diane lieu
brand strategy + visual storytelling



Branding can mean a lot of things. For me, it’s the work that happens between idea and execution. I work with creative directors, founders, and CEOs to distillate their vision into a brand story that captures the imagination and leaves a lingering taste. With a design background and a penchant for reverse-engineering, I communicate with designers, photographers, videographers, editors and writers to bring a campaign to life. My role can involve varying amounts of brand development, creative direction, photography, copywriting, product development, and of course, marketing/product positioning. The end result is a collaborative effort and speaks to each of the team's strength, but most importantly, executes the vision to it's potential. Storytelling is a vital component in my work. I think the best marketing is one that weaves story and precipitates emotion. In this day and age, I know how important it is for brands to be more than just a logo.

Here are just a few samples of what that can look like.

L.A. Originals -From the Mayor's Office


When the mayor's office reached out to Hedley & Bennett and asked us to be a part of their "Made in LA" showcase, I knew this was an opportunity to pen our hometown a love letter in the form of an apron design. I led the H&B Collaborations & Design team to create something subtle but would catch the eye of tourists and be a nod to LA natives all the same. The idea was to create capture the pulse of the city and incorporate the industries that make the city what it was: tourism, food, science, and entertainment. By utilising distinct Los Angeles iconography, lead designer Ryan Aquino and I jammed out a design that we felt showcased the best of what LA had to offer. The two colourways reflected two of LA's most beloved sports teams and the placement of the design was meant to make the apron both a collector's item but also totally utilitarian. 

In addition to design, I worked to name, market, and place the designs with the LA Originals team.

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MISE- The Knife Bag. Redefined.

Hedley & Bennett's first ever luxury item, our marketing team of 3 was determined to change the playing field with this one product. After extensive market research and product revisions, we positioned the MISE to be a redefinition of the product category itself. This was the knife bag as it had never been imagined before - sleek, streamlined, a place for all your tools. Everything in it's place.






The name "MISE" is a play off the culinary term mise en place meaning "everything in it's proper place" and it meant to be a cooking setup that expedites service because everything is prepped and ready at each station. I was particularly attached to this name because it was short, sweet, but had impact within our culinary community aka the target audience.






For MISE, I imagined imagery that was clean, sleek and minimal. It was a luxury product that didn't need frou frou or anything to distract from it. Pure design, functionality and details that sang to the intentionality and indulgence without extravagance.

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I also worked with a network of culinary influencers including Chef Evan Funke of Felix and Sarah Hymanson of Kismet to produce a "What's in my MISE bag" series. Culinary Youtuber Justin Khanna also partnered with H&B to create an honest review of our knife bag. This allowed for an organic spread that demonstrated the bag in use.

Element 16 Technologies

Working directly with the founder, I was able to re-haul the website of this clean energy startup, focusing in on messaging in order to deliver a clear, concise pitch to potential partners. Hierarchy of information was established, and a sales pitch was folded into a portfolio, the starting intent of the redesign.

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