Finding & Creating Meaning: an aspiring designer's journey

My name is Alejandro and I am originally from El Salvador but I've lived in a couple of countries such as Switzerland and the U.S. However, I've lived most of my life in Qatar and I am currently studying in Toronto,Canada.

I'm a trilingual student (Spanish,French and English) who studied at the Lycée Bonaparte in Doha and I'm studying Art & Design Foundation at the George Brown College.I shortly took an internship in a design business where I was taught the basics of Photoshop but it's really in this George Brown Design Foundation program where I got to learn more aspects of design and Photoshop as well as many other programs such as Adobe Illustrator,Lightroom,etc.

Once I finish this program,I'm heading to the Graphic Design program that is also offered by the George Brown College in hopes of finding a career as a graphic designer or something in the same ballpark. I wish to pursue a career in Design because I really enjoy creating things (particularly flat decorative design) and this year of foundation at George Brown has really helped me build a portfolio,so I would like the opportunity to keep learning at this institution.
"The work of a designer is really at the intersection of commerce and culture” -Yves Behar

To me, there are a couple of factors that make for a good and successful designer. For instance, one of the first things to consider is to research vis-à-vis the audience or the client's needs before commencing with the production of a project or assignment whether it's learning about the topic of the design at hand,the message being conveyed or , for example, the culture in which the composition will be displayed.

“Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design”-Dieter Rams

Another important thing I believe is important to consider as a designer is to give meaning to as many details in a design as possible.That is to say a designer should use the elements and principles of design in order to achieve a certain goal or meaning behind the design itself.

“Form follows function: that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union” – Frank Lloyd Wright

In order to illustrate some of these convictions,I will show you an example of my process when creating one of my past projects.

The Letterhead Project

This project consisted in creating a letterhead that could be applied on personal or professional use.The challenge here was to make sure the letterhead was representative of myself or interests while keeping the design relatively simple so it could work at different scales and using principles and elements of design.

Initially, I started by making sketches of my name and ways in which the typography of my name would serve as a logo.I decided to take all the letters in my name and then put them together in a way that would create form,similar to Jasper Johns' "0 Through 9".
I also drew inspiration from Toyota's logo which contains all the letters of the company's name.

The final image would be meant to represent a flag with an insignia (the letter 'A') or a banner that you would typically see in the middle ages and the reason for this choice is that flags with insignia's were the earliest forms for logos to distinguish clans,tribes,towns,countries,etc.

Once I knew I wanted a banner with all the letters on my name included subliminally,I did a couple of ruffs by hand with alternative colors to see the effect achieved.

However,I felt it was a bit too complex for a logo so I edited the 2nd design using Adobe Illustrator where I left out the outlines to make it look more modern and to have a bit more positive and negative figures and spaces.


The logo ended up looking a lot more professional than I intended during the sketching part which is good, however if I were to change something it would be the inside pattern which could have been made more complex without having to jeopardize the existence of all the letters hidden in the logo.

Thank you for your time,if you have any questions or inquiries,please contact me at


Created with images by Andre_Santana - "landscape volcano santa ana" • Pexels - "book desk hand" • jobbe - "leave block business" • R/DV/RS - "Kattenstoet - Banners on side of Cloth Hall"

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