Emily Chan

A spotlight on Emily with 8 questions and our favourite pieces.

Hi! My name is Emily Jing Sum Chan & I am a designer 👩🏻‍💻 from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 & Indonesia 🇲🇨 . I am currently pursuing my dream 🤩 in New York City 🗽, trying to change the world with ✨ Design, Typography, Editorial Design, Brand Identity & Social Initiatives ✨. I am also a Senior, earning my Bachelor’s degree 🎓 in Communication Design 🖥 at Parsons School of Design 🎒; while maintaining my standing on the Dean’s list 🌟 as well as a 3.95 GPA 😰.

I’ve also been recognized 🥺 by various Publishers, Type Foundries & independent designers such as AIGA Eye on Design, Femme Type and Violaine & Jérémy to name a few 🙏. Please don’t 🙅🏻‍♀️ be afraid to contact me 🙋🏻‍♀️ if you’d like to receive my resume & cover letter 📩 . From 🐛 to 🦋, I am ready to give every project my all 💯. 

Do you remember the moment you knew you wanted to become a designer?

When I designed my first poster! Of course, now that I look back to that specific poster, I am very embarrassed and can think of many ways that I can improve upon it, but I feel like that’s an anecdote that’s been repeated with thousands of designers when looking back to old designs. Still, I am forever thankful for that moment as it opened hundreds of doors and opportunities for learning and growth.

Did you go to design school? Do you think it was necessary to get to where you are today?

I am still currently in design school — I am in my last year of my BFA degree at Parsons School of Design in New York City. I have learnt so much from so many amazing professors, I would not be where I am today as a designer without the guidance of my professors and the facilities provided from Parsons. That said, I do not think that it is necessary to have a design degree in order to become a successful and influential designer. I know many self taught designers who are equally as amazing (if not more) than designers with a degree! The design community has grown way beyond competition and self-success, I am starting to see a much more supportive, inclusive and diverse environment which I absolutely love and support. This will sound corny, but as long as you have the pre-existing passion for design, the drive to not give up, the motivation to develop an eye for design and the confidence to move forward — you will make it! Just don’t forget to *be nice* to *everyone*!

Who is your favorite designer right now?

Jessica 👏 Walsh 👏

What is your all time favorite font?

This is always a hard question to answer. I’ve spent many sleepless nights and countless hours of ponder over this question. I love a wide range of typefaces and time periods, ranging from gothic to neo grotesque. If I have to pick only one typeface to use until the end of time, it would be Halyard. For it’s legibility, and for it’s slight quirk.

What is your method of getting out of a designers block?

I just recently went through a creative block before finally coming up with a direction for my second typeface that I am currently working on. Creative block is frustrating. One thing that I always try to remind myself when I encounter a creative block is to embrace it, instead of drowning in misery and desperation. I tell myself that this is a moment to take a break, take a breath, do nothing. It’s hard for people with personalities who need to keep moving forward, to keep the grind on. So I try to balance out the desire to keep pushing forward and improving, with the very act of doing nothing and just living in the moment. After I take a much needed break, I search for inspiration. I don’t believe that all inspiration just comes to you. I believe that you also have to do the work and search for it. Then, sketch, sketch, sketch!!! This gets my creative juices flowing like crazy.

Can you describe your ideal working environment?

Easy: Inclusion, Diversity, Crazy High Standards & Work That’s Human.

Some of our Favorites

What advice would you have given yourself 3 years ago?

Take it easy, don’t give up, keep improving & pushing. Still advice I give to myself today.

What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career so far? How did you overcome it?

I’ve definitely had my slight ups and downs throughout my years as a designer, just like any other human. One of the biggest challenges that I currently face would definitely be balancing (or learning to balance) my work and life relationship. I am so intertwined with my work, and I love it so much, but I have had to learn to remove myself in order to take time for my mental health, my personal life, and other goals that I’d love to achieve for myself. I have always been driven to work on this and work on that, and I feel like that is a great asset, but sometimes when I’m trying to rest, I just think about all the other things (like sketching out new ideas for my next typeface) that I could be doing, which is a not-so-great asset. This challenge for me is definitely still a work-in-progress.

Want more info on Emily?

Check out Emily’s personal website, or her Instagram or connect with her on  LinkedIn.

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Violaine & Jeremy
Type Foundry

They design fonts like they would design everything else: with their own artistic gesture and sensibility.

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