Interview with Hatem El Akad, Donghoon Lee and Erica Yoshimura, Copywriter, Art Director and Copywriter of Miami Ad School San Francisco, US

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Hatem El Akad, Donghoon Lee and Erica Yoshimura

Hatem, Donghoon and Erica are creatives from Miami Ad School San Francisco, their talent helps them to craft ideas that are feasible and noteworthy.

Interview with the 2019 VEGA Awards -Hatem El Akad, Donghoon Lee and Erica Yoshimura

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your background.

We would like to start by thanking you very much for this interview. It is a true honor.

We are advertising and communication creatives/strategists with Copywriting, Art Direction and Strategy degrees from Miami Ad School San Francisco, the world’s most prestigious advertising portfolio program.

Our work experience has been at several agencies around the world including GUT Miami, Droga5 New York, AKQA Tokyo, Grey New York, R/GA New York, JWT Egypt, Edelman New York, Drive Dentsu Egypt and DDB Berlin.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a digital designer/ artist?

We want to harness our creative potential to make the world a better place. Our jobs are no longer about just selling product. We have been taught how to do that, but we really want to do is change people’s perceptions and ideologies. Design, writing and strategy can do that.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

We are art directors, copywriters and strategists in the advertising and communications business.

4What’s your favorite kind of digital design and why?

Innovative. Solely because it relies on new technologies and ground- breaking ways of thinking.

5To you, what makes a “good” design?

It has to feel right. It has to give that “ohhh...” or “aha” reaction. It has to convey the emotion and action you want it to convey. And it has to be true to the brand. When all that fails, we trust our gut, and go for it.

6Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

We were taught to never adhere to one style. Every assignment is different, every brand is different, and that is why every style should be different depending on the task at hand.

7Tell us about your design process.

We read the brief, read it again. Spend hours researching, look at what others did, read the brief again, draw, sketch and write a whole bunch of concepts. We hit a wall, we stop. Then we do it again, and make a decision.

8Where do you draw inspiration from?

People, their actions, behaviors, current trends, design websites and Instagram pages. We seek inspiration from everything we possibly can.

9What current trends in digital design (or really anything digital related) are you most excited about?

Minimalism and simplicity. Also pure boldness and how “in your face” - in a good way - it can be.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 Vega Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

We are beyond honored, humbled and happy! It is a true true honor! It means a lot to us to get the chance to compete against the best of the best worldwide, and to be recognized by one of the world’s most prestigious award shows.

11. Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Vega Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

We were very proud of our projects and we worked super hard to get it right and tight. Researching and crafting for endless days, crafting, crafting, crafting, doubting ourselves, and crafting again. We wanted to “play” on current trends with the hope of making/achieving a difference.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

Time, feasibility and research. We had to go above and beyond and consult with several professionals to bring these projects to life.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Winning an award definitely makes a difference, no doubt, especially if it is as prestigious and recognized worldwide as yours. It gets you noticed, people start to pay more attention to the work, and it gets you on top of the pile.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about the digital industry?

How quick, surprising and trend-changing it can be.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the digital industry?

The USA and London have always been the leaders of communication worldwide. They always lead with the latest innovation and practices. And we are fortunate to be part of that.

16Where do you see the evolution of digital industry going over the next 5-10 years?

More human centric, less “the consumer is dumb”, and... well more creepy and less private.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring Vega Award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Craft, craft, and craft again. Research. Do your due diligence and make sure what you are presenting is something unprecedented. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Keep the judges hooked and impress them.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the digital industry?

Master the tools you use to bring your concepts to life. Whether it’s sketching, writing or Adobe software. If you have the best idea in the world and you cannot present it well, it is no longer a good idea.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

Can we be honest? We want two of these interviews, not just one... if that’s feasible, let us know :)

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Stagmeister and Walsh, Anselmo Ramos, honesty, and transparency. Why? Because most people are still doing what these people and things tell you not to do.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Work hard. Harder than anyone else. You can be just another creative, or you can work hard to become the best creative you can be. No one is the best, but so many are trying hard worldwide... why shouldn’t you?

22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

We would like to thank you so so much for this opportunity and honor. We look forward to creating more work worthy of your award shows. Wish us luck :)

Winning Entries

iHelp | 2019


iHelp is here to tell you when you really need a break, and how to productively make use of one....
(read more at Vega Awards)

Nest Safe Sleeve | 2019


It's time for legal gun owners to feel safe and protected with their firearms...
(read more at Vega Awards)

Augmented Mock-Ups | 2019


Label and packaging designers spend endless hours on ideation and digital execution...
(read more at Vega Awards)

Coming Out Loud | 2019


Most Americans consider deafness a disability and ASL a divisive language...
(read more at Vega Awards)

Miami Ad School San Francisco

Miami Ad School teaches students how to develop their skills in creativity and business innovation.