Design is More Than Meets the Eye
With Mrs Sakamoto (left), co-founder of Sakamoto Radio Co Ltd, where Shevon did her overseas internship designing a product catalogue and packaging for the Japanese luxury smartphone accessory brand GRAMAS.
Art and design run in Shevon Lee’s veins. NYP’s Diploma in Industrial Design gave her the chance to nurture and develop her passion and talent in this field. Through her internship that came with her Moove Media Industry Scholarship, she also learned graphic design skills that made her an all-round designer. The icing on the cake? Designing for GRAMAS a top luxury smartphone accessory brand in Japan while interning for Sakamoto Radio Co. Ltd. Over the three years in NYP, she has also picked up a range of 2D and 3D design skills that made her more versatile and valuable as a designer. Shevon is NYP’s 2018 recipient of the Sakae Holdings Gold Medal for her course.
We take a peek into her personal design journey thus far.
1) Tell us about one design work you are proud of.
I won the Moove Media Industry Scholarship in NYP, and they sent me to Moove Media for a three-month internship. Here I did more visual communications design work although I was studying industrial design. But I was happy to pick up more design software skills outside of industrial design and gain experience in designing marketing collaterals. I was really excited to design ‘real’ things. It was so cool to design a Hari Raya-themed concept train for LTA, see it realised, and even ride in it!
2) You also designed for GRAMAS in Japan. We hear that GRAMAS branded smartphone covers cost even more than the phones themselves. So what’s the secret in the design process?
GRAMAS stands for Grand Masterpiece. I did not discover any secret formula. But I can tell you a lot of hard work and attention to minute details go into designing each and every GRAMAS product. It doesn’t matter how simple and minimalist the design may look. The Japanese are very particular about packaging. So how the packaging can be opened up by the customer – the user experience focusing on both the aesthetics and convenience of unfolding and folding it back into its original state – were all painstakingly considered, with feedback from all departments in the GRAMAS office. It was a truly eye-opening experience for me, as the design culture there is very different from our local one. I learnt to be very brand-focused and to set higher design standards for myself.
3) How did you apply your internship experience to your Final Year Project (FYP)?
At GRAMAS, a very large part of the design process is taken up by research. I applied this to my FYP. To come up with an attractive and functional design for a child booster seat, I did a lot of research surveying parents and trends, comparing colours, materials etc.
4) What’s next for you?
I am starting my business degree in SMU in August. Yeah, I want to try something outside of design to pick up a wider range of skills. I can then combine this knowledge with my passion for design and start my own lifestyle product line and store. My parents run a car upholstery refurbishing business. Maybe I can put my design and business skills to good use in enhancing their products and services too.
5) Any personal favourite design brands currently?
I like Noden. It’s known for its vintage Scandinavian furniture and lifestyle goods.
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