Meet our verynice Fall Interns!

It's always exciting to welcome new talent to our verynice family! Meet our newest design interns via the brief interviews below:

Sophia Park

1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, I spent the first 18 years of my life nurturing my creativity through painting and drawing. Fast forward 2 years, I am a Junior at the University of Southern California studying Design to feed my creative outlet!

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2) What are you looking forward to as a verynice intern?
I’m excited to have the opportunity to work in various forms of design, such as print, digital, and UX/UI, but more importantly, to be making impactful work with creative people who also believe in acts of social responsibility!

3) What is your favorite social cause?
I am passionate about equal education opportunities; having tutored children/teens throughout high school and organizing a free tutoring service at USC for local elementary and middle school students, I think it is critical to help those who do not have equal opportunities to learn to have access to great education and knowledge.

4) What passions and interests do you have outside of work?
In between being a student and intern, I am the Editor in Chief of Roski Mag, a student run publication that showcases student art and design work. Also being interested in UX/UI, I have designed an app that helps people build mindful habits. However, when I’m not doing things to help me get my BA degree, I like to create die-cut stickers, riso prints, different flavored popcorn, and binge watch baking shows. 

5) Who is your biggest role model in life?
There are many people I look up to and take inspiration from, but my biggest role model is my mom. Although she is not a designer, my mother showed me from a very young age the importance of color theory and visual hierarchy, by letting me pick out colors and designs for her quilts. She has taught me to be empathetic, hard working, and loyal, by being an example in her own daily life. I strive to appreciate and utilize each day as deeply as she does, because as she likes to say, every day is an opportunity for new growth, no matter how small.


Chris Palafox

1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
It all started with The Beatles for me. As a kid, I was really influenced by their music & as I grew older I became influenced by the impact of the 1960’s counterculture movement. Currently, I’m a Graphic Design student studying at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where I'll be graduating this fall. 

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2) What are you looking forward to as a verynice intern?
Definitely working with an awesome design team, & I’m looking forward to helping create for companies & organizations that have an impact in the community.

3) What is your favorite social cause?
I’m most passionate about environmental issues. From overfishing to pollution to recycling I’m most interested in this social cause because it weighs the heaviest on our planets livable future. Although, due to habit & choice, I’m also interested in this social cause being one of the most accessible forms of impact an individual can participate in. So during this internship, I wanted to challenge myself to use transit as well as ridesharing with the homies. 

4) What passions and interests do you have outside of work?
Live Music, Festivals, & Exhibitions are my favorite things to do, & each year I try to go as many as I can. I’m also really nostalgic, I love 16-Bit Video Games, 80’s & 90’s film/television as well as VW Vanagons.

5) Who is your biggest role model in life?
John Lennon 

Women's Design Salon Recap

  

We were so proud to have been part of the Los Angeles Design Festival once again this past June. With well over one hundred guests huddled in at the ROW in downtown Los Angeles, we were heart-warmed by the record breaking attendance of our 'Freelance 101' event. Our four freelance experts shared their own accomplishments, struggles, tips and tricks for other freelancers seeking inspiration and support. 

Your work is equivalent to the work you put in. All the relationships you build along are the ones that will carry throughout your career.
— Diane Lindquist
Being able to articulate your unique value in the marketplace is a powerful tool for selling your services and gaining your clients’ trust! Also: Boundaries + Self-care = Crucial.
— Renae Getlin

  Thoughts from our Desktop Wallpaper Designer,  Olivia Sy : Being a freelancer typically goes beyond mastering more than one specific craft or skill. The ability to juggle various hats as a freelancer helps to define their value as more than a designer, artist, writer or consultant. These panelists made it clear that freelancing can be complex, profitable, fun and a dream in reach! Concept kudos to Alisa Olinova for the idea!

Thoughts from our Desktop Wallpaper Designer, Olivia Sy: Being a freelancer typically goes beyond mastering more than one specific craft or skill. The ability to juggle various hats as a freelancer helps to define their value as more than a designer, artist, writer or consultant. These panelists made it clear that freelancing can be complex, profitable, fun and a dream in reach! Concept kudos to Alisa Olinova for the idea!

Download this wallpaper for your desktop!


We had a great time picking discussion topics out of a hat sent in by our community, such as "How do you establish trust with new clients and convince them of your value?", and "How do you navigate being unavailable or overbooked for a project or client that you want to work with?"

