Senior Proposal

Fall 2016


01_Design Manifesto



A manifesto: what a peculiar word that really does not come up in common conversation these days, at least not in mine. Because I was not exactly familiar with it I decided to do a little digging discover more. Within a very short amount of time I was pleasantly surprised to learn of Apple’s famous ad from 1997, “Here’s To The Crazy Ones.” This ad ultimately became Apple’s manifesto, summarized as “think different.” But what they said in the 60 second commercial was what stood out to me most. While showing images of famous people who have accomplished various great things, the narrator says,


“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”


Apple’s manifesto and toast to the crazy ones really struck me. This is precisely how I view design! Allow me to explain…

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. 
I often feel like in the real world surrounded by businessmen and women, in a world with the left-brained people who love numbers and facts and statistics, I do not belong. I have a brain that detests numbers and math. But my brain and my heart come alive when art, design, photography, or any kind of visual comes into play. While I often felt weird and different growing up I now understand that I simply see things differently. This is a huge part of design – to have new eyes, to gain new perspectives, to see what we never saw before, or to help others see what they never saw before. To be a designer you do need to be different. You need to be comfortable with not fitting in. With going outside the typical boxes the world likes to place us in. We NEED to be a round peg that doesn’t fit in the square hole if we want to think different.


They’re not fond of rules.
We may not like strict rules or heavy limitations that seem to crush our creativity, but we actually do need rules. These are rules we have learned the past three years, rules to better us and shape us. But in reality, we are actually learning design rules so that we can eventually become good enough to break them. To do something no one has ever done before. So rules are both great and detrimental, and it is up to the designer to learn to balance keeping them and breaking them to express great design.


And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. 
This goes along with the rules. We are created to follow and to break them, but we certainly don’t want to simply go with the trends of the world, the status quo. To only imitate what others have done and is trendy now is to forget our own passion and creativity, to forget the talent we ourselves possess. Design is about going above and beyond, going where no one has gone before. But perhaps it takes some slight imitation to get there, because to not imitate anyone or anything at all ever is nearly impossible. There are constant references to others’ work all throughout design, but it is what the designer chose to change or make different that sets them apart, and ultimately makes us unable to be ignored.


Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Change. Create. New. Push. Forward. We as designers are made to shake things up, to resist going with the flow. This is precisely what “think different” is all about. If it was “think the same” we would not have hundreds of thousands of typefaces to choose from. We would not have different styles of design and schools of thought to study. It is rooted in us as designers to change, to create, to think of things never done before. And ultimately, because of our desire for change and new creations, we do end up pushing forward. We push forward new methods, new styles, new trends, new colors. We were designed to be bold and daring in all that we do.


Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
People may not think of designers as changing the world. Instead people look to those in science and medicine and business to be world changers. But they forget how powerful an idea is. An idea that possesses a visual, a work of art, a design. Take the iconic image of the Eiffel Tower in a circle that abstractly represented a peace sign when Paris was bombed by terrorists last November. While this design did not provide aid physically to France and everyone else impacted by the terrorism, it provided unity. It gave people a way to express their thoughts and prayers for Paris during the difficult time. It was a design that brought people together, with millions using it on social media to declare where their hearts were. This design was simply created by a man who was trying to come to terms with what happened, and this drawing was his result. He had no idea the impact it would suddenly have and the meaning it gave so many people, but nonetheless, his design did, in fact, change the world.

As I watched this ad from Apple I felt myself nodding along fiercely, agreeing fervently with everything the narrator said. I felt passionate and excited because I recognized this spirit of creativity, and I felt that everything he said was true also to designers. This has become my design manifesto.


