Designing for the Future: Trends We Need to Consider Now

This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader

The future of design is going to be, point blank, amazing. 



I want to preface that I am an incredibly HUGE design nerd and could go on for hours about each of these topics, so drop an email ( if you want to nerd out with me! 

There are a myriad of design categories that will greatly progress as time moves forward, but if I wrote about every single one, I’d probably bore you to death. So, in my 6 years of experience and the path that I’ve taken in my creative journey, here are 3 things that I see expanding in the future of design.

Technology, Technology, and Technology

Designers will continue to leverage technology as it continues to expand and develop new tools. This will open a whole new platform for designers and developers to utilize and express their creative concepts. With the rise of image messaging and multimedia mobile application such as Snapchat and Instagram, developers will have a huge playing field to expand their current features (Dog filter anyone? My personal favorite is the dancing hot dog).

VR is another world that will play a huge role in 3D design, motion graphics, and video. Just imagine, the first iPhone was released 10 years ago and we’ve come so far! I mean, VR Goggles in theaters? How cool would it be to be a part of an actual movie? I can finally be the minion I’ve always dreamed of! OH, idea, VR Goggles in the shape of Minion Eyes - yep, you heard it here first.

Business Acumen, Strategy, and Infographics

When I was in design school all I could ever think and breathe about is design. Colors, shapes, typography, etc. Literally, anything and everything design related I was more than likely geeking out on it. When I finally jumped into the industry, I learned very quickly that it’s not just about pretty shapes and colors. The demand for presentation and business designers has reached a whole new level in the last 5 years. Companies aren’t going to sit in front of an investor with just any plain ‘ol Power Point, they want beautifully design slides from start to finish with compelling narratives. As a creative, it is very important to understand how the business works and the company’s value proposition. If you know terms like ROI, Series ABC, EBITDA, AP,  CF, P&L and you can make beautiful graphics, you’re pretty much unstoppable (How’s that for finance 101?!). It’s an ever-growing part of the industry that I love to see grow.  

Data Science, Design, and Resilience

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, data is the core of most if not all businesses. We live in a world where we’re tracking data from open email rates, app usage down to what filters are being used the most. (Long live dancing hot dog). Data and feedback are constantly coming in from our end users, and while that’s great for marketing teams to know what move they need to make next, designers and developers need to become faster on their feet and rolls with the punches (as cheesy as that sounds). Delivering revised assets at lightening speed is the new norm. Think fast, designers!

And for the record, while I didn’t mention it on the list, I do think there is a future for print. Print is NOT dead, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We may lose our traditional printing styles, but we will always need good books, magazines, zines, etc. People love touching things, period. 

Those are my top 3 things! What are yours?

Go forth and design, designers!

Whole Heart x Butcher Paper

I've been thinking about putting art on our wall but have been hesitant because I was unsure of what we'd want. So one night, I rolled out some butcher paper, reach deep down inside and the rest was history. 

Whole Heart - The story: 

Often times people who suffer from a mental health disorder either shame themselves or is shamed by others for having this "it's just in your head issue" and is typically asked to separate themselves from it because it'll make you look "weak" or "incapable". Pft.

This is a piece I created as a reminder to love all parts of who I am (who YOU are). Whether that is the one-half of me who is the happy-pappy girl, and the other half who, well...let's just say is extra spunky. The two can live in harmony even when sometimes it's a constant battle. It's what keeps my heart together and what keeps me whole. 

Check out the bite-size pieces of the art below and download them here for your phone/wallpaper/printouts.





FIDM x Krislam Chin Instagram Takeover

As a FIDM Alumni, I love giving back to my college/community to help encourage students and soon-to-be graduates with advice on how to take on their career. When FIDM asked if I wanted to take over their IG to share my story, I immediately said, "HECK YES."

In my 3 min video, I shared what I did in my role and my top 3 pieces of advice based on my experience in the last 5 years. 

I had A LOT OF FUN and gained so many new friends over the span of 24 hours and was asked soooo many questions, it made me so happy! #HAPPYDESIGNER

Check out the video below:


Behind-The-Scenes: How I prepared for my 20x20 Talk (or really, any presentation.)

