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Jury Selection

Yijia Xie
Brand Design Lead, Handshake

Yijia Xie, an NYC-based visual designer, graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Yijia embarked on her design journey with an earnest passion for creativity and innovation. Her early experiences at the esteemed design studio Sagmeister & Walsh, followed by her role as a Lead Designer at IBM Research, have shaped her into a thoughtful and forward-thinking designer. Currently, as the Brand Design Lead at Handshake in San Francisco, Yijia is recognized for her adeptness in blending visionary concepts with practical design solutions, focusing on branding, creative coding, and typography. Her dedication to the field of design has been acknowledged internationally by awards such as the “Fast Company 2022 Innovation by Design Awards”, “International Design Awards”, and “Graphis Design Awards”, underscoring her commitment to pushing the boundaries of design with her innovative approach.

Yijia’s design philosophy involves a deep exploration of themes like futurism, spiritual journeys, historical narratives, and technological evolution. In her collaborations with global brands and diverse clients, including creative agencies and tech companies/startups, Yijia consistently strives to bring distinctive ideas to life, effectively communicating each brand’s core values through her designs.

We asked Yijia to fill us in on some of her favorite design tools, her obsession with horror/thriller indie games, and the app that’s helping her dog make new friends.

Yijia's Picks

Mobile Apps

Fi Dog App
The Fi Dog App has been a game-changer for me, offering real-time tracking and activity monitoring that boosts my confidence in my dog’s safety. Not only does it ensure my dog is always safe, but it also tracks its health through detailed activity reports, encouraging us to hit daily step goals. The app’s easy-to-use interface lets me quickly set safety alerts and get instant updates on my phone. Plus, it helps my dog make furry friends nearby, enhancing not just our mobile experience but also building a vibrant pet community.

Bilt Rewards
Bilt Rewards innovatively turns rent payments into a chance to earn points, usable for airline miles, hotel stays, or even future rent and real estate investments. This loyalty program is perfect for those looking to gain more from their monthly rent expense. Its user-friendly app simplifies tracking points and exploring rewards, enhanced by partnerships with top airlines and hotels, offering a broad selection of perks.

Starbucks App
Despite having many food-ordering apps, Starbucks remains my go-to. Its advance ordering and payment cut down waiting times, making everything smooth. The app’s rewards and personalized tips encourage trying new drinks, enhancing each visit. It’s also great for finding stores and checking menus, especially in new places. The Starbucks app stands out with its user-friendly design and fun rewards, making my coffee experience both easy and enjoyable.

Games

Rusty Lake: Roots
As an indie game enthusiast, Rusty Lake stands out as my favorite studio, with “Rusty Lake: Roots” being the jewel in their crown. Set in Rusty Lake’s bizarre and surreal universe, this game tells the fascinating story of the Vanderboom family tree. It invites players to dive into James Vanderboom’s life after he plants a mysterious seed from his uncle’s house, unfolding a rich story that spans generations.

Limbo
“Limbo” captivates with its stark, monochrome visuals and ingenious puzzles, offering an unforgettable journey through a hauntingly beautiful, mysterious world. Its compelling, open-ended narrative invites players into a deep, emotionally resonant exploration that stays with you long after the game ends.

Don’t Starve
I really love playing this game with my best friends. “Don’t Starve” is an uncompromising wilderness survival game full of science and magic. Its open-world, random generation ensures every playthrough is a fresh adventure, making it a must-play for fans of survival and exploration games.

Websites

Paper Portfolio
In creative work, we always emphasize that concept and execution are equally important, and this website perfectly demonstrates that. Integrating portfolio into the concept of a newspaper
not only showcases creativity but also the attention to detail in design and development is fantastic.

Louis Vuitton Collectibles
It’s the case study showing the launch of VIA by Louis Vuitton. The website offers a cool experience that makes you feel like you’re embracing the future just by navigating through it.

Awwwards
I visit the Awwwards website daily to seek inspiration and stay updated on the latest trends in website design and development.

Digital Tools

Canva
As an experienced brand designer, my view of Canva has shifted from skepticism to strong endorsement. Initially, I thought Canva was only suitable for those without a design background. However, when I began to extensively use Canva in my daily work, I was surprised to find it significantly unleashed my creative productivity while ensuring high-quality designs. I designed numerous templates for various departments within the company, allowing them to easily create the design materials they needed while maintaining brand consistency.

Cavalry
When you come across trendy and cool animations on Instagram, you might think they’re the result of creative coding art, but in fact, many of them are made with Cavalry. Cavalry is an exciting 2D animation software designed to significantly boost creativity and efficiency. By blending traditional keyframe animation with advanced procedural generation techniques, Cavalry enables easy creation of complex animation effects, opening new horizons for creativity. Its built-in smart shape layers, particle systems, and dynamics tools allow for the transformation of data and audio into visual animations, greatly enriching the creative expression of artists.

Blender
I’m drawn to its relatively simple user interface and the fact that it’s open-source and completely free. The wealth of online resources makes learning and mastering Blender accessible, allowing me to dive deep into 3D modeling, animation, and rendering without financial barriers. This accessibility fosters a vibrant community and endless creative possibilities.

When you submit your digital work to the w3 Awards, it’s reviewed by creative professionals like Yijia. Enter now before The Final Entry Deadline on June 21st.

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