Leslie Liu is a designer based in St. Louis dedicated to silly and serious things.
This is an old portfolio. Visit the current version?
An adaptation of Jussi Parikka’s essay, “Malware as Operational Art: On the If/Then of Geopolitics and Tricksters,” from Het Nieuwe Instituut’s 2019 exhibition, Malware: Symptoms of Viral Infection. Parikka’s text encourages a reconsideration of glitches and instances of computer failure as the norm.
The structure of this book references the skeletal syntax of the web and the layered, nested anatomy of HTML. Smaller moves—the unravelling typography and cut paper revealing a computer-generated texture on the inner folds—seek to reinforce this theme of perceived danger, offering an uneasy, anti-reader friendly experience.
3.5 × 6.5" on newsprint, hand sewn. Texture on inner folds from Zalgo “messy text” generator and generative graphics programmed with DrawBot.
↪︎ Full PDF
Assets for a speculative festival, Basic Space, that explores the potential of abstracting meme formats. Hover states on the microsite reveal not only the skeleton of the title’s letterforms, but also additional information about the festival.
The background patterns of accompanying posters are generative abstract compositions of four common meme formats, programmed with DrawBot and riso printed.
As a metaphor for the anatomy of memes, mouse interactions reveal the outlines of the festival’s name—the bubbling circle changing color as the visitor hovers over the four quadrants, a reference to the political compass.
A broadsheet housing two articles about the role of nostalgia in global and American politics. Influenced by the comfort of vintage food graphics, this newspaper considers how complacency can be dangerous.
↪︎ Full PDF
A set of four coffee sleeves that wonder about the nature of work. With references to Corporate Memphis, tech/onboarding screen illustrations, and the video game Going Under, these coffee sleeves ponder the reality of the industrialization of time and the way work subsumes one’s identity.
Each sleeve features a question that relates to a quote excerpted from Bob Black’s “The Abolition of Work” and a QR code linking to a low-fidelity prototype of a selfie filter, drawing on workplace coffee culture.
Inspired by two artworks on campus, this alphabet is an exercise in modular design/coding and relationships between part and whole.
↪︎ Live site
Promoting a ouija board seance hosted by the St. Louis Paranormal Research Society, this poster plays with the gesture of obscuring and revealing information. Mixing clairvoyance with the occult, the symbols that form the texture of the poster were (pseudo)randomly chosen through a custom DrawBot program. The process through which the poster takes form involves an element of chance: it invites passerby to roll a die to determine which symbols to draw over.
A collaboration with Betsy Ellison.
A poster about the materiality of interfaces and the metaphors that shape them. One side references interface elements characteristic of macOS and neumorphism, whereas the other is heavily influenced by the Talmud and other scholarly texts that use a bracketed composition for discussion.
The adapted website builds on my interest in digital design.
↪︎ Full PDF
A digital zen garden: collecting worldwide memories submitted anonymously on the little memory app, this prototype explores ASCII art and the metaphor of memories as blossoming flowers.
I am interested in design defaults and mass/pop aesthetics, particularly as they intersect with questions of taste. Currently looking for internship opportunities. Always down for collaborations.