JSA Membership Cards

Graphic Design, Illustration

I was invited by the UCSD Japanese Student Association to join their design competition for the yearly membership card and shirt. These items are symbols of loyalty and pride to the club, and identify the members on outings. I designed both the winning card and shirt.

2015 Designs

Each card was designed to reflect a different feeling. However, all cards use a traditional Japanese color palette and motif. The central motifs and layouts were chosen before I began arranging colors.

Inspired by "Spring Night at Ginza" by Kasamatsu Shirō, 1934.

2016 Designs

Although I had already graduated, JSA asked me to participate in their contest again. Like last time, I was heavily inspired by traditional Japanese color palettes and some Japanese motifs. But I also pushed myself to experiment with textures, aiming for a more complex visual effect.

The inspiration for the first design came to me as I was looking at the side of a Portillo's diner. The red circle reminded me of the Japanese flag, and combined with the steel pattern and black lines, I felt it was a very striking design. However, it didn't translate as well when I was trying to place the text, and so the card design evolved into something else.

The second design was inspired by a set of vintage Japanese postcards.

The final design, and my personal favorite, was inspired by the traditional Japanese legend of a rabbit in the moon. Instead of a man in the moon, ancient Japanese supposedly saw a rabbit pounding mochi. I wanted to include the mochi-pounding element, but opted for a subtler allusion in the end.

I wanted to incorporate as many textures as I could—as long as they added to the design instead of detracting—but also experiment with a cut-paper look. I was rushing to finish the design before the deadline, and I wasn't nearly satisfied with the outcome. I asked for a short extension and revisited it just a few hours later, and the result was a much more refined design.