As women, we often have to work harder to earn people’s trust when first starting out, especially as freelancers. Support your peers, seek guidance from your seniors, and approach every situation with confidence and transparency—the rest will follow.
— Samantha Surtandi
Define success on your own terms — your path is yours and yours alone, and you shouldn’t let anyone else define you and what you do. Also, define your priorities in life and know what’s important to you because those will guide all the decisions you make around your business and your work.
— Jenn De La Fuente

Though our panel was short, we loved hearing everyone continue the conversation and mingle while enjoying the event space after the panel. We were so thankful to have had such a great diversity of skill sets and knowledge being shared by our panelists and guests.

Our community experienced the type of support and collaboration that makes the creative world feel more like home. We hope to see everyone at our next event!

Photography by Olivia Sy.

A very special thanks to all that contributed to the inspiration.

Our friends and partners:

Los Angeles Design Festival

Feel Good Salsa

Our amazing speakers:

Diane Lindquist, Multidisciplinary Designer, Strategist, and Marketer

Sam Surtandi, Multidisciplinary Designer, Writer

Jenn De La Fuente, Developer, and Professor

Renae Getlin, Writer, Content Creator, and Brand Consultant

Our super event hosts:

Alisa Olinova

Clarisa Valdez

Our wonderful volunteers:

Olivia Sy, Visual Recap & Photography

Kate Manos, Event Set-up

Kimberly Poquiz, Event Receptionist 


Please follow WDS on Instagram to stay in the loop! Interested in getting involved with the Women's Design Salon? Please get in touch at info@verynice.co!

verynice UX/UI Reading Recommendations

At verynice, we value input from our community network and feel they are a fantastic resource for idea sharing. Recently, we asked our community network what their recommended reads were for UI/UX design, specifically desktop applications, forms, and the like. Their offerings were too good not to share! Here are six recommended reads provided by the verynice community network: 

#1: “Design for the Real World”, by Victor Papanek

Shout out to Matthew Manos for initiating the conversation by offering his first two recommended reads! According to Matthew, Papanek is great for digging into the “U” of UX.

#2: “Form + Code”, by Casey Reas 

Matthew provided his second suggestion, which he said was peripherally relevant book, which one of his mentors used when he was in college. 

#3: All of the Rosenfeld Books

Thanks for this recommendation, Michael Manalo! He stated that these books offer a lot of really good and credible UX practitioners writing about UX practices. He named specifically,

#4: UX Pin

Shout out to verynice’s Art Director Alisa Olinova for recommending these awesome online reads! She specifically mentioned,

#5: “Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks”, by Luke Wroblewski

Katharine Hargreaves provided a book by the talented Luke Wroblewski,  describing him as “the king of mobile”. According to Katharine, the book is fantastic for web form design. 

#6: "Cadence and Slang”, by Nick Disabato

Drusilla Ray threw out “Cadence and Slang”, saying  that this resource “advocates evergreen guidelines for technology”. Though this is an “eccentric read” this book hold valuable information. 

Added bonus! Read the first chapter free here

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At verynice we’re reminded every day that our greatest impact is made when we collaborate and work together. Thank you to all of our community members for being assets for designers, beginning and experts.

To learn more about our community network visit verynice.co or contact info@verynice.co.

Welcome to the team, Anders Tse!

We're so excited to welcome an incredible new Strategist to the verynice family, Anders Tse! In this welcome interview we learn about his love of food, education, and all things design.

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Hey there! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a multidisciplinary design strategist on a mission to helping brands and organizations unlock the magic of design to shape a better world. My favorite design tools are Post-Its and collaborative teammates. It all started with a class at Cornell’s business school called “The Art of Innovation: A Design Thinking Immersion”, where a Stanford d.school coach taught us the value of empathy in business, ethnographic research methods, and rapid prototyping using fun materials like pipe cleaners and foil. Experiencing this human-centered approach to problem solving was so exciting to me that it influenced my decision to switch career paths from human resources to design strategy. After getting my Master’s in Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell, I spent two years in New York as a strategist co-creating solutions in space planning, service design, and organizational design with higher education and cultural institutions. Now I am back in my native city of Los Angeles, delighted to be part of the verynice family and give back to my community through design.

What are you most excited about for your new role?

