Building a Foundation for Design
At the 2020 International Design Awards, Alex Wang won not one but two awards in the nonprofessional/student category. He took bronze in the animation category for his project “Finding Love Amidst COVID-19” and an honorable mention in the graphic design category for his design “Travelodge Rebranding.”
He is currently working towards his second master’s degree, an M.F.A. in graphic design. “I thought it was necessary to learn graphic design,” he says. “No matter what type of design, designers need to have a good foundation, and this foundation is graphic design.”
The Box sat down with Wang to learn more about his award-winning projects, why he chose New York Institute of Technology, and his hopes for the future.
Why did you choose New York Tech to study graphic design?
I did a lot of research before choosing to apply to New York Tech. I think that in the field of design, New York Tech has very professional course offerings and professors. Graphic design has progressed a lot. It is necessary to consider learning in the field of science and technology, and New York Tech does that.
The M.F.A. in graphic design at New York Tech is my second master’s degree. My first master's degree is in product design from the National Taiwan Normal University. I started my career as a product designer, but when I worked for five years, I thought it was necessary to learn graphic design.
Can you talk about your animation project, “Finding Love Amidst COVID-19, which you presented at 2020 International Design Awards?”
This is a 2-D animation that I made in my Motion Graphics Design class. It was inspired by COVID-19, which is now the topic that everyone is most concerned about. It affects the lives of all of us. Whenever I watch the news, I keep thinking about how to use my own power to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on society. I think it would be great to make announcements about the virus via animations because providing the correct information to people can reduce the chance of being infected, so this animation must be presented interestingly.
When I finished making the animation, I was pleasantly surprised that kids liked it so much! Many of my friends educate their children with this video, and they pay more attention to wearing masks. I am very happy to see such results.
View the project.
For your second project, you rebranded the hotel chain Travelodge. What inspired you to use this hotel?
This project was completed in the Design Process class at New York Tech. Travelodge is a hotel brand that I like very much. It has a long history, but its logo and overall design are old and don’t attract customers. I wanted to use a different design to increase the value of the brand.
View the project.
What is it like to be recognized for your work?
I didn’t expect that both entries would win prizes. Because the International Design Awards is a global competition, nearly 7,000 design projects were entered in 2020, which was a huge challenge for me. It took me three months to complete these two works, and after finishing them, I spent another month adjusting every detail. During this time, I was also studying the award-winning works of other designers. I think it is necessary to have a good design concept and professional design ability to win a competition.
Any award is an affirmation of work for me. But I think in design, I still have a long way to go, and I will continue to work hard to make better designs. Also, I would like to thank my professors Patty K. Wongpakdee and Anila Jaho. These two works were completed under their guidance, and I’m appreciative of their professionalism and patience.
How has New York Tech prepared you for the future and your career?
I think the design courses I take at New York Tech and the experience of participating in design competitions are of great help to me. A year ago, I assisted a café called Mini Galaxy Play Café to design a brand identity. There are many parts of this project that I was not familiar with, such as the complete design process and brand planning. Questions such as how to choose the size and material of the signboard outside the store? And What is the ideal bleed size for business cards, posters, and flyers? Through my courses at New York Tech, I understand every detail of the design process and can communicate that to customers. In the past, such design tasks were complicated and tricky for me, but after continuous learning, I think I can handle such design tasks professionally. When I have this ability, I will have more career options, which is an exciting thing.