Senior Show Spring 2016

When I look at my own body of work and I see that I’ve accomplished the style that I’ve always strived for in which are simple, clean, and a touch of minimalism. But there is always room for improvement in these areas. When I see all of my work in one place, I can’t believe that I made these pieces myself. Looking back where I started in Digital Tools class and today, it’s fantastic to see the growth and improvements overtime. The work represented here shows how my professors have always said that I have a strong sense of concepts. I’m able to get the message across with my ideas with my work.

The experience of putting together a gallery show has been quite significant. It shows how vital group communication is when preparing for an art show. The ability to keep everyone on the same page, and move forward together on the same idea. Overall, the process of setting up an art show has inspired me even more with ideas for future projects. I definitely want to explore more with poster designs. Recently, I’ve been looking at posters created by Graphic Designers, and the way they implement patterns heavily into their work resulting in beautiful, and abstract imagery.


Vintage Race Poster



This poster was a continuation from the Grand Circle Travel poster and a further study of the vintage style in race/automobile posters. The biggest challenge with this project were two things. The first challenge was to try to replicate the racecar by a digital photo created personally by me from a video game. Trying to clean out the background without compromising the vehicle itself was difficult. Although it was a challenge, my knowledge and skills with Adobe Illustrator had  improved, and I was able to isolate it at my best. The second challenge was to try to create motion using shapes and brushes to capture the vehicles in motion. It was tough to visualize how these shapes and gradients work together to create this cohesive sense of  motion.

The result was to utilize the negative space, and not to over complicate the setting or else things could get lost in translation. Overall, I am pleased with the results as well the positive reaction received at the Senior show. I would like to create more of these posters in the future since I’m a car enthusiast. This could possibly lead to a potential business in several scenarios.

Grand Circle Travel Poster: Maori Culture


The most interesting aspect of this project was actually the opportunity to create a vintage poster. It’s something that I’ve never done before but always had great interest. At first, I thought I had a keen sense of how I wanted to approach my concept, but it didn’t work out. The idea was to implement several significant pieces from New Zealand into a poster. But I had to go back the drawing board and simplified my concept even further which led to the champagne pool concept. The champagne pool is a popular tourist attraction, but it was the colors of the water that drew my attention. And with the help from Daryl, he introduced me to some really neat vintage posters to look at whether it be a vintage poster from the past or a modern approach of vintage posters. I noticed how flat shapes are highly emphasized and shadows.

Those were the two elements that I’ve implemented into my poster with a touch of a grainy-texture to give off that vintage feel. Color and typography played a key role for this poster. Finding the color to balance the green, blue, and orange was important. Therefore, the shades of grey compliments this. I thought choosing a sans serif type would be suited best since it’s surrounded by flat, and jagged shapes.

Yusuke Nakamura

In the photo above, Yusuke Nakamura is the 2nd person from the right.

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I was introduced to Yusuke Nakamura’s art from a Japanese rock band that I listen to called “Asian Kung-Fu Generation.” The majority of their album covers are done by Nakamura-san. As you can see, Nakamura-san’s mascot is a woman that is usually dressed in school clothing and sometimes is dressed casually. What attracts his artwork to most people are his complimentary colors and juxtaposition. Nakamura-san’s artwork are simply fun to view. Especially, discovering the small details that relates to the band.

You can also watch his artwork in motion in this music video for Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s “Atarashii Sekai,” in which means “New World.”

Asian Kung-Fu Generation – “Atarashii Sekai”

Self-Promotional Pieces + Resume

From my perspective, InDesign works similar as to Microsoft Word, but InDesign’s system is more flexible. For instance, instead of moving around the page from left to right as you would in Microsoft Word, you have the ability to create a box of any size and apply sentences and paragraphs inside it, and move them freely anywhere on the page. And also, the ability to create presets and adjust the tracking and spacing between words and sentences. The presets come in handy and are very convenient. The final result of my resume has shown me an entire new perspective of how one should look. The new version makes the old version’s visual hierarchy look atrocious. It’s messy and outdated. Though to others, it’s their preferred hierarchy.

The challenge of representing myself through words is how the job summary description is crafted, from the selection of words to the spacing between words and sentences to the overall proportion of the paragraph. Clarity is key in all aspects. Through images, the challenge is how you can communicate with the people with shapes, lines, colors, and typeface. This language helps identify who you are as a Graphic Designer. This is important because it gives a good first impression to potential clients and/or employers who are looking to hire a candidate for work or special projects.

Overall, this project has given me more confidence to self-promote myself in the real world. Whether it may be for an employer or a client, it has shown me a new vision, a new process, of how to promote myself through images, and visual hierarchy. I’m very excited of future challenges, accomplishments, and growth that is to come. And I’m beginning to feel more comfortable as I work my way through and look forward to continue on improving my craft as a Graphic Designer.





Deke’s Challenge: Light Speed Text Tutorial

Remember in the early 80’s/90’s when digital media such as commercials, television shows, and movies would include colorful, large-sized text going at hyper speeds? Well, I discovered a tutorial video that was posted for Deke’s Technique Challenge contest. The tutorial was to learn how to create text going at light speed. And on top of that, adding a gradient to add some flavor. The colors also helps makes the text look good overall than just plain white. Enjoy!


Video link:

Tutorial in text form (created by me): Light_Speed_Text_Tutorial_Gary Dao







This project has helped pushed me to use and experience with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop more than ever. I have never felt comfortable using these programs until now. But this is just the beginning of my journey through using both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I’ve learned useful techniques such as shortcuts on the keyboard in which saves time overall. Another useful tool is creating trim marks in Illustrator. It comes in handy when wanting to cut precisely. But being precise is something that I’ve always strived for.

After putting together the mockup of the images and patterns, I noticed something neat that cannot be seen on the computer screen. When the mockup was folded and closed, the two images on each end presented a neat effect when flipping. The Japanese text on one side was at the top and the other on the bottom. So when you flip it left/right or up/down, it gives off a black and white effect. It’s pretty neat.

Some of the technical challenges during this process is the final production.  You need to prep your images in the correct angle in order to print two images back to back properly. It can get confusing if you have many tiny squares in one large square. Another technical challenge was organizing the layers in Illustrator. I tried keeping up with the organization by naming each one and grouping them in certain colors. But after while I tend to forget to organize them. It’s something that I need to work on because it will be needed when working with businesses.

I’m very happy with the final production as the colors and images represents of who I am and my style. The color palette always consists of muted and neutral type colors. My images show that I enjoy taking abstract and macro images. I wouldn’t mind creating another self-portrait but this time I would use more of the brighter colors.




wordress_Self-Portrait Project