Emerald Lee RGD reflects on her design preferences and practices in 2018

With 2018 coming to a close, we asked RGDs to reflect on their design practices and preferences from this past year. Emerald Lee RGD shared her go-to colour palette, design tool and least favourite trend of the year.


Go-to colour / palette

My favourite lately has been black and white with a splash of bold colour. However, in the client world there isn't really a "go-to" palette. It's often dictated by a brand that's already been established. Some clients have a strict colour guidelines, while others allow flexibility with secondary colours depending on collateral/annual theme. It's always fun when we get to curate new colours for a brand refresh or complete overhaul. Colour palettes in general have been a bit more challenging due to the heightened awareness for AODA. It's become a part of our process to test all colours for accessibility, in particular, making sure they work just as well in grayscale.

Love the colours and boldness of this website by Enso Magazine


Accessibility testing for colours


Favourite design tool

While the features and interface of Adobe Experience (XD) are still maturing, we have transitioned to this lightweight design tool for most of our web projects. Not only is it great for wireframes and prototyping, it makes the process of sending files and specs to the developer so easy. With a push of a button, specs sheets and assets can be generated. Without having to download multiple plugins, it has a Windows version (not all developers have OSX) and has great compatibility with design programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. Continuous upgrades like auto-animate microinteractions and voice triggers/speech definitely make it a worthy competitor amongst other UX/UI programs.

Wireframing in Adobe XD


Observed design trend

I have noticed repetition overload for certain graphic styles. For example, flat simplified vector illustrations – they're easy to create and are available on tons of stock image sites. The google font "Permanent Marker" is EVERYWHERE! The "hipster logo" was hip a few years back and is still popping up all over the place. Sometimes we follow trends blindly and forget to step back to analyze whether it's strategically sound.

The plague of the hipster logo is still in effect!



If you are interested in submitting a similar piece to be featured online, please email