Designer Profile: Savannah Lim
designer + developer
Tell us about yourself, and what you’re up to today.
Hello! My name is Savannah. I’m finishing up my final year of college at NYU, where I’m majoring in computer science! Last summer, I interned at Square as a designer on the communications team! Right now I’m working on a couple freelance design projects on subjects like digital art and smart garments.
How did you first get into design?
I became fascinated with publication design in the 6th grade (though I didn’t know it at the time) enough that I started a class newspaper in order for me to share my newfound love for layout and graphics. That’s my first memory of doing something design-related. To construct every issue, I would go into Microsoft Word, choosing my favorite typefaces and decorating/sectioning the content using the Microsoft Word drawing tools.
I remained interested in design throughout the rest of high school, but it wasn’t until my first year of college that I finally downloaded Illustrator to make a blog header. Realizing the potential of that software, I searched for tutorials on how to use Illustrator and stumbled into the beautiful world of graphic design.
Let’s see it! Can you share some images of the work you’re doing?
During my internship, I had the chance to work on really fun projects! Here are examples from one of them.
I’m currently working with Next Art to create their brand identity! Next Art provides a platform for artists to share their work and celebrate the cultural impacts of technology. Here’s a mockup of the business cards we’ve just printed.
I have a few projects in the works too. They’ll be coming out soon!
What is on your homescreen?
Any tips for designers (and designer/engineers in your case) just starting out?
I think the initial most helpful thing for me, as both a designer and a programmer, was constant exposure to works of design and works of code. The more you see of them, the better you become at identifying why certain things work well. Get your hands on as much reading material as you can, about design thinking or coding practices. Try stuff out! Experiment with graphics editing programs like Illustrator, Sketch, and Figma. Learn a programming language on Codecademy or go through the four free online courses provided by the Flatiron School. Find a supportive community in your city or online, such as HH Design or CodeNewbie.
Although being immersed in design or engineering is important to the improvement of your skills, I’ve found that some of the most compelling work is also informed by fields outside of the creator’s own. So I try hard not to forget about the universe outside of design and engineering — the realities of the people and the environments that we’re building for. And I remind myself to be curious about why things are. There is so much I have yet to understand, and that’s one of my greatest motivators. Along with these words from Ira Glass.
What is your biggest passion outside of design?
Definitely music! I grew up with the piano and taught myself to play guitar. I was involved in choral and a cappella groups until college. My guitar is still with me, and I got myself a MIDI keyboard last summer to make electronic music!
What are your favorite tools?
- Sip, to collect and organize colors
- Session Buddy, because I have too many tabs open at any given moment
- Atom, to program
- tota11y, a visualization accessibility toolkit for web design
- Note, the quickest way for me to save an idea
- a sketchbook and pencil
Where are your favorite places to get inspiration?
- The Dribbble New Tab
- interviews from The Great Discontent
- Rookie magazine
- BP&O and Brand New
- podcasts: Design Life, CodeNewbie, and Dear Sugar
- One of my favorite places is The Strand bookstore here in New York, where I spend lots of time browsing the poetry and design sections
- I visited the Cooper Hewitt museum a few days ago, where they had an unforgettable exhibition about social impact design, called By the People
You can learn more about Savannah at andlayer.com.