Cover: Student members featured: Paul Twa

Student members featured: Paul Twa

Student members featured: Paul Twa, a graphic designer and illustrator.

Happy Summer! For the month of July and August, our Chapter is delighted to shine a spotlight on GDC Student Members.

Paul Twa is a graphic designer and illustrator going into his 4th and final year at the University of Alberta in the Bachelor of Design program, Business/Marketing route.

Here's what Paul had to say about himself.


From where/who/what do you draw inspiration?
I have always been inspired by history and how design can reflect the time in which it was created. There is always inspiration to be found in the work of the designers that came before me and the styles they worked in. I am particularly drawn to the 1950s and 60s. Artists also inspire me, James Rosenquist and Robert Rauschenberg stand out since they played with the images of advertising and have this interesting link to the contemporary graphic design at the time.

What would be your dream project/client?
I have always loved watching the Olympics. As I began my education, I realised that what I loved most was discovering the look of the games, from the logo to the larger visual system. I think it's the challenge of simplifying a complex and diverse place into an iconic image that interests me. The world will see and associate those visuals with that city/nation and its citizens, a daunting but once in a lifetime opportunity for any designer. The legacy of the games as part of a prestigious timeline of design is something I dream of contributing to.

How does being a designer influence your life?
For one thing the daily commute on public transport has become more interesting as I can’t help but obsess over all the ads. On a more serious note, I see how the work I am doing always sets a tone and creates a feeling in viewers. There is a level of responsibility to this that I’m still discovering. I’m also noticing how design is a process that everyone engages with in some way, regardless of their profession, and that brings with it many advantages and hurdles.

Of the projects you worked on which was your favourite?
I think any project where I was challenged in both the research and production phases of the project is a favourite. The Levittown project is one that stands out to me. I had a lot of freedom with the project and the only requirement was communicating information through a map. This project had the additional challenge of relevancy as I had to determine the audience who I would be designing for. I created a map in the context of a museum exhibition panel. The work allowed me to explore my interest in history and my love of illustration to enhance the content of the map and give it a story. It challenged my skills as a storyteller, researcher, and writer, delving into an unknown topic and translating its importance visually.

What are your creative outlets?
As time goes by, I see the importance of having creative personal projects that challenge me but don’t have too much riding on the end product. I think it's important to give myself time to play around, experiment, and make mistakes. I always go back to sketching and for the past couple years I have been exploring analog collage with cut-outs from old magazines. It helps me be more tactile and loose but it also flexes my composition skills, which carries over to my design work.

Specialty: Illustration, Advertising, Branding