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What are Your Guiding Forces for Design Excellence?

Updated: Jul 9

"Here's how I see it. These aren't your typical 'Design Principles', but nevertheless guiding forces to design excellence, whether you know it or not". Lee Calderon

Artist Lee Calderon Graphic artwork
Artist Lee Calderon Graphic artwork

Greetings, Fashion Fans!

In this exciting blog post, we have the pleasure of featuring the extraordinary Lee Calderon, a Creative Director, Art Director, Designer, and Illustrator extraordinaire and his thoughts on design excellence

Lee's work is a captivating blend of vibrancy and energy that instantly uplifts the spirits. Just a glimpse through his website is enough to put anyone in a good mood! I deeply connect with Lee's unique style, as it resonates with my past swimwear designs. Many of the successful prints share similarities with his work, featuring dynamic movement, vibrant colors, and striking graphic motifs.

That's why I'm incredibly eager to delve into Lee's creative process, explore what inspires him, and gain insights into his unique perspective on design principles. Join me as we embark on a fascinating journey with Lee Calderon in discovering "The OTHER Design Principles." Welcome to the world of drama, layers, intent, vibe, and finding the "God" in your design!

2 womens in nike swimsuits with graphic print
Nike Graphic Swim print

'The OTHER Design Principles'. By Lee:

DRAMA: Creating moments for the right moment LAYERS: One thing leads to another INTENT: Kiss me like you mean it VIBE: Make me feel something GOD: What's the 'God' in your design?

Lee says: There’s nothing I love more than bringing places, spaces, products, and brands to life with my bold, vibrant, layered art. My art is design-driven with the intent to bring joy and a sense of style to a surface or space, celebrating a particular world. Whether the focus is on creating abstract designs or engaging narrative landscapes, my work typically consists of modern shapes, movement, striking colors, layers, symbols, patterns, and unbridled joy — all brought together to bring visual drama to surfaces, tell a story or enhance an experience with design.

Artwork from Lee Calderon Over the years, I have worked as a Creative Director, Art Director, Designer, Illustrator, and, even briefly, as an Architect — gaining well-rounded experience and insight regarding concepts, brand narratives, art direction, spaces, built environments, products, print and digital considerations in various market segments.

I studied architecture, graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cal Poly Pomona in California. Inevitably, my innate curiosity led me to the world of art and design, where I graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Looking back, my work is a testament to how I see the world and my passion for integrating art, design, and the human experience.

I guess you can say that I’ve always been a bit of a daydreaming visual guy. In fact, I recall growing up constantly hearing my mother snap her fingers in front of my face and say, ‘You’re on the moon again.’

Pencil Sketch by Lee Calderon
Sketch by Lee Calderon

Drawing from my love and background in art, design, and architecture, I enjoy setting a vision and creating art for: Placemaking Projects Public Art Mixed-use Developments Retail Spaces Restaurants Hospitality + Resorts Higher Education Science + Technology Market Healthcare Facilities Corporate Spaces Branded Environments Brands Textile Designs Window Displays Products Packaging Art Licensing

Artwork applications by Lee Calderon

To meet and chat with Lee, attend our free Community Conversation on June 8th, 10:00 AM PDT. Free and open to all. Learn about Design Excellence and using the "other" design principles in your work

graphic invitation for Community Conversation with Lee Calderon
Community Conversation with Lee Calderon

How do you stay relevant in today's apparel industry? Whether an early-stage workers or a seasoned pro, we all need tools to stay relevant in this fast-paced industry. Join IFD Connect to gain access to community support and resources to bring you up to speed, and brush up on your skills and knowledge so that you be relevant in today's fashion world

Britta Cabanos thank you graphic
Britta Cabanos

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Hey there, lovely fashion friends! My name is Britta Cabanos, and I'm thrilled to have you here! 


I'm a 25+ year fashion industry design professional, and I'm passionate about supporting conscious designers, ethical makers, and sustainability. I believe that fashion can be a powerful force for good, and I'm committed to helping aspiring fashion industry pros make their mark in this exciting and ever-changing field. 


If you share my passion for conscious fashion and sustainability,  then you're in the right place. I offer industry insights, mentorship, connections, and resources to help you achieve your goals and make a positive impact in the world. Let's connect and explore the possibilities together - are you ready to join me on this exciting journey?

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Thanks for joining us!

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