Hanson Ho

Creative Director

Hanson Ho is an award-winning creative director of Singapore-based design studio H55, which he founded in 1999. Since then, Mr Ho has created numerous visual identities, brand applications and publications that have represented Singapore at an international level. These include the visual identity design for the Singapore Pavilion at various Venice Biennales, and the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.

Named one of the top graphic designers in Singapore in The Sunday Times, Mr Ho has received recognition and awards from some of the most prestigious international design competitions including the D&AD in London, Type Directors Club in New York and Tokyo, One Show Design, Creative Circle Awards, and the New York Art Directors Club.

Apart from the multiple roles he plays at H55, Mr Ho is also the curator for Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit Art in Transit programme for nine of the upcoming Downtown Line (DTL) stations, and is managing editor for The Design Society Journal.


Insights from the Recipient

What does it mean to practise as a designer in Singapore?

It means we have to be global, relevant, efficient, and contemporary in the way we approach ideas and design.

What is the responsibility of a designer to the community or society?

To ensure that our work is functional, that it is a pleasure to view, that it is well thought out and meaningful, and that, hopefully, we will be able to renew the relationship between people and design.

What do you see as the future of design in Singapore?

Many more people and clients will inevitably be more appreciative of design in Singapore in the future, as they will be more exposed to the importance of design and media in a more competitive economic environment. I hope this trend will continue and that design will become a conscious part of everyday life.

Advice to Emerging Designers

1. Be honest with yourself.
2. Be objective, focused, and purposeful.
3. Creativity is about constantly finding and understanding yourself.
4. Know what motivates and inspires you.
5. Understand your relationship with design, work and money, and what they ultimately mean to you.
6. Let go of your mental baggages and old mindsets and be progressive.
7. Take risks, displace yourself from time to time.
8. Do not be sentimental, embrace change.
9. Spend thousands of hours practising design.
10. Be in an environment that allows you to grow.


Jury Citation

Hanson Ho is one of the most articulate and intelligent designers practising today. He brings style, class, economy, purity and method to his work that few of his contemporaries can achieve.

Hanson’s body of work is consistently based on simple truth and logic. He expresses every element with simplicity, restraint and intelligence — very much in keeping with his personality.

Hanson sets a new standard for designers who wish to be nominated and recognised for the Designer of the Year.


Nominator Citation


In his work as well as contributions to the country’s design landscape, Hanson has demonstrated to this small city-state that size is no limitation to good design and the impact it can exert. In fact, a good analogy for Hanson’s studio is Singapore itself. Both are small and lacking in resources, but with good governance, an independent spirit, and a keen awareness of the social, economic and cultural conditions one exists in, creativity can flourish and bear diverse offerings that are world standard. Hanson’s all encompassing approach — as a designer, a business owner, an administrator, a member of society and an individual — in any project he undertakes makes him a complete designer, and a deserving recipient of the President’s Design Award.