I have two things! First, I’m most excited about being in a position where I get to partner with passionate, mission-driven organizations to create authentic brand experiences, tell their stories effectively, and expand their capacity for impact. Second and last, I’m fascinated by the evolution of design strategy as a discipline and I’m excited to collaborate with a smart, tight-knit team on imagining what strategy at verynice and in the broader design industry will look like in the future.

What is your favorite social cause?

My favorite social cause is education, which is near and dear to me. I am a first generation college student and recognize my privilege in having the support networks and opportunities in place to get me through to graduation. As a country, I believe there is more work to do in designing education systems, both K-12 and higher education, that are equitable and inclusive of current and aspiring students from all walks of life. It’s encouraging to see the emergence of non-profits and social enterprises tackle various components of education in service of fostering environments that give every student an opportunity to succeed, from tutoring to hunger assistance programs.

What passions and interests do you have outside of work?

I feel alive when I am surrounded by mountains and lakes, so I’m grateful to be back in California and hike throughout the year. I’m always open to discovering contemporary artists that have a provocative point of view and tackle important social issues, so you’ll be sure to catch me at major art museums in Downtown and small local galleries. Lastly, I am passionate about experiencing and learning about the intersection of food and culture, so I’m looking forward to exploring the diversity of Los Angeles’ food scene and trying new cuisines in my travels.

Women's Design Salon Recap

Last month at the verynice Women's Design Salon: Feminine Voice, we heard each other's stories and learned about Elle Luna's experiences. The painter, designer, speaker, and author of The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion, walked us through the lessons in her new book, Your Story is Your Power: Free Your Feminine Voice.

  Thoughts from our Desktop Wallpaper Designer,  Wilmer Gomez :  The piece I created is like an emotional city map. I was thinking about the culture story that Elle was talking to us about and it made me think of the thoughts that go inside my head and the thoughts that might be running around inside people's heads, I created a map-like pattern to express the different stories that people might have to tell and no matter how small they are still important.

Thoughts from our Desktop Wallpaper Designer, Wilmer Gomez: The piece I created is like an emotional city map. I was thinking about the culture story that Elle was talking to us about and it made me think of the thoughts that go inside my head and the thoughts that might be running around inside people's heads, I created a map-like pattern to express the different stories that people might have to tell and no matter how small they are still important.

Download this wallpaper for your desktop and for your phone!


Here is a great reflection on the event by Los Angeles designer, Kat Park:

“That was intimate.”

The volunteer sharer standing in the middle of room offered that statement a little sheepishly after realizing she had perhaps involuntarily over-shared some stories from her personal life.

And it was intimate. The setting for the night featured a tidy spread of sandwiches, wines, juices and snacks for a small gathering of people, mostly women, who had come to hear Elle Luna, artist/designer/author of “Your Story Is Your Power,” speak. The room was quietly lit and we were all sharing personal memories and stories with each other at Luna’s request. So yeah, it was intimate. How could it not be?

This might have been Luna’s goal, though, as she spoke extensively about story: not only the stories we are told by the world at large and the stories we tell others, but also the stories we tell ourselves. Luna’s talk had moments built in for intimate conversation, the kind of talk that usually requires permission to share because it just might disrupt a mutual peace. The topics ranged from experiences with misogyny, to memories of families and childhood. They were interspersed between slides of Luna’s own illustrations and quotes from others on the importance of story, investigation, and your voice.

While we’ve come to expect from talks and speakers a kind of riveting and impassioned thesis of wisdom or life changing affirmation, what Luna offered that evening was an intimate moment for people to open up and share something with each other.

We all know there are a million ways to tell stories and connect. You can Snap, Like, Heart, Re-tweet, Add, Friend, and Follow whoever and whatever you like. But this kind of access rarely results in openness. Our stories and connections can feel inauthentic and guarded. The invitation to just turn to the person next to you and share something intimate, even in its awkwardness, felt like a relief.

Photography by Olivia Sy.

A very special thanks to all that contributed to the inspiration.

Our friends and partners:

General Assembly Los Angeles

Califia Farms

Workman Publishing

Vroman's Bookstore

Vanessa Dewey

Our amazing speaker:

Elle Luna, Designer, Speaker, Author, and Artist

Our super event hosts:

Clarisa Valdez

Alisa Olinova

Our wonderful volunteers:

Wilmer Gonzalez, Visual Recap

Kat Park, Written Recap

Olivia Sy, Photography


"In a very real sense we define our lives through our stories. Understand these stories, along with the motivations behind them, and we can positively change how our future unfolds."

