Aliyah Marr’s Portfolio

I have spent most of my professional life as a visual designer. I have helped launch several successful startup companies, aided entrepreneurs, and have a client list that includes Fortune 500 clients, such as Morgan Stanley, IBM, American Express, and Chivas. I have created/programmed websites and interactive games, edited videos, created opening title sequences, edited sound, and designed print pieces. As an art director/creative director/creative lead, I have led teams of designers to produce major pieces, such as the Hummer project for the US Army, a multi-language, interactive e-learning program with video, text, graphics, and voice-over instructions on how to fix the Hummer.

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Design Portfolio of Aliyah Marr

I taught interactive media, design, video editing, motion graphics, and interactive programming at Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, and The School of Visual Arts; in addition, I have given seminars and workshops on multimedia and created many online instructional movies for designers through Media Bistro. Currently, I am teaching software workshops and webinars through Sterling Ledet.

As an interactive artist, my artwork has been featured in the Siggraph conference and national shows, such as Digital Concentrate.


User Interface Design

I have been working in web design for many years. I have designed and developed hundreds of pages and sites both for large and small clients. In addition, I taught web design and game programming at the top three design schools in NYC: Pratt, The School of Visual Arts, and Parsons School of Design. Initially, I loved to push the boundaries of interactive design with innovative work in Flash, but I now work almost exclusively with WordPress sites.

My accounts include Fortune 100-500 clients such as IBM, Chivas, Motorola, American Express, Morgan Stanley, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, but I also have designed for smaller clients.

How to Use Gestalt Psychology in User Interface Design

User Interface Design: 5 Simple Principles of Perception (Using Gestalt Psychology in Graphic Design) Gestalt is a term which means “unified whole.” It refers to theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920s. These theories describe the way people see and understand visual input, which is directly […]

The Tarot Cafe

With the modern responsive WordPress themes, it can be a challenge to make a header graphic that looks good on both a large computer screen and a phone. One of my pet peeves about contemporary UI design is that the header image is often so large that the user has […]

User Interface design projects –>


Writing | Content Creation | Copywriting

I love to write, especially when I use it to teach. If I can throw a little humor into the mix, all the better. Over the years, I have worked as a copywriter, content creator, scriptwriter for tutorial movies, and author of articles for various magazines. In addition, I am the author of 11 books on creativity, self-development, and social change.

How to Use Gestalt Psychology in User Interface Design

User Interface Design: 5 Simple Principles of Perception (Using Gestalt Psychology in Graphic Design) Gestalt is a term which means “unified whole.” It refers to theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920s. These theories describe the way people see and understand visual input, which is directly […]

How do You Like Them Upside-Down Apples?

Like a lot of designers, I own a MacBook.  Every single time I take my computer out of its case, I have to remember to place the laptop with its logo upside-down, so the computer will open facing me. Of course, as a graphic designer and marketer, I like to […]

Seth Godin’s Head: Baldness as a Brand

As a designer, marketer and all-around cultural observer, I must say that I love Seth Godin. But it is not his trim physique that attracts my attention, it is his head. Particularly the top of his head. There it is in every photograph, in every video, like a shining beacon […]

Writing samples –>


Exhibit Design

While I have created thousands of web pages, interactive interfaces, and print pieces, I don’t often get to do exhibit design. The following examples include the signage for an exhibit by the famous National Geographic photographer, David Doubilet, and a few concepts for PCT, an auto parts distributor.

David Doubilet

I was commissioned to design the logo and signage for the David Doubilet “Below” exhibit, sponsored by National Geographic and Rolex. David’s extraordinary photography was printed on Chameleon™ cloth,* a translucent material used in stage production, commercial photography, and exhibit design. The signage was used in the two front windows […]

PCT Exhibit Design

Concepts for display of auto parts in a free-standing exhibit in Pep Boys store. :-:-: More Exhibit Design –> While I have created thousands of web pages, interactive interfaces, and print pieces, I don’t often get to do exhibit design. The following examples include the signage for an exhibit by the famous […]

Exhibit Design Projects –>


Film Design

I  worked as a graphic designer for two feature films, Little Man Tate, and The Public Eye. This was an exhilarating and exhausting job. As a designer, I was responsible for designing many of the props: I designed signage, logos, and book covers.

Because I was hired as a non-union freelancer, I did not receive credit for either film. However, working on set for two major films was definitely one of the most interesting jobs I have ever had. I would do it again in a heartbeat.


