Locals Only: David Lai

/ Comments (51)

Hello. Hello? Hello! The LA Egotist sits down with David Lai, originator of and partner in Hello Design, the hot hot hot cross-medium super shop in Culver City. Have a look-see, friends.

Who are you?
David Lai, CEO/Creative Director, of Hello Design–a creative digital agency I co-founded with Hiro Niwa back in 1999.

What is your creative discipline?
I am a digital designer, so anything in the digital space is fair game for what I do. I started out doing interface design for applications and that quickly led to creating interactive experiences for CD-ROM and websites back in the day. Our capabilities at Hello revolve around three core areas: strategy, design, and technology.

Our focus is on strategic thinking and detailed execution, which these days includes anything from mobile apps to social media to touchscreens to websites. We’ve also been shooting quite a bit of video, since storytelling is a really important part of what we do. The digital space is constantly changing - it’s living and that’s what makes it fun and challenging at the same time.

What town are you from?
I was born in Manhattan, Kansas, also known as “The Little Apple.” I grew up playing in the backwoods and in creeks–it was great. Then I moved to Boston, went to school in upstate New York, lived in Japan for a year and finally settled in Los Angeles. So I guess I’ve lived in the Midwest, East Coast, and now the West Coast.

What brought you to LA?
I didn’t really plan to move to LA. I had always thought I’d end up in either San Francisco or New York, as that’s where all the digital shops were. Then I discovered this interactive studio called “cow,” which was started by a group of Art Center grads in Santa Monica. They were doing award-winning work and I felt I had a lot to learn so I went to work for them. The beaches and sun didn’t hurt either, especially coming from the cold and rainy East Coast.

In what part of LA do you create?
When we started Hello, we couldn’t afford a space in Santa Monica. We found a place in the Helms “redevelopment zone” of Culver City and we’ve been here ever since. It’s been nearly 13 years now and Culver City has changed so much. We’re surrounded by designers, architects, art galleries, photographers, and everything in between. This place has always had a nice creative energy and I’m glad that hasn’t changed.

Describe your creative process and the product that results from it
I am a designer. It just happens that my focus is in the digital space but I’m passionate about all kinds of design from architecture to product design. At the core, design is about solving problems with ideas that can be realized. I think we do our best work when our clients empower and trust us.

Describe your workspace/studio: the environment you create in
We designed our studio ourselves. It’s a simple open space with lots of concrete, glass, and plywood. We’ve outgrown it so we’re a bit cramped right now. The good news is we’ve found a new space that we are currently designing and building out. It’s still in Culver City as we’ve grown quite attached to this place.

Where did you learn your craft?
My parents said that when I was a kid I never went anywhere without my scissors and glue. When I was in high school I started designing interfaces for software companies and had a chance to go out and work in Silicon Valley at Connectix for a summer. There’s nothing that beats learning by doing. I considered going to design school after high school but my parents convinced me to get a liberal arts education first. I think they secretly hoped being creative was something I’d grow out of and become a doctor. I went to work in San Francisco for Clement Mok at Studio Archetype in the early days of the dot com boom and was able to design one of the first web sites for Nintendo. Then I went on to cow where I ended up meeting Hiro Niwa, my future business partner at Hello.

Who/what is your greatest personal inspiration?
I’ve always been inspired by other entrepreneurs, so everyone from David Ogilvy, Steve Jobs to Richard Branson. There’s something inspiring about people who see opportunity where others don’t, and more importantly don’t give up along the way. It’s hard to keep your focus when the chips are down and their stories have always reminded me of the importance of that.

Who do you admire in your field?
I’ve enjoyed the work of Yugo Nakamura and Projector out of Japan but also a lot of designers outside of my industry, Dieter Rams, Kashiwa Sato and Masamichi Katayama.

Anyone else in LA that you think is doing great work in your field?
We like the work coming out of our sister agency, 72andSunny.

What do you consider your greatest achievement or success to date?
Being able to come to work at Hello for 13 years now. When I first started there were a lot of people who told me I’d fail. I was OK with that because I saw every day as an opportunity to learn something new. Succeed or fail, it was a win for me either way. I always feel like I just started Hello yesterday and I think that’s what keeps me going.

What is the best thing about your creative endeavor?
For me, it’s being able to work with such diverse clients like Herman Miller, TaylorMade Golf, Tillamook Cheese and Sony. I get to learn about everything from how to make cheese to seeing dinosaur bones.

