F5: Jiminie Ha’s Book Plans, the Furniture That Changed Her Life + More

01.19.24 | By
F5: Jiminie Ha’s Book Plans, the Furniture That Changed Her Life + More

Jiminie Ha, founder of the award-winning creative agency, With Projects, Inc. didn’t experience a direct trajectory career-wise, which is what makes her story all the more compelling. “Despite growing up in an environment like Paris, I think my mom’s Italian Vogues laying around the house made the biggest impression on me,” she said. “I grew up looking at these incredible images created by photographers like Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Helmut Newton, but then really got into Guy Bourdin, Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen Teller…anything that would starkly contrast my immediate decorative surroundings.”

“Music was hugely influential on me as well,” she added. “I was playing piano and violin for decades at that point and yet… only listened to punk music – Fugazi was my soundtrack! My 200 page senior thesis in college was all on race and subcultures in the punk scene of the 70s!”

Launching in 2012, with a collective background in fine arts, curation, creative direction, design, publishing, and fashion, With Projects, Inc. has developed relationships with a dynamic range of clients and collaborators as a result of its multidisciplinary practice. Their client list includes everything from large global rebrands to developing new brand strategies and systems for up and coming brands in the arts, culture, beauty, lifestyle, and fashion sectors.

Jiminie is also currently the Senior Director of Graphic Design at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, overseeing the global re-branding of the Guggenheim Constellation and its new location in Abu Dhabi, as well as co-founder of a new art space built by Philip Johnson in 1949, Wolfhouse, located in a historic Philip Johnson house in Newburgh, New York. She’s a design talent, and busily spreading her expertise far and wide – to say the least.

light-skinned woman with black hair pulled back wearing a fuzzy black turtleneck sweater

Multi-disciplinary designer Jiminie Ha

As if three positions weren’t enough, Jiminie is the publisher of a limited-edition arts book series, White Zinfandel, which the New York Times described as “imagine if Marcel Duchamps guest edited Bon Appetit.” The book series can be found in permanent collections throughout the country.

“My career trajectory wasn’t an obvious one. Growing up in France, my parents were constantly taking us to museums and art institutions whenever they had the chance. My mother studied fashion and art, and was deeply passionate about her own creativity, but as a first generation immigrant, of course, that wasn’t the recommended path for my brother and I (ironically my brother too, went into architecture,)” Ha shared. “I was on a pre-law trajectory, double majored in International Relations and Ethnic Studies. During some time off, I ended up taking photography courses back home in Paris, fell in love with the medium, and kept taking classes back in college while finishing my degree.”

“After a couple years working in publishing, odd freelance jobs, internships, I landed an internship at 2×4 to work under Susan Sellers’ mentorship – it was definitely luck at that point since I had no formal training in graphic design, and had mostly been self-taught over the years working in NYC,” Ha continued. “That internship turned into a full-time job, and led to study at Yale School of Art’s three year graphic design MFA program. I learned a tremendous amount at 2×4 in those formative years, and coupled with art school, I began to really thrive in a setting I had always wanted to explore since I was a kid… There was a moment that I tried to fit the mold, but Susan gave some sage advice not forget my past experiences, but rather integrate them into my process to enrich and personalize the work I was producing. It was a turning point for me in how I began to develop my own voice, and in turn, started to gain recognition for my body of work.”

Jiminie has come a long way in her career and shows no signs of slowing down. Today, we’re happy to have her join us for Friday Five!

museum interior

Going Dark exhibition visual identity at Guggenheim Museum, curated by Ashley James. Neon Green artwork in background © Sandra Mujinga Spectral Keepers, 2020. \\\ Photo: Jiminie Ha

1. Guggenheim Museum

As Senior Director of Graphic Design, it feels like I’ve come full circle and am returning to my roots by combining my love for art and design as I oversee exhibition identities, advertising, and the rebranding of the global brand.

grey merle colored dog with a red collar

Photo: Jiminie Ha

2. Neko

“Neko” means cat in Japanese. I hope one day I can develop a children’s book series called “Neko the Dog Named Cat” and celebrate being different.

collage of six digital images

Photo courtesy BBC

3. HyperNormalisation

An incredible documentary by Adam Curtis that explores the hidden forces behind this era of sociopolitical chaos. I watch this once a year at this point to remind myself of how we got here.

styled outdoor space looking out onto a lush landscape

Photo: Jiminie Ha

4. Hotel Verana in Yelapa

I am a water sign, and feel most at peace when I am nearby a body of water. It is where I can recharge. Recently, I went to this incredible boutique hotel with amazing sustainable architecture and food, and we made it just in time to whale watch.

styled modern interior space looking out onto a lush landscape

Photo: Jiminie Ha

5. USM Modular

Best shelving system – changed my life for the better.

Work and Commentary by Jiminie Ha:

book cover reading THE STERNS ARE LISTENING

The Sterns are Listening by Jonathan Wells. Published by Ze Books, 2023. Designed in 2022. \\\ Working on a novel set in a time when CBGB’s was still around felt very close to my own passion for music and punk. I had interviewed Hilly Kristal, Ivan Julian/Voidoids, John Holmstrom/Punk Magazine in college for my thesis on race and subcultures in punk, so the manuscript inspired old punk flyers and collages. Collecting the ears of famous musicians for the cover art was a super fun process since the premise of the book revolves around a family saga and hearing loss.

wall with bright graphic posters and a few foldable chairs in front of it

Crozier 2018 \\\ Redesign and rebrand of Crozier, a global arts logistics company, recently acquired by Iron Mountain, one of the largest data storage companies in the US. The initial phase of the brand rollout of the entire rebrand covers Crozier’s overall identity, print collateral, wayfinding, digital, marketing, and strategy. The second brand rollout will strategize blockchain technology incorporation to the site and brand seamlessly.

repetitive pattern of blue magazines covers reading DAZED

Dazed Korea, 2017 \\\ Concept and art direction for Venus in Drapes, story shot by Catherine Servel. Due to South Korean censorship, nudity was not permitted in the publication. With Projects conceived of “censoring” the anatomy by sourcing public artworks that could cover the areas that were in question.

repetitive pattern of various graphic magazine covers

Harvard Design Magazine 2013-2021 \\\ Launched at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, with Jennifer Sigler at the helm as Editor-in-Chief and Leah Whitman-Salkin as Deputy Editor. The rebrand included HDM identity, digital presence, and on-going creative direction for 8 years.

styled bongo drum holding a small wood box and a bottle of perfume

Nonfiction 2018 Uncover Your Story \\\ We created a new beauty brand from scratch. In the sea of beauty products being launched everyday in South Korea, Nonfiction is one of the most recent success stories, reaching the pinnacle of KBeauty. The difference: A focus on the brand’s core narrative, developing a seamless connection between naming, brand strategy, product development, and creative execution.

Creative direction for Nonfiction, fall of 2019 in Seoul, South Korea \\\ With Projects, Inc. was appointed creative partner to develop the product line in its entirety, from concept to execution (naming, branding, creative direction, storytelling, packaging, and digital executions). With Projects, Inc. was integral in every aspect of the brand’s creation, production, and launch.

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.