Emilie Chen

Emilie Chen

Freelance Designer and Art DirectorLondon, United Kingdom
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Emilie Chen

Emilie Chen

Freelance Designer and Art DirectorLondon, United Kingdom
About me
I am a freelance art director and graphic designer with 11 years experience working across the entertainment, publishing, sports, and fashion industries. I love coming up with bold ideas, crafting striking imagery, and collaborating with other creatives to create work that resonates with audiences. I have worked in-house at the National Theatre, Penguin Books, and Pentland Brands, and my clients’ list includes Somerset House, Orion Books, BAFTA, The Almeida Theatre, and The Young Vic. Outside of work, I am a mentor for several young designers, and a volunteer organizer for Ladies Wine & Design London, a community group and events series for women and non-binary creatives.
Projects
  • Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia
    Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied TunisiaSet in 1943, ‘Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia’ is a dark, violent comedy in the vein of Tarantino, which tells the story of a Jewish and an Arab couple whose friendship is put to the test by the Nazis’ occupation. Josh Azouz’s play moves from a scene of torture, to an idyllic scene of a couple sharing icecream on a beach. This gave me the idea to juxtapose the portrait of the Nazi vicious chief ‘Grandma’, with a spilled icecream scoop.
  • Mindfulness for Difficult Times
    Mindfulness for Difficult TimesUnmind is a pioneering online platform that helps employers help their teams to look after their own health and well-being by giving them access to classes and resources on yoga, bereavement, anxiety, stress, etc. I was brought on board by content agency Just So to bring to life ‘Mindfulness for Difficult Times’, a series of seven 3 to 5 minutes sessions written and narrated by Choden, the Buddhist monk and mindfulness teacher. Taking inspiration from meditation visual aids like the mandala (w
  • Portia Coughlan
    Portia CoughlanThe play tells the story of Portia’s thirtieth birthday, which is also the fifteenth anniversary of the death of her twin brother, Gabriel, who drowned in the Belmont river. Haunted by the past, Portia is pulled between her conflicting desires to live in the real world and to reunite with her dead brother. The image puts a twist on the Ophelia trope. By flipping the image, Portia is given agency, and the river becomes a portal into the afterworld. The show was due to open in September 2019, bu
  • American Sherlock
    American SherlockBerkeley, California, 1933. Known as the ‘American Sherlock Holmes’, Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of the greatest – and first – forensic scientists, with an uncanny knack for finding clues, establishing evidence, and deducing answers with a skill that seemed almost supernatural. Based on years of research and thousands of never-before-published primary source materials, American Sherlock is a true-crime account capturing the life of the man who spearheaded the invention of a myriad of new fo
  • The Power of Bad
    The Power of BadI designed the cover for the new book from John Tierney and Roy F. Baumeister, the bestselling authors of Willpower. Why does a bad impression last longer than a good one? The answer is the negativity bias: we are wired to react to bad over good. The saying goes that ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ but to illustrate the book idea, I turned this image on its head – because even a white cloud can bring to mind the threat of rain.
  • Daddy
    DaddyJeremy O. Harris melodrama is set in Bel Air, and tells the story of Franklin, an up-and-coming African American artist who starts a relationship with an older white rich art collector. His mother comes to visit and things take a surreal turn. I was inspired by pictures of artists in their studio, including Basquiat and Shantell Martin, and pulled some quotes from the script to represent Franklin’s obsession with father figures. Photography (David Jonsson) by Sebastian Nevols and letterings by
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Projects credited in
  • Furlough and Universal Credit for Creatives | LWD London Explained
    Furlough and Universal Credit for Creatives | LWD London ExplainedLadies Wine and Design asked me to record a video for them with some industry insight and advice in regards to Furlough, Universal Credit and the current Government package for freelancers. "Finances can be complex at the best of times and even more so in the current climate. From Freelancers to Full-time employees and everyone in between. Creative recruiter, Nikky Lyle has offered to help explain all the ways the government is offering financial help. " Ladies Wine and Design, London. Furloug
Work history
    Penguin Random House UK logo
    Penguin Random House UK logo
    Senior Designer (FTC)Penguin Random House UK
     - London, United KingdomFull Time
    I covered for a designer on sabbatical leave (fixed-term contract) at Penguin Books Press, creating covers for several non-fiction titles, including Malcolm Gladwell's 'Talking to Strangers' UK edition.
    National Theatre logo
    National Theatre logo
    Senior DesignerNational Theatre
     - London, United KingdomFull Time
    I am a senior designer at the theatre in-house graphic design studio, where I work on the show campaigns – from concept to rollout – as well as print and branding projects for the commercial operations and the Fundraising and Learning teams. I manage one junior designer.
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Skills
  • Graphic Design
  • Branding
  • Illustration
  • Art Direction
  • Exhibition Design
  • Editorial Design
  • Book Covers
  • Concept art
  • Environmental Design
Education
    E
    E
    DSAAESAAB
     - 58000 Nevers, France
    2-year superior degree in graphic design.
    L
    L
    BTS (2-years Graphic Design professional degree)Lycée Eugénie Cotton
     - Montreuil, France
    2-year course in graphic design, advertising and editorial design.