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About Rui Ma

Rui Ma is an award-winning designer, art director, and illustrator based in Los Angeles. With an MFA degree in Graphic Design and over eight years of professional work experience, she focuses on graphic design, art direction, branding, illustration, digital design, print design, experiential design, etc. She also has a passion for photography and fashion. Her work incorporates bold, dynamic typography and illustration, along with energetic colors. Rui started her career in New York City and decided to move to Los Angeles in 2018, she gained years of design experience in both cities. Rui has created work for a variety of clients including Google, Apple, Shopify, Facebook, Sundance Film Festival, PepsiCo, Stella Artois, and many more. Her work is recognized by international awards including A’ Design Awards, IDA Design Awards, GDUSA Awards,World Brand Design Society Awards, CSS Design Awards, CSS Winner, Awwwards, etc.,and featured on Creative Boom, Print Magazine, IdN World, Mindsparkle Magazine, and World Brand Design Society, We And The Color, Design & Paper, etc. Rui’s design inspiration comes from life, music, art, and other creative individuals she has worked with. After work, she spends her time creating digital illustrations and oil paintings and getting her inspiration from reading design magazines, going to museums and art galleries, watching movies, and listening to music. She believes visual communication design through different kinds of media can help solve problems and change the world.

Interview with Rui Ma

Rui Ma ("RM") interviewed on Sunday, 23 January.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

RM : I am an award-winning designer, art director, and illustrator based in Los Angeles. I currently work as a senior designer at MullenLowe U.S., located in California. With an MFA degree in Graphic Design and over eight years of professional experience, I focus on graphic design, art direction, branding, illustration, digital design, print design, experiential design, etc. I also have a passion for photography and fashion. My work incorporates bold, dynamic typography and illustration, along with energetic colors. I started my career in New York City and decided to move to Los Angeles four years ago, I gained years of design experience in both cities. I have created work for a variety of clients including Google, Apple, Shopify, Facebook, Sundance Film Festival, PepsiCo, Stella Artois, and many more. My work is recognized by international awards and featured on Creative Boom, Print Magazine, IdN World, Mindsparkle Magazine, World Brand Design Society, We And The Color, etc.

How did you become a designer?

RM : I started painting when I was five and decided to choose art and design as a major in school. Gained my bachelor’s degree in Art and Design at Beihang University in Beijing and Mater of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York state. My family provides me with the biggest support to pursue my designer dream.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

RM : The top aspects of a project to me are the ideation, the function, and the design aesthetic. Technology and digital tools definitely help present my works in a more realistic manner. My favorite tool is Adobe Creative Suite and I like creating mock-ups to present the work before sending mechanicals to production studios.

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

RM : I always feel energetic when I design, and the most exciting part I enjoy for the design process is the moment I realize “I love the design!”. When I finish the work, I feel satisfied and proud.

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

RM : I like reading books and quotes from famous designers, which include visual designers, fashion designers, architects, etc. With writing down the highlights of their philosophy and understanding of design, I get much inspired.

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

RM : Growing up I have always wanted to be a designer. With an MFA degree in Graphic Design, I started my design career in NYC to pursue my designer dream. I want to create designs that help people, solve problems and change the world.

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

RM : Stay curious, always ask questions, work hard and smart, be passionate about what you are doing, and always learn.

You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?

RM : Keep learning is the key. It is inspiring when you learn from different fields than your expertise, such as reading books or watching a speech from other professional creatives. It is like different shapes merging, the connection of the shapes is where creativity grows.

What is your day to day look like?

RM : I work every day on workdays. I usually create arts after work, either digital illustrations or oil paintings on canvas. Sometimes I like reading digital magazines and getting inspired by posts from design blogs during my day.

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

RM : Take advantage of the internet. I mostly follow the design trends by browsing digital design magazines and a lot of well-known creative inspiration platforms such as Behance, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. It is always beneficial to be aware of what the latest design trends are, but sometimes it could be misleading if one design is created just to follow the trends.

How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?

RM : Good design/product is long-lasting, innovative and future forward.

How do you decide if your design is ready?

RM : I define a complete design when I think the ideation, the function, and the design aesthetic are consistent and work well for the purpose. When I receive positive feedback from my audiences, I know that it is a successful work. However, as a designer, I always think there’s room for refining design details and making it perfect.

What is your biggest design work?

RM : The award-winning design "Eight Ways to Protect Biodiversity" posters. It is a series of poster designs created to raise the awareness of conserving biodiversity and encourage everyone to protect our world and environment.

Who is your favourite designer?

RM : Massimo Vignelli. One of his most famous designs is the New York City Subway map. It is definitely a landmark for modern information design. It helps the subway riders get the clearest information in an efficient way.

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

RM : I lived in Beijing for several years when I was in university. The city is representative of Chinese Culture and the experience of living in this city has become one of the most influential design inspirations for my work. I started my career in New York City, it is the most inspiring city I have ever lived in. The mix of eastern and western culture provides me with so many unique ideas for my life and work.

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

RM : I believe that good designs can help people and change the world. For example, the award-winning design "Eight Ways to Protect Biodiversity" posters I created are helping and raising the awareness of conserving biodiversity. I hope the design contributes to encouraging everyone to protect our world and environment. I am glad that the work is recognized by many international awards and magazines which is beneficial for communicating the design concept with the public.

What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?

RM : When I got the award, the appreciation and recognition from the award provided confidence for me to continue creating good designs. It's really exciting that my work is recognized by people when it got featured on the award sites.

Rui Ma Profile

Hanzi and Alphabet Type Design

Hanzi and Alphabet Type Design design by Rui Ma


Emotions Posters

Emotions Posters design by Rui Ma


Protect Biodiversity Posters

Protect Biodiversity Posters design by Rui Ma

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