Screen capture of the redesigned website for HERoines, a NYC-based women-led NGO. The creative design concept by Valerie Trisnadi perfectly captures the empowering spirit of the organization, showcasing their events, books, and community involvement initiatives. The design is a clear manifestation of Trisnadi's dedication to enhancing the visibility of underrepresented communities through innovative and accessible design solutions.
Trisnadi's website redesign for HERoines, a women-led NGO based in NYC that aims to empower women through events, books, and community involvement (2019).

Coding Creativity: The Design Journey of Valerie Trisnadi – A Story of Innovation, Recognition, and Excellence

As the world becomes progressively digital and visually oriented, the significance of the design industry has reached an unprecedented high. Navigating the realm between functionality and aesthetics, designers today shape user experiences, foster brand identities, and contribute significantly to the success of products, businesses, and services. In an industry that is constantly evolving and becoming more competitive, it takes an exceptional professional to not only thrive but also leave a lasting impact.

One such professional is Valerie Trisnadi, a San Francisco-based designer who has carved a unique space for herself in the design industry. With a breadth of skills, a passion for problem-solving, and a commitment to designing for underrepresented communities, Trisnadi is reshaping the landscape of interaction design and illustration.

Trisnadi’s journey into the world of design began at a young age. After making the decision to pursue a career in graphic design, she embarked on a journey from Jakarta, Indonesia, to the United States, where she pursued her passion at Parsons School of Design in New York. With a BFA in Communication Design, she has worked with renowned companies such as and IKEA and currently holds a senior position at Lime.

Her innovative work, ranging from the development of the iMessage sticker app Urban ASL to the successful redesign of a nonprofit’s website leading to a staggering 260% increase in member registration, embodies her versatility and talent in the field. Furthermore, her impressive array of skills, including proficiency in a range of design tools and languages, testifies to her adaptability and readiness to navigate the fast-paced, ever-evolving design industry.

Sample photo of Urban ASL, a groundbreaking iOS sticker app created by designer Valerie Trisnadi in 2020, featuring animated American Sign Language (ASL) interpretations of popular Gen-Z slang to foster inclusivity and awareness.
Urban ASL (2020), an animated iOS sticker app created by Valerie Trisnadi that showcases Gen-Z slang in American Sign Language (ASL).

Valerie Trisnadi’s work has been recognized widely within the design industry. Her contributions have caught the attention of top-tier design and business publications like Fast Company, AIGA, and Graphic Design USA (GD USA). These prestigious recognitions speak to the high quality of her work and mark her as a leader in her field. The annual GD USA Awards have honored her twice for her exemplary work in Website and Email Design, further cementing her status as a creative powerhouse.

We had the unique opportunity to interview Trisnadi and delve deeper into her journey and the recognition she has received for her outstanding work. The conversation provided intriguing insights into her creative process, her approach to problem-solving through design, and the influence of her recognitions on her career trajectory.

Join us as we shed light on how Valerie Trisnadi navigates the complex world of design with an innovative mindset and unwavering commitment to excellence.

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about design with you. Can you discuss your earliest achievement in design that was recognized by a major publication? How did this recognition influence your career trajectory?

One of my earliest design achievements was a project I tackled for IKEA while I was a freshman at Parsons School of Design. In 2017, IKEA selectively chose 20 aspiring designers to collaborate on generating ideas for their Delaktig collection, and I was fortunate to be one of them. Even though the image was small, my concept for Delaktig was featured in The New York Times. This recognition not only boosted my confidence but also affirmed my creative abilities, inspiring me to pursue future opportunities.

How have your awards and recognitions shaped your approach to design? Have they challenged you to push boundaries in your work?

My awards and recognitions have consistently pushed me to explore new avenues and experiment with unconventional design solutions. They have undoubtedly spurred me to think beyond the ordinary, fostering risk-taking and creativity in my work.

Given the high standard of your work recognized by prestigious publications and organizations, what are the quality benchmarks you set for yourself when starting a new project?