The toughest?
The value of Hello is our ability to bring our point of view to the table. There’s a delicate balance between listening and doing whatever you want. I think the challenge for us is to make sure at the end of the day we deliver work that we are proud of.

What are your top 3 LA influences, inspirations or spots?
I love going to museums. People don’t realize how many amazing cultural institutions there are here. Din Tai Fung is one of my favorite restaurants (among many) but I love the fact that you can get all kinds of amazing food here in LA. Cycling up Mandeville Canyon is one of my favorite places to think and get away from it all. It’s a nice climb and the perfect place to just zone out.

Of all the places you could be creating, why LA?
For me to create, I need the right environment. LA is a place that just makes me feel happy.

What are your thoughts on the LA advertising/design scene? Is it viable? If not, what could make LA more relevant?
I think LA is definitely a creative center. The majority of our clients aren’t actually based in LA, but that has never been a roadblock for us in working with clients around the globe. I guess that means something when our clients are willing to work with us here even when they aren’t.

Do you have a philosophy and/or words to live by?
“Do good work and everything else happens.”

Where can we find you?
http://www.hellodesign.com
http://blog.hellodesign.com

Comments

Many interesting video. I add this page to bookmarks. debt settlement attorneys of ariano reppucci

Very nice post.

I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

fat loss factor diet

It is a normal strategy that is followed by all that as the end of year we talk a lot about the good and bitter experiences that we had. Now I just got to read the article on how well was 2012. Good to read about what you have learned in the mean time. I loved the post
more here

I am a digital designer, so anything in the digital space is fair game for what I do. I started out doing interface design for applications and that quickly led to creating interactive experiences for CD-ROM and websites back in the day.Well, I appreciate your efforts in creating this post however I believe you should take the time and Someone I work with visits your blog regularly and Good article, nice site appearance, and friendly visitors. Therefore I'm very happy and will always visiting your website. thank you so much.
Stargate Atlantis DVD Box set|90210 DVD Box Set |Lost Girl DVD Box Set

The digital space is constantly changing - it’s living and that’s what makes it fun and challenging at the same time.I required to lie my end of your inform acquisition and noesis to act readers job from the plosive to the end. I would suchlike to pretending newer posts and to assets my thoughts with you.

The Closer Season DVD Boxset|Drop Dead Diva DVD Box Set |Pretty Little Liars DVD Box Set

The first step is to preserve the crime scene by making a copy of all memory and hard disks. This preserves the state of the device, and allows it to be put back into use.
http://www.expert-computer-forensics.com

I will keep you updated with any progress. Once I have something that offers at least base functionality, I will touch base about how best to proceed.http://www.deputesradicauxdegauche.fr

Choose interesting angles. You have better chances of getting your articles published if they're very interesting. Study your chosen topic carefully and figure out the angles that were not yet discussed before and those that will grab your target audience by the throat. the style magazines

Picture a wood yard, where people don’t really treatment whether you’re alive or even dad, you have to make the task done. It had been where he or she worked, the dangerous as well as difficult location. business cyber security

They must the property and doctors optional as you can see it there many selection varieties of parents and choose whichever and to test mask of the jack in the whizzer and these are optional intervenes use the men shopping

With this, your video will gain more views and comments, since viewers already consider your video as popular. They will subscribe to your channel and hence your online presence will increase. the webhost reviews

The first several months of my site there were no comments; just give it time; now they come in like crazy every day! Thanks.
Resources

Interesting...!!

http://www.wornfantasy.com/

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me. www.polytronixglass.com

wow this good but ,I like your post and good pics may be any peoples not like because defrent mind all poeple ,
candy crush saga hack

After a few years the particular gates get yourself a grubby boring shade, thus implementing a fresh coating will make the gates show up fresh, along with, increase settings for the of one’s residence. home improvement design

Home protection is indisputably among the foremost worries for the majority of the families in our times. At length, these times, there tend to be barely any kind of persons nowadays, who aren’t worried concerning this really aspect. home security devices

The problem of nausea and vomiting is very effectively cured by the use of medical marijuana which is now a day’s being used in many places in the legalized marijuana dispensaries. diet menu planner

The new FIFA14 is also available now. The game has launched recently and the coins are now made available to be bought from the website. fifa 14 coins

