• Octopus’s Garden 02 – Unforgettable
    November 2, 2018

    Here’s how to really design content that is truly unforgettable.

    A team of designers and behavioural scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia developed an entirely new typeface Sans Forgetica using cognitive psychology.

    Sans Forgetica is more difficult to read than most typefaces. But it’s deliberate. The combination of the 8 degrees backslant and the holes in the letters prompts our brain to engage in deeper processing that helps us remember what we’ve read better. Try it out by downloading the free typeface.

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  • The bagel emoji now has what?!
    October 26, 2018

    If you’re an ardent Apple fan who religiously updates your iOS, you may have spotted a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fix over the week.

    That’s right. The bagel emoji now has cream cheese.

    Unlike its plain Jane predecessor, the new icon now comes with a generous slathering of everyone’s favourite savoury spread in the fourth beta release of iOS 12.1.

    This rectification came on the heels of Twitter outrage from bagel aficionados, who were salty about the austere appearance of original emoji.

    “It looks like something you would get from a cardbox box in the freezer section at Walmart.”

    “This anemic version does a disservice not only to carbohydrates but to the rich diversity of American identity.”

    “Bagels deserve better. #JusticeForBagels”

    According to Jeremy Burge, Emojipedia’s CEO (Chief Emoji Officer), this is not the first time public opinion has prompted emoji edits.

    The paella emoji was updated to depict more authentic Spanish ingredients, while the peach emoji was changed twice — first to look less like a butt, and then, due to popular demand, back to its former butt-like glory.

    The saga of these tiny icons is part of a larger trend, where democracy in design is slowly but surely becoming mainstream.

    Today, the biggest companies and design agencies are no longer afraid of giving power to the people. In fact, the best ones embrace it.

    Mozilla, of Firefox fame, recently rebranded themselves out in the open, with their London-based agency johnson banks putting up works-in-progress for public scrutiny throughout the entire creative process.

    Every draft, deliberation, reboot and result was made transparent for all to see. People from around the world gave their feedback freely and voted for their favourite designs. The final logo was essentially a crowd-sourced creation.

    Design has traditionally been an insular industry that operates in silos behind closed doors until a flawless final product is achieved.

    By opening that door to the public, design is no longer distant. It becomes a way for us to stake a cultural claim on how our personal identity is portrayed.

    This parity mirrors the global social shift from indifference to inclusion, and apathy to acceptance, swinging the power of balance from top down to bottom up.

    It’s about time the design world follows suit.

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  • Designing for a Digital Generation
    October 22, 2018

    Good design is not about making things pretty. It’s really about people. Use it well and it can help you improve your brand experience and win over an entire generation.

    If increasing your reach online is one of your goals as you strategise for 2019, it is not enough to only know your digital platforms. It will help for you to know more about the digital natives that inhabit these platforms. Enter Gen Z.

    Who are the Gen Z?
    Generation Z is broadly categorised as those born between 1997 and 2010. They currently make up approximately 30% of Singapore’s resident population and the oldest will be entering the workforce over the next couple of years. Globally, it is also projected that Gen Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers in 2020.

    What are some of their defining characteristics?

    According to a 2015 study on Gen Z by Altitude, here are two of their key findings:

    1. They do not have an attention problem; they have an acute 8-second filter.

    Yes, many of us have heard that the average attention span of a human being is at 8 seconds – way shorter than an average goldfish’s attention span of 9 seconds. But Gen Z-ers would be the ones to be quick to point out that this myth was busted by BBC news last year.

    Growing up in a world where the amount of information they can access is unprecedented, Gen Z has adapted to be able to quickly sort through enormous amounts of information and determine its usefulness. Once they have decided that something is worth their attention, they will dive deep into the subject matter and become intensely focused.

    2. They are not addicted to their screen; they are investing in their personal brand.

    The array of social media platforms available today might be mindless time-sucking portals to some, but for Gen Z, they are powerful tools to showcase their unique identity and get their voices heard. These platforms have shaped Gen Z to and they are the generation that will use it to reshape the way they live, work and shop.

    How then, can brands connect with Gen Z?

    1. Be clear and direct in your communication

    You’ll need to earn trust and do it quickly. All within the first eight seconds a Gen Z user interacts with your content, what’s important to your brand must be clearly visible and easily understood. If the core of your message is buried within flashy animations or complex jargon, they will dismiss your brand and hop over to the next.

    2. Design for multiple platforms, across different devices

    Gen Z-ers are highly adept at multitasking, and you can almost never find them on only one device. For them to take notice of your brand, you’ll have to reach them where they’re at and develop content that looks stunning regardless of the screen size or operating system.

    3. Showcase your values through design

    As part of their personal branding, Gen Z-ers are always actively on the lookout for brands with values that align with theirs. Not just in words, but in actions as well. As this generation has unprecedented access to crowdsourced information, any missteps by businesses are easily noted and virally shared. Authenticity is hence not optional, but fundamental.

