Designers are storytellers too: functional design told by Nikki Roxas

Katya Lichauco –

November 12, 2021 | 12:42

MANILA, Philippines – Meaningful design is as much about the story you tell as the visuals you create.

This is the philosophy of 24-year-old New York designer Nikki Roxas seeks to share in her work.

“Design isn’t just used for aesthetic purposes, but it’s something that is able to communicate a message to someone and leave an impact,” Nikki said. “It’s our job to make the designs as clear and punchy as possible. “

Nikki has always dabbled in design here and there, experimenting with Adobe Suite, observing and seeking advice from her mentors. Nonetheless, she didn’t initially think this was a viable career path. In fact, she believed she wanted to pursue a job in advertising.

It wasn’t until she applied for a marketing internship at a well-known food group in the Philippines that the team spotted her sense of design and offered her a job as a graphic designer instead.

“Since then, I haven’t stopped creating,” she said.

Fast forward a few years, Nikki finds herself in the midst of a sea of ​​opportunities as a designer living in a major design hub: New York City.

“The city itself is so dense and even crowded at times, but I see this as an opportunity for more stories to tell and more ways for me to be inspired.”

Growing up in the Philippines, Nikki thoughtfully incorporates fragments of home into her personal work, while being challenged to become more experimental given her current location.

With previous experience working with various publications, Nikki created “Tales From the Archipelago”, a print publication filled with stories from young Filipinos living in the United States. Like a
Filipina in a foreign city, she knew there must be others who were on the same boat as her. The entire publication housed these stories –– those of displacement; homesickness; independence and community development.

The same message and echoes of sentimentality reverberate in another project she embarked on to get creative: a postage stamp with an illustration of a Philippine mango. Using this iconic fruit as an emblem of Filipino culture, she sold them as stickers to Filipinos in New York City – literally giving them a piece of home in the process.

As evidenced by this project, food is also a great source of inspiration for Nikki. “I have already compared design to the kitchen so that a chef cooks something with a specific purpose and
intention, and this dish isn’t just something that benefits the chef, but it’s something that is going to be eaten by someone, ”she said.

By cultivating her career as a designer, Nikki finds her place in different avenues. After graduating with honors from the AAS Communication Design program at the Parsons School of Design,
Nikki wasted no time in gaining more professional experience under her belt.

Having a better understanding of the New York design scene, she began working within ROOM’s branding and communications team. She has worked on various brand assets, from
newsletters to publications on social networks. Nikki described her style as “bold and original, yet concise and functional,” which makes this startup the perfect first-time job fit as it helps companies create modern and practical workspaces.

While this allowed her to learn the intricacies of becoming an in-house designer and see what it takes to create a successful product from scratch, Nikki knew there was also more to learn when dealing with a range. of customers.

Today, as one of two designers at a three-person design studio called Klyxx Creative, Nikki is thriving as she juggles various accounts while growing alongside the company in as a designer.
which is still in the process of forging its own identity. “There is always something new and unexpected to learn every day,” she beamed.

Two years after living in New York City, Nikki knows there is still so much in store for her in the city. In the meantime, she continues to soak up everything there is to discover on
design –– while channeling his artistic abilities to tell stories through his work, both personal and in agency.

We can only sit there and wait for what Nikki does next. She might just be the name behind your next favorite campaign, or possibly open her own studio. Whatever it is, Nikki
Roxas is a name to watch.

For any inquiries, you can consult her portfolio or contact her at [email protected]


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