Be sure to check out the book Your Story Is Your Power: Free Your Feminine Voice!


Please follow WDS on Instagram to stay in the loop! Interested in getting involved with the Women's Design Salon? Please get in touch at info@verynice.co

Job Opportunities with verynice!

We're thrilled to announce that we have two open positions at verynice! We are currently looking for a Full-Time Strategist and Part-Time Assistant Project Coordinator to come join our passionate family of creative problem solvers. For over 10 years, verynice has helped businesses, nonprofits, and governments expand their capacity for impact through design-driven innovation.

We provide hands-on strategic consulting and design services, facilitate workshop sessions, and publish a variety of open-source design methodologies. With client experience spanning 500+ brands including the American Heart Association, Disney, UNICEF, and Google, our expertise is centered around three key disciplines: Business Design, Brand Strategy, and Experience Design. We start every single project using the same foundation of core principles: co-creation, anti-assumption, legacy-driven impact, and generosity.

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To apply, please include the title of the position you are interested in in the subject line of your email. Please also include a resume, cover letter, and any other relevant materials. Email all of your documents to info@verynice.co by April 15th.

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STRATEGIST (FULL TIME)

ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Strategist sits within the design team at verynice, and reports directly to the Asst. Managing Director in order to execute upon verynice's  strategic methodologies, and lead a diverse range of client-facing strategic project and consulting initiatives. This is a full-time position, based in verynice's Downtown Los Angeles headquarters.

  • Assist in new business development by helping to determine the needs of a client in order to define the project scope for new project proposals.

  • Conducting and leading verynice’s strategy services including relevant research and project execution across the following service areas: brand strategy, experience design, business strategy/product development, facilitation, and general consulting.

  • Collaborate with internal and client teams to anticipate client needs and find creative ways to address them, shaping the nature and outputs of your projects

  • Leadership and mentorship for team members, ensuring the success of our projects, and the ultimate alignment with the client’s end goals.

  • Participation in networking events and conferences, acting as a public face for verynice and delivering thought leadership in design, strategy, and social impact.

  • Craft strategic recommendations, workshop agendas, and develop legacy documents for creative problem solving initiatives.

QUALIFICATIONS
2-3 years of experience. A Bachelor's Degree in a related/relevant field. Must be detail-oriented and an excellent communicator. Great presentation skills and facilitation experience are necessary. Must be a quick thinker, and have a willingness to develop strong friendships with our amazing clients. Interdisciplinary Master's Degree (MBA/MFA) desired, but not required.

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ASSISTANT PROJECT COORDINATOR (PART-TIME)

ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Assistant Project Coordinator at verynice reports directly to the Asst. Managing Director and Operations Manager in order to assist in the coordination and management of select projects, and to lead select administrative tasks such as project scheduling, outsourcing, and account management. This is a part-time, ~20 hour/week 6-month contract position to start with possibility for extension or full-time employment upon completion and review of the initial contract.

  • Assist in developing proposals for new business based on historical data and insights from new business meetings.

  • Assist in the development of project schedules, helping the Asst. Managing Director fit new project initiatives within the overall studio bandwidth.

  • Lead project management for select client initiatives in both verynice's for-profit and pro-bono sectors.

  • Work with the Operations Manager to review new talent and recruit new contractors and volunteers.

  • Work with the Operations Manager to generate and track new project agreements and invoices, following up with clients to keep new business efforts on track.

  • Work with the Asst. Managing Director in researching and vetting of new business opportunities.

  • Assist the Managing Director in developing content for verynice's social media feeds and blog.

  • Assist the Asst. Managing Director with miscellaneous administrative tasks.

QUALIFICATIONS
<1-2 years of experience. A Bachelor's Degree in a related/relevant field. Must be detail-oriented and an excellent communicator. Great presentation and creative problem solving skills experience are necessary. Must be a quick thinker, and have a willingness to develop strong friendships with our amazing clients. General knowledge of design or the creative process is preferred, but not necessary.

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To apply, please include the title of the position you are interested in in the subject line of your email. Please also include a resume, cover letter, and any other relevant materials. Email all of your documents to info@verynice.co by April 15th.

Full-time employees at verynice have a range of added benefits including paid time off, federal holiday observation, sick days, opportunities for healthcare reimbursement, a work-from-home policy, and a volunteer day (aside from other fun shenanigans like karaoke and go karting).

