always feel that I’m more than just a graphic designer. Other than having an art school background who’s very familiar with Adobe Creative Suite, my career has progressed to writing, editing, communications strategy, web content management, email marketing, blogging, social media management (at least for my own social media platforms) as well as budding freelancer and entrepreneur.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all. I feel that having an additional skill set makes you more marketable to potential employers or clients, especially that technology is exponentially increasing and businesses are looking for more than just a hands-on designer.

My only complaint is…what exactly do I call myself? Do I call myself a either a “graphic design and communications consultant” or “creative services professional” since I do more than just design? Should I use my given corporate job title as “Marketing Communications Consultant” even though it sounds too broad, or something else that’s more specific? Maybe I’m overthinking this whole issue and need some sleep (it’s 1:30 am ET in the morning)?

So I have to ask, what’s your job title? Do you make up a fancy job title based on your skills? If so, what is it? I would love to hear your ideas. 🙂

In Support of the Philippines

Instead of my usual posts on graphic design and portfolio updates, I wanted to post this for some time. As a concerned citizen, as well as a proud Filipino, I am saddened by the devastation Typhoon Haiyan has affected the Philippines. Thankfully my relatives who still live in the country are fine and were not affected by the typhoon. As much as I am relieved that my relatives are safe, the people who were affected by the typhoon are not as lucky and the Philippines is still going through recovery efforts. Instead of just contributing money to organizations, I wanted to do something a lot more that I hope can make a difference.

Image by New York Road Runners (via Basno)
Image by New York Road Runners (via Basno)

Outside of my design and communications career, I’m also a runner who ran various races, including my first marathon that I completed last month. Most of the races I have competed are for personal accomplishments, but this time it’s different. This upcoming race is very special because I’ll be running for the Philippines. I just signed up for the 5 Mile Turkey Trot on Saturday, November 30 in Westfield, NJ. My goal is to raise a minimum of $300, which the proceeds will support UNICEF for the New York Road Runners (NYRR). This minimum amount would cover at least a school-in-a-box kit and fleece blankets for children. It’s much appreciated if you can help me raise funds for this charity by clicking the DONATE button or you can create your own fundraiser through Crowdrise. Any amount you donate will help provide relief and recovery to the Philippines.

Please go to this site to learn more:

Lastly, since this is a graphic design blog, I found a couple of design-related sites that presented inspirational work from artists who volunteered their time in assisting relief efforts. These designs can also help raise money in support of the Philippines.

Graphic Design TBT – Network Social Flyer

yveniaSM_SocialFlyer05Here’s a little random #TBT (“Throwback Thursday”) for you – graphic design style. I found this in one of my old design files. I did this back in 2005 for a friend of mine who wanted to promote a social mixer/networking event in Hoboken, NJ. It was designed in Illustrator using a fun and funky-looking font (don’t even remember the name of it!). This was one of my first paid design jobs (probably got paid under $50, but it was good for drinks at the mixer) and it was designed last minute.

Looking back, I probably would have added something more — maybe play around with the layout more, add a stock photo of people chatting it up over some cocktails, or redesign it with highly graphic imagery that you would usually see in club promotional flyers. Despite my own feedback, I have no shame in showing this (I wouldn’t have posted this if I was!). This definitely shows how far I have come as a designer.

What do you guys think? Any one like to share their “throwback” designs?

Design Inspiration – Wine Label

Happy 4th of July everyone! Wishing everyone a great holiday!

I’m enjoying and celebrating the holidays with family and I end up seeing this amazing wine label and logo. Oh and the wine tastes great too!