Designers in Singapore: These are the best graphic design and branding studios you need to know
Foreign Policy Design Group
Co-founded by strategist Arthur Chin and design guru Yu Yah-Leng (who are a married couple in real-life), Foreign Policy is the award-winning branding brainchild behind many of Singapore's well-loved cultural and F&B hotspots including Park Bench Deli, Gallery & Co. at National Gallery Singapore and Papa Palheta. Alongside their graphic-focussed endeavours, the studio publishes Critical Mass, a pocket-sized exploration of a "brand's ripple effect on consumers across the globe". Its latest issue takes on the enigmatic fashion designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons.
Led by Melvin Tan whose previous stints include NTU CCA and the Spa Espirit Group, Currency has designed the visual identities for some of Singapore's most promising arts events such as the independently organised Singapore Art Book Fair, Oh! Open House's neighbourhood interventions and exhibitions at multi-concept restaurant SPRMRKT.
Do Not Design
Established in 2009 by Yan Da, the creative consultancy has traversed the realms of print, web and space. Its imaginative campaigns and experiences have propelled local cultural activities to the forefront of public consciousness. Some of its notable works include the visual material for Singapore Pavillion at the Venice Biennale in 2016, Archifest 2017 and most recently, The Future of Our Pasts Festival in conjunction with the Singapore Bicentennial celebrations.
Studio Darius Ou
Singaporean graphic designer Darius Ou's four-member studio might be the youngest on the list, but his portfolio of beautifully chaotic print and digital animation has already made its mark in festivals, publications and exhibitions in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland. Last year, his self-initiated project Autobiography — which involved creating a typographic poster every day for 365 days — was plastered all over the walls of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore to rapturous effect.
Besides designing exceptional products and campaigns for bigwig clients such as Nike and Facebook, this hyperactive creative studio has self-initiated a number of projects: now-defunct K+ Curatorial Space at Scotts Square that retailed and showcased the finest local design talents and quirky multi-cultural publication Rubbish Famzine. Add to that, the husband-and-wife duo behind the studio Claire and Pann Lim run an art collective called Holycrap with their kids.
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