Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Jeffery Yap (JY) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Jeffery Yap by clicking here.
Interview with Jeffery Yap at Monday 22nd of February 2016
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
JY: I remember my first ambition was to become a pilot. Slowly, i discovered that being a pilot wasn't the talent in me, so since 12 years old, my only target was to be a Designer. I started my education in fine arts since the age of 9, attending various painting competition ever since then. After graduated from High School in 2005, I continued my studies in IACT COLLEGE in Advertising & Marketing, in the rookie year, I won the the Bronze Award in the Highest acknowledged KANCIL AWARDS in Malaysia, this award has sparked my journey as a designer when i was 17, then i started JEFFERY YAP DESIGN as a business till now, i still remember it was my Lecturer that suggested i should start my own business and he was always encourages and consulted me throughout my journey. In 2007, my team also went in to the national finals in the L'OREAL BRANDSTORM MARKETING COMPETITION in Malaysia. In 2010, I was also became the first oversea Chinese Designer apart from China who won the NIKEiD CANVAS DESIGN Competition in Shanghai, China . After graduated i was back to Malaysia, and started to work along with Italian Luxury Franchise, BRIONI & REPLAY in creative design and brand management. After that, I did my bachelor studies In Advertising & Marketing in RMIT UNIVERSITY in Melbourne, Australia. At the same time, he joined OHMEDIA PTY LTD as official creative & strategy partner, succeeded in helping the corporation gaining a multi-year contract as official advertising partnership with the METRO TRAIN MELBOURNE. in 2011, he was blessed to be the Art Director of THIERRY MUGLER in Malaysia for the Spring/Summer 2011 Product shooting, Catalogue Design and Annual Celebration Exhibition Design. I was soon involved in fashion designing for the SODA Mens Spring/Summer 2011 Collection. All the above experiences i gained, accompanied me and fulfil my dream as a Designer as i am now.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
JY: I Founded JEFFERY YAP DESIGN when i was 17 years old, when my lecturer/mentor discovered my talent and ask me if i have a dream to start my own business, and that's how i started, it has been a rewarding journey since i started. The official "X" Logo represents unknown, limitless, surprises and power of imagination, it is not limited to wherever, whatever and whenever, as a designer, "X" represents my philosophy, only without limiting yourselves, you will have a reason to go further, and since this is the 8th year of my studio, i have been working for clients across southeast asia, for clients from food and beverages, fashion labels, advertising firms, travel agencies, Non-Profit organisation, consumer products, retail, and etc. "X" has no boundaries , but in pursue of the "Next" creation.
FS: What is "design" for you?
JY: I realised everything in what we see, touch, hear, feel, wear, use, eat and drink are design. Design is through human thoughts, motives, expressions, and culture.etc. Design is Life and also be able to see the future, creating what life and future needs, design simply means the way i live, and always will be.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
JY: I always love creating new designs for visual merchandising, products, packaging, exhibitions, and brand identities. Now i wish to have crossover collaboration with industry designs such as automobile and architecture design.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
JY: The Exhibition Design for Thierry Mugler is my favorite among all the other creations i have, this project was special, because i have discovered the other potential in me, and work with a international client, the result of the exhibition proves that my ideas are workable in real life, and it was a wonderful feeling.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
JY: I remember it was signboard design for a vegetarian restaurant chain, which was totally a amateur work when i recall.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
JY: i always keep my drawing pad with me, whenever i have ideas, i will jot it down even when i have a fantastic dream i will wake up and make sure my idea does not slip away. when it comes to producing, i make a lot of research online or books.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
JY: No specific time frame i can recall here.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
JY: Uniqueness and Practicality are one of the combo i valued the most.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
JY: i feel like it's a quest to beat the previous standard i created, in progress of creating something better than before, feel excited, that's why is hard to put myself to sleep everyday.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
JY: Motivated and Energised to do better
FS: What makes a design successful?
JY: It's how much you understand the brief, and the ability to think in different perspective and be able to be in other people's shoes, of course protecting self identity in the progress of creating a successful design.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
JY: The Idea behind the design, then the execution of the design.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
JY: A good designer shall possess the mindset of caring for the environment, which now my designs consider more based on how to help the environmental friendly. Reducing material of using plastics but papers, which can also be turn into smarter form of functional design. Also as a designer , i also create design that could possibly help to change public perception on how certain things should look like in a conventional way, and design with simplicity but practical and pleasant looking items for my clients. Basically, a good design should be able to improve the standard of humanistic and technology to the society and sustainable for the future.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
JY: Nowadays design started to evolve from design for the sake of design to combining culture, technology, intelligent and more humanistic form of design, i think design has started to evolve to a more basic theme of design, which i think everything should design with less material consume but maximise sustainability.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
JY: I had never have one, but i wish my work could be feature on day in New York & Tokyo in the exhibition.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
JY: i have a pretty simple life, which allows me concentrate in thinking and analyse my inspiration, time is precious food for designers and artist, like myself , i took my time to rethink design most of the time, how can i make the existing ones better, but evolve to a new design. Inspiration comes from life, the more you see, travel and knowing people gives u the vulnerability to be more flexible in design.
FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
JY: My design style is known as simplicity, futuristic and also challenging the odds.
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
JY: I was born is the land of Malaysia, a multi-cultural society, which filled with different aspect, people and culture. Now living alone in Melbourne Australia, same to malaysia, it's also known as a multi - cultural powerhouse, but just the impact difference in Eastern & Western Influence. I will during my younger days in Malaysia, i learned to be more down to earth with my design, but i have developed to be more globally in my design when i started travelling and most of the time i am in overseas , which gives me a different taste of design in multiple aspects.
FS: How do you work with companies?
JY: Basically, i work with companies based on recommendations from my previous clients, and also volunteer myself to my social networking personnels. i also make sure to have a good communication with my client, especially when some of the potential client sent me email, i will request in meeting them if that's possible, it's an important steps to establish a business relationship. Meeting the deadlines is also essentials. Making them like you is the most important our of all.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
JY: For my future client who is reading this, the designer's attitude and then their works are needed to be determined when you are looking for a designer.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
JY: understand the brief, find the roots, mind-mapping, research(involves talking to the client) then start designing.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
JY: My Hat, My watch, my bracelet, my books, and also my vintage vinyl record player.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
JY: Coffee in the morning, and go to office, started to lay my plans out for the day, and start working on it, finish in the evening most of the time basically 10pm, and have a meal at home, start reading or browsing latest design news and other related articles, sometimes hanging out in some local dine and wine place or chill out in a sunday market, visiting exhibitions.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
JY: Be true to yourself, find your own uniqueness and start exploring. See more, be active, but not messing around, don't take drugs, compete with yourself not others, because at the end of the day, only yourself know what's worth and what's not.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
JY: i believe every designer hopes their work to be appreciated and valued by the client. Endure and grow with your own, rethink and understand the stages you have change to be better, to be a designer is a very much rely on how much you trust yourself but be opened to others.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
JY: Finding the roots of the identity, discover the meaning, the essence of the product, idea, brand, motive,thinking, philosophy, culture, history , function and etc and then think of how you want this qualities to shine with you own creativity.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
JY: The skill to imagine and courage in achieving the ideas you want to demonstrate.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
JY: A drawing pad, a mobile phone, macbook, and your very own brain and undisturbed thoughts.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
JY: When Creativity doesn't come to your mind within the timeframe you wanted, what i always do is meditation and a walk to anywhere without worrying time and location, and usually does to refresh thoughts and widen options which i am always been surprise with.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
JY: Specifically? It Varies from the Client Decision, the creativity, the schedule and lots of untold events. But i always try the best i can in time and quality i wanted to deliver, remember when i was in JWT, my mentor always said to me :" Poor time allowance doesn't mean that you have the right to abuse the quality of work you do !".
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
JY: where does my ideas comes from? how i know this is the right design? what do i want to achieve in this design?
FS: What was your most important job experience?
JY: My experience as an Advertising Executive in Genting World Resort for Casino Division. I was 21 years old, and normally this job was done people above my age, so i was learned how to fulfil different bosses expectations, the importance of deadlines, and the sense of emergency when you need to be on-call 24/7, in casino division, this is what it takes to be in the job, and when i decided to follow my passion as designer, i have learned how to communicate better with my clients, suppliers and people in general.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
JY: Groupon Australia and New Zealand, Thierry Mugler, Replay, Brioni, Lions Club International, Yes Sushi Cafe ( Melbourne)
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
JY: I enjoy creating art or design for something which has yet to find it's own core value and identity, which allows me to start travelling with my own sense and research, and expecting to give born to a new identity.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
JY: I wish to establish my talent in art, creativity and brand management to the brands and organisation that value extraordinary and humanistic design. Also, i wish to venture in to architecture and industrial design, which i have never been, within 5 years i wish to go work around the world and establish my creativity in contributing to build a better world.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
JY: Most of the time, i work alone but working as a team in my company helps me to understand the power of ideas from other individuals, but working alone give you a clear sets of thoughts and direction without interruption, and with team members, you will have chance to evaluate the ideas and possibly adding better parts to it.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
JY: i am in the mid of reinventing some daily product design and also architecture design which embraced a new concept. And also started becoming a motivational speaker and Course Instructor in advertising design and design courses in Malaysia
FS: How can people contact you?
JY: I can be contact through email and Linkedin Profile.
FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
JY: That's all, no further questions
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