If you’re getting sick of the companies hopping on the SG50 bandwagon but still want to appear somewhat patriotic, we have the perfect solution – the Brand Guide: Singapore Edition published by local design studio Foreign Policy Design Group. A $200,000 labour of love that took a year to produce, the guide gives you an in-depth look into 17 local brands such as the Unlisted Collection, The Lo & Behold Group and Plain Vanilla. It’s chockfull of photographs, insightful interviews and personal profiles of the different brands.
We’ve picked out five brands and quotes that caught our eye.
Unlisted Collection (Hotels)
“That’s really what I like about old buildings. The character you can find in older buildings, the sense of history, the sense of building.” Founder Loh Lik Peng on why he puts all his hotels in downtrodden places
Goodstuph (Digital Media)
“Sometimes, there’s a tendency to go into a meeting, look at the client and instantly label him/her as ‘stupid’. That already kills the potential of a marriage.” CEO Pat Law on how she chooses her clients.
The Loco Group (Food)
“We started something because we love something and we created something that we love.” Co-founder Ajay Parag on why he decided to sell tacos.
Nylon Coffee Roasters (Drink)
“Customers have become friends. This is something we feel that would make the business more meaningful. It’s the human relationship that’s most valuable right now.” Co-founder Jia Min on how to sustain a business.
Supermama (Design-centric products)
“There is no way for anyone to define a local language. It’s like rojak – messy but nice. What I have done is create a very good canvas, much like the prawn paste in rojak.” Founder Edwin Low on his thought process when creating a product.
Unfortunately, I feel that it’s criminal how the book has completely excluded the local godfathers of design, Phunk Studio and sneaker designer SBTG. After all, the creative director of the Foreign Policy Design Group and the brainchild behind this coffee table book Arthur Chin mentioned that he wanted to pay homage to local brands past and present who have contributed to the design renaissance. But the group is looking to release a second edition, so here’s hoping for a coffee table book for the patriots celebrating the 51st birthday of Singapore next year.