Currently pursuing a BFA in graphic design at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and serving as a project assistant and graphic designer for the UH Community Design Center, Coby Shimabukuro-Sanchez is committed to creating work that both functions well for the greater community and pushes boundaries. He is a designer first, but an artist at heart.

Coby hopes to provide an eye to design that juxtaposes tradition with experimentation, and is always inspired by the niche and unknown across all mediums of design and art.

Often on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i, he hopes to provide design solutions primarily to the local community but is open to projects worldwide.


Season 2022


Ambrosia - All of Nectar compiled in one playlist.
Nectar is an ongoing aesthetic mixtape. As a designer, it’s important to have taste that is contemporary and adaptable. Making playlists is one of my favorite things to do, so this project is dedicated to these two passions of mine; finding new music and designing. You can find my Spotify playlists through the links above. Enjoy!

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Projects

Coming from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, I have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects relating to the campus. Some projects are ongoing and pertain to my employment at the UHCDC, while others are “one-off” designs commissioned by organizations around the campus. The most recent projects will be toward the top.

Objective: The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is a beautiful campus seated on perhaps the most beautiful island chain on the planet. However, there lacks a strong visual cohesion across the entire University of Hawai‘i system level and at the Mānoa level. The UHCDC, in conjunction with various organizations across campus, hopes to change this perception project by project; wayfinding and branding being of particular interest.

My role in these projects involves creating presentational decks, reimagining the visuality of campus, assisting the architects at UHCDC with mocking up designs, creating a typographic identity for UH, conceptualizing the digital signage interfaces (motion designs/animation), and overall strengthening the cohesion between the physical and digital. These projects are all ongoing.

1-3: I gave a presentation to the UHM Branding department as we work in conjunction with them to create a strong style guide for UHM.

4-5: Digital sigboards that will be bolted down around campus to provide brief news stories and information for students. The animations are a few of the explorations I’ve made regarding displaying weather. The triangular mark was created by Sig Zane, a designer the UHCDC is working alongside with to complete this project.

Objective: Design a catalog cover for the UHM landing page to attract prospective students.

Cover fully designed by me, with critique/assistance from catalog staff. Special thanks to Diane Nakashima and Aaron Lee.

Integrate: UHM 2022 Graphic Design Showcase

Graduating students from the graphic design BFA program at Mānoa work primarily on three main projects for their final semester in the design program; an identity for a non-profit organization, a gallery exhibition showcasing their work, and their personal business and/or brand identity.

“Integrate” is the collective name that the thirteen graduating students of the 2022 BFA class. It is meant to represent the culmination of of knowledge, skills, and projects that we’ve gathered over our time in university.

Excellence in design is birthed from inteqration-of type and image, of visual and conceptual, and of ideas and their iterations. Creativity never takes on a steady form, and we must be ready for our design solutions to represent and respond to a world that is constantly changing. 

UH Mānoa 2022 BFA Graphic Design Graduates: Eleazar Herradura, Ryan Pacris, Marika Higgins, Julia Alexander, Jasmin Marty, Joelle Marie Image, Yenan Mo, Lisa Watanabe, Coby Shimabukuro-Sanchez, Alyssa Kagimoto, Divine Grace Cabico, Nathan Nishimura, Jalen Lam

My own personal layout of designs.

Objective: Design and plan a showcase for the BFA class to present their work to professionals and other guests invited to the event.

My role was to assist in organizing and planning the website and overall invitation for this event. I designed our class website and the overall identity for this event.

Objective: Design and implement a layout of the three designed non-profit identities over the semester in an exhibiton format.

My role was to assist in the design of the takeaways (first photo) and assist in implementing the entire layout. The idea was initially pitched by Julia Alexander and Ara Laylo, and was worked on and executed by the entire BFA class.

Objective: Create an identity for a specific non-profit organization throughout the final semester of the UHM graphic design program.

The diversion of a stream is dramatically impactful to the environment as well as the people who rely upon it. The “thirteen forgotten streams” of East Maui historically have been diverted from public use for personal profit. The Sierra Club project, Eyes on Our Streams, advocates for the return of these streams to public use.

This project was an exercise in branding identity that benefits students through getting their first look into what it’s like to design according to client feedback and providing deliverables.

My groups consisted of Marika Higgins, Jasmin Marty, Nathan Nishimura, and Ryan Pacris. Our work began as separate iterations that honed down to the final mark with the set of icons displayed above, primarily designed by Jasmin Marty and Ryan Pacris.

We visualized this mission by focusing the identity system for this project on the natural environment of Hawai‘i—the ahupua‘a system—and the various ways that water impacts us directly and indirectly—from fauna and flora to how our communities are shaped. The final marks would be printed on a variety of stationary that the Sierra Club would print to brand this specific project of theirs.

View an in-depth case study of this project here.

Objective: Create a mock exhibition system for an artist of your choosing. Include a prototyped application, mock mailing envelopes, save the date, badges, invitations, merchandise, and other core pieces that not only effectively promotes that artist, but also reflects the aesthetics and principles of the artist you choose.

A near term-long project for one of the final classes for my degree in graphic design at UHM, this branding/system exercise focuses on Mariko Mori, who is a Japanese artist that works in multimedia. Her works focus primarily on spirituality, technology, and unity. Her visuality is largely modified acrylics engineered to have a particular roundedness and lightness that gives off beautiful iridescent gradients that play with surrounding light. Her most notable works include Ring: One With Nature, and Wave UFO, and Dream Temple.

This mock exhibition/promotional campaign exercise both technical and semantic skills. How does one create a form that is both inspired by the artist whilst maintaining both visual consistency and variation across a wide breadth of materials that the designs will be printed on?

My response to her work was to reflect the visuality of iridescence and roundedness in both the form and color palette. Pinks, greens, and blues juxtaposed with the circle as the foundational shape were crucial in every piece.