It’s not just the design, the elements or the colours in an artwork that blow us away. It’s the concept; a force that resonates from the designer to the audience. Edmundo Moi-Thuk Shung, a graphic designer from The Netherlands, believes cracking a creative concept is the most important step in branding design. He speaks to us to throw more light on his approach.
CG: Branding and packaging is a very competitive sphere of design to be working in. What are the principles that dictate your designs?
Edmundo: There are three things that I constantly make sure I am aware of while designing – they have to be unique, meaningful and easy to understand.
CG: Designs need to be creative and at the same time practical. How do your designs balance both the requirements? What are the challenges you face in day-to-day work? What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
Edmundo: Well, the most important part is to make sure the concept is clear and useful to others. This, for most of the time, also covers the creative part of the whole process. Concentrating on the job is the hardest part for me as I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder that hinders the thought and concentration process of the mind. I overcome this by doing exercises to clear my mind. You’ve got to figure out your own tricks to overcome whatever it is that distracts you from the job.
I get the most enjoyment out of concept designing, like doodling in my moleskin and working them out digitally. It’s also refreshing to put your thoughts on paper and work these out.
CG: Branding requires a good understanding of the product/client. How do you then take it forward? Can you take us through your design process?
Edmundo: Once I’ve accepted the assignment, I make sure to gauge the client’s vision by asking them questions to rule out what they expect from me. From then on, I usually make a “plan of approach” that describes the needs, planning and requirements for the assignment. This helps put everything before me so that I can connect the dots through creative ideas and concepts. Afterwards I pitch my ideas to the clients and decide what direction I should take.
CG: In your experience, how receptive are brands/clients and audiences to something new? Are people willing to take risks or do you feel they still prefer to play it safe?
Edmundo: The demand in today’s time is to create something that is ‘unusual yet affective’. I guess that means people are willing to take risks as long as the concepts are effective and don’t differ too much from already existing products.
CG: You use the Indian symbol of a Yogi in your branding design for Mellow. Can you tell us more about the project and how you arrived at that idea? How do international elements feature in your designs? How do the local audience adapt to something foreign?
Edmundo: It all started with an old sketch of a Yogi which I stumbled upon while going through all of my drawings. The project was a mother’s day gift and I related the element to the fact that she does yoga. That’s when I came up with the idea to make something by myself using an old duffle bag and other stuff lying around my house and created several products out of it. Since Yoga originates from Ancient India, the logo was apt. The project was received well by people with different backgrounds perhaps because our world is getting more multi-cultural.
CG: Brandings can’t be static. How do you create designs that can be worked upon and taken forward as the brand evolves? How do you give it that flexibility?
Edmundo: I make sure the logo I design isn’t too complicated. Ofcourse a lot depends on the kind of brand and the brief, but I usually give it a visual reference for what the company stands for. It gives it the advantage to become memorable and the ability to evolve easily as the time passes on.
Published in Issue 21
They say not to judge a book by its cover. But they also say that exceptions are always there. There’s no doubt, branding and packaging are the faces of any business and product. They decide the way people will receive the brand; whether they will accept it or reject it. To understand and gain more perspective on this much-unsolved mystery, we invited many branding and packaging experts who throw light on the topic.
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