Under the leadership and strong motivation of founder Leo Huang, Transform Design has produced a wide array of excellent works, be it creating a better solution for a brand or carrying out an exciting design project.
Q: Why did you decide to establish your own design house?
A: To be honest, there is no special reason. I just felt it was the right time to change, to design and work independently. As a result, I established Transform Design in 2011.
Q: In your experience, what importance does branding and identity play in business?
A: I always describe a brand as a human being. They have their own name, personality and appearance. All people are unique, and so are brands. The exclusive personality creates a different brand identity. We used to believe that different identities always achieve undoubtable business success. However, more and more similar design projects have emerged in recent years and numerous good designs have followed, turning it mainstream, which blurs the boundary of difference.
For me, the pressure of how to create a good design has not degraded because of this trend, but heightened, as it becomes more of a challenge to conquer. From a positive point of view, I think our team needs to pay more attention to the overall brand system, strengthen strategy logic and advance user experience, to enhance the value of the brand and its products.
Q: For Shao Bar, you were responsible for the entire brand identity of the restaurant, from logo design, menu planning and photography to designing the tableware and beverage cups. What was it like to handle such a big task?
A: Every project is a new challenge for me. No matter how many times we operate a similar project, or how familiar we are with the particular design process, we still encounter a variety of different problems in each project. The restaurant industry is based on the principles of the high-speed process, and this circumstance relates to the management of the kitchen and the frontline of the restaurant. It is important to be prepared in advance and make sure to look your best every minute of every day.
Shao Bar is a really interesting project for me. The design process is not only inspiring but enjoyable. Even though the starting point was frustrating since a similar concept of the restaurant had been operated, we still explored something appropriate and intriguing to position this brand. The core idea of the brand is traditional folklore in Taiwan about the God of Thunder, punishing people who waste food, and plays a leading role in the story of Shao Bar. Compared with the all-you-can-eat buffet strategy, the brand takes the idea of “no waste of food” as the point of difference applying on visual language. To sum up, the most important part is to come up with the right idea and create a convincing story.
Q: What would you say has been the most rewarding part of being in the design field?
A: I believe that every process has its necessity and value. It is really hard to divide a whole project into several units to discuss, but I think nothing is easy in the beginning. A hard beginning makes a good ending. It’s like digging – the deeper you dig, the harder it wouldn’t be challenged by others. From my perspective, every design process is relevant and important, but a good starting concept can undoubtedly improve the quality of the brand.
Q: Between self-initiated and client-requested projects, which do you feel you have more creative control, and why?
A: The difference between these two kinds of projects is not obvious to me. I do not feel easier while doing my own project. Instead, in terms of the self-initiated project, sometimes it will be more complicated and difficult! It is not saying that the requested projects need less time to complete. The fact is that I always feel an annoying customer when it comes to design. On the other hand, the most wonderful collaboration for me is the support and trust of clients, which makes the design process faster and easier. I think the key point for a project to go well is not about self-initiated or client requested; it is about who can accept the best idea.
Q: Out of curiosity, how do you normally tell people about what you do for a living?
A: Actually, I spend most of my time on work, and rarely do anything else. In my opinion, work and life are hard to separate, and I do not force myself to separate it. It is natural for me to connect design through work and life, and I think it is lucky for me to think it this way. This thinking makes me feel less pain while working since I am bored with the idea of “you should start working, start to concentrate. Getting myself well prepared and start work at any time suits much better for me.
I do not have a lot of habits. I prefer to go shopping or watching movies when I am free. The connection between the above two things is an experience. The former is about the experience of movement, and the latter is about the experience of thinking. These are my source of creativity. To experience more and to explore more is not just a regular routine for me, but also an important part of my life.
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