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People to Watch in 2012 BACK FORWARD

brian yap


Brian Yap is a designer and illustrator currently working as a creative director at Boxing Clever, a boutique advertising agency in the Midwest. After graduating from VCU’s School of Communication Arts and Design, he moved to the Saint Louis area to work as everything from a toy designer to apparel line-builder before moving into advertising. As a creative director, he works for clients including Brown-Forman, Saint Louis International Airport, Accenture and, most recently, Adobe Systems. At the core of what he does there is a respect for what illustrative styles can do for the visual impact of any design, whether it be a poster for a local rock venue or a national promotions program. As national music acts come through the Midwest, they often do appearances at one of the country’s largest non-chain music stores — Vintage Vinyl. The posters for these events have helped to show off his work to an even larger audience. Recently Yap has started working with the Adobe touchpad division after creating illustrations using an iPad app called Adobe Ideas. The ornately graphic illustrations use new technology and helped create award-winning illustrations for Adobe and posters for musical acts including Rise Against and Talib Kweli.

Where were you born or grew up, where do you live, does this effect your design style or sensibility?
I was born in Honolulu, a Navy brat who moved a lot. It definitely shows in my personality and design. If anything, I became very good at adapting and absorbing my environment and it took me a long time to get to a point where I felt like my work properly reflected all those influences.

If you were not a designer, what would you be doing for a living?
I love tattoos. I could look at tattoo art all day long. I like to think if I was not a designer I would be a tattoo artist. I’ve been collecting for a while now. Is that a fair answer? If not that, I would’ve been a bad motorcycle mechanic.

What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
I say yes to every opportunity. That’s both a strength and a weakness. I want to take on so many challenges that I stretch myself thin. ’Course, who needs sleep really?

Design Heroes?
Alphonse Mucha, Harry Clarke, Aaron Horkey
Favorite Color?
Flat black
Favorite Typeface?
Favorite App?
Adobe Ideas
Favorite TV Shows?
Breaking Bad, Wire, Party Down, the list goes on and on
Favorite Books?
Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, In a Sunburned Country, anything by Taiyo Matsumuto, old sci-fi like Robert Heinlein
Favorite Movies?
Blade Runner, Repo Man, any disaster movie
Favorite Music?
50/50 punk and hip-hop, my secret love is Hall and Oats
Favorite Fine Artists?
David Choe, Dave Kinsey
Favorite Gadget?
Bookmarked Websites?
fffound, notcot, graphic exchange
Worst Habit?
Lots of coffee
New Year’s Resolution?
Travel more
One Thing You Can’t Live Without?
Hot showers
Talent You Wished You Possessed?
That’s easy, “time-lord”
Best Gift You Ever Received?
Avengers Annual #11
Mantra Or Saying You Live By?
“Always try what you think you can’t do.“