Call for Spring Visual Design Internship Applications!

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Spring Visual Design Internship

Position Description:

The Design Internship is a production-oriented position that supports our creative team in the visual design process for various client projects. The Design Intern will split their efforts between our for-profit and non-profit clientele.

This is a flexible 16 – 32 hour per week position, and is housed in our downtown Los Angeles office in the Arts District area, requiring 2-4 full days in-house. Our business hours are Monday – Friday, 9am to 6pm. This is a 3 month position, starting early April, available for current students in their junior or senior year of undergraduate studies. Compensation options include a paid stipend or course credit.

Deadline to apply is Sunday, March 18, 2018 before Midnight PST.

Position Requirements:

Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Design, Visual Communications, Fine Arts, or a related field. Strong verbal and visual communication skills. Interest or basic experience with socially-oriented design. Entrepreneurial spirit and attention to detail. Ability to handles multiple projects and deadlines at once. Must have own computer (preferably Mac) and Adobe Creative Suite.

To apply, please send your cover letter, design portfolio and resume to info@verynice.co along with responses to the following questions: 

1) What date would you be available to start the 3 month spring internship position?
2) Are you interested in a 2, 3 or 4 day internship?
3) Are you looking for course credit?

Building LAPD’s Force of the Future through Social Media

Social media can be a powerful outlet to share stories that can inspire change. The LA Mayor’s Innovation Team engaged verynice to collaborate on the creation of the “Our LAPD” campaign, an initiative to help build a more diverse and inclusive Police workforce.

“Law enforcement is more effective when it reflects the community it serves,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This campaign is about increasing awareness of the LAPD’s commitment to diversity — and building on that commitment with the next generation of recruits.”

Our goal was to capture the stories of officers who are underrepresented in the force today, like women, African Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, and LGBTQ individuals. We created an informal interview guide to capture each story, but adapted the questions based on their responses. These interviews covered topics about the individual like race, ethnicity, and other identifiers, as well as perceptions of police and family influences, role models and representation, and backgrounds of officers, including unexpected facts like “What’s your secret talent?” and “What’s your favorite way to spend your time off?”

Spotlights were delivered through several social media ready assets including split images, fill in the blank images, and short video interviews. Video interviews share stories like “The First Time I Saw Me,” demonstrating positive experiences with officers or role models that shifted their perception or thinking and inspired them to become officers. Others focused on “The Shift," highlighting when the officers were able to shift others’ perceptions (like their family and friends) about policing.

Officers are people just like you and me. Split photos showcase officers in and out of uniform with facts about them beyond their careers. This reminds viewers that officers are people in uniform; that they have familiar roles like “Single Mom”, “Immigrant, and “Foodie”.

How well do you know the officers who patrol our city? The officers come from a variety of interesting backgrounds and have unique and quirky characteristics and interests. Fill in the blank images revealed interesting and relatable facts about officers with the prompt "You'd never guess that...".

How would you serve? Understanding that the LAPD is really a reflection of the community, community leaders share their stories and what their communities need from the LAPD to help us build the force of the future. Community spotlights represented the voices of diverse community leaders from the religious, LGBTQ, human rights, creative, and government communities, and more.

Community members were shown holding fill in the blank signs that revealed what they wanted to see in an officer with the prompt “I am _____ and I want _____.”

Video interviews captured each individual’s story, their organization’s mission, and their hopes for the future of the LAPD as it relates to their community. 

At verynice we focus on delivering projects that generate impact and leave a legacy for our clients. While these stories reflect the current views and experiences of the community, we also created a robust guide to create more content in the future. This compiled the project goals and materials into one document with instructions on conducting interviews, capturing photos and videos, editing the stories, and writing social media copy to share the stories.

Our team had the pleasure of meeting 20 officers and 9 influential community members to capture their unique stories and perspectives. From an Olympic silver medalist and mother to a Paralympic gold medalist, to a previously homeless then NFL bound athlete, to a professional pianist, and several immigrants from around the world, we were touched by the stories of these women and men from diverse backgrounds. Heck, if we didn't love our jobs so much, we'd consider becoming officers, or detectives, or captains ourselves! Did you know there are over 250 types of positions you could have within the LAPD? Be sure to follow the campaign as it rolls out this year on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

As always, if you'd like help on your next campaign, reach out! Visit this link to get started: http://verynice.co/get-started/