    —–

    As with convictions, good design is relevant for every generation. In the age of digital clutter, have your story stand out, be told and be heard.

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  • YO turns 21, in 21 words.
    October 12, 2018

     

    October marks YO’s 21st year of championing dreams, chasing ideals and celebrating design that makes a difference.

    Since our humble inception in 1997, YO has always been a safe space for creatives to explore their potential and grow as a person, professional and practitioner.

    Our coming of age began a personal reflection of the YO ethos, and all that it entails.

    In 21 words, this is what YO21 means to us.

    —–MARK PLUNKETT (DIGITAL DESIGNER)

    Rollercoaster

    We will go up, down, upside down, flip 360 degrees and reach the end destination. We start slow, move extremely fast in the middle and end it perfectly.

    Daredevil

    We dare to be different and push boundaries, going the extra mile. We are not afraid to go against the ideas of clients and try unique possibilities.

    Gearwork

    We work as one, in unity and teamwork, to ensure everything moves exactly how we want it to, at the pace we want it to go. Together, we move in harmony and perfection.

    —–

    ALAN TAI (ART DIRECTOR)

    Storyteller

    We tell stories not just about ourselves. When others resonate with our stories, the stories become theirs too. Stories create a common ground for understanding and empathy that grows connection.

    Authentic

    We operate from a space of authenticity and believe every YO member is doing their best to be authentic. It takes courage to be authentic to others and oneself.

    Scared

    We are human. We are happy when jobs come in and scared when sales fall short. It takes experiencing the negative emotions and figuring them out to see the light at the end. This adds to our experiences and enriches our stories.

    —–

    SHAWN HENG (GRAPHIC DESIGNER)

    Youth

    We are a young team. 21 years is STILL young.

    Yolk

    The essential part. The inner core. Everybody is instrumental. Without a strong core, our structure would not be strong.

    Yourself

    YO is the place where you can, and are encouraged to, be yourself.

    —–

    JANICE POH (GRAPHIC DESIGNER)

    #foreverhungry

    We are #foreverhungry… for food, for projects and for any challenges!

    Surprise

    We love surprising our clients and ourselves with amazing works each year!

    Dimensional

    We are multi-dimensional, not just in creative skillsets but also in solving creative problems and managing clients. As a team, we have developed quality of character and it translates in whatever work we produce.

    —–

    LEE KAY YING (GRAPHIC DESIGNER)

    Balance

    Work-life balance. People may think that most creatives have no life, working day and night for our clients. At YO, we have more life than work. YO supports and values time spent out of work with families, friends and even alone. This culture makes me feel like YO is my second family.

    Birthdays

    We come up with unique and creative celebrations for the big day. Each birthday is themed and celebrated in the most enjoyable way. Be it creating an aural birthday card via a podcast, or going rock-climbing as a team, we love trying something different for the first time.

    Foodie

    Did you know that octopuses are blue-blooded? We are true-blue foodies who are very particular and conscious about what we eat. We love snacking both in and out of the office, with an eye for interesting yet exotic food. There is no lack of quirky-flavoured potato chips and teas in our pantry.

    —–

    TAN KAI JUN (ART DIRECTOR)

    Culture

    We have a great culture and environment for creatives to grow, as we celebrate everyone’s creative potential, aspirations and success.

    Tightly-knit

    We can always count on our teamwork. Even if one fails to do his/her rubbish duty, others will volunteer and help out.

    Ecosystem

    This is a word we live and breathe, always keeping it in mind during our briefs and brainstorming. Holistic design is in our blood.

    —–

    YEO XIN MIN (CREATIVE WRITER)

    Genuine

    YO is like one big creative family (including our clients). We don’t put out work for the sake of putting out work. We don’t take short cuts in coming up with the best solutions we think will work.

    Attuned

    We are always listening to the needs and goals of our clients, and always making informed decisions.

    Fun

    YO is a fun and safe space for us to explore our voice and creative expression. We learn from one another, pushing ourselves to do even better.

    —–

    How would you describe YO? Let us know by leaving a review or visitor post on our Facebook page!

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  • Octopus’s Garden 01 – Unignorable
    October 5, 2018

    United Way teamed up with Pantone Colour Institute to develop a unique colour to call attention to local issues such as poverty, homelessness and domestic issues in their latest campaign Show Your Local Love.
    The result? Unignorable, the perfect Pantone that boldly calls out for attention while remaining friendly, approachable and optimistic according to Laurie Pressman, VP at the Pantone Colour Institute. Used extensively in their videos and illustrated campaign materials, the unique and bold colour captures attention and welcomes everybody into a conversation.

    Colour us impressed.

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  • The must-have behind every creative project
    September 28, 2018

    The creative brief is the foundation for every creative project.

    But in the world of design, the brief often gets a bad rep. We can’t live with it, we can’t live without it.

