Available for:
Art Direction / Editorial Illustration / Book & Cover Design / Typography / Information Design


Note: Freelance and other personal projects will be posted in this column every month. Follow my twitter updates to stay in touch. If you dare.

Got something cool for me?

February 2014

A graphic tee for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers at California State University of Fullerton. They're also known as the IEEE, and is responsible for the oversight of all electronics innovation all over the world. A simple, fast project that was easy to produce. Take a look at alternatives below.

September 2013

This is the quickest turnaround I've ever designed on the web for this brand-spanking new annual conference hosted by Designmatters called LEAP. It's designed to create a community of social-impact designers into collaborators that lead to larger discussions in academic, and business institutions. Designed with development partner, Adam Lopez, of and 72andsunny. The site has responsive-design architecture, so it is very accessible on a smartphone.

February 2013

My client, Marianna Amatullo, the vice president of Designmatters, and frequent collaborator on our DM projects, spoke at the annual Social Impact Design Conference, at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. Several significant leaders and authors in the arena of social design, presented their ideas and current state of affairs in which I have designed a new look and feel for Marianna's keynote. The GIF below shows the live webcast of this talk as it happened.

January 2013

This January marked the partnership between Audi and the United States Ski Association (USSA). I was in charge of the initial branding effort which includes car wraps for the US Ski Team, proudly driven around every ski resort where all the ski competitions are held. Other items designed under myself were slalom banners, environmental graphics, and dealer promotions. Look for those details in the Audi x USSA project page, coming soon.

December 2012

Happy Holidays from Designmatters

October 2012

Around this time, the Center for the Study of Political Graphics would ask me to design their annual art auction plaques for their nominees. Some well renowned players in socio-political activism, journalism, and the creative arts, such as John Carr of LA Vs. War, Rudy Acuña, a historian, activist, professor emeritus, and pioneer of Chicano Studies, as well as Rage Against the Machine's guitarist, Tom Morello, have all been recognized and awarded for their excellence. This is just a small compilation of the plaques I have designed for them.

September 2012

Working with Yello,Friends! again, the creative hot-bed film department of Dorsey High School asked us to design a poster for their sixth annual Film Festival. Posted below are shots of the film-makers at the festival's premiere screening in Sony's studios in Century City.

August 2012

From The Couch To The Kitchen. The (Picnic) Table of Contents design. There are so many good stories in this book, and the introduction by Alice Waters describes the honesty of food writing. Pick it up at your nearest 826LA tutoring center.

July 2012

These two books have been printed recently made by our team at the Designory. The one on the left is the new Audi Sport book. The structure is fairly similar to the Audi Brand book but instead focuses on their sporty models like the S5, RS5, R8, etc. It was designed in a way to highlight the sporty side of Audi, as it has never been emphasized in the past. It counters competing manufacturers like the M series for BMW, and the S-class / AMG models for Mercedes. Spreads for those will be highlighted in a separate project page, and to see a closer look, they will be available in Audi dealerships late fall, early winter of this year.
The piece on the right is the Audi Collection—a catalog of Audi's apparel, accessories, wallets, paraphernalia, etc. We set on location-based themes for this year, and my particular favorite:

Aspen, Colorado. We worked with a set designer that built an ice-like surface by using candle wax and a flamethrower. Yes, a flamethrower. As an art director loving his job, I stood back in awe, ate crackers, sipped on diet coke while the photographer and his team made an amazing production.

June 2012

I wanted to re-visit these alternative posters I created with Mojo from early 2010—not to talk about design, but rather, subject matter. I have worked with the non-profit org, Center For The Study of Political Graphics, which means yours truly, has a certain political leaning. We won't say what, but as a 'responsible designer', I feel that there's a certain obligation to be truthful and pedagogic to uphold, especially when my work interfaces with the public. Working in the industry of Hollywood doesn't quite exactly let you be boldly outspoken—if it doesn't make them money, of course. Yet this HBO movie project was my chance in the mainstream to do something subversive. They were all eventually killed during the comp process (too subsersive?), but it was so much fun doing them. Thinking about the complexities of finance culture, understanding the ambiguity, the mess between head exec and consumer, it will humble anyone who cares to try to deliver these messages.
Money metaphors were easy to come by, but I thought more how to re-approach them within the rigid, legalized, hollywood square. The red pig was an obvious idea born into my first sketches upon brainstorming for the brief. I never trust those early brain poops, but if massaged well, it could always turn out to something.
Of course with 3-day turnarounds on most poster projects, it gets hard to elaborate stylistically, developing a shortened design language, but if pulled off with enough caffeine and overtime, it can eventually be done.
On my third comp, I thought using the Washington Monument to shatter our view of money was the perfect symbol to represent the actual relationship between the U.S. government and its people. Anything more than these would have to be extreme and graphic (in my own personal, un-relentless, no-holds barred approach). Although needless to say, the script was rather dry, but the riveting journalistic account by Andrew Sorkin was enough to entice certain viewers. And after two years of these secretive, unknown dramas taking place, we still haven't prosecuted a single money-grubbing Wall Street douche, albeit certain resignations here and there. Sigh.

May 2012

Half the automotive season is over, so these books were finally released from the press after tons of revisions with both the client and our own creative team. The book-making process in the automotive world is a bit slow, but all the while worth it. So many people were involved with these books, so it's hard to take credit for single-handed productions. Albeit, these are usually glossed over in certain design circles, but it certainly combines my love for book design and the use of proper branding avenues. I have to thank the Designory for that.

