Meet PRINT’s latest Designer of the Week, CA–based Jordan Cuellar, whose love for hand-lettering and illustration is apparent in everything from his logo work to apparel design. On any given day, you’ll find him practicing his craft, which is exactly what he encourages other creatives to do
Name: Jordan Cuellar
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Design school attended: Westwood College
How would you describe your work?It ranges from each project.
I do a lot of hand-lettering and apply it to different projects like logos, apparel graphics, cover art, and more.
Aside from that, my work can be clean and simple, loud and busy, dark, and illustrative. I love to incorporate textures. I just like to experiment wherever I can.
I feel that I’m a little unorthodox with my approach to design, though I’m sure all creatives are.
Where do you find inspiration?
Other designers and creatives, friends, people, the internet, music, street fashion, sports, urban culture, movies, entrepreneurs, books, magazines and the random things I see wherever I go.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?There’s so many I can name, but I’ll go with 10:
Jessica Walsh, Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, Gemma O Brien, Alexis Taieb (Tyrsa), Ben Johnston, KAWS, Tristan Eaton, Aaron Draplin, and Pharrell Williams.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?Nothing in particular. I’m extremely grateful to be able to get any type of work, but I’d say personal hand-lettering projects and the apparel brand are what makes me the happiest.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?I’d say the lifestyle apparel brand that I’m a part of right now, SayLaaVie. Just having to start something from the ground up is always difficult. From not only having to deal with the creative side, but the business side of things is quite the test. We just released our second line and are finding ways to improve and keep learning. Seek out the mistakes and just putting in all the work we can.
New ideas keep coming, and we’re shifting gears on some aspects, trying to be more than just a clothing brand. It’s all about executing and acting on them.
I know it’ll be tough, but I think the team I’m with is able to do something interesting.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?So many things, but the ones that come to mind are:
1) To act as an influence/inspiration to other creatives and individuals through my work2) Help create something that would make a positive impact to the people3) Keep improving my skill set4) Have my own gallery/installation5) Grow the apparel brand
What’s your best advice for designers today?
These are things I always think about and try to tell myself:
Be grateful, put in the work, don’t complain, build self-confidence, motivate yourself, provide value, encourage others, take advantage of the resources you have, take advantage of the opportunities presented to you, be honest with yourself, be open-minded, keep trying, keep creating, keep improving, execute, keep learning, educate yourself, take care of your body, don’t act bigger than you are, limit what you say yes to (I’m terrible at it), don’t waste time on dumb things, and don’t try being great at so many things at once. Keep doing more of what you’re good at first, then go ahead and try doing other things.
Subscribe to PRINT
The experts who write for PRINT magazine cover the why of design—why the world of desig
n looks the way it does, how it has evolved, and why the way it looks matters. Subscribe to PRINT today, and get in on the conversation of what the brightest minds in the field are talking about right now—essential insight that every designer should know to get ahead.
Treat yourself and your team to a year of PRINT for $40—which includes the massive Regional Design Annual ($29.99 on newsstands).