Alumni in Action: Vivian Luu
Graphic design takes a unique blend of creativity, technical ability and collaboration. When Vivian Luu was looking for a place to study the field after high school, she found herself at the Community College of Aurora, immersed in a program where she could master all three.
Luu currently runs her own freelance graphic design business, Videsign, where she works with companies small and large to design logos, and fine tune their branding. She graduated with a Web and Graphic Design degree from CCA in 2021.
Before CCA, she took the traditional route, sitting in classrooms studying design theory. But she wanted more. She was ready to roll up her sleeves, and dive head first into the computer programs she would use in the real world.
“During my time at CU Denver, it was more getting us ready to do a thesis statement, and not doing the applications as much. So I didn’t get to do what I wanted,” she said, noting the differences between studying graphic design at a university, versus community college. “I wanted to interact more with the projects that I do with the applications.”
So that is exactly what she did. She honed in on the technical programs, refining her skills in the programs the pros use.
“I got to learn plenty of tools, design, and different artists that were shown in classes. And that helped me get an idea of what art I actually want to do, and what I want to be after I graduate,” she said. “And I think I found it. And I feel proud about it.”
Luu says design goes beyond computer keystrokes and images on a screen. She took away a sense of what it means to be a great collaborator and communicator. These traits, she says, help on the business side of things.
“Being in a graphic design class means you have to show your art on the board, and introduce it as you would to your clients. This skill set I developed is invaluable when pitching an idea or design concept to a client.’
Luu says her time at CCA also helped drive her out of her comfort zone, giving her opportunities to do things she wouldn’t have otherwise. Like participating in a school play that incorporated art from her and her fellow design students.
Her professor’s appreciation of her work made her feel like she was succeeding as an artist. It was because of moments like these that CCA holds a special place in her heart.
“I am just proud to be a CCA alum, with so many experiences and special events that really make it memorable,” she said.
Although she is a third-generation college graduate, it was her high school classmates who first introduced the idea of community college as an option. Now, as she’s embarked on her own successful career, she looks forward to passing on the word to others.
“I would always like to give insights into whatever I learned, because I like to pass down the knowledge a little bit. And be part of the people who help out the next generation to gain those knowledge and skills that they need if they’re interested in that degree.”
She advises new students to stick with their passion, learning the ropes of that career path along the way. Keeping in mind the hard work it takes to meet deadlines, and the pressure of seeing your work published for everyone to see.
It’s the creativity, she says, that should drive the current batch of CCA graphic designers.
“Let your creativity flow. Don’t let anything stop you from being who you are with your art. Let your art speak for you.”
Her message is simple to those who, like her, may have needed a nudge to get to the right place to start learning.
“If they want to know where to start, CCA is the place to start.”