Kurumi Hanson completed a Bachelor of Design in 2006.
Kurumi is a Sydney based designer who was born and raised in Tokyo. She has more than 10 years of experience working with boutique design studios, advertising agencies, various startups and small businesses as a UI designer. Her expertise is coming up with engaging visual experiences which guide users to interact and discover the breadth of information on offer.
Kurumi has extensive experience as a brand consultant, working with business owners to create their brand vision. She designs everything from a business logos, style guides, collateral, advertisement graphics and websites.
Kurumi’s current focus is to further develop her illustration skills, and she is enjoying exploring more analog mediums and experimenting with textures and colour with the aim of bringing warmth into her digital design.
At UNSW Art & Design we encourage our students to explore the breadth of career opportunities available to them. The Design Your Future series showcases the journeys of our unique and inspiring design alumni.
Tell us a bit about your career in design? Were there any pivotal moments on the path to where you are now?
For me, getting my first foot in the door was pretty tough. I started as a junior graphic designer in a street magazine studio and was made redundant 4 month later. It was devastating so I went back to Japan and worked in a big interactive design company to build experience in web design. 3 years later, I returned to Australia with a portfolio full of work for well-known brands. I then freelanced with several digital agencies in Sydney and eventually got hired in a boutique design studio as a lead designer.
Most rewarding aspect of a career in design?
It is a great feeling when you come up with design solutions that makes someone’s life better and you can see the ripple effect. It feels like you helped the world to become a better place.
Most interesting design challenge/project you've worked on?
Working on FrogID for The Australian Museum was quite interesting as we were designing an app to help citizen scientists to record sounds of frogs for biodiversity study. This meant that the design had to be simple and appealing to all ages and also needed to be usable in the dark. Even though my part was in the initial phase, I learnt a lot about UI design and usability.
What about your UNSW experience has helped you in your career?
I started as a language student so writing essays and meeting with a diversity of students from different nationalities helped me enormously with English.
One skill you learnt at UNSW that has been invaluable?
My design degree provided me with a framework for conceptual thinking and taught me how to communicate my ideas to clients effectively. No matter how nice the outcome of your design process, you still need to convince clients with a logical and sound concept.
Designing Your Future – one piece of advice for aspiring designers?
There might be times when you feel like there is no creative freedom in a design job. I'd say keep working on your side projects whether that's painting or pottery, or anything that you enjoy and allows you to express your creativity. It may bring unique opportunities in the future.