Tracy Ma,

Graphic Designer


  • Skillful
  • Hardworking
  • Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator
  • After Effects, Cinema 4D
  • Currently ‘Visual Editor’ at The New York Times Styles desk
  • I started January 2018 and I work for this guy.
  • Formerly the Deputy Creative Director at Bloomberg Businessweek
  • I worked at Businessweek from 2011–2016. From 2012–2014 my title was Assistant Creative Director but I dont think anyone noticed.
  • Grew up in Toronto
  • Immigrated from Hong Kong
  • Taught three semesters at Parsons from 2017–2018
  • An Interesting Day and Night, Amsterdam, August 2018
  • Society of News Design, New York, March 2018
  • Against All Odds at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, March 2018
  • T Magazine Spain, Madrid, February 2018
  • Fall Lecture Series at RISD, Rhode Island, October 2017
  • AMPA, Calgary, March 2016
  • Typographics at Cooper Union, New York, June 2016
    All work on this site © Tracy Ma 2018 unless otherwise noted
2018 — creative direction, illustration, web dev
The New York Times, The Royal Wedding: Frequently Asked Questions

(Launch site) Every possible question about Royal Wedding answered in a relic of an internet format.

Hot gos: this is a reprise of an earlier performance — a website I designed in 2016 for Matter Studios (R.I.P forever in this repo ), which was online for only about ... 2½ months. Everything deserves a second chance!!!!!!

Each click a potential reward!

This project was created in collaboration with LVL100 programmer Umi Syam who finally gave me a grasping knowledge of JS in what happened to be the perfect infantile playground to learn JS.

Read more about the project at ItsNiceThat here.

2013–2016 — illustration, type design
Bloomberg Businessweek Covers

A handful of covers I designed over the years for the business publication. This one, for a story describing Yahoo!’s last ditch effort, is my personal favorite.

At the time moment it began liquidating parts of the company after a long and unsuccessful attempt by then-CEO Marissa Mayer to restore the internet company back to its former glory. Mayer didn’t stay on for too long after this.

What I love about this is that the whole image is a riddle!

Loved using Arial and Times New Roman to create the specific L@@K.

It breaks away completely from the conventional formula of Headline ⇢ Image ⇢ Description.

Most believe that others will experience a fatal system error without this formula.
2018 — illustration, photo research
The New York Times, ‘You Can’t Hurt Lindsay Lohan Now’

(Launch site) I consider this beautiful image one of my finest achievements.

2018 — design, animation
The New York Times, ‘Internetting With Amanda Hess’

(Watch eps) I created an animated graphic identity for Season Two of Internetting With Amanda Hess. I made so many assets! From Twitter promos to YouTube-only end-title sequences! Why is digital media so faceted! I am glad I did tho because now the season looks totally unified across so many platforms!

2017 — illustration
The New York Times, illustrations for Amanda Hess column

In 2017 Alicia DeSantis hired me for a number of illustrations for Amanda Hess’s column about internet culture.

From order of clicks above: revisionist history podcasts, hands, fan-fiction, internet astrology, taboo podcasts, sexual harassment on television, the HQ phenomenon. I had worked on these during the year where I was feeling a bit unruly and freelancing entirely for non-editorial clients. Working on these were a boon to my days and made me realize how much I loved working on editorial projects.

2016 — creative direction, design, illustration
Matter Studios, Total Power Move

(PDF) This floppy, self-covered, self-published magazine uses the form and pace of a children’s storybook to tell the story of power on this planet: from the way it exists in nature to the way humans use it, one big chunky spread at a time.

We talk about the way power moves through stuff like oppression, racism, gender constructs, inequality, hate/love/fear/the transient body. Besides this main big-lettered narrative there are some v cool longform essays woven in there also by Rachel Syme, Ashley Ford, Helena Fitzgerald, Oliver Bateman, Porochista Khakpour. Broad strokes are neatly knotted together thanks to amazing photo research by Emily Keegin. Additional design: Kurt Woerpel, Additional writing: Evan Applegate, Editor: Mark Lotto.
2017 — illustration
The New York Times, One57

(Launch site) One needs to get parallax out of their system somehow.