    Some see it as an archaic piece of paper. Others, the provenance of every creative spark.

    Is it a helpful rope anchoring us from straying too far, or a mind-numbing tether suffocating us from freedom of creativity?

    Crafting a proper brief can feel like a time-consuming, maybe even bureaucratic, tedium for marketing departments. In fact, some industry insiders are advocating eschewing briefs altogether.

    But in this day and age of short and snappy communications, a well-written brief is more important than ever. Here’s why:

    Understanding the problem is half the battle won

    An ideal brief should be, well, brief. Very simply, the brief is about a problem, not objectives. The ‘objective’ is what the client hopes to achieve; the ‘problem’ is what’s preventing them from doing so. But often, this problem is shrouded amid a fog of information overload on brand personality, media channels, timelines, budget, etc. Understanding this problem is the crux of the brief. If you’re not solving the right problem, odds are you’re not going to find the right solution. After all, you can’t design something you don’t really understand.

    Limits can be liberating

    Freedom is a privilege. But under the immense pressure of time, this privilege can paralyse you. A well-crafted brief presents a well-defined problem, setting boundaries that can open up the floodgates of creative ideas. The sky’s the limit but the brief keeps us grounded with a clear destination in sight.

    Accountability

    Even the most detailed of conversations cannot replace a proper brief. Verbal communication leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation, misunderstanding and misremembering. A creative brief essentially puts these conversations down on paper so that everyone is on the same page. With a brief in place, you will always have a reference point with which to ensure your ideas are strategic and align with the project goals.

    Time is Money

    Getting the brief right upfront will pay off handsomely when the deadline looms near. It forces clarity upstream, prevents unnecessary revisions, and minimises difficult conflicts during approval. Defending your design also becomes easier when it is produced with the brief in mind. While the tendency to rush into a project without a fully fleshed-out brief is tempting, it can cost you far more time to have to do a U-turn midway through.

    In the words of Abraham Lincoln: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

    Take the time to properly understand and absorb the brief, and the benefits will trickle through every stage of the creative process for both you and your client.

    Have a brief for us? Get in touch and let’s chat!

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  • Is print and paper still relevant today?
    September 21, 2018

    Globally, the year 2015 saw worldwide demand for graphic paper (newsprint, printing and writing papers) decline for the first time ever. It is not that people no longer love print and paper. Print as a communications tool has a diminished role due to evaporating marketing dollars, convenience and costs. Magazines and newspapers find it hard to run printed formats sustainably, as marketers have shifted their money to digital channels.
    However, a significant number of people still prefer to read printed materials instead of their digital counterparts. It is crucial that we develop understanding of how people consume print so that we can respond and utilise it accordingly. Here are some of the reasons why people love paper, and how we can make it a powerful part of any marketing mix:

    Trusted

    These days, an average individual consumes 12 hours of media content daily. According to Google, only 10% of the content are not screen-based. As digital screens become the default interface of our world, we increasingly seek out physical objects and experiences. Some people even value print as a respite from the noisy internet plagued with fake news and digital threats.

    When we put print into the hands of people, they understand and trust the medium. It holds weight. They can be sure that it is not a phishing attack designed to steal their personal information or compromise the security of their devices. That gives us a valuable opportunity to engage with our them in a powerful and relevant way.

    People understand and remember your message better

    According to neuroscience research, physical media requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media. Brand recall is 70% higher for people who were exposed to a direct mail piece, compared to a digital ad.

    John Medina says in Brain Rules that multisensory experiences always do better than unisensory experiences.

    When your audience receives a printed collateral such as a direct mail, they feel it in their hands. They hear the envelope tab tear open. They read and take in your design and information with their eyes. They might even be able to smell the paper and ink. Engaging a combination of our senses creates memorable user experiences.

    Personal

    From celebrating achievements and expressing your gratitude, to saying sorry for disappointing the people important to your business, print just conveys it better. Print is personal and communicates sincerity. People do take notice and appreciate that you have gone out of your way to spend time and money on something you plan to give away for free.

    Triggers a response

    Research done by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) showed that although the cost per acquisition rate of direct mailers is higher than other channels, it continues to provide the best response rates.

    Also, the print has longer lasting impact. Print is content on people’s desks and homes, not content buried in their email inbox or feed.

    Crafting a persuasive and impactful piece of print collateral requires time, thought, and intention, but from our experience, we know that it will be worth it.

    Love to have print in your marketing mix? Check out some of the packaging, collaterals, and reports we’ve done.

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  • Is Conviction Everything?
    September 13, 2018

    “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

    These nine words divided a whole nation when Nike unveiled its 30th anniversary campaign last week. The ad was a black-and-white headshot of American football athlete Colin Kaepernick, with those nine words etched above Nike’s iconic swoosh.

    The design was simple. The message was not.

    Kaepernick was infamous for kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games to protest police brutality in America.

    “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour. To me this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he said.

