insights + process
Patty shares her process and thoughts in an interview with CG Graphics.
Patty Yuan has 5 years experience in Color and Product Design for companies including HUGO BOSS, Gregory Mountain Products and Nissan. In 2009 She launched a small DIY-focused company, Tinted Mint. Now she focuses on being Senior Designer at Eagle Ottawa, an automotive leather company, and continues to do color design and trends research.
She enjoys designing and exploring materials + colors for fashion and lifestyle products. Being hands on throughout the process from conception to production is important. Her designs have a tendency toward modular components as she finds it intriguing to customize mass-produced products. While she finds inspiration in many areas, from fashion to architecture to graphics, she recently developed a keen interest in handi-crafts, from crochet accessories to hand-dyed textiles. Thus a new design philosophy, Modern X Craft, contemporary pieces morphed from traditional craft.
Highly ambitious and always looking to work with the best, she designs to influence, not follow.
Patty graduated in 2006 with a BS Industrial Design from CSU Long Beach. During senior year, she was recruited for a Color and Materials design internship at Nissan's San Diego studio. In a team with other designers and engineers, she researched and proposed color and material possibilities for the 2007 Nissan Bevel concept SUV.
Internship at Nissan was perfect timing as she gained access to many talent and material resources while producing her senior thesis, Camper Lotus, a two-wheel commuter vehicle. Why would a product designer, without any knowledge of what a chassis is nor how to design a car, want to do transportation design? Because many try to, but fail. She wanted a challenge and was determined to prove others wrong. With guidance of her wonderful mentor, senior designer of Mercedes Advanced Design, Patty learned tons and the project was a success. Camper Lotus received the prestigious Red Dot Design Concept Award 2006, with the work published in their annual design yearbook.
For the next 1.5 years, Patty designed soft goods for outdoor company Gregory Mountain Products. She focused on Gregory's Japanese lifestyle market and their global color palette. Seasonal travels to Tokyo kept her fresh on trends and laid the foundation for developing a new product line, Yellow Label, targeting the active woman in Japan. Research for the new line included observing what women carry to the gym, touring a popular gym, and market survey.
In 2008, she was hand-selected to participate in Hugo Boss' annual Talent Pool, which is a 6-month creative lab in Switzerland. Each year, they select talents from design to business backgrounds, depending on the design topic. Collaborating with 4 designers of other disciplines, Patty designed footwear and packaging and helped develop accessories for their Lucidity collection under the HUGO creative director. She traveled to the company's footwear and accessories factories and worked with pattern makers to create working prototypes. To document their process and final results, the group presented their work in a collection book and coordinated a formal exhibition at the company headquarters in Germany.
Patty launched Tinted Mint in September 2009, an online retail shop focusing on eco-friendly DIY. Specializing in a large selection of Japanese washi tapes, she quickly expanded to include handmade paper goods and experimented with screen printing and laser cutting on paper and wood. Her works have been featured in many blogs and are published in books. Tinted Mint press
Since 2011, she relocated to Shanghai to work as Senior Designer at Eagle Ottawa, international automotive leather company. She works closely with Color & Trim of various OEM studios within Asia Pacific to design colors, textures, and patterns. Enjoying life in a charming neighborhood of historic Shanghai architecture, she continues to be inspired until the next adventure arises.