Hi, I'm Leo

designer, developer, drafting the future of journalism.

Testing the VR experience at the University of California, Berkeley. (Matt Zhang)

It hasn't escaped my mind that newspapers will go out of print within my lifetime. I'm trying to make sure that journalism is still around the day after that happens.

December 2018

I’m a fourth-year undergraduate studying journalism, computer science and design.

I will graduate in March 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in journalism, a minor in computer science and a certificate in human-centered design innovation from Northwestern University.

I am previously a design resident at The Washington Post news design team. Before that, I worked on new media and digital products at the Chicago Sun-Times.

My work and interests surround the future of journalism, ranging from user-centric news experiences to business models and journalism practices.

On the Northwestern campus, I was the publisher of campus newsmagazine North by Northwestern and the sponsorship lead, treasurer and assistant project manager for campus engineering team Northwestern Formula Racing.

“Hi, I’m Leo” is styled with the Gilbert font made by Type With Pride, a collaboration between designers from Ogilvy and Mather Design Team with Fontself, and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

News Design at The Washington Post

While on residency at The Washington Post, I designed stories for online and for print, with a specific focus on using available tools to bring together story elements in the best way to tell the story to readers.

For online, this often involved using The Post’s custom-built graphics  generator as a basis for manual CSS3 and JavaScript functionality; for print, it involves following (and breaking) Post design rules on typography, grid, and hierarchy.

Here are a few examples.

‘Agents of doubt’
How a powerful Russian propaganda machine chips away at Western notions of truth
Read online
‘Next stop, Mars’
Inside the fierce debate over the fate of NASA’s new rover — and a chance to make history.
Click Here
‘Tiny houses multiply amid big issues as communities tackle homelessness’
Read online
November 4, 2018. The Washington Post.
November 19, 2018. The Washington Post.

Other News Design

I sometimes get bored and design things for fun. Here are a few examples.

Cover design for an imagined The Chicago Magazine. Photo by Katie Pach.

Chicago Sun-Times Guides

During my time at The Chicago Sun-Times, I developed a visual language and writing style for information about major entertainment events, such as the Pokémon Go Fest and Lollapolloza.

The guides focused on communicating a lot of information succinctly while still maintaining an approachable, conversational style. I pioneered the use of emojis in headings and the use of official CTA line colors to help readers navigate the lengthy guide.

Here are some published examples.

Pokémon Go Fest 2018: The ultimate guide to this year’s live gaming event
Read this
Everything you need to know about the Air and Water Show 2018
Read this
Pokémon Go Fest 2018 The ultimate guide to this year's live gaming event


From time to time, I write a few essays and stories. Here are some examples.


We learn about Ethan’s backstory and hidden struggles with being gay, too, in Love, Simon — a backstory that’s never explored for Elliot in Alex Strangelove. While we learn early that Elliot’s father threw him out because he was gay, we never hear much more of that story. That’s upsetting, particularly since LGBT youth homelessness is a serious issue: The Williams Institute at UCLA Law has found LGBT youth are significantly more at risk of experiencing homelessness, and while it’s not mentioned in Alex Strangelove, LGBT youth are also at significantly higher risk for suicide.

These are real issues, and that Alex Strangelove (and Love, Simon) barely acknowledged such problems is disturbing. These films are normalizing LGBTQ stories and celebrating the successes of equality movements, but they’re choosing to obsure the realities of being LGBTQ in today’s society. For heterosexual, cisgender audiences who have never personally dealt with these situations, films like Alex Strangelove are probably their few glimpses into these life stories, and failing to include social issues erects a facade that LGBTQ suffering is a thing of the past.

“And now, Alex Strangelove,” self-published in Leo Ji Stories, June 23, 2018

Other things I do


I sometimes take photos of things on my phone and upload them to Flickr.


Sometimes I get bored, and write some poetry. (It’s not that good.)


Some days, you are far away. And then I miss you —
    dashing off to Los Angeles, or Chile, or whatever far-flung place next that I’ve never been to.

Other days, you are nearby —
        just up the street, perhaps
   or around the corner
            or upstairs
  or inside


Let’s get in touch! What’s your favourite method of communication?