Design is about...

A zine representing my design philosophy

Handmade craftsmanship
Paper prototyping
2 months
(Oct 2023 - Dec 2023)
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Indesign
Special Thanks
Johnathan Chapman
Dylan Vitone


To showcase my design perspective, I crafted a physical zine that merges insights from my experience as a senior product designer with learnings from CMU's School of Design. This project was a fusion of my past experiences and current academic learnings, presenting a unique view of design principles.


The core idea of the zine is to illustrate design as an intricate, multi-faceted discipline. I chose a flexagon book format to symbolize this concept. This format, consisting of a single paper folded into a square with six pages, metaphorically represents design as a unified entity that unfolds into six distinct concepts. These concepts are Boldness, Purposefulness, Consistency, Collaboration, Framing, and Navigating Uncertainty. Each concept is illustrated and described to demonstrate its unique contribution to the design process.

Development Process

The journey began with listing out ideas and focusing on the most impactful concepts. Initial sketches and illustrations were created using Procreate, but based on feedback, I transitioned to digital creation for greater precision. This shift allowed for more intricate color experimentation and better idea conveyance.

A unique aspect of this project was the design of the zine’s envelope. The front served as the introduction, while the back intricately connected the six concepts, setting the stage for what lay inside. This presentation aimed to evoke curiosity and anticipation in the reader.

Crafting the Zine

Design and layout

I designed a geometry structure for a double-sided paper to fit six pages into one square, inspired by examples from the National Museum of Mathematics. The designed pages were divided into four segments and assembled into a flexagon template. I also designed the template of the envelope.

Printing and Folding

The final zine was meticulously printed and folded, culminating in a tangible representation of my design ethos.

Final Results


This project was instrumental in revisiting and reaffirming my design philosophy, allowing me to integrate and reflect on my learnings from the semester. It served as a creative exploration that solidified my design principles, creating a personal manifesto that I can refer to in my future design endeavors.

The process of conceptualizing, designing, and creating the zine was also a powerful reminder of the evolving nature of design and its impact on my professional growth.


Interaction Design

In future iterations, I would focus on designing more intuitive affordances for interacting with the flexagon, as some users were unsure how to handle the zine without damaging it.

Material Selection

Exploring a variety of paper textures and thicknesses would be a priority, aiming to balance visual appeal with ease of flipping. The initial prototype was easy to manipulate but lacked the desired texture, while the final version's aesthetic appeal was offset by its rigidity.

This project not only served as a creative outlet but also as a means to revisit and refine my design philosophy, ensuring its continued relevance and application in my ongoing design journey.