Awarded the red dot: grand prix: Kelvin Lok
Kelvin Lok, who is creative director of the Singaporean design company Epigram already at the young age of 26, has received the red dot: grand prix in this year’s red dot award: communication design for his outstanding design of an annual report. In our profile we will introduce you to Kelvin Lok and his work.
That an annual report has to be serious and dry has been disproved by Kelvin Lok with ‘Happy World’, the annual report of the Singaporean company Best World International, which distributes health and wellness products.
‘Happy World’ presents the company as a large, happy family. Even the management is not, as otherwise common, shown in representative photographs, but in colourful illustrations instead, which double as subjects in the included ‘Happy Family’ card game. The combination of the happy design and the high professionalism of its staff present Best World International as a company that radiates joy of life, health, and success.
In his design, Kelvin Lok has paid particular attention to understanding the core values and the spirit of the company, because only that enabled him to make the invisible visible and design an annual report which conveys emotions. With ‘Happy World’ Kelvin Lok has managed to break new paths in the design of annual reports.
Kelvin, what does receiving the red dot: best of the best and being nominated for the red dot: grand prix mean to you?
It's an honor. Winning any internationally recognized design award is always a morale booster. But winning the red dot: best of the best and getting nominated for the grand prix is also an ego booster!
What future plans do you have as a designer?
My short term plan is to push myself and my company to the next level. My long term plan is to take over the world!
What are, in your opinion, the special challenges designers face today?
On a daily basis, a designer juggles between design sense, the client's business needs, and the functionality of the work. It's easy to do exactly what the client demands, but the work produced will most likely be mediocre. Or the designer can do whatever he or she pleases, but will it be accepted by the intended audience? And will it ultimately serve its commercial purpose?
From your point of view, how great is the economic significance of design?Branding and packaging of a product – sometimes even a corporate letter – affect how people perceive the company. It affects how quickly a product moves off the shelves or how the shares fare in the market. For corporate documents, design can set the mood for the financial figures, or manage the analyst's expectations.
What I'm saying is obvious to us in the industry, but many clients don't realize the importance of design. They get caught up in trying to convey too many things at the wrong place and time. It's our job to educate and convert them.
Do you have role models in design?
I think Stefan Sagmeister and Tibor Kalman have produced work that blows average out of the water. They've more or less changed the way designers think and see things.