JJay | Be a well-designer

As I become a designer, I realize I have a responsibility to be a well-designer. I have been well-designed, so why should I not strive to design well? What determines, though, if design has been well-designed? For me, it’s primarily these six things:

  • Vulnerability – Every time you create something, you’re inviting people to see your thoughts and opinions. Whether you like it or not, what they see will affect their view of you, but you can’t let that get to you. Be proud of yourself for putting it all on the table while they sit back in their chairs.
  • Simplicity – “Take things away until you cry” Frank Chimero. It’s not a game to see how sparse or minimal the work can become; it’s about making the message easier to understand for more individuals.
  • Intentionality – Make it count. All of it. With, presumably, so little involved in the design, every component needs to be meaningful in some way.
  • Discovery – It’s truly impossible to ever fully grasp Design; discovering one answer leads to three new questions. Enjoying this process is key to avoiding frustration.
  • Coopertition – Competition is healthy. It pushes toward and stretches toward growth and improvement. But also be kind to people. Cooperate, work together, and grow together.
  • Stewardship – Be kind to people, be kind to the earth, be kind to yourself. Don’t take for granted that which is given whether it’s material, people, or ideas.

KC_Manifesto/Belief Statement

Graphic design plays such a big part in today’s world. Without it the world would be much less colorful. It is everywhere a person looks and is powerful in that it can sway them to do or not do something, buy a new product, check out a website, etc. Design can provide useful information or tell a story in an interesting way. The list of ways graphic design can be applied is huge and because of that I know there are so many possiblities for what I can do with design. I want to be able to contribute good design to the world. I’m not too sure what constitutes as good design but for right now it means design that is honest, useful, eye-catching, and impactful.

Creative Drive

From Bridge to Wonder by Cecilia González-Andrieu “It is in the work of creating that the human person, made in the image of the Creator, is more faithfully living out the promise inherent in the ‘visible world as a vast field in which human inventiveness might assert itself.’’ God is Creator and He created me, therefore I want to create. I love being creative and the process of starting with an idea and ending with something beautiful to show the world. It’s one of the main reasons I love doing what I do.

Intentionality/Power of design

I feel that design is a powerful tool that can be used to change people’s lives especially when I’m intentional with what I do. From Bridge to Wonder by Cecilia González-Andrieu: “Artists must discern the role within the human community as one that is vocation and a mission. Idea that ‘beauty saves’ because it is the ‘visible form of the good’ gives artists the obligation to put their talent at the service of communicating and evolving such beauty for ‘humanity as a whole.’”


I want to create design that can help to people in some way. This can be either drawing attention to an issue in order to help people’s wellbeing, designing for an organization that helps people, or designing something in a way that allows a person to easily use the product. I care about others and design is one of the ways I feel I can give back.


I value integrity in what I do, whether it is in relationships or in work, and in doing so maintaining my moral principles. There is also trust that can be built in relationships when people know you are being authentic with them and genuinely care about them.

Embrace process/Take chances

I’ve learned that it works well for me if I work through a process. It may take awhile but it is good to use this time to research, explore, try things out and take chances. Even if the risks I take don’t work at least take them so they are out there and not bouncing around in my head, distracting me from other things. It’s okay to try things out in this time, even if they are out of my comfort zone or I feel like they will horribly fail.

Learn from mistakes

Take opportunities to examine failures or mistakes and learn from them because it’s one of the best things that can be done to grow in design. It’s okay to look back, but don’t stay there too long.

Explore and continue to learn

It’s not possible to know everything there is to know about graphic design from the how to do the who is who. Therefore, it is important for me to keep broadening my horizons by learning about other designers, firms, areas of design, ways to do design, and examples of great design. Learning about what others have done can only make me a better designer because it can give me ideas and inspiration about how to go about solving a design problem.


If I’m not challenged by a project or the environment, I will not grow. This doesn’t mean I have to take on the most challenging project that I can find and may not be qualified for. It means taking on a project that may be something I have never done before but do have the skills to accomplish. The challenge will allow me to utilize my skills and even grow them, and also will challenge me to think creatively while also producing good design.


I want to be a good steward of all the resources available to me. Print design can use a large amount of paper and I want to be conscious of how much paper I am using and wasting. Printers are used by people other than me so I do not want to misuse it and leave it in poor condition for the next person.

Multiple interests

Keep doors open to other interests other than graphic design and work. When things pile up and get really busy it can be difficult to focus on anything else but it is important to have a variety of interests in life and to have a life outside of the school or office. Keeping these outside interests alive may also help me in terms of skills I can use in design projects or that I can be inspired by.


