© Kuan Luo
Hi, I'm Alonzo, a multi-disciplinary art director and designer who lives and works in New York. This city is great for serendipity, not so much for sleeping. I'm currently running a new independent design studio collaborating with forward-thinking clients across various fields who have great values and intentions.
Before that I completed a honors BFA in graphic design/art history followed by a summer in London studying typographic application and theory, and finally a post graduate year spent studying typeface design at The Cooper Union here in New York.
I believe that language is one of the most significant human achievements and that its visual representation holds incredible power in facilitating effective communication. I'm interested in the overlaps between design and other fields like architecture and anthropology and think that the best work combines a strong sense of craft, conceptual thinking, and creative storytelling.
The best tool is the human mind. It is quite good at making unusual and insightful connections, so I try to be aware of things happening in the world to draw from. This can be anything from politics and activism to pop culture, fashion, and technology. Pencil and paper are also indispensable tools. They allow the shortest time from inception of an idea to pushing it around in real-time. I love Japanese brand Muji's notebooks. The paper feels great and the books are cheap so it's easier not to be precious with ideas.
I use a laptop with external monitor, a desktop, or tablet to work depending on the context. All are standard-issue Apple gear with a few upgrades in processing power. There is usually a portable external hard drive and Lumix GF1 in my bag as well. I also use a vintage '69 Fender Telecaster Thinline with a sunburst finish (and a few other guitars) for in between work jam sessions. Most people don't know that I've played the instrument for almost a decade now. I'm trying to find the time to get back into performing music. It was a big part of my life growing up.
Design: The Adobe CC Suite, Sketch, Omnigraffle
Accounting/Billing: Ballpark and Quickbooks
Collaboration: Dropmark, Google Docs
Writing: iA Writer
Code: Textmate or Sublime Text, GitHub, Terminal
Scheduling: iCal which syncs to Sunrise for mobile
Photo Editing: Lightroom with VSCO Film Packs
Typeface Design: FontLab/Robofont, Rounding UFO, Prepolator, MetricsMachine
Virtual Phone: CallingVault
Video Editing: iMovie, AfterEffects
Web Fonts: Typekit, Cloud.Typography, Symbolset
Mobile Wi-Fi: Karma
Screen Recording: Camtasia or Screenflow
File Sharing: Cloud App, We Transfer
Storage: Backblaze, Dropbox
Ideal Work Environment
I love a clean, modern, light-filled space. The collaborative workspace Studiomates in DUMBO, Brooklyn is where I've been for a while now. Regardless of physical space, the best work environment is to try and surround oneself with talented people you trust. But it would be nice to have an oceanside studio at some point!
My inspiration comes from several places including my family, traveling, and work that is adjacent to or often completely different from design. I like to visit museums or see shows taking in aesthetic influence from fine art, fashion, and culture. Some current inspirations include Chilean-French film director Jodorowsky's surrealist film Holy Mountain, fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra's clothing line, David Bowie's Scary Monsters album, and Klein bottles.
Creatives You Admire Most
Annie Clark, Bruno Munari, Le Corbusier, Wes Anderson, Cipe Pineles, Alvin Lustig, Herb Lubalin, Anagrama, and Heydays. In general, anyone who does great work with high standards but doesn't take themselves too seriously.