WILD Portraits: Melody Yung

Melody Yung, founder of Yung Studio which is Women in Leadership & Design’s (WILD) creative partner, is an inspiring example of design leadership and collaboration! Melody led the team of all women Bay Area designers and creatives who are responsible for our rebrand. It was a fabulous experience working with them! And Melody brings such a fresh and energetic perspective to design, we wanted to share it with the community. Enjoy a few nuggets of Melody’s vast creative wisdom!

Tell us a bit about who you are and how you got where you are in your career.

I’m Melody Yung, Founder & Creative Director of Yung Studio. I started my career as a graphic designer, working in various advertising and branding agencies in New York. In the early days, I worked with fashion and consumer brands such as Converse, Coca-Cola, Taco Bell and Havaianas. After I moved to SF, I had the opportunity to bring my brand lens to the industrial design firm Astro Studios for lifestyle and innovation products including Shinola, Facebook, Bose and Google.

Previously, I was a design director at Wolff Olins, influencing brands from the inside out, working with tech company C-suites to define company purposes. Soon after, I joined two different startups in the hospitality and fintech sectors, LYRIC and Level, to define new product categories and lead brand processes and teams.

After gaining my experiences across these different work settings and industries, I found my interest to create a brand studio that provides nimble yet FUN collaboration processes for both early stage startups and creative teams. And that’s when I founded Yung Studio!

What's one thing you wish you had known as a young designer?

I think it’s important for everyone to jump around and try different things. Get your hands dirty and be nice to people! You will be surprised by how much those experiences define you as a designer.

What drew you to the WILD committee?

After talking to the WILD team and understanding their hopes and dreams, we hit it off pretty quickly. I always try to find ways to give back in the design community, especially locally. Being the 1% as well (not the rich kind, lol), I can totally relate to their passion and willingness to create change in the leadership world. Also, how cool is it to work with all women talent?!

What's your view on the state of design leadership today?

There are a lot of different types of design leadership. Funny enough there are more design leaders among us than we think. I mean people who are not in "director" or C-suite titles, people who might not be bold personas or visible like keynote speakers. There are designers who are purely individual contributors (ICs) who lead through example and actions. There are managers who lead processes and budgets to ensure teams stay happy and well. There are also contractors or freelancers who do really interesting outputs that inspire all of us. I think, first, recognizing these individuals will really impact our views and help to discover more diverse talent in design leadership in the future.

What’s the power of design, from your perspective?

Design has the power to shape, solve, influence anything. It's actually kinda scary if it's not put to good use.

How do you stay inspired?

Slow down and enjoy life outside of work. Your mind will discover things on its own.

Tell us the words you live by.

One of the founders told us, “If it’s urgent, we prioritize it. If it’s important, we give enough time to get it right. If we feel stressed, we ask for help.” We are surprised by how much work we can get done with this practice!

Check out Melody’s work at https://www.yung.studio/work or follow her design studio on Instagram @yung__studio.


As Women in Leadership & Design (WILD) redefines paradigms of design leadership, we elevate the perspectives of the creative leaders in our midst. “WILD Portraits” shares the distinct stories of Bay Area women and non-binary design leaders, highlighting each individual’s unique path and point of view. Together, these profiles provide a sketch of the state of design leadership and how it’s evolving.