Joe: Beyond Egg Tarts, Vitamins, The Obvious & Creativity

January 17, 2020

At Aquí, we take our cuppa Joe very seriously. Rest assured, because the same applies when it comes to design. As avid coffee drinkers, we often ask, “How do you like your coffee?” And as a creative boutique, we like to ask, “How do you like your design?” Joe is a blog segment where we - #TeamAquí - share our design inspirations.

Happy New Year everyone! It is 2020 and we are back with our cuppa Joe, freshly brewed every week.


Not just any Egg Tart

Guess who is back with the food recommendations? Evelyn never fails to make us hungry during our inspiration sessions. This week, she introduced us to Lillian Bakery, her favourite bakery in Shanghai - where she grew up - that (she feels) makes one of the best Portuguese egg tarts. Brace yourselves for a picture of these divine egg tarts.

Apart from their delectable egg tarts, Lillian Bakery’s brand identity, product packaging and shop interior are just as alluring. Looking at the branding design (particularly the traditional Portuguese tile patterns) developed by the company 3X, it really transported us to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal - where Portuguese egg tart aka Pastel de nata originated from. The crest symbol and colour palette adds a sense of royalty and prestige which helps to elevate the brand and set it apart from other bakeries.


Are vitamins cool now?

We have seen a blow-up of online vitamin/supplement retailers in recent years that have placed their focus on brand aesthetic and storytelling. While Yu Ting does not subscribe to any of it, she does enjoy finding out about brands that are changing the game in their industry.

As Kaitlyn Tiffany from Vox puts it,  “It has taken close to 80 years for it to occur to anyone that vitamins could be cool.”

Care/of is one of the highly sought after brands disrupting the supplement industry with their persona-based approach. Consumers first fill up an online questionnaire and are given recommendations after. We took the online quiz together just to get a sense of the user experience, and we realised that it is not the vitamins that people are buying; but essentially the lifestyle that Care/of offers through storytelling and relevant aesthetics for their target audiences.

As skeptical as all of us might still be about letting the “internet” tell us what vitamins we should consume, we must admit that the personalisation process left us with more answers than questions.


What helps us do things beyond the obvious?

This is a topic that is highly discussed in the creative industry. Of course, there is no one way to do it, but here is what is obvious - in order to make a difference, we need to do things differently. In this sharing, Akram showed us a presentation by Bobby Martin - co-founder of design agency, The Original Champions of Design (OCD) - where he talks about his process.

“It’s less about what you think and whether you like it or not because oftentimes you are not the target audience.

Bobby Martin touches on how we can give critique in a way that pushes us to think from the perspective of our target audience. And sure, this might appear to be a no brainer when you are reading it, but it really is a conscious team effort; breaking away from old habits and building new ones.

“If we can do that, we can constantly push ourselves to think beyond just the obvious.”


Bringing creativity to the next level

Did we mention that Maria is taking her time to savour the episodes of Netflix’s documentary series, Abstract? Well, we don’t really need to because this week, she shared about the episode that featured Neri Oxman, a designer, professor and also Maria’s new found Girl Boss inspiration.

Oxman’s work incorporates environmental design and digital morphogenesis which involves creating complex forms with the help of technology. Maria showed us a mind-blowing (and therapeutic) video of the glass printing technique developed by Oxman and the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab.

The G3DP project aims to find a structurally sound and environmentally informed way to build architectural components. We know what you are thinking - there are endless possibilities to what the world can do with the development of this glass-printing technique. It is not just Oxman’s capacity to push boundaries that inspires us, but also her nature-driven design philosophy that makes us rethink the way we create.

“I don’t separate architecture, design, or culture. What’s more important is a language of creativity that carries meaning.”


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Joe: Consistency, Trust, Dreams & Waste

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