CONRAN DESIGN GROUP
NEW YORK NY
Annie Yang is a Senior Designer at brand design consultancy Conran Design Group (U.S.). Boasting an eye for composition across photography, illustration, typography, and more, Annie is best known for bringing to life visually impactful and strategically sound brand expressions for leading brands and institutions. Her most notable client work includes the Museum of the City of New York, National Association of REALTORS®, Princeton University’s Design Nation Conference, Havas Mango, and Zoetis. Coming out of college, Annie did not jump right into a full-time job, preferring instead to travel and take on freelance design projects to gain experience. She used the time to hone her portfolio and better understand the design industry and where she might best fit. She starred in the second season of the inspirational YouTube series, “Young Guns”, by online education platform The Futur — which followed the creative journeys of seven graphics designers from around the world as they not only refined their portfolios and talents, but also widened their outlook of the industry.
Looking forward, are you optimistic about the role of graphic design in business and society?
Prior to COVID, I never thought my role as a graphic designer was that important. All my friends around me were doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lawyers, veterinarians — professions where one could actually save a life or make it better. But when COVID first hit, it was a maze of unpredictable unknowns. No one had any idea what was going on with guidance constantly shifting. This was when I realized how good and credible design can bring people together, get them on the same page, and make the unknown a little less scary. My peers were also stepping into visual platforms and using their skills to help spread awareness for good causes. It was inspiring and it really made me see the potential of graphic design to change the world.
Have the challenges of the past two years changed the way you approach your work?
Until I started to work from home, I didn’t realize how much the traditional model of going into an office 5 days a week and sitting in front of my laptop 8 hours a day hindered my creativity. I realized how important it is now to be able to control your environment and plan for time to fully focus and get into a flow. Working from home really made me see my potential as a designer when I was able to work in an environment without distractions. Though, balance is super important because as a designer whose job requires me to be constantly creative — it was also hard not being able to go out, meet new people, explore new places and find inspiration.