Su is a venerated figure in the design world.
Not only is she the creative director behind the famed Walmart rebranding, the creation of Hyatt Place and more recently, Taco Bell’s brand evolution, but she is also President of the National Board of Directors of AIGA — one in only five women ever to hold that title in the organization’s 100-year history. As co-chair of the AIGA Women’s Lead Initiative, Su has dedicated her career to tackling gender inequality in design.
- When did you decide you wanted to be in this business?
I started off studying fine arts, and then advertising. I was never great at drawing, and my copywriting skills were terrible. After doing a college internship at Pentagram design, I knew I had found the right business to be in.
- Which projects have been the most meaningful to you and why?
I love designing for brands in categories where design has typically been under appreciated or non-existent. Just because something doesn’t cost a lot, doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. It just means sometimes you have to be even more thoughtful about how you use design to add value.
- What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My four-year-old son Chase, and my dog Chloe. It’s a competition as to who steps on my head first.
- If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be?
A fashion designer!
- Do you have a mantra or a favorite quote?
Years ago, Michael Bierut told me, “Don’t ever show something that you can’t live with — that’s the one the client will choose.” He couldn’t have been more right. It is a lesson that has stuck with me over the years and one of the first I pass on to designers in my team.
- What advice would you give to advice to female designers starting out in the industry?
Push yourself out of your comfort zone as much as you can. Those are the opportunities where you will learn the most.
B.F.A. Graphic Design, Associate's Degree in Advertising, Fashion Institute of Technology
Associate Partner, Pentagram
“Symbol Master” - AIGA
One of the 2013 “People to Watch” - Graphic Design USA
Other Career Achievements
AIGA, National Board of Directors
President, AIGA National Board
Over the last 70 years of design here at Lippincott, we’ve learned that the doing is just as important as the thinking. In this piece, we lay out the precepts and principles of the craft itself — the meticulous exercise of converting strategies to beautiful, simple and meaningful work.