Erin Pascoe studied abroad with ISA in Seoul, South Korea during Summer 2018. Erin graduated this past May from the University of Florida with a BFA in Graphic Design. Erin shares how her time abroad in Seoul helped her learn how to design for a diverse audience and strengthened her overall design skills. Erin also shares some advice for any students studying graphic design. We reached out to Erin to learn more!
1. How does your experience studying abroad in Seoul influence your role as a graphic designer and design assistant?
Studying abroad in Seoul has influenced my role as a graphic designer and design assistant by increasing my precision when looking at details. Design, audience, and the media industry differ from country to country and it’s interesting to see how advertisements and branding systems differ in Seoul than they do here in the United States. Being aware of these differences has allowed me to become more precise in designing for different people and communities.
2. What was your most memorable experience from your time in Seoul and why?
My most memorable experience while in Seoul was making new friends and traveling the city with them! In Florida, we don’t have a subway system and so it was exciting to experience the bustling metro that Seoul has to offer. Transportation design is something I became interested in after I visited Seoul because of its unique and efficient design system. Getting to experience something new with friends you’ve only known for a month was very exciting and definitely helped me step out of my comfort zone. Other notable places we visited were the Han River, N Seoul Tower, Star Avenue, and even an excursion to the southern portion of the peninsula to another large port city, Busan.
2. How would you describe your design style?
I would consider my design style very fun and bubbly, but still clean and minimalist. I love clean, geometric lines with pops of color, as well as line and vector illustrations. I also consider myself to be an adaptable designer in that I can design different styles for clients depending on what they are looking for.
3. What are you up to now? (both professionally and personally!)
As of May 2020, I have graduated from the University of Florida with a BFA in Graphic Design. Currently, I am working as a design assistant to one of my studio colleagues who runs a very successful freelance business called Tara Berg Design, or TBD. As an assistant, I create illustrations, GIFs and logos, as well as any other tasks that need to be finished.
In my personal life, I have been immersing myself in the music and entertainment industry. I love Korean Pop music, so it was very meaningful for me to have taken a Korean Media Industry Seminar and visit well-known areas of Seoul that have to do with this industry. Since then, I have done personal design projects, including re-designing K-pop albums as vinyl albums. In 2019, I re-designed an album called Adventures in Wonderland by the group A.C.E, and I was actually lucky enough to meet the members later that year and show them my design outcome! Although the design was more of a personal project rather than a design to be mass produced, it was an honor to have someone I look up to in the music industry autograph and physically hold my work. Both this album re-design, as well as another one of my re-designs, were reviewed and critiqued on the first ever The Big Shot live stream by Noise Nest Network, which is a creative studio in California. Among the people who viewed my work were voice actor, Greg Cipes and Fall Out Boy Bassist, Pete Wentz. Fall Out Boy has also been a music group I’ve looked up to since I was 9, so it was very surreal to see one of the members observing and talking about my work.
5. What advice would you give to a student studying graphic design who wants to study abroad?
For any design students wanting to study abroad, it can be quite hard to find design courses that meet the needs of your college. Rather than trying to fulfill a course requirement, it can be refreshing just to take courses that you’re interested in that you may not even realize will impact your design and way of thinking. That is, only if you are able to do so.
Technically my media industry seminar was not a design course, and while we did briefly talk about design, its main focus was how the media industry works in South Korea. We learned about which forms of media are the most popular and how media is spread. Because I was already interested in the media industry, it helped me narrow down who I like to design for, what types of media I would like to design for (print vs. screen-based design), and who my audience may be in the future. Audience differs from place to place, and knowing who you are designing for is a crucial part of being a graphic designer and a great skill to polish while studying abroad!
Inspired by Erin’s journey and want to discover your own while immersing yourself in an abroad experience? Fill out your details below to let our team know and we’ll help you find your adventure today!