Belief statement

For as long as I can remember I have always had the desire to be artistic and creative. Something that I think has kept me pursuing a creative career is the idea that I have these gifts and God is Creator and He created me, therefore I want to create. From Cecilia González- Andrieu’s book Bridge to Wonder, she writes “It is in the work of creating that the human person, made in the image of the Creator, is more faithfully living out the promise inherent in the visible world as a vast field in which human inventiveness might assert itself.”

The task of creating good design is a serious one because graphic design has the power to influence a person. This power is enhanced if I am intentional about the decisions
I make when I am designing. From González- Andrieu’s book, she writes “Artists must discern the role within the human community as one that is vocation and a mission. Idea that ‘beauty saves’ because it is the ‘visible form of the good’ gives artists the obligation to put their talent at the service of communicating and evolving such beauty for ‘humanity as a whole.’” Since design can touch people, I would like to be aware of projects that may allow me to help people, whether that project is from an organization that helps people, draws attention to an issue in order to help people’s well-being, or is designing a product that is helpful and easy for a person to use.

I believe graphic design as an area that I can always be growing in whether it is skill or knowledge of the subject. Based off of past experiences, I know I learn a great
deal from embracing the creative process. I am able to dive into a project, research and learn, experiment, and take chances. Even though some of the things I do
during the creative process may not be  good, it is still good to take those chances
and learn from them. Looking back at mistakes or failures may be tough to think
about, but if I take the opportunity to learn from them then that is so much more valuable then spending the time making the same mistakes. In order to keep
growing as a designer, I should keep the desire for knowledge bright and look at the history of the field, firms, and famous designers. This way I broaden my horizons
and can learn from designs that have been created or by what the designers have to say about design. Another way that I can keep myself growing is accepting challenging projects or working in an environment that will challenge me. It could be easy to want to take an easier project, and at times it may be smart depending on how much I
have going on, but if I’m not challenging myself creatively I’m not going to grow much. Without being challenged to push my limits and the creative envelope, the work
could get boring and I might lose interest in the project.

There are some personal aspects that I want to keep in mind as I go on designing. I believe that having integrity in all that I do, whether it is in what I do or with who I meet
in life, is key to building trust. Trust can be built in relationships when people know that I am being authentic with them and genuinely care about them or a project. Stewardship is another important aspect of design to me. Design can have a serious impact on people and
the environment. I desire to be a good steward with the materials I am given.
Intentionality comes into play here as well since it is important for me to think about how much material am I using or wasting. Balance is another key aspect for me.

While it is important to be working on my professional skills, I believe it is also important to balance that aspect of my life with other areas. I tend to get caught up in the world
of design or in my projects and in order for me to not get burned out, I need to take breaks and take time to dive into my other interests. Keeping these outside interests alive may also help me in terms of skills I can use in design projects or that I can be inspired by.


Designers are secretly some of the most influential people in the world. We shape the reality in which we live in by creating and controlling the visual aspect of our surroundings. Advertisements, graffitis, shirt designs, brand logos, whatever it is, if it’s a visual element of a product, or an idea, there is a designer sitting at a desk behind it, bringing concepts to life, materializing the intangible.

As designers we must not take this power lightly, and must therefore understand the responsibility that comes intrinsically with such power. We not only have a skill, but also a duty to everyone around us.


Care about everything. Care about what’s happening in America, care about what’s happening in Venezuela, Haiti, France, Togo, Kenya, China, and everywhere in the world. Care about your neighbor, care about your client, care about any person that has less than you do, and anyone in need. Care about your profession, about your reputation, your health and the product you present at the end. Care about the leading, kerning and tracking, about the shape, form and texture. But most importantly, care about yourself. Can’t do anything good if you don’t value your own self.


Never stop. Read, ask, question, seek, wonder! Be curious about anything. Read about art, learn how to cook, a different language, documentaries, articles, seek knowledge and you’ll find it. Don’t ever think you know enough; there will always be something new to learn.


