Tiffany Chu shares how personal interests inspire her designs
HP’s Color Materials Finishes (CMF) Designer, Tiffany Chu, shares how she finds visual trends and inspiration everywhere from her travels to her kitchen. Learn how this Maker is crafting innovative designs for HP.
Meet Tiffany Chu, CMF designer, HP Inc.
What is your favorite part about working at HP?
I’ve been at HP for almost 5 years, and every day is like a new day because there are different challenges, yet also opportunities to create something new. I work on a wide range of projects – everything from consumer laptops to speakers, headphones, and tablets. I’m constantly learning.
I also feel empowered to bring new ideas to the table. My managers always encourage me to share my thoughts on concept and design possibilities, reminding me that anything is possible.
What projects have you worked on recently?
I am responsible for creating and develop HP’s CMF strategy for the entire HP portfolio, including creating the color palette. The challenge is to use color palettes to segment each product line from entry to high-end, while making sure that the products have consistent look and feel form the HP family.
A good example is the colorful and playful HP Pavilion Laptop. I took inspiration from the sports industry and in particular, tennis shoes. I created a pattern with intricate details that created a 3-dimensional effect on the Pavilion keyboard deck.
HP Pavilion Laptop
HP Spectre is another exciting project I worked on. I found my color and materials inspiration everywhere from the jewelry industry to automobile and home décor. Being able to bring craftsmanship and authenticity to the product is my goal. During my research, I discovered copper was a trending color. The challenge was to find the perfect color hue for the copper hinges, keeping in mind the contrast with the dark silver body. The color combination makes the Spectre stand out from the competition and pushes the premium laptop to the next level.
What do you enjoy about the design process?
Design for me is part of life - it expands my senses because I need to be very sensitive to early trends and use the world around me as inspiration. Also, it’s a process that allows me to think outside of the box while ensuring creativity is executed into mass production. I constantly find and research the coolest trends from other industry such as high fashion, jewelry design, furniture, architecture, and food. I attend various design show such as the annual Milan Furniture Fair, Germany’s International Trade Fair for Textiles and Nonwovens, ICFF – a high-end luxury furniture fair in New York City – and The Color Workshop in UK, to name a few. Finding inspiration from other industries helps me to expand my imagination and creativity.
Once I uncover the latest trends in colors, materials, and lifestyle, I translate them into HP’s design language, and incorporate them into HP’s products. That is what excites me the most in my role.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
Foodie. Spontaneous. Traveler.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I gather inspiration from daily life. Food inspires me. The taste, texture, color, smell, sounds and experience of food are my inspiration for design. Like a recipe, a flavorful design is the right mixture of ingredients, like materials experience, color stories, cultural research, and trends insights. Inviting close friends over to my place and sharing the food I make with them is rewarding. Good food and great company creates the best moments in life.
I love to travel too. Whenever I visit a new place, I gather inspiration from the city’s people, its stores and the overall atmosphere. The entire holistic experience of traveling inspires me to bring a fresh look and feel to my designs.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
My parents told me, “find something you love to do and be happy doing it” and “keep learning and stay hungry for more knowledge.” And that is exactly what I’ve done at HP.
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