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This morning, the designer behind the brand new 🫓 ‘flatbread emoji’ (arepas), Lumen Bigott and I connected over Twitter, after hearing each other’s emoji design story from “The Power of Food Emoji” by Emily Thomas on BBC Food Chain, which was released yesterday.

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Lumen is originally from Venezuela and now works at Airbnb San Francisco as a designer. Last night, I listened to this heart-warming story of how she and Sebastian Delmont found each other via Twitter and co-authored the 🫓 arepas emoji last year. They are both Venezuelans who live in different parts of the US. Even though they have never met each other in person, yet the quest of 🫓 arepas emoji brought them together. …


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10 years today, Conan O’Brien premiered his new show CONAN on TBS, and debuted this art piece “Conan O’Brien Pale Whale” I created for the new Team Coco website & its Twitter page.

There was a miraculous backstory of why this project means a lot to me:

In January 2010, I was still a young artist living in Sydney Australia. I was going through a lot of challenges and struggles. Things were not working out the way as I expected. I was feeling pressured, uninspired, and was not able to find any inspiration to create new artworks for months. The only things that gave me joy was watching recommended comedy episodes on YouTube. One video that caught my eye was an episode of Taiwanese 3D animated global news, featuring a U.S. talk show host who was being treated unfairly by a large TV network which he worked for more than 20 years, his name is Conan O’Brien. …


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Today is 24 September, the World Gorilla Day 🦍🎉. It is a day to take action in the conservation efforts to protect gorillas in the wild.

I want to celebrate this special day by sharing one art piece I created a few years ago: Robin Williams & Gorilla Koko.

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I initially created this art piece back in 2014, when I encountered this beautiful video of a gorilla named Koko tickling the great Robin Williams.

While this video’s quality is a little dated, it is a must-watch, and it will brighten up your day. Not only is the legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams paling around with Koko, a gorilla who is fluent in American Sign Language, but what these two interact with each other will melt your heart. …


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A Tale of two cities: In memory of Mr. James Fang — Chair of the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee

Yesterday morning, I was saddened and shocked to learn that Jame Fang, Chair of the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee, passed away on Friday.

I still vividly remember when we met at the US-China Relationship Summit in San Francisco last year, where James was the host of the event. His dedication towards building the US-China friendship and exchange, advocating communication, understanding, and mutual respect, for a forward US-China relationship, resonated with me.

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Since then, I got to know a bit more about James through work, while he encouraged me to create art pieces to celebrate the 40th-Anniversary celebration between San Francisco and Shanghai Sister Cities in 2020. James started this initiative 40 years ago in San Francisco, as he has a special bond with both cities: He was a Chinese-American born and raised in San Francisco, both his father and wife were born and raised in Shanghai. One of his major life purposes was being a bridge between these two cities, and the two nations — the US and China. …


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Clouded Leopard Art by Yiying Lu

Today is August 4, the annual International Clouded Leopard Day! The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of clouded leopards and their status in the wild. Many people have never heard of a clouded leopard and have no idea of the threats facing them.

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(Photo Courtesy: jdross75 / For Adobe Stock)

To celebrate this International Clouded Leopard Day and biological diversity, I am delighted to announce I will be launching my “The Very Hungry Red Panda” children’s book project, with the support from the Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund. …


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Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer who co-founded New York Magazine, created the iconic ‘I ❤ NY’ logo, the psychedelic Bob Dylan poster, and the Brooklyn Brewery logo, passed away yesterday at the age of 91 on his birthday, June 26, 2020.

Milton’s work has impacted generations of designers from all cultures, and resonated with audiences around the world and brought them together. His teachings have shaped countless creative people and generations yet to come. His art, passion, devotion, and impact as a design inspiration will live on forever.

I felt compelled to write this article to dedicate to the memory of Milton Glaser, who has and continues to be a huge influence and inspiration for my creative journey. …


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“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” — Amelia Earhart

Back in the days when I was studying at the University of Technology Sydney as an international student, my school tuition fee was a lot higher than local students. In order to make up for the education cost, I worked in many service jobs: My very first job was waitressing in a dumpling house (this perhaps set up the foundation for me to design the dumpling 🥟 emoji). …


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We all experience obstacles and challenges in our lives. And we are always trying to find solutions to get unstuck. What’s fascinating is that I realized the answer to make the “hard” situation “easy”, is already within the translation of them in their Chinese Characters!

Challenges and obstacles are the “facts” of our daily lives; and so is overcoming them. Much of our energy and brainpower is dedicated to coming up with the right solutions, to free us from the mires of life’s difficult positions. …


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A Chinese New Year + Valentine’s Day Epiphany with the Dumpling 🥟 Emoji

新年快乐, 情人节快乐!Happy Chinese New Year & Happy Valentine’s Day!

What do these two holidays have to do with each other this year? The answer is below.

Dumplings (jiǎozi 饺子 in Mandarin) are traditionally a must-eat food during the Chinese New Year. Families wrap them up and eat them as the clock strikes midnight. This is because the form of the dumplings resembles “元宝” (YuanBao or Sycee), an old Chinese currency consisting of nuggets of gold or silver. By wrapping dumplings, you are wrapping fortune. The dumpling has thus become a symbol of prosperity and wealth for the new year.

In 2016, I created the artwork for the official dumpling 🥟, Chopsticks 🥢, fortune cookie 🥠, and Takeout Box 🥡 emojis. …


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We live in an increasingly borderless world enabled by advances in mobile and internet connectivity. As a result of the exponential growth in online and long distance communication facilitated by these advances, businesses have been presented more than ever, with opportunities to reach further customers geographically. In order to successfully engage with and drive sales from their expanded reach, businesses need to recognize the cultural differences in their new markets and adapt their product, messaging and delivery.

随着移动互联网的蓬勃发展,我们生活在一个越来越无国界的信息世界里。科学技术的进步让不同国家的人们在线上和线下更畅通地交流;与此同时,越来越多的公司也开始拓展国外市场、进行跨国商业贸易,以获取更多的全球客户。在拓展国外市场的过程中,我认为十分重要的一点是,跨国企业要清楚地认识到新市场的文化差异,并调整其产品、品牌信息的内容和表达方式,以更好地扩大业务范围,得到新市场用户的青睐和认可。在这里,我想介绍几个典型的跨文化品牌营销案例:

As a classic cross-cultural branding example, Starbucks, early in their globalization process as an American brand, adapted their logo in Saudi Arabia, since its naked siren was deemed “morally inappropriate” for the devout Muslim clientele. …

About

Yiying Lu

Artist of @Twitter 🐳 | Designer of 🥟🥡🥠🥢🦚 emojis • @Adobe Creative Ambassador | Cross-Cultural Brand Design | Bilingual @TEDx Speaker | @IDEO @Disney Alum

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