I had to opportunity to speak at the General Assembly for the Type Thursday event in Downtown Los Angeles powered by Pecha Kucha 20x20.

The topic of choice? Typography.

What did I talk about? Well, sorta, typography. Actually, more like hand lettering… anxiety… and… depression. YEA I KNOW, strange combination.  

Each speaker was given 20 slides, not bad right? You’re probably like “OKAY, KRISLAM, THAT’S NOT A CHALLENGE YOU NOOB.)


Each of those slides was timed to change ON ITS OWN every 20 seconds. Which means, no, there was no clicker. Nor a timer.
Yea. Let that sink in. Talk about a stretch project.

By the way, you can watch that video here!

I’ve received praise on how well I was able to present the project and while I’d like to say that I was born with God-given talents to present seamlessly, I wasn't.

What I loved about this presentation, apart from the content that I was presenting, was this exact exercise of not having control of your slides and really just rehearsing over… and over…and…over…again.

“Okay, Krislam, but how did you prepare”
Great question. I’m here to share with you all how I prepared for my 20x20 talk, or well, any talk really. Ready?

You start off with realizing the difficulty of the project and going into an out of control spiral filled with anxiety.

I’m just kidding. 


I cannot stress enough that I went back and forth whether or not I should start building slides right away or just go spew out my thoughts on a piece of paper and see what I can grab from it. The latter gave me a lot of anxiety since it wasn’t structured, but honestly the more structure I tried giving it, the less I was able to be creative and give it my personal flare. 

With that being said, one morning on the way to work, I used my Notes App on my phone and just spoke into the speaker of my car using the Dictation Tool (which by the way, is freaking awesome.) You can see in the screenshots below that I did not hold back whatsoever.

Krislam = Chris Some. I said it was awesome, not perfect.


I printed out my notes on a legal size document and started picking out sections that were important to my presentation vs. things that just seemed like fillers. Again, I had 20 seconds for each slide. EVERY. SECOND. COUNTS!

I also began thinking of slides, again, not in front of a computer just on paper. I’m a presentation designer so it helped a lot with how I wanted to structure my slides, which in this case was either JUST ONE WORD or images.

(Yes, I subscribe to Graze. You should too and use my promo code KRISLA3GB to get your 1st and 5th box for free. I’M SO NOT KIDDING. Also, Graze didn’t pay me to say that. I just really love snacks being delivered to me because, hello, food.)


This is my favorite part! After I got my story down, I sat in front of my computer and built my slides. I printed the thumbnails on an 11x17 paper so that I can write down the thoughts I had for each slide. At this point, I still had a TON OF finessing to do with the content, but the general idea for each slide was there.



My mentor, Cody, advised that in order for me to nail this presentation I really had to rehearse and he was SO right. I really thought I was going to be able to SORTA practice and just improv in the middle. (Thank goodness I didn’t)

So I practiced…everywhere. In the car, shower, washing dishes, walking the dogs… everywhere. Huge shout out to Jay for listening to my talk so many times! You da best!

Learning Moment: I made the initial mistake of not practicing early on with my slides. I put up 7 minutes and timed myself per the 20 sec. mark. I thought that would have been sufficient enough as a dry run, it wasn’t up until I finally put my slides up on the TV at home when I realized…Yep, not the same.


It was during my many rehearsals at home where I finessed the content of each of the slides. Again, like I mentioned earlier, every second counts so any filler content had to get cut.

My 11”x17” paper became an 8.5”x14” which finally made it down to 8.5”x11” by this point each slide was dedicated to either ONE word or ONE sentence. Jay, my boyfriend, advised me to do this which allowed me to focus on the main takeaway. I asked myself the question, “If there is anything that your audience should take from this one slide, what would it be without the fluff?


The time finally came, I watched as the speaker before me finish his last slide and I just thought to myself “you got this. you got this. you got this. BREATHE!” I felt confident, but I was worried that I would look into the audience and movement/sound would de-rail me from my thought process. BUT, ALAS, I went up there and well…I. Am. Proud.

I practiced for about 2.5 weeks and I am very glad that I kicked my butt into shape to do so, because I’m not 100% sure what it would have looked like if I waited closer to the presentation date.

