Tiffany Higa with Design Director Karis Cady

Pyramigo Profile: Tiffany Higa

An interview with our designer

Posted: Nov 5, 2015

Every day we’re excited to come into the office. Not many people can say that. But we can, because we know the work we’re doing matters. We believe we can change the world. Each of us has a different story to tell, a different story about why doing good in the world matters to us. We thought we’d share it with you. Get to know the Pyramigos!

Tiffany Higa is a designer at Pyramid. She hails from Hawaii, where she cultivated a love for web design. Her passion for using design to create social good brings the best out in her.

Tiffany, can you tell me a little bit about yourself? 

I'm a designer at Pyramid. I moved to Seattle last year from Hawaii. I was born and raised on the island of Oahu. I moved because I wanted to get off "the rock" and expand my horizons in design.

Tiffany Higa at her desk

How would you explain your job as a designer?

I would say I solve problems, help people understand information, and guide them through web and print content.  

How did you get to Pyramid?

When I first moved to Seattle, I wanted to join an agency where I could work with other designers to learn a variety of different styles and processes. I heard of Pyramid through AIGA, the professional association for design, of which I’m a member. I've always believed in and wanted to be an advocate for “design for good.” 

Have you ever worked for a nonprofit?

After I graduated I took my first job at the University of Hawaii Foundation. Being on the board of AIGA, I wanted to spread awareness about the power of design and be able to offer my services to the community and to those who need it.

What are your favorite forms of design?

I would say I specialize in web design. I do have knowledge of branding and print design. But most of my interest is in web design. I love it because it's constantly changing and evolving. Also, I love the satisfaction of being able to see something you've created instantly show up on your screen.

And websites are a really different kind of product, too—especially given the rise of responsive design.

The challenging part is you have to create a design that can grow and expand. Basically I have to design for infinite possibilities. It's a challenge but that's what drives me. 

What aspects do you like most?

I like the psychology in design. What makes people tick, and how colors can affect people's decisions, moods, and emotions.

What are you known for as a web designer?

I do have knowledge of coding. It makes it easier to bridge the gap when you aren't coming from strictly a design perspective.  

Is there anything you love more then design?

I’m pretty passionate about design. Even when I'm off the clock, I'm still thinking about it. I can't turn it off. If I'm reading a book, looking at a store's signage, or looking at magazines, it’s screaming at me. I immediately start to think, “What could I do better or differently?”

So, how did you get into design?

I actually got into design accidentally. My bachelor’s is in marketing, because I enjoyed the psychology behind consumer behavior. I took a job as an assistant at a radio station and they kind of just threw Photoshop at me and told me to learn it. I wanted to get a better grasp of design so I bought a program to expand my knowledge of it. Then I took a class at a community college and I loved it. From there, I took a leap of faith and went to school for graphic design. It was one of the smartest decisions I've made. In recent years I've got into lettering as well, which is like drawing words in an artistic way.

Have you always been into drawing?

I've always been into drawing since I was a kid. But I always was scared to pursue it. Hence going the business route. I’ve always been creative and liked trying new things. I think I have a good, big imagination. 

Speaking of childhood… You grew up in Hawaii, right? How do you think that molded you?

I grew up in Oahu. Being in Hawaii I'd always hear about life on the "mainland" for design and how big it was. I'd hear how design was more appreciated there and more people are doing it; that’s the big reason why I wanted to move.

Now that you’re in Seattle, what could we catch you doing on a Sunday?

I enjoy my time at home. Always around my computer reading blogs or doing side projects with lettering, and watching Netflix. I watch a lot of family Guy and American Dad. I also really like karaoke, which is weird as I'm pretty introverted and I don't like public speaking. I just like to let loose and sing, even though I’m not good.

What design tools do you use in your free time?

A lot of Pinterest. I like to use it as inspiration not only for design things, but lettering, recipes, and home stuff. I use Instagram as well to get inspiration for different types of lettering. Dribbble as well, which is like Instagram for designers.