    While Kaepernick earned plaudits for drawing attention to issues of racial injustice, his protest also sparked tremendous controversy. He was quickly dismissed from his team and could not find employment within the league for two years.

    By publicly backing Kaepernick, Nike is aligning itself with what he stands for — conviction.

    Conviction vs Compromise

    Is conviction everything?

    The creative process is often about juggling the ultimatum between conviction and compromise. How far should we stray from our ideals to please a client? How much of ourselves should we lose before it’s too much?

    The only long-term solution is to recognise that in order to produce meaningful work, authenticity and integrity cannot be sacrificed.

    Take a strong stand for what you care about. Only when you are clear about the values that define your work can you begin to defend them to a client.

    Our creativity is powerful, our conviction even more so. Conviction translates ideals into ideas, and it is the marriage of product and purpose that will truly stand the test of time.

    Moral leadership and the financial health of your company are not mutually exclusive. Nike’s sales surged 31% following its Kaepernick campaign, despite the outrage and calls to boycott the brand.

    At the end of the day, not everyone will love your work. You may win some today and lose some tomorrow, but be prepared to do what’s right by your conviction and the payoff will come.

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  • “Ace Your Day” Wins Merit Award
    September 6, 2018
    We are delighted to share that our “Ace Your Day” calendar won the Merit Award, Designer Self-promotions Category in the 2018 HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards.
    Motivated by their love for paper and print, Mukim Fine Papers, Fancy Papers and Sang Choy International approached us to bring their range of paper offerings and print effects to life through their annual calendar. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with partners that share our passion for paper and print.

    It is not a fool’s game to hold on to the craftsmanship required by paper and print in this era of digitisation. What people view as obsolete or as obstacles, we view as an invitation to innovation. As communicators, it is our collective belief that paper and print will always have its place in the hearts of people.

    The print medium connects with people’s humanity and delights in ways that digital platforms can’t. By working with different paper stocks and printing techniques, we made every month a unique sensory experience – both visual and tactile – for the users.

    What we saw was this: The demand for quality print materials is real and very tangible. Requests for the calendars poured in and we ran out of calendars shortly after its release.

    Through our design and messaging, this calendar is our invitation to all the recipients to take a chance on paper, be open to evolving their craft, and relook the way they approach some things life.

    Find out more about our Ace Your Day Calendar.

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  • Get More Out of Your Next Annual Report
    August 30, 2018

    Your annual report is more than a report. It is an opportunity you get once every year to communicate with your current stakeholders and build relationships with new ones. While it can be tedious to compile, it is an incredibly important source of information for people looking to understand your organisation better.
    How your audiences engage with your content determines their impression of your brand in significant ways.

    Make your annual report work harder

    It is important that your annual report presents the mandatory facts in an accurate and concise manner. But as a key piece of communication, it should paint a coherent and compelling story about your brand. An annual report done well can do many things for your brand:

    Share not only your vision, but your heart. Get your readers invested in the work you do. Inspire them with your mission and the values at the core of everything you do and invite them to join your cause.

    Exhibit leadership and introduce who you serve. Provide insight into the state of your sector or industry and the people that benefits from your work. Talk about the challenges or opportunities that you face and what you are doing to address them.

    Demonstrate accountability. Build trust in your organisational practices by disclosing your financials. Cue stakeholders about of the priorities of the people they are entrusting their money to and show that you are interested in ensuring every dollar is put to good use.

    Celebrate achievements and acknowledge intangible rewards. It’s not always about the numbers. Success can be building a great culture where your team’s emotional well-being is taken care of and everyone is motivated to keep moving forward.

    The best way to do all the above in a holistic way is to do it through beautiful stories.

    Put it together with storytelling

    There are many ways that visuals and creative writing can come together in synergy to tell a holistic story about your brand.

    Tell us why your numbers matters. Explaining the meaning behind your metrics helps readers better understand your numbers at a glance. Eg. Our NTUC Income’s annual report 2016 made use of icons such as umbrellas instead of conventional bar charts to illustrate value of their protection plans on rainy days where they are needed most.

    A picture paints a thousand words. Using photos that emphasises the human connection generates an emotional response. Eg. The Temasek Foundation Care’s annual report 2016, had their different pilot projects to life by using full-paged photos that captured the essence of the range of work they do.

    Make a point with the tactile experience. Be creative with the materials and print techniques available. Eg. The Salvation Army’s annual report 2017, featured a crumpled cover, designed to look worn out with a story of a beneficiary to illustrate their mission to reach out to every crushed, dejected and marginalised individual.

    The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating captivating stories.
    How are you being bold with your next annual reports?

    Check out some of our past publication design, and have a chat with us to see how we can come alongside you to move your communications forward.

