Catching Moonbeams. All images courtesy of Toby Ng Design.
Today we have a conversation with Toby of Toby Ng Design, a graphic designer from Hong Kong.
Yanda: How did Toby Ng Design get started?
Toby Ng: This is something I wanted to do since very early in my career. Like most other designer who got their own studio, been working for different renowned designers, masters and companies and finally started out my own studio. It all comes vey naturally which I didn’t really plan hard for.
You further your design education at Central Saint Martins in London. Why there?
I studied high school in the UK and I have been there for 10 years. I am always into art and I have heard that CSM was the best art school in the world. So I only applied to there but no where else.
How was the scene like there back then?
Very vibrant, international, lots of freedom, encouraging, yet competitive.
The Parable of Jesus Postcard Packaging. All images courtesy of Toby Ng Design.
You had a few stint in Singapore and also in Sandy Choi Associates. How was it like working in overseas?
Actually I also work in quite a number of studios in the UK before I back to HK with Sandy Choi. Was very difficult back in the days in London due to the economics crisis in 2008. No studio really actually hiring and the norm of internship there. But no doubt their standard was very high, working environment not as tough as Asia from what I have seen. My Singapore experience was also very interesting and blessed. Been involved in some interesting projects with good studio and everyone are so nice to me. After Singapore, I went back to Hong Kong and joined Alan Chan prior to starting my own design firm in 2014.
Tell me how is it like living in Hong Kong?
Living in HK can be very expensive as everyone know the properties price here. Beer also cost way more then Europe (as I drink a lot). But it is the most convenience place I have ever been and live.
Is it easy to get your work out?
I think is not that difficult and no much different then Singapore I guess. Both cities are very small but international. And nowadays no matter where we base as long as have internet, the work can spread very easily and most of the time the works will be more popular elsewhere then where you actually from.
The Pavilia Hill Publication. All images courtesy of Toby Ng Design.
How has bagging awards changed your life?
I don’t think it changed anything actually. It won’t really get you more jobs or what in a way. But I think is good to know that the top creative in the world recognise and acknowledge the standard of work I have been doing. Awards are more a designer self achievement I would say.
There’s Victionary, idN from your country. Singapore almost have none if not for The Design Society Journal. What do you think about your design culture in Hong Kong?
Victionary and idN are both very international and our design culture are influence by the British and Japanese most. I think we have some pretty good designers here but our market is quite difficult. Design culture and market is also very different between the local studios and western studios based here. Somehow I feel that we haven’t got the actual and right support from the government unlike a lot other cities. Our generation designers are up and coming and most have started and established their companies and market places.
For yourself, how do you measure the success of your projects?
Client and us are both happy about the process and the result. Have a certain impact to the client and the design industry or even the world.
The 4th Greater China Illustration Awards. All images courtesy of Toby Ng Design.
The Pavilia Hill Party Invitation. All images courtesy of Toby Ng Design.
Speaking of clients, when do you know is the right client?
The right client are those who trust and believe in what we do and let us do our work. And respect our work with a fair budget and timeline.
What is the working process like between you and your team when the brief is given?
We normally spend a lot of time to research and study the client’s brief / subject, and try to examine the project in different perspectives to be able to come up with strategies and ideas that is most suitable, unconventional and meaningful. Me and my team work very closely and hands on.
Tell me some of the people you look up upon to.
There are too many…
“Personal project really define who you are as a designer and as a person. ”
What are the ways to keep yourself inspired nowadays?
Travel. Read, watch, experience as many things as possible. Work with different people.
Is there a dream project you would love to work on before you retire?
A project that have a big impact to the world, that will benefit a lots of people. I am actually planning this right now.
Do you feel a need to work on personal projects?
Sure. Personal project really define who you are as a designer and as a person.
Can design affects one’s life?
Yes and No. Depends on situations. But surely it affected mine.
Chocolate Mail. All images courtesy of Toby Ng Design.
Where will your company be in another 10 years time?
We hope to become the top creative design company that can keep doing the kinda of work we can be proud of and believe in with commercial success locally and internationally.
Thank you for time. You can find out more of Toby Ng and their works here.