I hope this helps! If not, well, at least now you know that I’m subscribed to Graze.


Newest Obsession: Midori Traveler's Notebook

So if you've known me for the last 4 years, I used to carry around a kraft moleskine around everywhere I went and changed it out every quarter. 2 months ago I asked myself "okay, but when am I going to transition out of this? should I do something new for 2017?!" Dare I do it?!

Well, it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon when I was at a Meetup event when one of the ladies pulled out her "Midori" when my life changed (YES, I am being theatrical). I immediately shot my eye towards her journal and was asked "WHAT. IS. THAT. BEAUTIFUL. CREATION!?"

"Oh, it's my Midori Journal!"
"A WHAT..."


A quick version of what it is: 
It's a leather bound notebook where you can customize what inserts to put in. The inserts can be anything from lined, graph, blank, monthly cal, weekly cal, EVEN...KRAFT PAPER. Yes, people, I said...kraft paper. Think of those planners that look like mini binders and you can fill it with whatever your heart wants BUT this time, it's minimal and it's all blank. You're not committed to and of the pre-populated fields/design - it's just a blank canvas... it's perfect. 

Long story short, I fell in love.

I have to admit, it was a hard transition, but I was too in love with its function and form to let an opportunity pass by. The best part? Well......................the main notebook is made out of kraft paper, so the difference wasn't too bad. Actually, they're pretty damn identical. LOL.

Anyways, with this new found (beautiful) object in my life, it has RE-OPENED my love for... stickers. As a child, I was OBSESSED with stickers and scrapbooking, but as I got older it became expensive to endeavor in such a hobby so I tucked it away, besides, when would I find the time? Well, I found the time and I also have purchased an insane amount of stickers in the last...30 days or so. (Shout out to MIchaels and Amazon for carrying some really cute stickers!) 

It goes without saying but, I am obsessed. I am the crazy lady who sits down and plans and puts stickers everywhere. I am the sticker/journal lady. 

So without further ado, I introduce you to my personal Midori Notebook - which is pretty much a snapshot into my life :) 

Monthly Calendar: Shown below because I really just need to know what the heck is happening in my life and sometimes carrying it on my phone isn't the most helpful thing (as crazy as that sounds)
Lined Notebook: Notes both personal and work related. It's basically my new moleskine. 
Kraft Paper Notebook: BECAUSE KRAFT PAPER IS LIFE MAN and I use this notebook as my "scrapbook/album" 


Lined Paper Notebook: Work/Personal Notes - every little icon has a purpose

Lined Paper Notebook: Work/Personal Notes - every little icon has a purpose

Kraft Paper Notebook: Album/Scrapbook

Kraft Paper Notebook: Album/Scrapbook

As you can see, I am OBSESSED with my stickers when it comes to my calendar and my album. I love doing it so much. I find so much joy and comfort knowing that I've either planned out my next couple weeks and/or recorded my memories. No, it's not the same layout/finish true scrapbooking is like, BUT, I actually really love how "unfinished" it looks. 

Here's some close ups on the calendar - my FAVORITE part of the notebook :)

IN LOVE! :) and I am very happy with the new transition. I hope you enjoyed this little quick snapshot into my newest obsession! And for the recrod, I still love me a kraft moleskine. Don't think I've already moved on.

Buy the Midori Notebook Starter Set on JetPens!
Stickers: Amazon and Michaels (be on the look out for 40% coupons from Michaels!) 
Pens: Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica (0.28, 0.3, 0.5, 0.6) 
Brush: Pentel Sigma Brush Pen


Open Letter: Dear 25 Year Old Krislam


10 days ago I turned 25. It was also on that day I was finally able to open a letter I wrote to myself when I was 20 years old.

 I’ve been going back and forth whether or not I should publish it for the world to see. On the one hand, it’s a very intimate letter for myself that really only pertains to me.  But on the other hand, I feel that maybe this could inspire others to write letters to themselves to celebrate wins and indulge in self-reflection.

So here it goes, unfiltered…unedited...just me with my 20-year-old heart.

"Dear 25-year-old Krislam,

LOL, hopefully, you’ve changed your penmanship.