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  • Brand Yourself and Make 38x ROI
    August 21, 2018
    “If you calculate the price of everything in this world, you will miss out on the real important things.”
    — PM Lee Hsien Loong

    PM Lee’s National Day Rally speech on Sunday began with a sincere “thank you”. He acknowledged those who helped the world perceive Singapore as “capable of providing the necessary infrastructure and security for the (Trump/Kim) summit”.

    Compare this to the last time PM Lee addressed the summit in the media — he had to publicly justify the $20 million price tag of hosting the blockbuster affair. It’s been two months since the Trump/Kim summit swept our country by storm, but perhaps its overwhelming success is only now coming into picture.

    Media intelligence firm Meltwater estimates that Singapore had gained $767 million in advertising exposure from the historic event. A staggering 38x ROI, in other words. Numbers aside, perhaps the “real important things” PM Lee alluded to were more intangible, but no less significant.

    A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

    The peace summit saw the negotiation of a rare win-win-win outcome. While both Trump and Kim rehabilitated their political image, host country Singapore may have emerged as the biggest victor by scoring a massive publicity coup. Successfully branding herself as a pit stop for diplomatic dealings, Singapore is now slated to host the ASEAN-US Summit and the 13th East Asia Summit in November.

    In many ways, branding is akin to making peace. It takes time and effort to build trust, assert your identity and arrive at a consensus with customers about your brand.

    At YO, our approach to branding involves:
    1) Resolving what’s at odds with your brand vision
    2) Demonstrating market leadership through your brand story
    3) Building relationships that lead to mutually beneficial outcomes for your brand and your customers

    Ultimately, branding should not be viewed as a cost, but as an evergreen tree that keeps bearing fruit by shaping perceptions, influencing behaviours and impacting bottom lines.

    If you believe in your brand, look beyond the dollars and cents, because missing out on the golden opportunity to invest in the value of your brand is a far greater price to pay.

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  • Unbroken: Rising to the Challenge
    September 27, 2017

    Finally, our long artistic journey with homegrown logistics firm YCH has culminated in the fruition of our book Unbroken: Rising to the Challenge.
    Yellow Octopus was commissioned to design a commemorative book for the launch of YCH’s S$200 million flagship headquarters and a living supply chain distribution park, Supply Chain City, in the upcoming Jurong Innovation District in Jurong West. The idea was that this book would tell the story of YCH, of how it developed from a small family business to become the logistics giant it is today. It was a big job, but the man behind YCH’s success is even bigger, with big dreams and admirable guts to venture into the unknown, creating impressive waves in his industry.

    Indeed, when we first met YCH’s group’s executive chairman Dr Robert Yap, we were blown by his tenacity, vision and innovative spirit. Here was a local boy, who took over his family’s passenger transport business in crisis and turned it into a logistics giant, far outstripping the imagination and aspirations of the small family business. He left a deep impression on us – a dynamic man forever bubbling with ideas, ideas that were often ahead of his time. Above all, his treating his workers as his family, never abandoning them even in the face of hard times, was admirable. In fact, his love for his community extended to his love for his country and in coming up with the concept of Supply Chain City, Dr Yap, was thinking very much of revolutionising the logistics landscape in Singapore and putting Singapore on the regional and world map of logistics.

    Dr Robert Yap’s brainchild, Supply Chain City, was borne out of crisis, when YCH was served an eviction notice, to make way for a new MRT line. Forced to move, Dr Yap boldly decided to transform Singapore’s logistics landscape by building Supply Chain City, a physical set-up designed to encourage social interaction, innovation and business networking through the logistics ecosystem he designed and termed LEARN.

    As we learned more of his fortitude and YCH’s story, we became convinced that this is a story that needs to be told, so that hopefully more would be inspired and take up the challenge to make changes that impact the larger community and nation positively. Nowhere is this more urgent than today’s context, where many in Singapore are prone to cynicism, negativity and quick “keyboard warriorism”.

    We at Yellow Octopus are proud to have been part of this momentous occasion. Supply Chain City is an impressive building with state-of-the-art technology to build something bigger and better for the Asian market. The book Unbroken: Rising to the Challenge documents YCH’s journey from its humble beginnings to the powerhouse that it is now. We are inspired and moved by Dr Yap’s never-say-die attitude and spirit of bold innovation, and hope that our book can bring YCH’s story to life, inspiring more local businesses to forge forward and thrive in unchartered waters. To YCH, our client, the book’s title “Unbroken: Rising to the Challenge” cannot be more apt to describe YCH’s vision of connecting people with roads, followed by integrating cities to form a logistics superhighway. For us at YO, “Unbroken” is the only right choice, because of YCH’s unwavering spirit in the face of challenge after challenge.

    Dr Robert Yap, we salute you, and send you our well wishes that SCC go from strength to strength, always flying the Singapore flag high! Majulah Singapura!

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  • Visit to Babies of Boracay (B.o.B)
    April 13, 2016

    As part of #bYOracay2016, Yellow Octopus visited Babies of Boracay (B.o.B), a non-profit day care centre in the village of Tambisaan, Boracay Island. With the help of co-founder Olive Bauman, YO got to spend some quality time with the children of B.o.B – holding storytelling, games and arts & craft.

