A Day in the Life: Can Chu, Codecademy Brand Designer

This month, we’re featuring Can– Codecademy’s newest Brand Designer. A generalist at heart with a focus on design, she’s able to connect the dots to deliver fresh and visually engaging content for our learners. We <3 her.

Meet Can! :partying_face:

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m Can. I’m Codecademy’s resident Brand Designer. I sit on both the Design and Marketing teams, helping to develop and maintain Codecademy’s visual brand identity across all lines of communication.

Besides design, I’m interested in illustration, photography and tattoos (getting them, not giving them)!

How did you end up working for Codecademy?

I’ve been a graphic / visual designer in a variety of spaces, including advertising, social media and event marketing. I wanted my next role to (pardon my cheesiness) really mean something. I’ve known about Codecademy since its early days, and have always been a supporter. I saw they were hiring for a brand designer and was immediately drawn to their mission, and the overall authenticity of the brand and the team.

Did you always want to be a Brand Designer?

I’ve always known I wanted to be in the creative field, but it took me a while to land on Brand Design. I originally went to school to study Creative Writing, with the idea that I wanted to do copywriting in the advertising industry. But after fortuitously making several friends in the architecture and design school, I became hooked on design. So, combining my love of communication and design, I switched to studying Visual Communication Design. I’ve always been something of a generalist, though, and ended up with minors in Creative Writing and Industrial Design too!

What are the best aspects about working as a Brand Designer?

I find that Brand Design is both really hands-on and conceptual. You work on a variety of different projects, from small one-offs to huge campaigns. I love the challenge of connecting with our users in a creative way, at a variety of touch points. And ultimately, I love helping to bring Codecademy’s voice and personality to life.

What are the worst aspects about working as a Brand Designer?

Haha umm… It can be difficult to balance all of your responsibilities. You want to focus on the big, impactful, long term stuff, but you also want to crank out excellent creative daily. I’m the type of designer that thrives on activity and productivity, though, so it’s not a bad problem to have :slight_smile:

If you could make one piece of fictional tech reality, what would it be?

I feel like there are a million great answers to this question, but my brain is just like “lightsabers.”

Do you have any advice for the learners?

Take a break, then come back to the problem with fresh eyes. I read somewhere that Salvador Dali used to get his partner to take paintings he was working on and put them in unexpected places around their house. So he would stumble upon a painting and immediately be like Oh wow, NOW I can see the problem !

If you could make one brand new course what would it be?

Maybe…How to Start a Start-Up.

What does a typical day look like for you?

First, COFFEE.

Then, a Marketing Team stand-up. This gives the team a chance to go over priorities for the week and make sure we’re all aligned.

Designing!

  • Working on projects currently on my plate (e-mail designs, landing pages, ad creative, brand identity work, etc)

Meetings!

  • I usually have a few meetings a day to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders on the projects I’m involved in. My favorite meeting is the Design Team Weekly, because we always start with a quick creative game. I also love our twice weekly Design Critiques, where designers can sign up for a slot to share their work and get constructive feedback from other designers.

And, very importantly, lunch!

  • Codecademy has catered lunch 4 days a week in our “All Hands Space” - basically a big open space / cafeteria where everyone can hangout and socialize. On Fridays, we’re encouraged to leave the office and explore the neighborhood for food, which is great, because Soho has tons of crazy food options.

BONUS! :sparkles:

Can designed this gif for an email for the recent launch of Codecademy’s new Skill Path: Build Chatbots with Python!

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That was Wonderful to know and it really inspires us to become the Best Version of Ourselves and always go ahead

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