Go places, meet new people, take photographs. Always be on the look for colors, patterns, textures, faces, shapes. No two places are alike. The culture in the place you live could be dramatically different two hours north, or south from your location. Create a mental library of different visual elements you find wherever you go. Learn about other cultures as you go, their way of looking at the world will be much more different than yours…Use this new knowledge, take advantage of it, break the mould, create your own perspective.


Respect your profession, your peers, your work. Respect your clients, and their needs. Respect your job, and the people you portray. Respect other’s rights and their works. Having an unshakable sense of honor, is a must in a designer.


Remember where you’re from, who you are, what you do. How far you’ve gotten since day one. Who was there, and who was not. Remember every person that helped you get to where you are, and why you do what you do.


Make sure every project will be a new one. Be creative. No recycling projects, or none of that bullshit. Anything you create will be unique, and special. If there is no soul in it, then why do it at all?


Speak your mind. Always.

Manifesto / Belief Statement


Design is not easily definable for me.  Aside from its qualities, I know that it is a tool.  It’s a technique, way of thinking, manifesting itself in the form of an idea, a piece of paper, an application– the list goes on. Honestly, I think there are endless ways of defining, describing, and identifying design.  I see it all around me.  I see it in the way information is spoken to me, through written words or an audible voice.  I see it in my day to day schedule.  I see it in the aisles of the grocery store.  I see it on the road, the highways, and the traffic signals of intersections.  I see it all around me, through experience, taste, work, play.  

I know that it is important.  Much like water to man.  There are many uses, and we need it, whether we acknowledge it or not. We enjoy it, whether we acknowledge it or not.   

Now for the things I keep telling myself.  Things that I look back to.  Things that press me. 

Grow up.  

A good amount of time is spent growing up and developing into a fully grown human.  I feel like that part of life is all about learning, observing, and absorbing information, and that process should never stop.

Know what you believe.

It is crucial to develop a personal belief standard.  What you believe reflects much onto what you do and who you are.

Feel it out.  

There are times when my mind wanders from design, in discovery of other facets of life.  Let it happen.  Those facets are important too.  

Get comfortable.

I love comfort.  What I have found to be necessary is redefining my comfort.  Forcing myself to get comfortable in what I’m not.  It’s unnatural at first, but becomes crucial in growth.  

Own it.  

I am not, and have never considered myself a confident person.  In fact, it’s the lack that I hate most about myself. However, just embracing your work as your own is enough confidence to start.

Belief Statement

Mankind’s search for truth is dominant.  A search for reality.  Design is being human. Embracing our humanity and branching off of it.  There is life all around us.  Love, joy, laughter, sadness, illness, disaster, death— all around us.  

Why we work, talk to each other, laugh, have families has to do with the enjoyment and discovery of truth. I believe good design is unadulterated truth. It should be what drives us, what grows us, what ignites our passion to fulfill our purpose. It should apply appropriately to all of mankind. Although often unnoticed, it either speaks truth, or intentional lies.  

I believe bad design is the glorification of all things wrong. Allowing the mind to decide its own truth. Forsaking structure and order, and embracing the over-abundance of freedom we have in making our own decisions. Augustine says, “The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder.”

I believe we were born into sin, and are faulty at our core.  What is design if it originates from fault?  That’s why action is required.  I believe I must discover truth, believe it, before I design.  If I do not, I mislead.  I lie. I believe we were created in the image of God, with a certain complexity in our intelligence that has potential for good design.  To see it, to create it, to make it prevalent.  

If what I do is a reflection of who I am, I must define and concentrate on the latter before anything else.  I must design myself.  I must refine myself to be better, continually and fervently.  Not selfishly, but in a way that emphasizes my work, to glorify what I believe in.

I know my negatives.  

I am not confident.  I tend to shy away from things I should take ownership of, in fear of failure or embarrassment.  I often see the future with pessimism.  I am often overcome by my anxiety, and feel unable and disheartened in stabilizing my mentality.  I like being comfortable.  I like knowing the future, and being in control of my own.  

I know that it is good to define personal weak points, but a mistake that I have made plenty of times is sitting in my mistakes.  Just sitting and contemplating it and not acting on it.  I feel like it is a natural tendency to crave communal pity, often in religious settings. The past is meant to be resolved, but not glorified.  