    Our short but very sweet time at Babies of Boracay left each of us with precious memories and life lessons. Even in the days after, we found ourselves reflecting on and sharing our personal experiences. Together, we learnt that great things can be achieved with vision, determination, and lots of heart. That it doesn’t matter how old or young you are to start making a difference in the world. And above all, how it important it is to love deeply, dream bravely, and live for something much bigger than ourselves.

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  • Kevin 4 Y.O.U. 4 EVER
    October 16, 2015

    Birthdays at Yellow Octopus are always highlights throughout the year, and none more so than our esteemed leader Kevin’s 44th birthday (Kevin 4 Y.O.U. 4 EVER). Seeing how most Singaporeans including himself were actively following the 2015 General Elections that were taking place, we decided to throw him a GE-themed celebration for a Party like no other.

    The creative team took the opportunity to unleash our campaigning skills on #Kampaign2015 – producing our own version of party posters, flyers and even social media material. What we could never have guessed was the enthusiastic response these garnered on Facebook on the day itself, with lighthearted confusions over Kevin’s actual participation in GE2015 and questions about whether this was a YO marketing tactic. Of course, this generated many interesting conversations with our friends and clients.

    Although we never intended to do more than give Kevin 4 Y.O.U. 4 EVER birthday party of a lifetime, the sheer success of #Kampaign2015 reminded us that all successful campaigns truly do start from the heart. As we enter our 19th year as an agency, Kevin’s closing speech round up our thoughts for the future perfectly:

    “I want to be a voice, your voice, for the underdogs and champion you the people, through better branding, identity and communication that will give us a better society and give all of you a better life. Let us fight for you. Vote for me, vote for Yellow Octopus.”

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  • Exclusive Project 10-20-30 by Antalis
    September 18, 2015

    Earlier this year, Yellow Octopus was invited to feature in an exclusive project 10-20-30 by Antalis, to foster dynamic relationships between senior creative professionals and emerging young talents in the field.

    As the chief creative brain at Yellow Octopus for the past 18 years, Kevin was one of the 10 masters from the SEA region who had to select two out of 20 young guns aged 30 and below. He chose designers Shu and Sarah, who then had their profiles and portfolios showcased through the 10-20-30 platform – a beautiful publication printed on the best of Antalis papers, no less.

    The Singapore leg of the project culminated in a design panel on the evening of 9 September 2015, with our Yellow Octopus Master and his 2 Young Guns taking the stage to candidly share about their work, philosophies and stories from their creative journeys.

    At the end of it all, the exclusive project 10-20-30 by Antalis experience served as a meaningful reminder of the importance of faith, attitude and teamwork in the process of good design. The Yellow Octopus story would not have been possible without mutual faith in each other and resilient attitudes to press on despite setbacks.

    But most importantly, we are deeply thankful for the support of Antalis and the greater creative community in laying the foundations and constantly improving the way we communicate through our work – breathing new life into our ideas time and time again.

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  • Salvation Army 2015 Annual Report “While It Is Day”
    July 16, 2015

    Designing The Salvation Army 2015 Annual Report “While It Is Day” marks the fifth year Yellow Octopus has partnered with the humanitarian organisation to share the depth and breadth of their work with their stakeholders.

    Coming alongside them has always been a meaningful experience that takes us to the fringes of society and reveals the social needs so often invisible to our community. The opportunity to bring these stories of hope and humanity to light is but a small contribution in contrast to The Salvation Army‘s unceasing dedication to serve and love the less fortunate.

    The Salvation Army 2015 Annual Report “While It Is Day” was inspired by the Christian faith to convey the urgency and purpose of their cause – to feed the hungry, protect the helpless and comfort the hurting while it is day.

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  • A Milestone of Great Change
    March 14, 2015

    The news of Mr Lee Kuan Yew passing on in the early hours of 23rd March 2015 began a national reflection for Singapore.

    Beyond moving tributes left by a multitude of mourners, people and local media alike observed how his departure galvinised and united our little island on a whole new level, especially as acts of kindness poured forth from the queuing grounds during his lying in state at Parliament House. For all Singaporeans and everyone who experienced the legacy of Mr Lee firsthand, our lives will not be the same again. Yet, we have a hope and bright future as we forge ahead with the exemplary spirit of our founding father. From all of us at Yellow Octopus, RIP LKY. May we never forget all that you have done for Singapore.

    We are its Sons & Daughters.

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  • Volume 17
    August 11, 2014

    Music took center stage in Yellow Octopus for two very different creative journeys this year – Illumi Nation, a massive glow-in-the-dark paint EDM rave at Siloso Beach, and Synergy in Music 2014, an elegant classical concert steeped in heritage, featuring some of Russia’s best string virtuosos.

