Joe: Grit, Contact Lens, Wing on Wo & Energy Bars

February 21, 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.


Passion and Grit

How hard are you willing to work for your passion or success? That is a question that Yu Ting often asks herself. It is easy to look at successful figures and assume that they only got to where they were solely because of their talent. But really, without hard work and commitment, talent is just untapped potential.

Viceland’s Never Too Late features night-time creators with day jobs that are challenged to take their work to the next level. This week, Yu Ting showed us the episode that featured Leticia “Tiza” Maldonado, a waitress by day and neon artist by night. It was intense to watch her create a complex neon artwork within 72 hours, but her positivity and grit throughout the episode was very infectious and inspiring.

“There are times that I’ve gotten so broke I had to get an additional side job just to keep pursuing my art.” - Tiza

During the challenge, Tiza busted tables during happy hour and then went back to her studio to bend neon glass which by the way, looks really complicated and hazardous. But she maintained her level of energy and focused on completing the artwork. Anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it, just like how Tiza did.

“There are times when I have kind of burnt myself on purpose, only because I’m working a section of glass and I get to a tricky area, and to pull it off I just have to get that close to the flame. It’s worth it to me to take a little heat flash on my hands - it’s just part of the craft.” - Tiza


Contact Lens and Tech Infographics

This week, Evelyn takes us through two projects from Universal Favourite, a design studio based in Australia that she recently discovered.

Firstly, we explored the branding design done for Dimple, a direct-to-consumer daily contact lens subscription service. We have seen the success of subscription-based vitamin retailers like Care/of and Ritual that are targeted towards millennials. To be honest, we are not surprised that there are similar services offered for contact lenses. In fact, it is actually genius.

Evelyn feels that the branding is simple, youthful and a little bit quirky. We noticed the circular branding system that Universal Favourite has created to illustrate the different eye prescriptions and we think it is really ingenious and original. The bright blue packaging would probably stand out in the bathroom, which means you will never miss it. The promotional photos are styled in a way that makes the experience look easy, effortless and fuss-free, perfect for attracting millennials of today.

The second project we explored was Tide, a blockchain business that positions themselves as “anti-establishment”. We were all in awe of the especially digestible isometric infographics that are made with line illustrations. In one word, the identity system created for the tech-related brand is truly one of a kind.

“The animation is so smooth and there is a good balance between words and visuals. Did you guys see the moving head in the animation? How did they do it?” Evelyn asked in a state of amazement.


Wing on Wo & Co.

When Akram started typing into the search bar for what he was about to show us, we could not figure out what it was going to be. Before we even knew it, we were on the Instagram page of New York’s oldest operating store in Chinatown, Wing on Wo. Akram found out about the shop through the Instagram feed of designer Christal Sih as she shared her design for the Asian American Ceramicists Fair organised by Wing and Wo.

The story of Wing on Wo is a heartwarming and sentimental one. Mei Lum, the current fifth-generation owner of the store, had decided to take over the business when she heard that her grandparents are selling the building. She saw Wing on Wo, in this era, as a platform to educate and collaborate. Over the years, Lum has created a more relevant appeal for the younger audience by building an online presence and making use of the space for community events.

Well, going onto social media was definitely a blessing for us because looking at their Instagram page made us want to be there. Akram could not really find the words to explain why he liked Wing on Wo, and he did not need to, because the heritage that it has is self-explanatory.

“I think Wing on Wo has proven that there is a future for this, that there is a way to tie it back to our culture and identity, to have these conversations and educate people about why this craft should still be valued,” Lum says.


Energy Bars and Deodorants

Behold, as we start this section off with colours that “pop”! Maria presents to us Byte Bars, the grooviest energy bar branding we have seen till date designed by Cast Iron Design. “You would definitely notice this on the shelves,” Maria says.

We love how the logo plays off the brand name. Paired with the contemporary pop art look and feel, it shouts positivity and energy, which is what eating the energy bar must feel like. Even the unconventional naming gives each of the flavours a unique personality you never knew they needed. Byte currently offers 3 flavours so you do not get overwhelmed with decision-making, and they also tell you exactly what is in the bars. They look and sound very yummy (can we have some please…)

In order to take our minds off the energy bars (as we were close to clicking on ‘Add to Cart’), Maria told us about another brand that she had recently discovered while on a hunt for natural deodorants. Curie Deodorant’s branding is very clean. It has a bit of a clinical but fresh look to it, which aligns with what they are trying to achieve with the deodorant. Part of the visual identity system is a wave pattern that can be adapted in different ways, and we can see that clearly on their Instagram feed. The system makes it easier to create content that is simple and on-bran, which is something we try to achieve when it comes to brand identity.

By the way, we wanted to specially mention that Curie shares their insights on topics like sweat and skincare on the blog. We love brands that share what they know with consumers and help us understand more about what we buy and use.

“Too bad they don’t ship to Singapore…” Maria expresses.


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