Behind every graphic designer, you’d discover a creative brain that has the creativity to think of images while staring endlessly at a blank canvas.
It’s true, our designs started from white space until images and the like are conjured with utmost finesse and vibrancy to bring life to what you see on your computer screens. To satisfy our curiosities, today we will talk with one of the designers who have been with the company for over a year. And together, let’s discover how projects and campaigns travel from a mere concept to a finished design.
Before I approached Jed Tupaz, I could see that he has a lot of plates. His monitor is flickering from one program to another. I interviewed him for two days because he was quite busy on the first. But on our first day, he had a cap on but his curls look similar to a Roman statue and were slinking beneath his headgear. A stylish cap of sorts. He wore a leather jacket, denim this time, as he always does when the office is quite drafty. He had a blank stare laser-focused on the screen but as I called his name, he looked at me and I knew without him saying that he was quite busy. But nevertheless, he smiled and joked about his predicament.
He turned his swivel chair towards me and our conversation began.
Hi Jed, thanks for setting some time to talk to us. Today, I’ll be asking you some questions about your work.
Hi! Yeah, no problem.
So firstly, tell us something about yourself and what you do for EOI Digital.
Basically, I’m your typical millennial kid who loves to make the most of my own free time after getting things done. I grew up in a small village in the province of Rizal region and now currently residing in Quezon City.
I found my interests in arts and design back in high school, thanks to the influence of my artistic friends. And to be honest, growing up, I found myself disliking sports. Maybe that’s why I placed my interest in arts, generally. Music, writing, painting, sketching—name it! So when it was time for me to go to college, I went with the decision of pursuing an Arts and Design Degree to pursue my interest in Computer Graphics Design.
I’m currently the Graphics Designer for EOI Digital, our digital agency dedicated to helping other businesses further improve their reach through the use of social media and any other digital means. Basically, I do almost all of the graphic assets for the clients and the company itself. Whether it be for an advertising campaign, for reaching out to target audiences through social media or to just basically look for a “golden meme” from the internet and show it to the team.. Just kidding!
Wow. That seems to be a lot of work. Can you describe what type of creative design you find yourself generally good at?
I like to keep things simple and clean but make sure I’d still add certain creative flair into it. That’s because one of my main theories when I do graphic design is I should be able to clearly deliver my message through the output I will make. Making the design simple and clean greatly helps the audience understand the message you’re trying to convey through the output you make. Designing might look like its just mix & matching elements but truthfully, there are more principles to follow, which could tremendously help further grab the attention of the audiences to look and understand your output. But as for me, I keep it simple so I don’t lose my message along the way.
That’s a good point, Jed. So, explain to us how you start your day. Like, when you receive a project or a proposal, how do you begin?
There are two things I’d like to do before I begin my day. Usually, when working (of course, it’s automatically design-related), I listen to music to bolster my mood to get to work. Music helps pumped me up and find my “zone”. Generally, I listen to any sort of pop music. Indie pop, K-pop, synth-pop. I find that pop music makes me want to finish my work for some reason, even if it takes me long hours.
The other one is to surf and scour the corners of the web, looking for eye-catching designs wherein I could use as an inspiration or peg for my next project or task. Most of the time it’s the simple, clean ones that attract me. But like searching and pinning boards on Pinterest, looking up other design pegs from various designer websites, listening to tips from designer podcasts. You know, those get me working for some reason.
You mentioned earlier that your friends got you into graphic design. Any other sources of inspiration for getting into the industry?
I had a sleeping passion for arts and designs and my high school friends probably awaken it the most. But the one who urged me to really pursue the course is my family. I guess I could say they are a central part of my life. I was considering taking up Psychology instead but thanks to the never-ending persuasion of my friends and family, I found the courage to take Multimedia Arts in Asia Pacific College and graduated last May 2018. I’m glad they pushed me, it’s different when you get support from family when you want to pursue the arts.
That’s really nice to hear. Now, let’s talk about your work and your career. Do you have any favorite editing programs to go with your work?
To get a clear picture, I guess I could consider myself a minimalist designer so I make the most of my tools which are basic designer programs. That’s the great thing about minimalism, you can make the most of what you have and what you don’t have. For example, Adobe software such as Photoshop and Illustrator, though simple, can help me bring out the kind of design I want. When editing photos and manipulating still images, I think that Photoshop is still the best software to use. It has everything I need. And when it comes to making vector assets, I use Illustrator the most.