    Design has always been a sensorial experience, but knowing that our visuals were going to anchor sonic landscapes inspired us further. We pushed familiar boundaries to create our own psychedelic EDM Goddess for Illumi Nation, and drew from the other spectrum of art to bring classical music to life with soft watercolour hues for Synergy in Music 2014.

    And wow… Being there at the actual events and watching the musicians make century old tunes soar with their mastery, and DJs morph digital beats into anthems sung by crowds of thousands… It was surreal! The passion for their craft was not only palpable in every note, but also in every perfectly timed silence. To have our work featured alongside their sheer amount of talent is a privilege we’ll humbly remember for life.

    Through watching the diverse performances, we were reminded again that like music, all of design is a conscious act to connect, provoke, inspire. It’s easy to get lost in a familiar beat or to get caught up in the practice towards perfection.

    But it’s the little nuances in volume and tone, the honesty that comes with sharing a story, the gratitude towards those who still listen, that are critical to either making our message a life-changing experience, or reducing it to white noise.

    Find out more about the 2 events: Illumi Nation & Synergy in Music

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  • Double joy for Yellow Octopus
    April 14, 2014

    Yellow Octopus was thrilled to be awarded two wins at the 2014 HOW International Design Awards.

    After an exciting year of “Attempting the Impossible”, our work for Antalis Singapore’s The Paperweight Awards and APB Singapore’s Brew a Better Future have both won merits, in the “Identity” and “3D Objects” categories respectively.

    Find out more about each project:
    The Paperweight Awards &
    Brewing a Better Future

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  • Yellow Octopus wins for the year
    December 2, 2013

    Our branding work for Watercraft Engineering received a Merit at the HOW International Design Awards 2013, and our NTUC Membership “In Our Family, Everyone Counts” campaign won a Bronze Summit Marketing Effectiveness Awards.

    Yellow Octopus has also won two Bronzes at the Design for Asia Awards 2013 for the “Perfection in Imperfection/Imperfection in Perfection” recipe book and “The End is Near/A New Beginning is Here” calendar.

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  • Our Super Swee 16
    November 29, 2013

    In celebration of Yellow Octopus’s Our Super Swee 16 anniversary and new office at Midview City, we threw a big bash for our friends, families, clients and alumni on the 18th of October.

    Read more about what happened that night on our Facebook

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  • Avery Dennison Designer Showcase
    April 22, 2013

    Yellow Octopus was chosen for the Avery Dennison Designer Showcase in April 2013, amidst a range of international agencies featured every month.

    View our showcase at Avery Dennison

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  • HOW Design’s International Design Showcase
    January 31, 2013

    Yellow Octopus was featured in HOW Design’s International Design Showcase alongside four other International design firms.

    Check out our interview at How Design

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  • Stand up for our Mothers and Elderly
    August 30, 2012

    Through an informal group of friends, Yellow Octopus participated in the “Stand Up for Our Singapore” movement, a ground-up initiative started by people who care for the nation. Yellow Octopus contributed to the event, held on National Day 2012, by setting campaign direction and designing the poster-sized flyers, badges, as well as t-shirts worn by the volunteers.

    Flyers were given out to the general public and used to educate those approached by volunteers. As the campaign aimed to generate an awareness to stand up for our mothers and elderly, badges were given to these two groups of people to wear.

    Check out the Stand Up for Our Singapore links and videos here:
    #1: StandUpForSG Facebook
    #2: Stand Up for Singapore Info (Vimeo)
    #3: Stand Up For Our Singapore (Vimeo)
    #4: What happened at Stand Up For Our Singapore 2012 (Vimeo)

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  • Yellow Octopus gets a Red Dot
    July 26, 2012

    Yellow Octopus “The End is Near, A New Beginning is Here” calendar has been selected by a panel of 15 top-class jury members to be awarded as a Red Dot Design Award Winner in the Communication Design Category 2012.

    It’s double celebration with an earlier win at the HOW Promotion Design Award for Outstanding Achievement!

    Thank you for cheering us on with your continued support and collaboration. There will be greater things for us all in the days ahead. How sure are we? Very. Simply because – believing is seeing.

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  • HOW Design International Awards in Boston
    July 26, 2012

    Yellow Octopus is proud to announce a double win at the 2012 HOW Design International Awards.

    Chosen from 1,000 entries in 15 categories, 220 winning design projects from the competition were featured in the March 2012 issue of HOW Magazine. These represent the creative best of the design industry and were selected by renowned professionals Steve Gordon Jr. (independent creative at RDQLUS), Ann Willoughby (president and creative director of Willoughby Design), and Dale Doyle, creative director at Landor. These three judges selected the merit winners, outstanding achievement winners (requiring a perfect score from all of the judges), and one best of show winning design, which is selected from among the Outstanding Achievement winners.

    How did we do?