I feel motivated to be better, do better.  I want to fulfill my purpose in life, do what I love, and act upon the information I have been absorbing for years.  I cannot succeed in all that I do, but I can succeed in my part of contributing to society.  I have learned that developing a standard of truth is a necessary part of life.  It gives a foundation for all else.  I believe faith is what drives me.  The truth keeps me sane.  The truth gives me desire to chase design, and allow design to make life better.   

What I’m About – NW


Design is purposeful communication. It’s about how a message or idea is portrayed. Design is powerful because it can control how the viewer/user receives an idea or message, so for me, design must be honest.

Get to the truth of things.
Design can remove obstacles for the viewer/user. Sometimes design is seemingly invisible. My work will represent no more and no less than what a product, message, or idea truly is.

Tell a story.
Getting to the truth involves exploring the context of a thing. Anyone or any group or anything made by these has one, so dig it out and shore it up. Jesus never told anyone anything without telling a story, and he is the best truth-teller.

Create beautifully, not decoratively.
“Design is like a bat: half bird and half mouse.” My work will be both functional and aesthetic, without becoming decorative.

Keep moving forward.
Don’t stay stuck in the same thing. Try new processes with new materials for new ends.


Belief Statement

“Lord, I believe; Help my unbelief!” Matthew 9:24

These things I believe in represent influential people and significant periods of time in my life.

I believe in education. I am doing what I am doing today because of the opportunity to learn, and because of the encouragement I’ve received from teachers. When I was in grade school, I wasn’t into sports or music. I wanted to write and draw, so my teachers showed me how combine those elements into a book. Every year, I wrote and illustrated a book for the Young Authors competition, and every year I won. This early affirmation that I was good at something I loved to do pushed me to pursue art and English classes through high school, until I decided to major in graphic design in college. Therefore, I think communities should always invest in teaching the young and caring for the old. Bob Goff once said, “There’s nothing more scary to a terrorist than a girl with a book.”

I believe in change of setting. Living in another culture was a goal I wanted to experience before I graduated college. When I left for Italy I didn’t know why I set this goal for myself, only that I hoped I could experience the Italian way of life. Although it began with culture shock, I did spend the semester learning about my surroundings, and surprisingly, learning about myself. When everything else around you has completely shifted, who are you then? What about you remains true? These are the formative questions that I embraced because of traveling, and so I believe in placing yourself outside your comfortable environment.

I believe in change of pace. While I do some of my best work under pressure, I know how easily I can become burnt out. This summer, I returned to the job I do every summer, expecting the minor challenges of adjusting to a promotion. However, the challenges I encountered were the daily, exhausting problems of understaffing, customer complaints, and ill-equipped leadership. By my end-of-summer family vacation, I had no energy for the creative projects I’d put on hold, and it took me a week of idleness before I could pick up a pencil to sketch. While a change of pace mended my burnout, it was needed long before it came. Just as rest is essential for life, creative rest, or “wasted time,” is necessary in my process.

I believe people are more important than ideas. People say an idea can change the world, but I know that an idea has to be grown up and dressed and introduced to the world by a person or a group of people. And lastly, I believe in love. God commanded us to love Him and love other people, and so it is God and people I hope to serve through my work.


Design is selfish.

Design from a business standpoint is only to benefit the parent company, to sell a product, in the end to make back the principal originally invested.

Is design more than a business? Can design be more than brand strategy and competition?


Create selflessly.

Create something that expands the understanding of the general public and allows insight into a very specific subject matter in a new and unexpected light.

Create vulnerably.

I desire to create from experience no matter how painful or intimate that experience may be.

Create chaos.

Create chaos – reign it in. Gesture with more than ink – gesture with words, forms, paint and pixel.

Do not be afraid. Well…be afraid but don’t let it consume you.

Create in a scholarly manner.

Do your dang research. Creation in and of it self is nice but without research design relies only on weak intuition.

Create room to breathe.

In the beginning, the middle and the end create space to breathe and reflect on the process and your human and creative needs.

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