Darius Ou – Interview
Darius Ou is a Singapore-based student and graphic designer. He will graduate this month in Visual Communication and Media Design at Singapore Polytechnic. He explains us his Autotypography project and his vision of graphic design. We are pleased to present his work on our Young Creatives section.
Hello Darius Ou, how are you ?
I am doing great! Currently waiting to graduate from my Diploma course.
Can you introduce yourself ? Tell us more about you.
I am a 19 year old student from Singapore, specializing in graphic design and branding. I am taking my Diploma in Visual Communication and Media Design at Singapore Polytechnic and will graduate this May. I went into the school without fully understanding what graphic design was, but now it has grown to be a part of me. I design everyday, self-initiating and freelancing, and occasionally doing video coverage for events and stuff. I also have interest in film and motion graphics.
What do you like about your working, studying and living place ?
Singapore is a very small country, it is easy to get around (which is what I love!), and every part of this island-country feels like home. There aren’t many outlets to study Art and Design, which results in a very compact and cohesive design society here. I am very lucky to have met my mentor, who was my part-time lecturer in school. Singapore is also a very young country with a diverse culture, which gives me lots of opportunities to explore and adventure. There are also a lot of events and exhibitions organised by local studios and galleries, which serve as a platform for students like me to interact with people in the design industry and meet like-minded people. To me, these are great opportunities to make new friends and understand how the scene evolves.
What is your background and approach to graphic design ?
I came from a very traditional family with an elder brother who is excellent in his studies. Naturally, my parents wanted to groom me in a similar way – to become a businessman. However, for as much as I can remember, I was obsessed with doodling and was often scolded by my parents and teachers for “vandalising” my textbooks. Despite that, my parents still strongly support me in what I do. After secondary education, they gave me the freedom to choose my desired course of study. Naturally, I wanted to be in the creative industry and Graphic Design was my sole choice.
My approach to graphic design would be ‘form follows function’. Ultimately, I believe that Design is for the people. Everything else is probably Art to me. However, since the current boundaries of Art and Design are blurred, I guess another good thing would be the ability to adapt.
Can you tell us more about the Autotypography project ?
Autotypography is a long-term project self-initiated on the 16th of June 2012. I create a typographic poster everyday, serving as recounts of my daily life as a designer, using typographic & illustrative methods. This project also serves as a platform for practice in typography and experimental treatments, as well as discipline and commitment to graphic design. When I started this project I was not really sure if I could commit to it, but as time passes by I grew attached to this project and now it has become a daily routine exercise. It has over 300 posters now, and counting. I just finished today’s poster before completing this interview!
What’s your interests in typography ?
Typography to me is an advanced area of expertise by itself and I am especially fascinated by the infinite techniques and styles that it can be executed in.
It is also a very integral part in all forms of graphic design, and is a core skill that really makes me feel excited as a designer. I am particularly interested in exploring contemporary layouts and treatments of typography in my current projects. Autotypography motivates me to keep experimenting.
What inspires and influences you ?
The global design culture inspires me the most. As mentioned earlier, Singapore has a very young culture, hence reading up and looking at the different things happening outside of this island constantly opens up my mind and gives me fresh perspectives. This is what drives me to continue exploring and practicing.
Is there any designer or movement you appreciate a lot ?
I really appreciate the Swiss Movement and particularly Josef Müller-Brockmann, he is very inspiring to me as a designer, and I am sure his works will continue to inspire many others.
What are your plans for the future ?
For every Singaporean son, we undergo a compulsory 2-year national service in the army after tertiary education. It would be my turn in a few months’ time. After which, I wish to further my studies in graphic design, and would hopefully be able to do so overseas.
The last word…
Thank you very much for this opportunity, I am humbled! I will continue to do my best.
Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler – 05.13 /
Pictures are ©Darius Ou.