Are there any bodies of work that you’re really proud of that you’d like to show us?
There’s actually a lot of designs that I’m proud of but I’ll mention the ones on top of my head. One of them is the van design marketing for Da Giovanni. I made the design layout for the van that will be used as one of the client’s marketing strategies and I’m really happy with the end result (and so is the client *laughs*).
I’m also proud of the dozen brand identities I’ve made for blockchain events/companies that our company has worked with, along with other companies like Run Bnb and Alveo as well. I put some more effort into these projects maybe I remember them so well. It’s different when a project gets you going.
These look amazing. Has anyone ever influenced your work?
Hmm… It’s hard to say. A lot of people inspire me if I think about it. If I could mention a few, Ramotion’s technique and his ability to produce superfine quality logo brands are one of my favorite designers in the field of branding. I like their way of presenting their output in a simplistic fashion.
Genesis Motion Design is another. They use vibrant colors effectively and dynamic movements on their video animations which I try to do myself. They’ve been sort of my go-to technique so I could bring images to life with energy.
For Filipino Designers, John Ed De Vera’s approach is my most favorite. He uses detailed paper cutting technique and typography style to produce a unique yet outstanding visual design output. I think it’s quite difficult to do.
Have you developed a specific style or niche when it comes to graphic design?
I won’t say I have a certain style apart from my minimalistic approach. But aside from that, I experiment on creating vibrant-colored designs with vitality and energy to my output. I prefer to apply well-thought concepts with various design techniques to produce well-balanced output Have you heard of the Golden Ratio? I try to use that often when constructing a logo. And also using the hierarchy of shapes and elements on creating a design layout. There’s a lot of principles I’ve yet to dabble on. It’s hard to balance experimental approaches with client tastes. But sometimes, getting the constructive opinions of others is also necessary to get their perspective aside from yours. Not only this will be beneficial for the design itself, but it will also help correct the view of the designer too. I’m interested in developing further my technique on working with colors and design techniques but nothing I would say that’s really specific as of now.
Any styles you find interesting or want to give a try?
I guess it won’t hurt to try something completely opposite from my current style. Lately, I’ve been really interested in monochromatic and dramatic approaches. Monochromatic is not really that far from minimalism since there are also other monochromatic designs that are clean and direct to the point. But there’s a challenge with monochromatic where you have to keep it interesting despite the lack of colors. I’d want to pull off something like that.
Over-the-top designs are also catching my attention. It’s polarizing, I know. But think dramatic designs require a certain flair, especially when the design needs to be extra yet should still captivate both the attention and hearts of the people. Additionally, most designers who use this approach in photography. And I’m not really good with a camera. It’s embarrassing, I know (laughs). But I really want to give it a shot.
Were there projects that you’ve found risky or out of your comfort zone which paid off when you look back on it?
Hmmm… nothing I can say that’s “risky”. As of now, since most of my works are done with the help of other people’s opinions, it’s mostly guided and comfortable. However, if I do encounter one of those scenarios in the future, I’ll tell you. As usual, I’m sure I’ll still get help from other designers and produce that output that will clearly pay off to satisfy both me and the project.
Someone who’ll read this interview might be aspiring designers in the future. Any advice you can give them about the work and the industry?
There are times when you will find yourself comparing your work to others but always keep mind that doing that will bring nothing but discontentment. Instead, we should look deeply within ourselves and start to believe in our own ingenuity. Designers and artists, in general, are prone to this but it’s unavoidable especially in the digital community. Start small and appreciate every moment. Along the way, things will somehow align themselves without you even noticing it. Make a goal and focus on what you’re currently working on. Motivate and disciplining one’s self is key.
Thanks, Jed. Now what do you think the future holds for you?
Like what I said earlier, the future holds endless possibilities and worrying about it would not help. Instead, I set goals and focus on the current stuff which I find more important since it will most likely keep me headstrong and driven. I know experiencing moments will take me there and surely, along the way, my skills will further develop, enhancing my capabilities to grasp bigger opportunities waiting for me ahead in the future. *smiles*
Thank for so much for answering my questions Jed! It was a pleasure.