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Stories from Design Bridge: creatively inspired from Singapore to Amsterdam

This summer Dutch industry magazine Marketing Tribune is running a series of interviews profiling creatives in the Netherlands, which includes our very own Yvonne Eng – a Senior Designer who was initially based in Singapore, but transferred to our Amsterdam Studio at the beginning of the year. As the original article is in Dutch, we’ve translated it into English here for you to read – enjoy!

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Please introduce yourself

Hello. I’m Yvonne.

I like cats, champagne and wooden pencils.

The formative years of my brand design career were spent at Design Bridge in Singapore, working with clients from absolutely everywhere in the world: Shanghai to London, New York to Bombay. From tiny towns in Indonesia to the sprawling cityscape ambitions of Saigon. It’s been a hell of a ride.

Before that there was, admittedly, a brief flirtation with the worlds of advertising and photography.

I’m currently based in Amsterdam, about to crack on into my eighth year at Design Bridge.

What makes you get out of bed each morning?

1. An oat cappuccino.

2. Being a good mum to my plants and fur babies. To be perfectly honestly, I am still adjusting to a relatively new life stage where I care for living things that aren’t myself. It’s strange, but wonderful.

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3. And, in an ideal world, a generous steaming heap of beehoon goreng. I can’t help it, I am deeply Southeast Asian in many ways. Which means noodles for breakfast. Lots of them.

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Describe your workplace

Our Studio in Amsterdam is a madly characterful and high-ceilinged conversion, which was once part of an iconic horse tramline of the Overtoom. Meeting rooms, for example, nod to the old stories of this space as they are all named after distinctive horse breeds. It took me ages to figure out what ‘Sorrel’ or ‘Chestnut’ was!

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You can usually find me buried somewhere between my Mac, an episode of the ‘Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness’ podcast, my camera, and a scattering of imagery in varying degrees of being cut, torn, stuck up, folded, torn again. In other words: a great old delightful mess.

Who do you look up to?

Beyonce is my — and everyone else’s — queen.

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The SADASIANGIRLS collective have important things to say about the identities I straddle.

Molly Goddard makes me want to dream big, and dream hard.

And finally, Leandra Medine reminds me, in equal parts, the art of being silly and being kind.

Do you use social media?

You can find me at @blondeasaurus on Instagram.

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When/where do the best ideas come to you?

Everywhere. All the time.

My mantra is to steal relentlessly. Steal from contemporary, overpriced art. Steal from minimalist theatre. Steal from interpretive dance. Keep up with the Kardashians. Deconstruct a piece of a beautiful form in your mind. Read feminist literature. Read trash literature. Take it apart, make it your own.

Find meaning in all things… The ideas will come.

Which client you hope to work for some day and why?

I recently invested in my first vintage Aquascutum coat.

Here’s the thing.

Did you know that they made the first trench, four whole years before Burberry even existed?

They were the first to perfectly understand how to make a really, really decent product that worked beautifully. Sadly they seem to have lost their way.

It’s a classic story of a category leader slowly dying from the minds of generations, eclipsed by a younger competitor with a sharp sense of vision (it helped that Burberry had an excellent creative team who intuitively understood contemporary innovation and edge).

But if Burberry can go from the infamous Daniella Westbrook moment to — years later, with a careful, curated strategy — elevating Emma Watson in couture for British Vogue…

I’d love to have a go. Let’s breathe life into Aquascutum’s truth and story.

Which relatively unknown packaging design should be more famous and why?

‘Love Guide’ by Taiwanese design student Pan Guan-Hao is lovely example of excellent design thinking.

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Challenging stigma, an elegant tonality, and highly functional design solution, all in a single experience. Really nice stuff (you can find out more on Behance, where this image came from).

Which brand logo do you love and why?

Not technically a logo, I suppose, but the iconic TET mark of one of my key clients, Bahlsen, has a wonderfully eccentric story. Our team is working hard on finding ways to use it meaningfully across the brand again.

Yvonne’s interview originally appeared in Dutch in Marketing Tribune

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