is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Things are moving quickly for me since joining the board of directors for AIGA New York. I’ve been hard at work putting together some events that I hope will spark a bit of interest from designers who, until now, might not have thought of AIGA as being the sort of organization that pays a lot of attention to their particular needs. This was the number one concern I heard when I first informally polled readers about the organization a few months ago, and I’m doing my best to fix the situation. The first of these events will take place in October and it’s going to be small yet huge; it’s too early to talk about it in any detail now, so stay tuned.
How to Get Started in Web Design
In the meantime, we’re looking to shore up the chapter’s on staff Web skills. Actually, we want to hire a new Interactive Design Assistant to replace the departing Chris Johanesen, the designer and technologist extraordinaire who was primarily responsible for getting all of our ducks in a row with regards to AIGANY.org and all of our Web efforts. He’s done a truly stellar job, which makes it all the more logical that he’s been drafted to go work at some awesome, secret new startup.
More about the position: if you’re just getting started in design — particularly on the Web — this is the perfect entrée into this profession. It’s a part-time job, so it allows you to pursue freelance work or complete your design degree, and it gives you terrific access to the richest network of design professionals in the country. I can speak from personal experience when I say that there are few more helpful ways to get connected in the design community at large than to work at AIGA. For more information, you can read the job description here (PDF), and you can send your C.V. directly to AIGA New York.
Are There Any Design Studios in New York?
On a related note, my colleague on the board, Mike Essl and I were sitting around the other day, brainstorming some new things that we can do online for the chapter. To get them done, of course we’ll need to hire Chris’s replacement, but we᾿ll also need to hire a design studio. That’s when, somewhat to our embarrassment, we realized that we know scant few of them in the New York City area that might be suitable for these purposes.
Ideally, we’re looking for a small, scrappy company — as few as two or three people, but definitely less than twenty — who are just as well-versed in designing with web standards as they are with Flash, and who understand user interface and editorial design just as well as they understand marketing design.
If at all possible, we’d also like to hire a shop that᾿s up and coming, one who, as Mike put it, “Can really make something of the attention they’ll get from this.” That is, we want to let a young, eager group of designers really knock it out of the park, rather than just throwing another project at one of the established studios that people already know so well.
What᾿s most important, though, is that the company — and the people — should be located here, in New York City. You’d think it would be easy to find plenty of those in a city where it’s hard to buy a cup of coffee without tripping over a designer of some sort, but that’s just not the case… or, at least, Mike and I are both so out of it we’ve lost track of who’s working here. So I put the question to you, readers: if you know of some emerging talents here in the N.Y.C., let me hear about it.+