Made up of people full of passion and curiosity & founded based on the belief that everything starts with a dot that when put together forms a line that can create different things within the different shapes, TODOT Design’s philosophy is to link everything back to its origin, to design in a better way, always starting out from that very first dot.
Q: When you first established your agency, how did you know that ‘Todot’ was the right name to go with?
A: To me, TODOT is just a name. From the beginning up until now, I don’t really know if the name is correct. The initial use for this name was in hopes that our team could work in the same direction.
Q: Other than Todot Design, you are also responsible for Ultraworks; in charge of creating chic and ultra-modern items such as watches and cardholders. What was the motivation behind the creation of Ultraworks?
A: I was born and spent most of my life in Macau. After graduating from college, I went to work in mainland China. I returned to Macao about 5 years ago to form my own studio. At this time, Macao began to put forward some words: cultural creation, cultural industry, product design, etc., which was not evident in Macau before this. After I returned to Macao, I found that the comparison of the products launched by Macao at that time was very different compared to China, Taiwan, Japan and other places. The situation in Macao is still in its infancy, so from then on, I tried to do what I think is the ‘real product’. I hope that through the spirit of the product or brand, it can more or less represent the positive energy of the Macao people.
Q: Was there ever a time you received criticism for your work and how did you incorporate that feedback into your work approach?
A: My design work has two main parts: design service and product development. In my work, someone always more or less criticizes me, whether it is on the design or project management. Not every cooperation is so smooth, not every design that comes out is hot or appeals to the audience. But one thing I can be sure of is that my team does their best to implement and create each piece of work.
At our Party A level, if they have opinions about our things, we will try our best to provide them with data analysis, reference materials, etc., and try our best to convince them. If something is criticized after its launch into the market, I will be willing to listen, but I won’t explain too much, because I find it would be difficult for everyone to understand the process of design. Every step directly affects the outcome of the product.
Many people will find the root of the problem, and correct it, but I think that is very difficult to do in the design field, because I think it is subjective. No matter how much data you provide to customers and reference materials, they can use their “dislike” to negate everything, because they are “great party A”, but I think it also comes down to common sense and it’s reasonable to pay for what you like. Other people don’t have much to do with it.
Another example is of after our ULTRAWORKS products were launched into the market, we received many comments. Of course, it was a mix of negative reviews and praises. So from my point of view, I can only listen to their opinions and analyze that to be better prepared next time. This is the only thing I can do now.
Q: Walk us through your creative process. What steps do you take when you’re working through a project?
1. Communication and cooperation with customers in the early stage, confirming the direction and goals of the collaboration
2. Institutional cooperation contract, the official project starts after signing
3. The phased proposal, completed before the deadline
4. Review of the project, including time grasp, quality of the finished product, whether the product has achieved the expected effect, etc.
Q: The fact that a creative’s life is always hectic and stressful with long working hours and brain-draining as can be, how do you get a work-life balance?
A: I often think that I am a bad example of this because there is no good balance between my life and work. This isn’t a good thing. It feels like telling others that designing this industry is to face it. Working day and night, giving stress to newly graduated students.
I spend most of my time working on things. In my life, there is only work, eat and sleep. I know that I can tell you how to effectively allocate time and make a good match between work and life in this conversation. But I don’t think it’s necessary to deceive the audience, and this may be me too. Personal ability problems and knowing how to balance our work and life is a kind of ability all in its own.
Q: What other areas of your work or personal development are you hoping to explore further?
A: In fact, I have a lot of things to do in the future. Although I am a designer born in graphic design, I want to try other areas of design, such as space, architecture, clothing, multimedia, etc., because I always think that these are just A carrier only, what is important is a BIG IDEA, which is embodied by a suitable carrier. For the future of the team, I don’t want the group to go too fast, just hope to go steady, so that will be long-term.
Good things are meant to be shared. 😉 To see more of TODOT’s work, check out the links below!