leah tran { medical + scientific design }

... is up! For all those interested, there is no special fondness for birds; I just love what they stand for: freedom, independence, no restraints. 
images from the Free People blog

I tend to do an extensive amount of type exploration as I start any design project... I think it may be my favorite part just because it sets the mood of what you're trying to represent. So as I was lining up parentheses from different fonts, I realized when grouped together, they looked like birds in flight. From there, designing the rest of the page just kind of fell into place. I knew I wanted to keep my site light and airy, but graphic with illustrative/organic elements (where my logo fits in) at the same time...

I have so many more groups of these in my concepts document. Fill, no fill, stroke, no stroke, bold, italic, regular... Ok, wow.

Each page has "birds" in different placements because I wanted them to appear as if they were moving in flight. 

I feel this new design truly represents me as an artist and my personality overall. Thank you Donna Hughes and Lisa Tran for helping me with conceptualization and design layout! 

Click here to see my new portfolio site.


Blood Drive

Great package design by Robert Williams from the Art Institute of California San Diego.
Problem: The act of giving blood is an uncomfortable process. Because of this it generally has low turnouts, especially among college students who are low on time and energy. ― Packaging of the World

Solution: Offering a free 2GB USB Thumbdrive to any student willing to donate blood is a cheap but more attractive alternative then the usual cookie or apple. Also, the USB's would serve as an educational tool and come equipped with a promotional video entitled, "Blood Circulation: The Story of Where Your Blood Goes From Here," detailing the story of how your blood donation will help others in need. After the video, the student will be able to share their donation and experience on Facebook and become part of a special group. ― Packaging of the World

I started donating blood at the University of TN during my freshman year. We had a fun annual rivalry with the University of KY to see which school would donate the most. It was a cool competition with a great cause, and the fact that I'd receive free blood, if ever needed, was one of my main factors in donating.

Fast forward, one of the last times I visited ATL, Lis and I went to a friend's home, whose mother is currently fighting liver cancer (which has, and is still affecting our own family). We caught up for an hour; and within that conversation, her mom told us that her blood type was rare to find (B+... which I have), and that she was waiting for a liver transplant that would fit her petite body (which mine would... except I need it). I couldn't help her directly, but from then on, I decided I would donate in her honor the next time I was eligible to give blood.

Today is the second time since the visit that I've donated blood with my friend's mom in mind. I didn't get a USB drive, but I did get juice and cookies, and the feeling that I helped a couple people out. With every donation you make, you could save up to 3 people's lives, receive free blood if ever needed, and get a free HIV/Hep/West Nile screening.

Just sayin... It's worth the time. Click here to see if you're eligible and make an appointment if you meet the requirements.


Brendan Wenzel

Beautiful illustrations by Brendan Wenzel.

Black Faced Spoon Bill
Siamese Crocodile

Wildlife of Vietnam
About the print:
This piece grew from a series of images I created featuring Vietnam's threatened wildlife. Until recently I lived in Ho Chi Minh City and although I like to think my biophilia knows no bounds, having called the country home for over two years, I have become particularly attached to its creatures.
This image also ran as a cover of the monthly magazine AsiaLife. The issue focused on threats facing Vietnam's species - in particular the illegal wildlife trade, which sadly is growing to meet the demand for bush meat and animal products for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Many species, including a number that are unique to Vietnam, may soon face extinction. I am insanely frustrated by the growth of this industry and I hope the piece conveys that.
This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. Each print was signed and numbered by the artist.
I chose to pair my print with The Jane Goodall Institute. The Institute acknowledges that the concerns of communities are linked to the well being of the environments that surround them, and that the degradation of those environments will inevitably have a direct effect on their human inhabitants.
I'm also a big fan of the Institute's Roots and Shoots program, which gets young people involved with the issues facing their communities, environmental and otherwise, and to then design projects that provide solutions to those problems. Even if you would prefer to keep this print as far away from the walls of your home as possible, please consider giving to this organization anyway. It's just awesome.

Read the interview here: The Working Proof