I simply want to inform you i always feel fresh to web site along with undoubtedly loved this site website. Most likely I’m about to take a note of your blog. A person absolutely get fantastic tales. Best wishes for sharing around your blog. agen sbobet online, judi bola online indonesia

websites back in the day. Our capabilities at Hello revolve around three core areas: strategy, design, and technology.roigroup

"This book is definitely on my top 5 list of books I have ever read, and If you really understand and apply the specific techniques, you should be able to completely change your life." self confidence

If compared to the existing PHP frameworks such as Zend, Codeigniter or CakePHP to name a few, YII stands much ahead of them. It has a superior structure model which will make the loading process faster at any point in time. thephpwebdevelopment

The pocket watch was first mentioned in a letter from a famous Italian clock maker in 1462 and by then end of the 15th century spring driven pocket watches were appearing all over Europe. Today watches of any quality will be jeweled, since up until the 1720's all watches were based on the verge escapement which involved a high amount of friction and no jeweling as a result these watches were highly inaccurate. watches-jewels

Take your good old camcorder off the shelf and turn it into a smart gadget for exchanging streaming video and snapshots, surveillance or guarding property - the new software can breathe in the life to the hardware you're about to bury. webcamphotosoftware

Blog where we intend to collect the news, and most important studies in the field of training and education, especially in the business area and the development of training plans for companies through subsidized credits to be subsidized company reviews.... adilco financial center opiniones

There are many resources on the internet if you’re looking to make your own and tastes vary widely bubblegum casting

Very informative post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign!
funny photo

This blog post really grabbed my attention. With that said I am going to subscribe. Therefore I will get more updates on what you have to say. Please keep writing as I want to learn more. billige lån lav rente

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in features also. Keep it up!
billigt lån

This blog post really grabbed my attention. With that said I am going to subscribe. Therefore I will get more updates on what you have to say. Please keep writing as I want to learn more. lån penge

Thank you for taking the time and sharing this information with us. It was indeed very helpful and insightful while being straight forward and to the point. privatlån

Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info.
model mayhem

Very informative article so many interesting things i found here which increase my knowledge so much.
wind measurement

"This is just the information I am finding everywhere. Thanks for your blog, I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog. "
FREE EXAM

Good Post, I am a big believer in posting comments on sites to let the blog writers know that they’ve added something advantageous to the world wide web!
https://www.rebelmouse.com/pregnancymiraclelisaolson

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.
https://www.rebelmouse.com/reverseyourdiabetestodayreview

Fantastic blog post. The post affects a lot of urgent challenges of our society. We can not be uninvolved to these challenges. This post gives good ideas and concepts. Very informative and practical.
couriers in london

I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else! Baju Gamis dengan Pashmina Model Terbaru

Somuch heavy talk.

I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. kata-kata bijak

Good Post, I am a big believer in posting comments on sites to let the blog writers know that they’ve added something advantageous to the world wide web!
check this link right here now

To understand your art work of content articles can be a struggle. My spouse and i tried using to complete the idea, nevertheless My partner and i hit a brick wall. Yet, immediately after looking over this post I discovered out and about which with natural determination towards aim, it is usually reached with ease as well as When i mean for doing that. branded usb drives

To be honest. I haven't seen a good post like this in a year now. And seeing this post now, ahh, it really pleasures me. Thanks a lot for this post.

This website is an independent how-to and instructional website. Any product or service names, logos, brands, and other trademarks or images featured or referred to within the loginq.com website are the property of their respective trademark holders. http://capella.loginq.com/

Excellent and decent post. I found this much informative, as to what I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.

Your post is really excellent and i can find the useful information which i'm searching for on the internet.
Original SLIM PRO

I, along with my partner here, were just wondering if you could tell us the source of the place where you get this all important information from. We think that this information is really great and it has helped us a lot. So, we'll be happy if you would kindly tell us that. DateHookup Login

Our site is a fun and informative guide to the Carol Cline Potty Training In 3 Days PDF book and complete potty training system. Carol's simple and effective method gets your toddler excited about ditching his/her diapers and using the toilet just like mom and dad. http://www.rebelmouse.com/

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Link = <a href="http://url.com">This is your text</a>
  • Image = <img src="http://imageurl.jpg" />
  • Bold = <strong>Your Text</strong>
  • Italic = <em>Your Text</em>
Rocket Fuel