Latinx Design Directory highlights underrepresented Latina, Latino and Latinx creative talent
Meet the new directory and editorial platform highlighting Latinx creatives, from UX and UI designers to typographers and graphic designers.
- Jyni Ong
- 19 June 2020
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, when Zuli Segura arrived in the United States, she found herself looking for new ways, things, or people which reminded her of home. In 2018, she moved to Baltimore to pursue a degree in graphic design, “It was the first time in my life that I felt deprived of my culture,” she recalls to It’s Nice That. She found solace in the smallest hints to Latinx culture, feeling comfort when she spotted people that looked like her, saw Latinx names on a company’s team page, or heard a familiar accent. “Listening to others’ Latinx experiences give me adrenaline,” she adds, “something to cling to.”
In a new city, she embraced the moments and spaces that reminded her of home. But at the same time, an unsettling reality of just how underrepresented the Latinx community is also hit home. The lack of Latinx people in both higher education and the design and tech industry solidified Zuli’s drive to create something that addresses the balance, and sticks. And with this in mind, Zuli created the Latinx Design Directory. An open directory of Latina, Latino and Latinx designers and technologists, the platform also plays host to ongoing editorial features and spotlights many talented creatives in the hopes of highlighting the community.
The project started during Zuli’s MFA thesis. She started asking herself how she can tackle the lack of representation and visibility in the creative industry without just stating the problem. Zuli continues: “I knew how beautifully nuanced Latinx culture is, yet, how little space there is for us in this industry.” Consequently, she wanted to create a space which catered to and fostered a hub of Latinx creativity. Somewhere Latinxs could “bask in their roots, identity and culture and proclaim their contributions and place in the tech field.”
Zuli launched the directory back in March as a place for exposure and a resource for hiring. And she designed Latinx Design Directory as a visual representation of the community’s wide-ranging talent, passion and pride – a place where all these elements serve as a tool as much as a celebration. It’s available in Spanish and English, and the directory can be categorised through discipline, location and pronoun, catering to creatives all over the world, as well as in the US. Celebrating creatives working in academia, UX, graphic, motion, packaging and type design and much more, Latinx Design Directory is open to submissions which you can find here.
Featuring the likes of Victoria Escobar, Claudia Rubin, Katty Huertas, Elaine Lopez and Ramon Tejada, Latinx Design Directory came to life with the help of web developer Sean Burles. “I was intent on working with a Latinx developer for this project,” explains Zuli, “but as I began my search, I realised just how needed this directory was.” After searching through countless platforms, unfortunately, Zuli had no luck and after Sean came highly recommended, “he brought my designs to life and helped elevate my user experience when I didn’t know it was possible.”
Currently based in Brooklyn, Zuli now considers herself a product designer with graphic design sensibilities. She’s using her practice to create profound digital experiences centred on identity and representation – overlapping across different disciplines to make this happen as effectively as possible. This exploration came to the fore during her master’s studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art and it was here that Zuli sought to bring traditional aspects of graphic design (zine culture and printmaking, for example) to the digital screen. In turn, it’s a skillset she now brings daily to her role as a product designer at Squarespace, not to mention to the Latinx Design Directory.
GalleryZuli Segura: Latinx Design Directory
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.