National Geographic recently announced its new lifestyle apparel collection, inspired by the ocean’s sublime beauty. The collection offers men’s, women’s, and unisex sizes and styles, and depicts vibrant and stylized imagery of the ocean and marine life that call it home. I had the opportunity to connect with Sr. Manager of Graphic Design, Nick Jeong, one of the talented cast members who worked on the collection.
Q: Tell us a bit more about your career. How did you get into design?
A: Before joining Disney, I worked in design and animation agencies in LA. Mostly working on music videos and pitching design concepts to clients. And I guess that’s when I fell in love with the process of graphic design and illustrations. Fast forward, I had the opportunity to join the Disney consumer products creative team, and since then, I have been creating designs for various franchises. And most recently, National Geographic.
Q: Please describe your journey to becoming a Sr. Manager of Graphic Design and your day-to-day responsibilities.
A: I’m restless when it comes to projects. I love working with different creative teams, both regionally and globally. The talent pool here is incredible! I’m constantly inspired or learning new things. And maybe that’s why I was able to journey through to where I am now. These days, my job is to find creative ways to bring National Geographic into Disney’s portfolio. Meaning finding unique stories and compelling concepts to differentiate from other outdoor nature brands. Just like Disney, National Geographic has a rich history. And I am fortunate to be working with content that has a purpose.
Q: What was your favorite part about working on this collection?
A: I would say working with a small group of highly talented people. I want to give huge credit to Steph Lee, Eric Kavapalu, Karene Ibarra, and Erika Espinoza. And all the leaders who helped us get to where we are. I also enjoyed researching National Geographic content to learn how important it is to protect our oceans and wildlife.
Q: Which piece was your favorite to design?
A: It’s hard to choose because I love everything we created. But I would have to go with the humpback whale design. They are majestic creatures, and how they can migrate across the globe annually.
Q: How did you decide which imagery to use as inspiration for this collection?
A: It was challenging to select the right photos and which animals to highlight for the collection. But also, how can we make them unique to our brand? During our research, we saw a photo of a jellyfish with such unique colors that were unexpected. And that was our starting point.
Q: This collection was inspired by the ocean’s beauty. What steps did you take to gain inspiration for your designs?
A: As we were researching these photos, we gravitated to the natural colors of the oceans and polar landscapes during the sunrise and sunset. We have been inspired not just by the colors but by how important it is to save our ocean and share awareness through our designs. We wanted to highlight how beautiful the ocean and animals are. And maybe, subconsciously, bring awareness to the consumers.
Q: Is there anything else you want to share about the lifestyle collection?
A: I feel that this is just the beginning. I cannot wait to share what we are doing for the following seasons and continue to create a unique brand with a purpose.
A collection with purpose, every purchase from the National Geographic lifestyle collection helps support the global nonprofit National Geographic Society in its work to protect and illuminate our world through exploration, research, and education. To learn more, visit NatGeo.com/info.