Duration: StudioWMW has been established for five years.
Location: StudioWMW is based in Hong Kong, China. I’ve previously worked in Shanghai, China, but I feel the most connected to Hong Kong.
Education: I first encountered design after graduating from high school, and I received my diploma in graphic design at the now closed Chingying Institute of Visual Arts in Hong Kong, China.
Career path: I’ve loved drawing since I was a kid. At that time, I did not have a very clear picture of what art and design were. However, I was amazed by the simple shapes and forms I could use to express my ideas.
After completing my graphic design studies, I joined CoDesign, one of the leading graphic design houses in Hong Kong, China, where I spent five years. There, I learned a lot and grew a lot. Everyone there deeply influenced how I think about design and how we can contribute to society through design. I’m very glad that I met CoDesign cofounders Hung Lam and Eddy Yu. They have a clear vision and are super attentive to details. They were already members of Alliance Graphique Internationale. They inspired me a lot and helped me on my path of graphic design.
Afterwards, I joined Alan Chan Design Company, the studio of one of the most influential design figures in Hong Kong. I further widened my horizons as I came across projects in a bigger scope. I worked at Alan’s on and off for three years, and then I moved to Shanghai to work at Wieden+Kennedy for half a year. I then moved back to Hong Kong to start StudioWMW.
Cultural influences: Japanese design. I am moved by the Japanese belief of minimalism and strong concepts behind everything, and the belief that good design makes a better life. Japanese design also affects how I initiate a design project—how concept and meaning always come first, and how you should never make a design just for visual appeal.
Favorite projects: The identity for the Hong Kong International Photo Festival (HKIPF). HKIPF has great exhibitions, but people weren’t aware of them. In 2018, we were given an opportunity to redevelop HKIPF’s visual system. When we launched the identity online, our inbox became filled with enquiries from design websites around the world that wanted to feature our work. The project was also selected by the Tokyo Type Directors Club to be one of the entries featured in its book. Many thanks to HKIPF for the trust it placed in us—and for teaming up with various talented website and video production units to showcase our visual system in different mediums. We were extremely thankful to be a part of this comprehensive scale of work.
I’m also proud of our work for DETOUR 2013, a large-scale art and culture event in Hong Kong. This was the first big project we received when I started StudioWMW, and it helped build our portfolio.
Work environment: We are a boutique design house with a staff of three to four people. Each of us decorates our own space with our favorite books and decoration—mostly toys. We’ve also got a cozy sofa in the studio, but we never have time to enjoy it.
Approach: StudioWMW is multidisciplinary, and we provide services ranging from branding to event identities to packaging. Our clients are mostly cultural organizations, like the Hong Kong Architecture Centre, the Make A Difference Institute, the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts and the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre. I enjoy working with cultural clients because these projects tap into my creative roots. We believe good design is not just visually beautiful, but can also have a strong concept and content. We think designers should be socially responsible, so we strive to prove that graphic design is a crucial step in adding value to a service or product.
Aspirations: It has always been my goal to have a team of five people, all sharing common interests and aesthetics, and working closely together. I believe a cozy work environment is vital. I also find that design education in Hong Kong still has a lot of room to improve. However, we were recently invited by the Make a Difference Institute to be guest speakers. By sharing our stories with young designers, I think we were able to learn from each other. I hope to continue this kind of sharing in order to help young people acknowledge their talents and grow.
Philosophy: “We do what is most wanted” is our company’s mission. We hope to lead a project to be design-centric, without neglecting the outcome of the project, and making sure to enjoy the process.
Fun fact: I just got married! It seems so weird to share that, but marriage did change me, and it was interesting for me, as a designer, to get involved in the design and preparation of my own wedding. It was embarrassing for me to hear my circle of friends and family saying they were super excited to see my invites, but I took this kind of stress in a positive way.