Seoul-born, Vancouver-raised, and Los Angeles-based Andrew Kim is a product and visual designer that previously worked at Microsoft. The company took note of Kim after he reimagined the company’s branding into a fresh, scaled-back approach on his personal design site Minimally Minimal and quickly hired him as a designer. During his time there, he worked on various projects, like the industrial design of the Xbox One S and the art direction of Windows 10. Just last year, he landed a coveted job at Tesla Motors as a creative manager for in-car UI and future endeavors. Since he’s phased out Minimally Minimal, he’s joined forces with his creative wife, Michelle, to work on personal projects as ichelle im (her first name and his last name). Take a look at this Friday Five where Kim, a young designer with a keen eye, enormous amounts of talent, and a bright future ahead, gives insight into five of his favorite things.
1. My camera
I’ve always loved taking photos because it helped me remember things I would have otherwise forgotten. I used to share a lot of my more polished photos I took on my blog but recently, with the increased popularity of Instagram, I’ve been finding it fun to take and share more casual photos. I usually carry my full-size camera when I’m out of the house but often times it’s the iPhone that I end up using because of its convenience.
I believe that the best notebook is the one you always have with you, and the default Notes app on iPhone and Mac seems to best fit this criteria. It’s where I end up doing almost everything from vacation planning to sketching quick ideas for projects I’m working on. If there’s any app other than Mail and Safari that I cannot live without, it’s this one.
3. Apple AirPod
The Apple AirPod is, in my opinion, the most recent Apple product that has their unique feeling of “magic”. Every pair of wireless headphones I’ve had were a pain in the ass to connect and troubleshoot but the AirPods are effortless. Pop them out of their case, stick them in your ears, and they just work. Once you use them and get used to listening without wires, you won’t be able to go back.
4 My Car
Cars were the first products I was obsessed with. I have an early childhood memory of having a black Porsche 930 die-cast toy. Something about the classic Porsche shape made it my favorite toy at that time, and is probably the first time I was drawn to an object simply by its design. Since then, I’ve always wanted that Porsche, which I ended up partially fulfilling by getting a black Boxster. This love of cars always made me dream of working at a car company, and out of luck, I ended up being hired at Tesla last year. More than ever, I think of that early memory as the beginning of my design career.
5 Michelle of ichelle im
Last year, I married my wife Michelle, who is without a doubt, my favorite part of my life. When we were dating, we quickly became best friends and decided to get married because we couldn’t stand being apart for even a moment. Now that we’ve lived together for a year, I often feel like we’ve become a singular being. We both have very similar tastes, but have different skills and approaches to creative work. This has helped us influence and change each other, resulting in work that couldn’t have come independently. It’s the foundation of our new brand, ichelle im, which we named using her first name and my last. I’ve become more open, and she becomes more realistic, and what we create is us.
All photos by Andrew Kim.