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P*DA Series: Creating a Better World By Design – In Conversation with Visual Communications Designers

We are more than just a red dot on the world map, and our design scene is one to watch – with 2019 a year to step onto the world stage.

DesignSingapore Council’s Executive Director, Mark Wee’s welcome remarks on what is to come: In the face of an evolving world with disruptive technological advancements, how can design play a part in creating a better world?

What exactly constitutes good design in today’s world?

Four visual communications designers share their thoughts.

“It is not difficult to come up with an idea. The difficulty is picking the right idea at the right time.” – Naomi Hirabayashi, GINZA Magazine, Japan.

The right fundamentals.

Design is to tackle issues and improve problem-solving. Good design has good functionality, is long lasting, with a finishing that reflects the making process.

Balance of creative space and restrictions.

Strict branding and identities can help with consistency. However, flexibility is key especially when the brand is globally activated and resources are not uniformly available worldwide.

Example: United Nations’ logo is adapted to every country that brand is activated in, but remains recognisable – serving its purpose while being practical.


“I surrender the creative power to the team and decisions are made together. This ensures a next generation in design.” – Pann Lim, Kinetic Singapore.

Going beyond monologues.

Sharing thoughts and ideas can lead to something greater than working in silos. Besides conversations sparking new ideas, inspirations can be found everywhere. See, read, talk more and consider everything that goes into your head while being aware of the brief. Focus on the best idea instead of what is considered ‘exciting’ or ‘boring’.

Example: K+ Curatorial Space was conceived by Kinetic Singapore with a logo that adapts to every collaboration they take on, and the project goes beyond a physical space – taking into the account the entire experience from branding to curation of events.


“How can I make the project different?” – Yah-Leng Yu, Foreign Policy Design Group. 

Unconventionality now, is the future normal.

One significant work can make the difference to leading an entire industry forward. Don’t shy away from a vision that seems uncommon now.

Example: When the conceptual design for The Working Capitol first came up, nothing like it quite existed. Coworking spaces back then were slightly dreary with just office tables and chairs placed into an empty room. Now, we see coworking spaces incorporate good design – use of colours, signposting, ambience – as commonplace.


“We don’t design for designers. We design for everyday people.” – Jiahui Tan, Fable.   

Going beyond the aesthetics.

More than visuals, design is also crafting a story and experience alongside the aesthetics. It is not about designing for design’s sake, but about involving one’s audience from the beginning.

Example: PLAY EAT WORK is born out of simplicity and clarity in design to reach a wider audience and the community at large. The presentations took on familiar forms that are relatable to everyone – such as the army print, office punch cards and images of local dishes.


If you’d like to know more about our latest crop of P*DA recipients, click here to read about the winning projects! You can also head over to DesignSingapore Council’s Youtube channel to check out our videos!

Check out the video below to watch the event highlights of the evening!



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