When embarking on a new project, I establish various quality benchmarks to guarantee the highest work standards. These benchmarks encompass collaboration and iteration, comprehension of client objectives, and adoption of user-centric methodologies. Like many designers, I subscribe to the belief that prioritizing the user is crucial for achieving superior design. A quote by Frank Chimero resonates with me deeply: “People ignore design that ignores people.”

You were recognized by Fast Company for your innovative design solutions. Could you share the story behind that recognition and the project it was for?

Certainly! My recognition from Fast Company stemmed from my assignment at, where I was tasked with redesigning a website for a non-profit organization. The organization in question was HERoines, a women-led NGO based in NYC that aims to empower women through events, books, and community involvement.

HERoines sought to increase their membership sign-ups and enhance brand visibility. To address this, I began by researching brands that resonated with this demographic due to their inspirational and personable image. I then distilled the prevailing design languages across these brands. Using this data, I redesigned HERoines’ branding and website, reorganized their site map, and created new wireframes.

Within the first three months post-launch of the revamped website, HERoines saw a 260% increase in member registrations. Soon after, Fast Company highlighted my website design for HERoines in an article titled “3 Nonprofit Rebrandings that Show the Power of Design in Amplifying a Mission.”

Who are some people in your field who have been recognized for their excellence, and how have they inspired your own work?

In the realm of graphic design, several luminaries have gained recognition for their excellence, significantly inspiring my work. Noteworthy figures include Paul Rand, Stefan Sagmeister, and Milton Glaser.

Paul Rand’s timeless designs and minimalist approach have profoundly shaped my design thinking and aesthetics. His emphasis on boldness and strategic color use have prompted me to push boundaries and create designs with impact.

Another source of inspiration is Stefan Sagmeister, a visionary designer known for pushing design boundaries through his experimental and thought-provoking projects. His emphasis on incorporating storytelling and conceptual thinking into design has encouraged me to take risks in my work.

Lastly, Milton Glaser, an iconic figure in the design industry, has made an indelible impression on me. His legendary “I ❤ NY” logo and his philosophy of simplicity and clarity in design have instilled a deep appreciation for minimalism and timeless aesthetics within me.

In summary, these designers have shaped my outlook and underscored the importance of combining artistic vision with effective communication in graphic design.

Valerie Trisnadi confidently presenting her transformative website redesign for the non-profit organization, HERoines, to an audience of press and Wix executives in 2019. Her presentation highlights the user-friendly interface, compelling visuals, and improved site structure which led to a significant increase in member registrations.
Valerie Trisnadi presents her website design for HERoines in front of press and Wix executives (2019).

Can you share insights into the process, effort, and dedication behind your award-winning work that we don’t see in the finished product?

Indeed, each design encapsulates a considerable amount of process, effort, and dedication that often remains unseen in the finished product. Aspects such as thorough research, iterative processes, and efficient time management are integral parts of what goes on behind the scenes.

Thorough research entails understanding the design’s user, target audience, and industry trends. This research lays the groundwork for the design process, ensuring the final product is both effective and relevant.

Iterations and refinements are common steps in successful design. This requires the ability to experiment with various concepts, layouts, and color schemes. The final product is the culmination of numerous revisions and thoughtful decision-making.

Time management is a critical facet of the design process. Balancing creativity and productivity is vital in delivering high-quality work within set deadlines.

How have the awards and recognitions you’ve received impacted your career opportunities and professional relationships?

The awards and recognitions I’ve garnered have deeply influenced my career opportunities and professional relationships. They have paved the way for new and exciting career prospects. Moreover, they have facilitated the development of a robust professional network, linking me with individuals of similar interests and fostering lasting relationships within the industry.

After achieving so much recognition already, how do you continue to challenge yourself and strive for excellence in your work?

I maintain that relentless growth and excellence are crucial in the perpetually evolving field of design. I continually challenge myself by staying updated on industry trends, experimenting with new techniques, and drawing inspiration from diverse sources. I also engage in self-improvement through persistent learning: soliciting feedback from colleagues, attending design conferences, and collaborating with other talented professionals. This commitment to growth ensures that every project I undertake is an opportunity to exceed expectations while upholding a high degree of creativity and innovation.