Brandmaker Profile features people and their work, on both the creative and the business side of branding, advertising and marketing in Asia.
Name: Christopher Cote
From: Seabeck, Washington USA
Now: Daegu, South Korea
School: University of Washington
Current gig: Professor Daegu Catholic University
First project in your Asia: Percent Craft Brew Pub (2013)
Most recent project: Galmegi Brewing Co. – Beach Break Pilsner
Site you visit most: ffffound.com
Must read book: 1984 – George Orwell
Your obituary, 50 words or less:
“He had a lot of fun and tried not to be an asshole. He also designed stuff.”
Seabeck, Washington-native Christopher Cote has been living and working in South Korea since 2011. Along with creating visual identities for companies in South Korea, Cote is also co-founder and designer of [b]racket magazine, a Korean bilingual publication launched in 2012 aimed at promoting artistic talent on the peninsula.
Cote also co-founded Mesh Printing a firm focused on screen printing where he collaborated on a significant portion of his design and screen printed projects.
Most recently he created an identity package for Gwangan Taphouse, a Busan, South Korea-based subsidiary of Galmegi Brewing Co.
What kind of brief or project do you enjoy working on most?
I enjoy creating logos or visual identities the most. Especially if a smaller company is just setting up, I love being able to help elevate them to, or above their competitors via a strong visual identity project.
What are similarities and differences between branding
and design in Asia and in the west?
I think that newer businesses in Asia have pretty much the same styles of popular branding.
It is in the older shops in smaller neighborhoods where you see some stuff that I think is more absurd (and doesn’t exist in the west). It’s just visual overload placed all over the glass windows and on every square inch of everything the text and images are blasted.
But, I will say that you find some nice design gems from time to time left over from when design had to communicate in one color years ago in those same neighborhoods.
“I think that newer businesses in Asia have pretty much the same styles of popular branding (as the west). It is in the older shops in smaller neighborhoods where you see some stuff that I think is more absurd.”
You can spend a day with anyone in your field.
Who? Where? Why?
He is just a regular dude who wants to “do good design for good people.” And I like that.
He takes himself seriously but not too seriously. That’s important when it comes to design and in life. The man is obsessed with what he calls “junking” – searching for old logos among garage sales and estate sales. So I think I would just hit up a bunch of yard sales and shoot the breeze with him while we dug up old logos that worked then and still work now.
What are three tools you simply cannot work without?
Pencil, paper, computer. Nothing is faster than a pencil and paper. You’ve got to get ideas down and I don’t care how many apps you have a pencil and paper is quicker. I can get a plan down on paper quickly. After I’ve got it down, then I get on my computer.
Obviously computers are incredible. But if I just jump on my computer I’m wasting time moving things around and trying things out aimlessly. So these three I can’t work without, but they have a special order.
What is your current passion outside of work?
Eating ice cream.
Client: Percent Craft Beer Pub
Location: Daegu, South Korea
Brief: “Percent Craft Beer Pub wanted unique takes on these brewers as the posters would be the menu above their taps. This project was notably special to me, as I was helping to create the atmosphere my own neighborhood’s local pub. I collaborated with Jess Hinshaw on the designs.”
Client: Galmegi Brewing Co.
Location: Busan, South Korea
Brief: “Initially, Galmegi contracted my buddy and I to design, brand, and screen print posters for each of their five full-time beers. The posters serve as decor in the brewery as well as gifts to the pubs that serve Galmegi’s beer. As time went we established a strong working relationship that has allowed me to continue to do design work for seasonal beer releases, menus, screen printed growler tags, and digital designs. ”
“Although I love screen printing, it is not always the most practical medium for a client’s needs. Many designs simply need to be printed in color off of a printer, or used digitally to promote a new release of a beer.Here you can see some of the work I’ve done for seasonal beers at Galmegi Brewing Co. as well as posters I’ve screen printed with Jess Hinshaw.”
Client: Gwangan Taphouse/Galmegi Brewing Co.
Location: Busan, South Korea
Brief: “This project was really exciting because I got the chance to make a logo and think about where and how it would be applied to many objects such as coasters and t shirts. The client wanted a logo that was classy and approachable, without being uppity or trendy. To achieve this I used a crisp black and white logo that looks like it might pop off the coaster from under your pint glass.”
You can see more of Christopher’s work on his site: www.maladetz.com | Photos of Christopher by Jess Hinshaw.