About

Rafael Lüder

I 've been designing digital products professionally since 2000 in diverse areas such as digital marketing, e-commerce, financial systems, enterprise mobility, pharmacy/health and design consulting.

I believe in agile, collaborative environments and a transparent design process.

If you have the time and would like to know more about me, read the full bio below.

My Background

  1. 1980s–1994
    • born in Pelotas, Brazil in 1980;
    • interested on drawing from an early age;
    • got my first computer, a MSX at the age of eight;
    • learned some Microsoft BASIC programming
  2. 1994–1999
    • joined the Industrial Design Program at ETFPEL, a technical school in the south of Brazil;
    • experienced the shift from hand lettering and Letraset to DTP software (Aldus Pagemaker, Adobe Photoshop);
    • learned detailed technical drawing, physical prototyping (clay, expanded polystyrene, wood) and CAD software;
    • got access to the internet at home in 1996;
    • spent countless hours chatting on IRC networks and playing Wolfenstein3D, Duke Nukem, LucasArts and Sierra adventure games;
    • learned HTML/CSS and designed/developed my school’s website in 1998;
    • received a Industrial Design Associate Degree diploma in 1999
  3. 1999–2006
    • brief stint in a Computer Science major (Calculus put me off, really enjoyed Linear Algebra and Analytic Geometry though);
    • ran a small web design company from my bedroom with three friends (we made no money but learned the basics of working on a team and talking to clients);
    • joined a Visual Arts program where I had classes on drawing, painting, sculpture and art history;
    • first internship and full-time job as a IA during school years at AG2 Publicis Modem;
    • graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design
  4. 2006–2010
    • moved to Porto Alegre to study Typography and Graphic Communication under Flavio Vinicius Cauduro;
    • did lots of reading on typography, communication theory, visual perception and reading strategies (too much reading, actually);
    • worked part-time as a designer of books (fiction and non-fiction) and academic journals;
    • dropped out of the Master’s program;
    • got serious about learning German at the Goethe Institut;
    • taught Design History and Theory to undergrad students for 2.5 years;
    • worked as a developer for Dell.com
  5. 2010–2013
    • moved to London, UK;
    • took a 4-month sabbatical to attend the Prince’s Drawing School;
    • joined Caplin Systems as a UX designer for financial software;
    • learned a lot about Agile/Scrum;
    • travelled to Canada, Norway and Switzerland as a design consultant;
    • consultancy experience at Cognizant (Mobility Practice);
    • became a father (baby-boy Everett was born in July 2013)
  6. 2013–now
    • moved to Chicago, USA;
    • worked at Walgreens as a Mobile UX Designer;
    • survived walking 16°F (that’s −9°C) temperatures to the closest train station;
    • worked at Äkta (Inc. 500 2014) as an Experience Architect;
    • joined the Lillstreet Art Center to continue practicing my drawing skills

Interests

  • book design There’s something highly appealing about typography, typesetting and its myriad of minute details;
  • chess I’d like to get beyond a basic level of play. Chesscademy is a great resource for learning more about chess.;
  • comics Growing up during the 80s I was exposed to the mind-blowing work of Frank Miller (Dark Knight Returns, Batman year One, Daredevil), Alan Moore (Watchmen) and others. Comics are still a big part of my reading habits;
  • design theory As way of solving problems as described by British design theorists Bruce Archer, Nigel Cross, John Heskett and others;
  • electronics I'd like to learn more about electronics, specifically Arduino and the IoT as the line between hardware and software design seems to be blurring more and more;
  • figure drawing In particular the skeletal and muscular systems of hands and feet;
  • football I played at least twice a week for 12 years straight until an ACL injury stopped me. I still follow my team Grêmio Foot-ball Porto Alegrense whenever I have a chance;
  • genealogy As most South Americans I come from a mixed background: German, Portuguese, Argentine, Italian, Spanish and would like to know more about my family history;
  • languages Portuguese is my native language, I'm fluent in English and have good knowledge of German and Spanish.
  • magazines I subscribe to FastCompany, MIT Tech Review, Popular Mechanics, Time, and Wired. They keep me away from my phone during the daily commute.
  • maths, physics, chemistry, biology Subjects I wish I had payed more attention to in school. I'm currently reading books by Steven Strogatz and Leonard Susskind to fill in some gaps;
  • movies I'm in no way an expert but I'm close to watching a thousand movies according to Letterboxd;
  • personal genomics I was genotyped by 23andMe in early 2012. I'm currently reading Matt Ridley's Genome book to better understand my genetics.
  • programming I’ve been spending more time on Javascript and would eventually like to learn Apple’s Swift;

Colophon

This website was hand-coded late at night during the last weeks of summer and early fall of 2014 in Chicago.

It uses Kirby as a file-based CMS, Typekit for serving Adelle and Adelle Sans designed by TypeTogether.

Atom is my text editor, supported by Gulp, Browsersync, Sass, GitHub for Mac and DeployBot.

It uses Eric Meyer's Reset CSS, Animate.css for transitions and jPushMenu for the mobile navigation.

I also used xScope for measuring and inspecting pixels and Hues for grabbing and converting colors.

Other tools I use on a daily basis not directly related to design/development are: 1Password, Alfred, Bartender, Caffeine, Divvy, Dropbox, Fantastical, IP in Menu Bar, Slack, Radium and Spotify