Brains behind the brands: Ju Hyun Lee

It’s time we meet Ju Hyun Lee. A Design Director in our recently minted New York City office, Ju delights and provokes through bringing stories to life in new and unique ways. With over 10 years in the industry, she’s working on many of today’s best-known brands.

How did you get to where you are today?

I’ve been working at branding agencies for more than 10 years. Some of my former colleagues made their way to Monigle, so I learned of the organization through them.

What about Monigle stood out and brought you here?

When I heard about the opportunity to expand Monigle to the east coast, I found it to be a new challenge and different opportunity. Monigle was already doing a lot of great work, in health care and with other established brands. But, I think there are a lot of ways we can push health care and other design work further. Monigle has been expanding to different clients and industries and there are a lot of opportunities to make the work stronger, but also help me get better at it.

What’s it been like working in the New York office?

Even though Monigle has been around for a long time, here it’s small, it feels like more of a startup company. We’re rolling up our sleeves to get things done.

What’s it like working with Denver office?

It’s been challenging, but also fun. People in the office are very nice and kind and genuine. Everyone is optimistic and we all have a “let’s do it together” spirit. There’s a lot of strong strategy and strong thinking there that translates well into our creative here.

What’s keeping you busy?

I’m working on a lot of visual identity projects. Some health care, talent agencies, technology. One project in particular feels different, it’s more high-level strategic thinking around the brand’s illustration style. But we’re not just creating the style, we’re finding the right approach in the first place, figuring out what makes sense for who they are. We’re doing an immersion session together in a workshop kind-of-way. We’re not just creating things and presenting them, we’re working together and always discussing things with the client.

You’ve only been here a few months, do you have a favorite thing you’ve worked on?

For my first project with Monigle, I helped explore a logo for a huge merger. It was fresh, new name with an opportunity for a new logo. What was different is that we were looking at multiple logo concepts for multiple names throughout the process instead of having already narrowed down to one.

What inspires you to get going (in or out of work)?

I like to push things, and I don’t settle. I like finding multiple solutions and keeping possibilities open. I’m a designer and visually, I find solutions, concepts or different ways of doing something visually. When I’m creating things, I like to collaborate with people and get different perspectives. I find it refreshing to get other peoples’ input and adapt my work to their thoughts and experiences.

Alright, time for some more interesting questions. Do you have any quirky work habits?

I’m so not quirky. I’m the most ordinary person. I’m like the girl next door.

What does your computer desktop look like?

My desktop is super organized. I’m not good at memorizing where things are, so if I need to find something, it needs to be organized. I have a ritual to organize things daily. When I work, I move quickly, and then at the end of the day I organize everything.

How about your normal desk?

It’s messy. I’m a snacker, so I’m snacking all the time. Sour jellies, chocolate and chips.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I’d like to teleport. Maybe it’s a New York thing. My commute is really long, it’s more than 40 minutes. I spend a lot of time moving from place to place. There’s so many superpowers I wish to have, but this is very practical.