Functional and creative branding strategies

Yang Di
Siu Tang is creative director and founder of The Orangeblowfish creative agency.
Yang Di
Functional and creative branding strategies
Courtesy of Siu Tang / Ti Gong

Siu Tang

Who is he?

Siu Tang is creative director and founder of The Orangeblowfish creative agency. Born and raised in England, he had a conservative Hong Kong upbringing where his passion for art was not encouraged. As such, after graduating with a business degree, Tang entered the corporate world. Fast forward to 2011, where he followed his calling for art and founded The Orangeblowfish. Since then, he’s never looked back. They partner with startups and Fortune 500 companies from a variety of industries across the globe to produce creative branding strategies, hand-crafted wall art, interior design and more.

Tell us some of your works and name the one you are most proud of. 

One of my proudest projects celebrated its sixth anniversary last month: Liquid Laundry is an American gastro pub/microbrewery. We conceptualized the brand with unique experiences that are tangible and multidimensional. Our signature wall-art piece lies at the entrance. It’s a string art which took a few hundred meters of string material which took two full days to complete. All environmental graphics, artwork and signage are handcrafted for a 100 percent vintage nostalgia.

Are you currently involved with any project? 

As always, we have multiple projects going on, from finishing work on LinkedIn’s new office in Shanghai, to the newest Starbucks Reserve at Metro City. Our most recent project launch — a sound reactive video game for Budweiser to be played in nightclubs. We try to push ourselves to work on as many varied and creative projects as possible.

Describe your design style. 

Our design style is empathetic, we focus our thought process from the perspective of the audience. What would they want from a great design and how can we design something that is not only functional but also engaging and relatable.

Where are you most creative? 

I call it the render time. When your brain is not thinking about a design problem, but you have in-put the brief and any other details that might help solve a problem. I leave it to render in the back of my mind. This allows ideas time to take root and develop without forcing an idea too early. I used to think it was procrastination and that we designers leave things to the last minute. But if you start thinking about a design problem early enough the solution can be given the needed time to arise.

What does your home mean to you?

Home is my family, my wife and my two kids. Without them a home is just a house.

What do you collect?

What don’t I collect? I collect transformers, comics, movies, pop-up books, Lego, Num Noms, just about anything. And I’m a completist too, so once I start, I can’t stop until the collection done!

Where would you like to go most in Shanghai? 

I either want to fly above Shanghai and watch it from a drone’s perspective seeing how the city hums and ticks or below it as I’ve seen some amazing tunnel systems, bomb shelters and parking structures that hide beneath the surface. The city tends to be up and down at the same growth rate, but we only see it daily from street level.

What will be the next big design trend? 

We’ve seen people connect with work spaces through shared experiences and the food and beverage spaces have also helped social connections. I think the next design trend will be more focused on public experiences.

Living in Shanghai for over 10 years I have fallen in love with the city but the parks and public areas lack connection to nature and a sense of community for young adults. As the city grows, I feel the need for public parks and recreation areas will also grow to meet this need.

How will that take shape — through government spending or through property developers — will be interesting. As more malls pop up, I see a large portion of this becoming community spaces to allow people to gather and enjoy the outdoors whilst still being close by to dine and shop.

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