Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Lawrens Tan (LT) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Lawrens Tan by clicking here.
Interview with Lawrens Tan at Saturday 29th of March 2014
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?
LT: I graduated with a Diploma in Visual Communications in Temasek Polytechnic, School of Design, 2001. I've always been in love with generating ideas associated with advertising and design.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
LT: We are a boutique setup forming back in 2011. We are an idea centric company who believes great work always starts with an idea. They give the soul to any design work. We are glad to have worked with various clienteles.
FS: What is "design" for you?
LT: Design to me must always be well crafted. A brilliant idea can be brought down by the lack of execution, on the other hand, a well crafted work can bring out the essence of a weak idea.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
LT: Logo identity. It's kind of fun (and stressful) at the same time because it needs to speak about what your client does in a single look.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
LT: One of our most favourite design was Buckets of Love, a probono design done by our company. We believe in contributing back to society. We believe in other to make the Buckets of Love kick off, they need a strong identity that communicates want it does. It's not about donating money, it's more about sharing your love.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
LT: It was a logo design for a local glass company. And we are glad they are still with us.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
LT: Honestly in the middle of the night where there are no calls. Just peace and quiet.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
LT: The core idea.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
LT: Excited and ready to go all out!
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
LT: Anal. And how to make it even better.
FS: What makes a design successful?
LT: An well crafted idea.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
LT: I will firstly look at the overall concept first before analysing the execution.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
LT: Focus on less wastage. Less is more.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
LT: Everything is going digital in this age. People are turning straight to the computer to start executing without even sketching or doodling on sketchpads. It's quite a sad thing though. Design nowadays focus a lot in fast and efficient services. Perhaps we would be looking into technologies that can instantly draw out what's in your mind into your laptop or desktop.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
LT: For me it's over a cup of coffee with the client. The more thorough the brief, the easier it is to visualise and create spot-on designs for them. Reference books are a great source of inspiration to know what the design world is doing. The trends, the style and the big ideas behind each award winning work.
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?
LT: Fun, dynamic and graphic. I love visuals as the saying says a picture says a thousand words. Most of my works are loud and carries a dosage of humour. The approach to design would be always starting with an idea seed. Having an idea that have legs to extend over the entire campaign.
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?
LT: I'm staying in Singapore. A melting pot of diverse cultures and religions, which makes this country a fun and vibrant place to live in. The pace here is fast and a lot of people expects things to be done with a snap of a finger, thus sometimes we do not have the luxury of time to really craft out a piece of excellent work that surpasses our expectations.
FS: How do you work with companies?
LT: We would always analyse what the clients would need. They do not need another design agency. They need a design agency that will be their right hand.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
LT: A good designer does not only give you what you want; they are a step further to see how they can make it so much better.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
LT: We start with a briefing. Everyone in the studio will have to return with sketches in notebooks, scrap paper, or even whiteboards. Reason being, if we start it digital straightaway, there are no feelings being infused in your design. Being designers, the feel of sketching with a pencil / pen on paper is the most crucial. We will then shortlist the best design ideas, and leave them for an overnight test to see if the design still work after a day. We will then select the 2 best and start crafting out the selected few.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
LT: My white plastic chair, limited edition Japanese toy figurines, my 3M Polarizing Light LED6000, my Garbino® Can by Karim Rashid for Umbra® and my Scotch® Dog Dispenser.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
LT: Brainstorm, craft, coffee. Brainstorm, discuss, craft.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
LT: Don't give your clients what they want; give them something they had never dreamt of. Don't fall in love with money, fall in love with what you do.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
LT: The best thing about being a designer is the passion behind. Never fear the long hours.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
LT: Ideas first.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
LT: The eye for design and the 'never give up' attitude.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
LT: Sketchbooks, loads of Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, Adobe Illustrator, Indesign and Photoshop, reference books like D&ADs, ADC, Design Annuals, etc.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
LT: We prioritise and multi-task.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LT: The usual would be about 1 month, depending on the scope.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
LT: What do you think of our design? Can we make it better?
FS: What was your most important job experience?
LT: It was a project for a standee design. The visual had to be not only beautiful, but the technical part was tedious. Each artwork had to be very precise so installation would be perfect.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
LT: We are fortunate to work with clients like 3M, GroupeSEB, Singapore Dance Theatre, Alcon as well as Vitagen.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
LT: Logos. I love the one-shot-tells-all visual mark.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
LT: We are in the midst of brainstorming another area. The apparel design.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
LT: Both. Working as a team can generate more ideas and they can see areas that I have overlooked.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
LT: We are working on a graphic tee shirt brand named Tee-Saurus. We are still in the midst of generating graphics. You can check out what we do at www.facebook.com/teesaurusproject
FS: How can people contact you?
LT: Find us at our Facebook page www.facebook.com/IdeaEdgeGroup
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