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Annie Huang Talks With ULT

by Nate Eckman
Annie Huang Talks With ULT
Can you tell us a bit about you as a designer and thought leader and what you do? I am a graphic designer and a design educator. My design firm Bocu & Bocu specializes in editorial narrative publications and branding designs for clients from lifestyle, institutional to sports entities. I believe that each design solution has a purpose. There is a narrative to convey, either documenting a defining moment in sports history or conveying the brand message for a lifestyle product. A designer's responsibility is to bring that clarity, interest and message for the audience. As an alumnae from ArtCenter College of Design, I am grateful for the opportunities serving ArtCenter and its community as an educator. Teaching is a rewarding experience when you see students grow, get out of their comfort zone, and embrace challenges to extend their limitations as a designer. The collaboration amongst the students and the sharing within a competitive environment, help to foster critical design thinking skills that are pertinent not just for being as a team player, but being a leader within the design industry. Most of your graphic design work service the sports industry (MLB, NBA, NCAA).  What is it like for you to see that many of the traditional sports are investing in esports?  It's fascinating, seeing traditional sports investing in esports. I think there is a shared common interest — a passion for a sport form that connects the athletes/players, entities/organizations and spectators/fans together. Clean and minimal design seems to also be important to you.  Do you see much of these types of design in esports?  If not, what do you see? I don't think at the moment. I am seeing more of a display of logos and brand sponsors throughout in bright contrasting colors. Emphasis may need to be on the individual and group identities represented, as well as hierarchical clarity between competitors and sponsors. Focus on "less is more" as quoted from Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, modernist architect. Would you want to design for esports organizations?  If so, what would differ in your approach, if anything? I would be interested. I think the purpose of capturing the compelling narratives from the athletes/players, entities/organizations and spectators/fan should be the priority. You're an LA Dodgers fan. What is it like to imagine a world where the old stadiums are being filled with fans of esports? Wow, that would be quite an experience! Imagining peanuts and Cracker Jacks being consumed enjoyably by fans of esports, quite a juxtaposition. Digital sports presentation immersed in a historical setting. As an educator to millennials, how do you see the evolution of entertainment effecting their design sensibilities? It is ever changing, the speed and the transformation. No matter how quickly the process may evolve, I think designers are responsible in bringing clarity to the purpose of design, being thoughtful to the needs of their target audience and being engaged as part of the community. How do you feel about esports as a lifestyle and growing aspect of culture today? I think esports is already a part of our culture today. It may not be as identified in our day to day followings yet, but I think with its rapid emergence and development of consumer products, esports will eventually be further identified culturally with effective and successful branded lifestyle products.