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Design Q&A: Valerie Diaz de Arce

Updated: Apr 30, 2018

I was reading through Print Magazine recently and thoroughly enjoyed the section in which they profiled new and upcoming designers. It got me thinking about all of the talented designers I already know who have a plethora of wisdom and advice. So I decided to do a series of my own designer Q&As, starting with myself!


Valerie Diaz de Arce



What is your earliest creative memory?:

In about first grade I decided I was going to write and design a book, titled "Amy's World". I never made it to the part where I write the book because I got so caught up in designing the cover. I changed the illustration, layout and type over and over.

What is the path that led you to design?:

I knew that I loved art from a young age and I was pretty decent with Photoshop in high school. But I convinced myself that I wasn't "good enough" to become a graphic designer in college. So instead, I studied Advertising, which still incorporated design. After college, I volunteered as an AmeriCorps in San Francisco where I worked on all different kinds of marketing projects. I was asked to design an infographic one day and it quickly became the most exciting thing I'd done in years. I didn't want to leave my desk because I enjoyed the process so much. That was when I knew that design was the career for me.

Career in a nutshell:

United Way of the Bay Area, Chegg, Foothill College

The key to good design:

Know your audience.

What piece of work are you most proud of?:

I just finished up a view book for Foothill College and I'm really proud of the final look. It was a large task to try to creatively and clearly show the most important aspects of the college. I also wanted to blend our newly developed brand with modern trends.

Who has been your biggest influence?:

Honestly, Jesus. I think one of my greatest strengths is my ability to empathize with others to some degree. Empathy is so important in design, because I'm trying to convey a message to my audience and I can do that well when I truly understand and feel the emotions that they feel. The greatest example in my life of empathy and compassion is Jesus.

How would you classify your style?:

Simple, clean, bright, pop.

Who is your favorite designer?:

Andy Warhol

What advice would you give to designers who are just starting their career?:

Find mentors, seek advice from lots of people who do what you want to be doing, and don't be afraid to ask for help if you don't understand.

What would you like to accomplish by the end of your career?:

I want to look back on my work and see that I directly impacted peoples' lives for the better. Yes, I want the work to be good, but more importantly, I want to change the world and fight for social justice.


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