It is September 25, 2012 9:09PM-ish! You’re probably reading this on your 25th birthday, so happy birthday! Hopefully, you don’t lose this letter, but knowing myself, I will. We’ll see.

Waddup 25 year old me! You’re old, haha, JK. Turning 21 in about a week! So crazy how fast life goes by. You accomplished a lot in life before 21.  

Incase you need a reminder you…

1)     Graduated from FIDM

2)   Left Aeropostale

3)   Started your career

4)   Survived a car accident

5)   Got your own car

6)   Moved to DTLA

That’s a lot in my opinion and I am beyond blessed and thankful. Oh I should mention that past you (20 year old) is sitting at Syrup with Jordan & Alexa trying to milk the wifi – haha! 

Anyways, enough jibber jabber.


At the age of 25 I expect you to still be practicing design. By this time, you would be a 5-year senior designer. You better be kicking ass! If you’re not working at Hypothesis anymore you better be back at school or working somewhere that’s better. (Not that Hypothesis is bad) but hopefully you’ve grown. But all together, I hope you’re still designing. You should be living on your own if not already living with a boyfriend (ooy..) but we’ll see. But for sure you shouldn’t be living with roomies anymore!

Speaking of boyfriend, I’m (20) currently still with Tony and you and I both know that you’re a little uneasy about the relationship, but hopefully you’ll have things settled out and are happy with whoever you are with. (Can you still read this? LOL **Penmanship was getting bad**)  

Uhh…you better still have Murfee (Mini Cooper)! Maggies in college by now, hopefully, she ended up in like Harvard or something, haha. Tell her you love her :) (Boshy!) Parent will be 54-55 by now, ugh they’re getting so old LOL hopefully you have kept close contact with them. Remember to always tell them how much they mean to you. You wouldn’t be anywhere without them :)  

I know right now I’m struggling with the whole “life-after-death” situation and knowing you – you’re probably still scared but remember to no be afraid. Always remember that God will be there and your family and whatever happens, happens – y’know!? LIVE IT UP! Stop worrying and live, please :)  

I hope by the time you’re 25 you’ve learned more than you possibly can and more. I really hope in the upcoming years you will teach yourself and challenge yourself – honestly. Also, I hope you’ve been going out and doing fun and great things. I don’t know what else to say but... in the grand scheme of things…

-       Be happy and stay happy

-       Stay healthy (essentially)

-       Keep designing

-       Be kind – stay kind

-       Be an awesome daughter, sister, girl friend, friend – everything

-       Better be giving back to the parents! 

But in all seriousness, I hope your spunk hasn’t left and I hope you’re still funny and weird. YOU BETTER LIKE DISNEYLAND!

Overall – YEAR 2016!? AHHHHH

I hope you’re still doing what makes you happy and always remember that if you’ve gotten this far you can do so much more. So 25-year-old me, you better be doing all those things AND MORE!! Don’t let me down future me! :) Now write a letter to 20-year-old me explaining how amazingly awesome you’ve become!!

Love, Krislam :)

(20 years old) 

P.S. As far as money goes…as long as you’re living comfortably then you’re okay. Don’t worry about being rich :) Do what makes you happy!" 


Dear 20-year-old Krislam,
(from 25-year-old Krislam)

Yes, your penmanship has gotten MUCH better.

Yes, you’re still a designer…obvi.

A lot has happened in 5years…

I’ll keep it short because I’m going to be writing to 30-year-old me in a little bit.


You would be so proud.  

Also, remember Jhomar? Your boss.  

He’s going to be your boyfriend. LOL, I KNOW! You live with him now with two puppies. You are living comfortably and life is great. Maggie is studying to be a nurse @ CSULB and the parents…they’re amazing J  

Thank you 20-year-old me for looking out.
I am VERY happy & grateful:)

Love you 20-year-old me – it’s going to be one hell of a ride – but you got this!

P.S. 1000000000% not at Hypothesis, LOL.  
Also, you upgraded to Bruce from Murfee (Don’t ask -_____-)


Okay, time to write to 30-year-old Krislam !

To be continued...





Calling all Future FIDM Students in Washington!