Game Design

I have made many games over the years below is a sample of a game I made in Flash (you will need the Flash player—not viewable on smartphones).

Transformational Tarot Copyright 2004 Aliyah Marr

Transformational Tarot

The Transformational Tarot by Aliyah Marr

I created The Transformational Tarot as an interactive Flash game in 2004. Click on the image above to play the game (you need Flash installed in your computer’s browser).

How does the Tarot work? I have to admit to being a skeptic in the beginning. I even created my first deck without any belief in it or any real experience with the cards. I thought the Tarot was for credulous fools. But after I created the Transformational Tarot computer game, I tested the programming by running a few readings of my own: the results were eerily accurate. When I posted my game online, people wrote me that their readings were the best they ever had.


Graphic Design

I started out as a fine artist, went into illustration, then into interactive design, and finally returned full-circle into print design when I started designing books.

There was something very satisfying about practicing “pure” graphic design again. There is no need to consider how the page will look on different screens and devices (now called “responsive” user interface design), and no concern about the typefaces or changing layouts. And while what-you-see-is-NOT-what-you-get, the freedom to practice pure design again is quite heady: the images against the white paper, the “color” of the body copy, using negative “empty” space in the design. Ahh. So satisfying. Fun, beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I love interactive design, and in fact, used to bore/intrigue? my students at Parsons and SVA with my theories on how interactive design has changed us, but that is a topic for one of my e-learning videos for designers.

Here are some examples of graphic design layouts for a coffee-table book.

Graphic design projects –>


Book Design

I love designing books that are not just pretty faces, but beautiful inside and out. Check out the interiors of The Tarot Key and The Creative Life in 365 Degrees to see what I mean.

I started writing books in 2007 and that launched me into book design. One of the most delightful things in being both an author and designer is that I get to design my own books. As a creative consultant, I have designed books for other authors and helped them get published.

Make Me an Offer I Can’t Refuse

The “gangsta” theme of this book provoked a title made from a ransom note. Actual letters from a newspaper were used, but no one was killed — gangsters or otherwise — during the production of this book. Cover Typography Univers (various weights) Interior Typography Body: Adobe Garamond Pro Title Page: Univers 47 Light […]

The Tarot Key

The Tarot Key explores the ancient wisdom of the Tarot. The cover features a classical painting of enlightenment, called the “Universum.” This book covers two decks: the Rider Waite Smith tarot and my own Tarot of Creativity. The book’s interior uses a large, screened-back (grayed) image on the left page of each entry, […]

The Creative Life in 365 Degrees

A “calendar” book of inspirational quotes for creative people, with a quote a day featured on each page. The cover uses very simple graphics; a circle in an elliptical orbit around the title. The image offers a visual pun that contrasts the idea of 365 days vs. 360 degrees. The subtitle in various display […]

The Myth of Race

The image is of a push-up toy that I bought in Chelsea a few years ago. Tension is conveyed by the jarring offset of the foreground and background colors. Typography Halis GR Photography and design copyright Aliyah Marr :-:-: More Book Design –> One of the most delightful things in […]

Book design projects –>


E-Learning

I have created online videos and interactive teaching interfaces for most of my career as a designer. One of the biggest e-learning projects I worked on was the Hummer multimedia repair manual for the Army.

I designed and programmed the user interface, and then headed up a team of designers to create the interactive movies. The manual included text, video, voice-overs, graphics and sound in two languages inside an interactive interface. The final project included hundreds of files and movies. We achieved this herculean feat in less than 6 months.

E-learning is a wonderful tool that enables anyone to learn at their own pace. Featured in this collection is a series of videos I created for Media Bistro and Create Magazine about how to design on the web.

How to Use Gestalt Psychology in User Interface Design

User Interface Design: 5 Simple Principles of Perception (Using Gestalt Psychology in Graphic Design) Gestalt is a term which means “unified whole.” It refers to theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920s. These theories describe the way people see and understand visual input, which is directly […]

Design Police Report 5 Web Design Crimes

In this tutorial series, I get to be a police officer and report on crimes in user interface design.  This tutorial series is from the collection of over 100 video tutorials for web designers that I created for MediaBistro and Create Magazine. Each tutorial series consisted of four videos: an introduction and […]

Lessons From the Bauhaus

How to apply basic design principles from the Bauhaus movement to contemporary UI design. This tutorial series is from the collection of over 100 video tutorials for web designers that I created for MediaBistro and Create Magazine. Each tutorial series consisted of four videos: an introduction and three instructional videos. I taught graphic design […]

E-learning projects –>

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