    We received the Best of Show for Perfection in Imperfection / Imperfection in Perfection. Born out of chef Janice Wong’s sensory experiment, HOW judges have called it “quite possibly, the most gorgeous cookbook in the world” and “a tour de force”, appealing to the professional chef, the aspiring home cook, the poet and the visual artist.” See the article here.

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  • Seeing with new eyes
    July 26, 2012

    This June, our Yellow Octopus team closed up shop, packed our bags and took to the skies. We wanted to experience the underwater beauty that was awaiting us in Manado. With a spirit of adventure, we went with open hearts and minds.

    Most of the team had never been diving, so we took part in the discovery pool and dive session. When the time came for us to head out to sea, the weather was perfect, waters were calm and we were anxious – anticipation arose for those of us first-time divers. But all that was quickly replaced by awe and curiosity at the new world we found ourselves immersed in.

    This trip exposed the team to situations in which we might never have ventured into when left to our own devices. We had an amazing experience and can’t wait for the next adventure. Bring it on!

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  •  

    YO turns 21, in 21 words.

     

    October marks YO’s 21st year of championing dreams, chasing ideals and celebrating design that makes a difference.

    Since our humble inception in 1997, YO has always been a safe space for creatives to explore their potential and grow as a person, professional and practitioner.

    Our coming of age began a personal reflection of the YO ethos, and all that it entails.

    In 21 words, this is what YO21 means to us.

    —–MARK PLUNKETT (DIGITAL DESIGNER)

    Rollercoaster

    We will go up, down, upside down, flip 360 degrees and reach the end destination. We start slow, move extremely fast in the middle and end it perfectly.

    Daredevil

    We dare to be different and push boundaries, going the extra mile. We are not afraid to go against the ideas of clients and try unique possibilities.

    Gearwork

    We work as one, in unity and teamwork, to ensure everything moves exactly how we want it to, at the pace we want it to go. Together, we move in harmony and perfection.

    —–

    ALAN TAI (ART DIRECTOR)

    Storyteller

    We tell stories not just about ourselves. When others resonate with our stories, the stories become theirs too. Stories create a common ground for understanding and empathy that grows connection.

    Authentic

    We operate from a space of authenticity and believe every YO member is doing their best to be authentic. It takes courage to be authentic to others and oneself.

    Scared

    We are human. We are happy when jobs come in and scared when sales fall short. It takes experiencing the negative emotions and figuring them out to see the light at the end. This adds to our experiences and enriches our stories.

    —–

    SHAWN HENG (GRAPHIC DESIGNER)

    Youth

    We are a young team. 21 years is STILL young.

    Yolk

    The essential part. The inner core. Everybody is instrumental. Without a strong core, our structure would not be strong.

    Yourself

    YO is the place where you can, and are encouraged to, be yourself.

    —–

    JANICE POH (GRAPHIC DESIGNER)

    #foreverhungry

    We are #foreverhungry… for food, for projects and for any challenges!

    Surprise

    We love surprising our clients and ourselves with amazing works each year!

    Dimensional

    We are multi-dimensional, not just in creative skillsets but also in solving creative problems and managing clients. As a team, we have developed quality of character and it translates in whatever work we produce.

    —–

    LEE KAY YING (GRAPHIC DESIGNER)

    Balance

    Work-life balance. People may think that most creatives have no life, working day and night for our clients. At YO, we have more life than work. YO supports and values time spent out of work with families, friends and even alone. This culture makes me feel like YO is my second family.

    Birthdays

    We come up with unique and creative celebrations for the big day. Each birthday is themed and celebrated in the most enjoyable way. Be it creating an aural birthday card via a podcast, or going rock-climbing as a team, we love trying something different for the first time.

    Foodie

    Did you know that octopuses are blue-blooded? We are true-blue foodies who are very particular and conscious about what we eat. We love snacking both in and out of the office, with an eye for interesting yet exotic food. There is no lack of quirky-flavoured potato chips and teas in our pantry.

    —–

    TAN KAI JUN (ART DIRECTOR)

    Culture

    We have a great culture and environment for creatives to grow, as we celebrate everyone’s creative potential, aspirations and success.

    Tightly-knit

    We can always count on our teamwork. Even if one fails to do his/her rubbish duty, others will volunteer and help out.

    Ecosystem

    This is a word we live and breathe, always keeping it in mind during our briefs and brainstorming. Holistic design is in our blood.

    —–

    YEO XIN MIN (CREATIVE WRITER)

    Genuine

    YO is like one big creative family (including our clients). We don’t put out work for the sake of putting out work. We don’t take short cuts in coming up with the best solutions we think will work.

    Attuned

    We are always listening to the needs and goals of our clients, and always making informed decisions.

    Fun

    YO is a fun and safe space for us to explore our voice and creative expression. We learn from one another, pushing ourselves to do even better.

    —–

    How would you describe YO? Let us know by leaving a review or visitor post on our Facebook page!

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