Thinking of making FIDM your next adventure?! FIDM is coming to you for#FIDMOnTour in Seattle, WA on Oct. 15 where I will be a featured alumni panelist alongside with Cody Saya of Temerity Design. Learn about my college experience and meet with an Admissions Advisor if you're interested in attending FIDM. RSVP required:

Workshop Day 2

Hooray! Workshop class #2 was a success! Applied a lot of my learnings from the first class into this one and gathered more feedback for future classes. We had a lot of fun and gobbled up all the popcorn, haha - including myself. So far the general consensus is wanting more time to learn how to connect the letters. Looking into doing a video for this one very soon OR...MAYBE do an intermediate class? We'll see! Check out the photos below! Thank you ladies! 

Workshop Day 1


Today I held my first hand lettering workshop! It was SO much fun :) I have 2 more to go (with one more class still open to fill) and then HOPEFULLY go to San Diego in late October, early November! 

Check out the photos from the first workshop! Special thank you to these ladies for being my first set of participants and sharing some wonderful feedback to help shape future classes. 

Extra special thank you my boyfriend, Jay, for supporting my crazy endeavors! Please excuse my door and cleaning supplies :p 


Why Did I Become A Designer?

It started with the MySpace. Yep, you heard me right, MySpace.

MySpace gave you the freedom to edit your page from simple background color changes to overlaying a table on top of the entire page and coding it from scratch. I used to change my layout almost every week when I got the chance. At this point, I was merely changing the colors and fonts and had no idea the full potential it had. 

Then one day, I stumbled upon someone's MySpace page and she had these really cool stars and swirls with different colored gradients. I was completely taken away by how cool it looked and really, REALLY wanted to know how she did it. So I messaged her...

Me: "Hi! Really love your background, can you tell me where you got it from?"
Her: "I made it."
Me: "Oh cool! How did you make it?"
Her: "A program."
Me: "Nice! What program?"
- Silence - 

No joke, she wouldn't tell me. I was slightly frustrated but more curious...and maybe a little desperate. 

So then I created a new account with some faux name "Kris Chi" (I know, SO CREATIVE)

I asked her again and the conversation pretty much went the same way. So okay, I'm not going to find out from this person where she made it from. Fine.

So I started Googling "How To Make MySpace Backgrounds" and alas, I found that some created it with Corel Paintshop Pro.


But how is a 13-year-old supposed to get said program!? (Insert Hero Music) My dad somehow knew someone that also had it and burned a copy for me (soooo 2001). He came home with a CD-R labeled with a green Sharpie "Coreal Pntshp Prp". I started playing with the program and found a downloadable brush that had THE SAME EXACT STARS. I was THE HAPPIEST PERSON ON THE PLANET. 

A couple months later, I discovered through Googling "MySpace Layouts" I kept seeing the word "Adobe Photoshop Brushes". 

"What the heck is Adobe Photoshop?"

So, my little curious brain went into researching and OH MY GOODNESS I NEEDED TO GET MY HANDS ON IT! 

Again, the same family friend made me a copy of her program at home.


And that's pretty much where my journey began, making layouts for myself, friends, families, and strangers. Yes, I took requests from strangers.


How it actually became my career is a completely different story. 

It was my Junior Year in high school, back when I made very poor decisions in my wardrobe. I was given a sheet of paper that said: "Please Select An Elective". I saw "Graphic Design" and was like "That sounds fun! Sure." 

It was my first day of class and I entered the classroom and was basically a child in a candy store. MACS AND BEAUTIFUL POSTERS EVERYWHERE! I instantly fell in love with the class. Mr. Dahms was the wonderful, funny teacher that taught the class and I pretty much fell in love with him too. He's the one who taught me that I could create a career out of what we're doing in class every day. "NO WAY, I CAN GET PAID FOR DOING THIS?!"

Curious and eager to learn more about this career, I decided to take Graphic Design II in my Senior year.

One day, a representative from FIDM came and gave us a presentation about the program and the campus. I immediately went home, told my mom about it and got on the phone with an admissions officer. 

And that's how I got here! 


Mr. Dahms | 2009 (High School) - 2013 (Post College Grad)