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[INTERVIEW] STAY LOCAL WITH DEER AND DEN DESIGN TEAM

Our latest tumbler collection, the new JNR-series ultra-light one-push tumblers, is a tribute to Singapore’s history and cultures.

A collaboration between Thermos® Singapore and local creative house, Deer and Den Design, the tumblers come with lid stickers designed by three designers – Jimmy Chen, Chermaine Aw Yong, and Loh Yew Cheng.

My Local Design Stickers Series 1 2

The ‘My Local Design’ stickers feature a series of iconic local motifs including the dragon playground and rooster plate. We speak with the creative team to learn more about their design thinking and challenges.

1. What are your design ethos?

Jimmy Chen (JC): I believe in telling a story through design. Imagination is key to limitless ideas. Generating ideas and expressing them through my designs is the goal I set for myself. To be limitless, you must believe. Be fearless.
Chermaine Aw Yong (CAY): Design is a form of expression that can evoke emotions. I aim to “design” this intangible feeling through my work. ‘Designing Good Vibes’, that’s what I call it. The joy of designing comes greatly from seeing my clients and consumers happy. With all great visuals, first comes a great idea. Ideas are what keep me going, and to never be afraid to speak about your idea no matter how silly it may sound. Pen it down, who knows? This little idea could grow into a powerful one. 
Yew Cheng (YC): I will be more than contented if my designs/illustrations can give my audiences a positive impression or influence.

2. What are the inspirations behind your designs for this project?

JC: My idea is to subtly incorporate Thermos® Tumbler into the design. Linking Thermos® products to the consumer with a local flair.
CAY: Nostalgia is the feeling I want to create through my design. The good feelings of yesteryears that remind us, Singaporeans living in this modern metropolis, how far we have come.
YC: As my ideas involve animals/creatures/character making, my immediate direction is to think of various “mascots” of Singapore. Besides the Merlion, some other mascots include Sir Stamford Raffles and even a person drinking kopi from a take-away bag.

3. What was your reaction when you first learnt about the collaboration between Thermos® Singapore and Deer and Den Design?

JC: I felt that this was a good opportunity to showcase Deer and Den Design’s capabilities and I am very thankful for this collaboration.
CAY: I was very excited as my family and I have been using Thermos® products for many years, and to put my design on a product I trust and would recommend to others was definitely a great feeling.

4. Tell us about your brainstorm process for the JNR series customised stickers.

JC: I thought about my life a Singaporean and how I would relate myself with the design theme. 

Jimmy Chen Designs
Jimmy’s final sticker designs

CAY: First, I brainstormed about what most Singaporeans would identify with. With the idea of evoking nostalgic feelings, I designed the Thermos® Ang Ku Kueh and The Rooster Plate.

/Volumes/projects/Thermos Singapore/CONTENT/BLOG/2018/Jun/Interview with Deer and Den Design/Sketches/Chermaine-02.jpg
Chermaine’s rooster plate sketches for her sticker design

Chermaine Aw Yong Designs
Chermaine’s final sticker designs 

YC: The initial idea for A Really Hot Bath! was a frog taking a dip in the hot water, just like the Chinese idiom, 井底之蛙 (frog in a well). However, a frog didn’t really represent Singapore, other than maybe being a green city. Thus, it was replaced with a Merlion.

/Volumes/projects/Thermos Singapore/CONTENT/BLOG/2018/Jun/Interview with Deer and Den Design/Sketches/Yewcheng-01.jpeg
Yew Cheng’s sketches of the Merlion

During my childhood times, we didn’t have much entertainment and it was very much involved around the playgrounds near my estate, which inspired my second design, the Dragon Playground. To make the stickers more interesting, I added some simple elements such as the Chinese chess game’s map, which could often be found on stone tables beside such playgrounds.

Yew Cheng Designs2
Yew Cheng’s final sticker designs

5. What was the biggest challenge when coming up with the designs?

JC: It would be the choice of material and how the stickers would work.
CAY: It was the size of the sticker that was a challenge for me. I had to make sure that the details in my design were still visible when printed. I also had the challenge of fitting the words “THERMOS” into the Ang Ku Kueh.
/Volumes/projects/Thermos Singapore/CONTENT/BLOG/2018/Jun/Interview with Deer and Den Design/Sketches/Chermaine-01.jpg
Chermaine’s initial sketches of her Ang Ku Kueh design

YC: Definitely the space constraint of 3.5cm as details would likely be lost in such a small sticker size.

6. What do you think of the previous local designs such as the Thermos® Peranakan Flowers One-Push Tumbler and the ones by the artists from Pathlight School’s Artist Development Programme?

CA: I am very happy to see that Thermos® Singapore is supporting local artists and promoting local arts & culture. I feel that the Singapore art scene is growing and with support from companies like Thermos® Singapore, we can look forward to preserving Singapore’s culture and nurturing local talents.
YC: They were great designs and made the products aesthetically pleasing! This gave customers additional options to choose from, especially tourists who intended to buy souvenirs with local design elements.

7. Who do you look up to when it comes to design and creativity in general?
JC:
Salvador Dali, Andy Park, Damien Heist and Chuck Close.
CAY: I draw my creativity from everyday life and my surroundings. I observe and incubate ideas in my mind.
YC: My “mentors” are the designers that I chance upon on the internet when I do my research. By seeing other designers’ works, it allows me to understand the trend and learn from them indirectly.

Find out more of the individual sticker design inspirations here.

The series of lid stickers with iconic local motifs designed by the Deer and Den Design team, will be included exclusively with every purchase of a JNR tumbler in Singapore. Find out more here.


Read more: Inspirations behind the Thermos® Singapore Exclusive Local Design Collection 2017

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