Yen Nguyen

Senior Graphic Designer + Art Director

“If you can design one thing, you can design everything.” - Massimo Vignelli

My mom came to my first job interview at Chili’s when I was 15 and I got the job. I went home smelling like french fries after every shift for the next 2 years. I met my best friend, Mary, here too.

After that, I worked at a Skate Park that was built for the ESPN X-Trials in Grand Prairie. I went home smelling like copious amounts of people’s sweat and Lysol for the next few years. At the same time, I would also help out the marketing department by designing monthly newsletters and skate/bmx competition flyers for the park, all with Word, Scotch Tape, Scissors and the copier machine. This is where I learned that Design is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Then I went to work for ESPN X-Games Skate Park in Grapevine where I was a retail buyer for the park for a year. I also designed competition flyers for that park as well as P.O.P. for the shop. I didn’t smell like sweat anymore because this park was nice and had a washer and dryer so we could wash the pads after every session. This park sadly closed so then I went back to school for Design after getting my associates degree at community college.

During my time at design school, I folded a lot of t-shirts at Urban Outfitters specifically for the men’s department where I was a team lead and at the same time listened to a lot of good music and a lot of bad music. I even have a Gold Folding Board because I was damn good at folding overpriced pieces of basic torso wear. Being a team lead was awesome. We got to help out the visual merchandising teams with floor set every quarter. There was a week where I had to rip off wallpaper off a giant wall with a spray bottle full of water and a razor blade — but I didn’t have to fold t-shirts that week so I was happy.

While I was at UO in the morning, I went to design school at night for the next 3 years. When I finished, I won Best Portfolio of my graduating class — If you were to ask me what the happiest day of my life is, I would say it was this...and getting my pug Henry.

My first Design Job was designing packaging for consumer product goods. I’ve created private label style guides and packaging for lots of random things at this job, Christmas Lights, Airblown Inflatables, Dancing Monkeys, Plastic Toy Sticks, etc. I also learned to design specifically for large retailers such as Kmart, The Home Depot and Target as well as Licensed brands like Peanuts, Disney and Hello Kitty. I got my first cardboard cut at this job, it’s like a paper cut but with cardboard. I still have scars on my arms from this place.

Somewhere in between, I was an art director for a wedding magazine and hated it. So I left and went back to packaging because that job was awesome. It allowed me to create packaging programs and gave me art direction experience for consumer product photoshoots for global retailers which led me to a retail marketing agency where I got to create things for 7-Eleven and all the brands underneath it. 7-Eleven invented the convenience store industry and is the largest convenience retailer in the world. I started to realize that working and designing for global brands was super rad.

Now I am a designer on the global brand team for Barbie at Mattel in El Segundo. I'm surrounded by toys and happily get to call my creative team my west coast family. This job is super dope. I never know what I'm gonna do that day and have learned to create projects for the Barbie brand on a global level and get to experience magical Photography and Television Commercial shoots with kids and toys.

Other things I like are Pugs, coffee, reading fashion magazines, meeting and collaborating with new designers and eating fried chicken. I also really like the beach, even though I can’t swim.

Let’s make some awesome work together.

Love, Yen