April 2012

I understand my work is a bit all over the place, but as a (somewhat) young designer, it is important to me to try different styles, aesthetic, and conceptual approaches. I am starting to see themes in my own work, so whenever possible, pieces in the past stumble forward in my newer work, but just approached differently. My purpose is to integrate some of my hand-drawn / analog elements into a "contemporary designer aesthetic," whatever that means. Hence, this new pattern series I am working on, hosted on a single-serving tumblr, is the result of mindless repetition coupled with subversive concept. It is the response to my everyday work that is steeped in the ad-selling/marketing world. To that effect, I receive great joy from this process (the patterns), so I hope that you will to.

March 2012

Sacrifice. That has been my way of life for most of this year. I call it Wabi-Sabi. Some people may go on what they call Sabbaticals, but achieving an internal disconnection is just as an effective technique to improve upon one's work, as well as on our ultra-connected lifestyles. That being said, my accounts on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and a few other social networks have all been on hiatus to achieve this ideal, supreme focus. To be a "monk" in the art and design world for a temporary moment isn't for everybody, but it is recommended. The benefits? Appreciation. Dedication. Humbleness. And many more things that will require a thesis dissertation. And speaking of dedication and appreciation...

This work-in-progress poster is one in a series I will be putting out in collaboration with the now international Yello,Friends! It's based on our time-tested motto that isn't too cheesy or overstated. More on this later. Cheers.

February 2012

They say this year will be a shift in consciousness of contemporary society. There's a good momentum going on, and the tone has been set. So this time, it will be more vocal—visual, if you may. I've been playing with a lot of data, like microcosms of uneasy subjects for my self-generated work. I was thinking of changing my title from 'graphic designer' to 'knowledge worker'. More on this later, but for now, I've been knee deep in automotive corporate design, working exclusively on the Audi brand. It's an exciting time for them, as well as the other clients we have at the Designory such as Subaru, Infiniti, and Nissan, who are all doing great work thus far. One example I can show you is Audi's 2012 Brand Book, which has been lauded throughout the car industry for its clean look and cool design concepts.

For 2013, yours truly will be now responsible for this book. It's indeed a pretty daunting task since it has been set on a pedestal, but I'm lucky because I'm working with some talented individuals. It's been pretty fun working on it so far, and I like that it's a mixture of clever advertising and book-design. And we all know how much I like book design. So in between, I'll be making books and collateral like this:

I hate to be the verbose hypeman, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. It's not just the workaholic in me defending my actions, but the angered citizen that recognizes the need for change. — CVL

November 2011

So, for almost 2 years I've been freelancing with Designmatters pretty heavily and they are putting out some cool initiatives at Art Center. They're pushing sustainable, conscious, informative, innovative, and relevant design. This project with the Aquarium of the Pacific is part of that program.

Also, I'm not one to proclaim as a masterful presentation designer, but keynote design has been pretty fun. I get to marry static print concepts with effective animation transitions like a breeze.

Also, this summer I tried using QR codes to lead people to my garage sale. I believe there are many faults that lie in this: 1) The Southbay is not hip to it. 2) QR codes could be a tired concept. 3) Older people stick to traditional forms of communication (ie. Pennysaver, newspaper ads, craigslist) as such most won't need that extra step between them and their vintage magazine rack.—The only thing that I can defend is that this particular QR code lead to a more rewarding link: complete inventory of the garage sale, and exclusive items not shown in the yard. I hope more garage sellers can adopt this strategy.

So lately, I've had an unhealthy amount of music projects (ie. live gigs). so I haven't been able to focus on my personal, visual stuff. I know, woe is me to complain about having too many cool things to do, but in a bittersweet perspective, that will dwindle, and I'll be working on more experimental stuff once again. We can only hope, but that is indeed the plan.

May 2011

May is already halfway over and I didn't get to update. Sorry about that. I was busy thinking the end of the world was coming. Fortunately, I think a new world will be coming to ME. To shed on new beginnings, I will be focusing on other mediums, steering away from theatrical-print, and go full-on editorial design + art and publishing. Although, I still can't make up my mind, I have to have my hand on other things. Here's an alternate version of Mike Mill's semi-autobiographical feature film 'Beginners', giving the film a sweeter aspect, breathing a much needed heavy dose of human spirit.
I still remember being intrigued in the beginning of the process when we discussed the plot of the film. The concept alone of being a 'beginner'—in love and relationships, was brilliant. I like honesty, and this film brought modernity and humbleness.
From a Scottish actor playing an American graphic designer (+5 points), we have an Irish actor playing an English bodyguard (Colin Farrell). This un-chosen poster for London Boulevard should've highlighted Farrell's breakthrough performance. He's outstanding in that role as a down-and-out ex-London thug-who-becomes-human-again, through empathy-and-humility-while-having-sex-with-Keira's-character.
And lastly, to speak about warmth and friendship, this alternate version for Paul should've provided that aspect...and not the stoner/fugitive/slacker characteristic which to the contrary, makes Paul ultimately funny. But thankfully, he also comes with a chronic ounce of goodness to boot.


The month of June might be a bit more exciting eh? Let's hope!

April 2011

This site will be going through some changes, but please bare with me. If you want to see work, don't hesitate to email and request. Otherwise, I will be sampling new work from time to time in this space. And speaking of new work, we've come up with the final cover for the 826LA + Dorsey High School new food book project (currently in the press, releasing soon).

March 2011

For this month, we now have one of the (regrettably) rejected book covers for our current project with 826LA and Dorsey High School called, "From The Couch To The Kitchen: A Book to Indulge In". Stay tuned for the book as the project develops!