@ftrain senpai thank you for noticing
2012–2016 — typographic illustration
Spicy typography at Businessweek

With subject matters such as securities fraud and quantitative easing, oftentimes imagery was scarse or shitty, and it was difficult to create a magazine with sustaining visual interest.

In those trying times I learned to unleash the power of typography to create a sense of suspense, surprise, meaning or sometimes just straight visual fun.

2018 — animation
The New York Times, CBD oil lotions and beauty products

(Launch site) Please enjoy this beautiful rainbow smoke.

2018 — illustration, animations
Quick ones forThe New York Times Styles

Sometimes I make illustrations for the Times’ Styles section known for its approacheable tone and exquisite journalism.

2018 — illustration, animations
BDSM Office Supplies

(Launch site) I made BDSM tools out of office supplies, you are welcome: harness lanyard, USB flogger, stickie-note paddle, nipple-paper-clips.

2017 — illustration, animation
Illustration for Bloomberg

Please enjoy this anthropormorphized and very muscular Amazon Echo about to battle an anthropomorphized and indecisive Apple Home Pod. Thank you art director StephCD.

Here is a link to her work, I cannot stop you if you choose to but please do not navigate away from my webpage.
2013 — typographic illustration, layout design, art direction
The How To issue!

I can trace back to this much of my aesthetic choices when it comes to type and layout.

Seems like this was also the moment when I realized that having genuine fun while creating something is a quality that you can see and feel in the finished product.

Like actually enjoying the process of making instead of like obsessing about how the finished work will get you something else like money/fame/admiration/power. I just kind of remember everyone who worked on this was really into it and I think we called it low budget “community theatre”. Creative director Richard Turley.
2012 — design
The Election issue

Honestly this issue was the opposite of fun, and that is fine too.

Because working on something that is very challenging with a bunch of other people who also find the work challenging makes you feel like you are part of something larger.

This issue is hard to show in a portfolio context but I learned more from making this and watching co-workers make this than going to design school. Not so much the visual aspect of design but a way of thinking about narratives and topics.

Read more about it at Creative Review actually you have to cheat read it at Wayback Machine CR paywalled.
2016 — creative direction, environmental design, web design
Bloomberg Businessweek Design 2016

(Launch site, watch on vimeo!) During the four years I worked at Bloomberg the magazine had put on an annual design conference in San Francisco.

They were fun because we got to design every aspect of the event, from the decor of the venue, the video interstitials, down to the tiniest card detailing the guests’ wifi password.

2016 was extra special because we had the designers of the magazine live-design the venue as “human singage”. We carried out a set of programmatic routines that mimiced the typographic animations on the event website.

Chandra Illick, Alis Atwell, Nejc Prah, Diana Suryakusuma, Caroline Tompkins, Cindy Hoffman, Steph Davidson, Mark Glassman, Evan Applegate, Toph Tucker, Braulio Amado. Project created in collaboration with Emily Anton and Alexander Shoukas.
2012–2013 — graphic design, illustration
Businessweek Covers II

Oh wow.

These ones are older compared to the spicy ones up top, and were made in 2012–2013 Richard Turley was CD.
2012 — graphic design
The New Republic of Porn

This was one of my first features at Businessweek!

2018 — photo research, design and web dev
The New York Times, ‘He Wore It First’

(Launch site) A play on service-y type editorial pieces that showcases shoppable frumpy looks.

I am into the idea that editorial art should try to convey a layer of meaning that is more than just a straight representation of what is already described in the words.

I am just pleased that I snuck in some classic and snazzy early 90s Martin Parr photographs for a story about dads because previously I have noticed that families in general and especially dads-at-leisure is something of a theme in his work.

Emily Keegin senpai introduced me to his photographs and I have never been the same. Not all of the snazzy photographs made the cut, here are some others for your fashion inspo let me take u on my photo research journey: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
2018 — design, css / js
The New York Times,
‘A Business With No End’

(Launch site) If you have free articles this month left on NYT please use one of them on this link.

2018 — design, css / js
The New York Times,
‘The Calm Place’

(Launch page) The midterms election was very stressful so on the NYtimes dot com we made a calm page where there is an emotional support good boy that you pet with a cursor.