Joe: OooOoO, Laundry, Finneas & Natasha Jen

February 14, 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.


OooOoO by Koo Jeong A

As our content manager updates our social media, Yu Ting sometimes finds herself falling into the digital black hole, unable to crawl back up into the reality that she once knew. Okay, that is an exaggeration, but she did, however, express that she might have forgotten how to have fun without going onto Netflix or Instagram. Yu Ting expressed this after she discovered an installation that is part of the Year of Play exhibition series that explores the importance of physical interaction in a digital world.

What is so special about this experience is that the lighting and music are designed to engage the different types of senses. To be fully immersed in the experience, people are forced to be their most present selves, which reminds us of the times where there were no smartphones vying for our attention. It is the use of technology to remind us of a time before technology.


The New Laundromat Experience

Doing laundry does not feel like a chore - it is a chore. Most of us have no genuine intentions or motivations to do the laundry. We do it so that we would have something to wear to work tomorrow. Maria, on the contrary, loves doing laundry. This week, she presents to us the most inviting-looking laundromat that she has ever seen, one that might make her travel all the way to New York just to do her laundry.

THE WASH is your friendly neighbourhood laundromat that aims to reinvent the laundromat experience. Their branding, designed by Verena Michelitsch, creates a very positive and contemporary look which is unusual for laundromats as they have a reputation for being run-down and unattractive. Even the iconography design plays with movement and texture, which makes the instructions look a lot easier to digest. The way the letters have been laid out in the logo makes it look almost as if it was in a tumbling motion - like how it is when the laundry is in the washing machine. They may seem like subtle details, but they are details that count in making your laundromat experience a more pleasant one.

“I’ve used laundromats when I was studying. They were usually ugly and I never really looked forward to doing my laundry there. It’s amazing how design has the power to influence our daily decisions - even chores,” Maria tells us while still in awe of THE WASH’s branding.


Finneas (not Eilish) O’Connell

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Well, this week, Evelyn goes into the life of Finneas O’Connell (this does not sound weird at all). If you do not already know who O’Connell is, he is a singer-songwriter, record producer, and also most famously known as the brother to singer Billie Eilish.

Evelyn first discovered Finneas on Jimmy Fallon’s show where he revealed the sounds that made the tracks on Grammy’s Album of the Year. Developing what we would call a crush for him, Evelyn wanted to find out more about him as well as about the dynamic between him and Eilish as siblings and co-writers.

Watching the breakdown of the song ‘Bad Guy’ - that has over a billion streams -  and realising it was not made by a huge production team blew our minds. Evelyn was really intrigued at the amount of effort that the sibling duo put in to compose and produce a song.

Understanding the creative process of any creative is always meaningful because they are always very unique to the individual. For Finneas and Billie, the process feels very down-to-earth and organic. Even when it comes to equipment, Finneas mentioned that all he needs is his little toolbox with recording essentials and also his laptop for production.

“Sometimes it’s really not about the tool but more about the craft,” Evelyn emphasises.  


Natasha Jen and the most important things

This week, Akram got inspired to share about one of his favourite girl bosses. Natasha Jen “is a designer, a thinker, a maker, an educator, and a partner at Pentagram.” Having watched many of the talks that she has given, Akram says that her design principles are always very simple and straightforward and he likes the way she approaches problems in design.

One of the really well-known projects that really showcased Jen’s problem-solving approach is OfficeUS. Pentagram was asked to design a graphic identity for them in 2014. As part of the Venice Architecture Biennale, OfficeUS was an active workspace to recreate a thousand key architectural projects by two hundred different firms, which means the brand guidelines were going to go through the hands of many people. Upon hearing the project brief, it was obvious that there was a lot for Jen to think about. But along with her team, they managed to deliver a versatile identity system with the help of two of the world’s most favourite font: Arial and Times New Roman.

“Sometimes when we’re under tremendous pressure and (facing) a lot of constraints on resources, we don’t actually have the luxury to go through the typical process. We just only need to identify a couple of most important things and just go with them.” — Natasha Jen


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