As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30” – a special feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time.
This week we highlight Christie Widjaja, a Senior Designer at Design Bridge Singapore.
When discussing her start in the industry she stated, “I think this confirmed my love for design, and my interest in the psychology of how people experience things and what emotionally connects with them, which is really what branding is all about.”
Name: Christie Widjaja
Agency: Design Bridge Singapore
Position: Senior Designer
Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia
Current Location: Singapore
Education: Art Institute of Seattle, Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2014 (University, Degree and Graduation Year)
How did you get your first break in the industry?
When I first started out as an intern at Copacino+Fujikado, I worked on a campaign for Seattle Aquarium. It brings me joy to know that it was so successful that they continued to use it for four consecutive years.
I think this confirmed my love for design, and my interest in the psychology of how people experience things and what emotionally connects with them, which is really what branding is all about.
My first big break was when I was hired by Design Bridge, and I’m truly grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and the people and mentors I have met working here.
What is your personal mantra?
Fake it till you make it! This might sound negative, but it’s just a matter of perspective. I believe that persistence is key, and that you should always be willing to learn and take on new challenges. You can figure it out along the way, you just have to know how to be resourceful.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
My parents. My mom has always had a keen eye for design and my dad has been successful in business. I’d like to think that I’ve learned well from both. They certainly encourage me to pursue my passions and to be ambitious. I’ve been taught to always try my absolute best and to dream big.
What do you love about the job?
We are lucky to be working in an industry that lets us use our imagination and creativity every day. I used to get annoyed when people said to me “oh you’re a designer, must be nice to come to work and just draw all day.” Well, that’s not exactly what we do, but I guess we do have one of the most fun jobs!
It’s inspiring to be working in a creative environment like Design Bridge, where people are encouraged to bounce ideas and push the creative boundaries as far as it can go. Every day is a different challenge – I think having a job with a set routine would kill me!
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
The fear and anxiety of not being able to deliver good work at the start of every project!
Design is so subjective, and there’s no wrong or right answer you can look up. But as you gain more experience, and by talking to my fellow designers, I have realized that it can be good to be nervous or feel a little bit anxious about your work, because really it just means that you care a lot about what you are doing.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
It’s difficult to pick just one, I’m happy to say! But if I had to pick my absolute favorite, I’d say the work we did for Guinness Indonesia Limited Edition.
As a global agency, Design Bridge are the brand guardians for Guinness. But our challenge for this particular project was to adapt the global brand identity and bring local relevancy and pride to connect with younger drinkers in Indonesia.
Part of the Design Bridge philosophy is to dig deeper at the start of every project, so what was especially great about this one is that I had the chance to really learn new things about Indonesia’s culture in the process. It made me learn so much that I didn’t know about my own country, and how proud I am to be Indonesian.
We flew to Jakarta, spoke to the locals and collaborated with some of Indonesia’s best artists, including an amazing batik designer. It was such a fun project to work on, but it was also a very successful launch for our clients, and that brought me so much satisfaction.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
An archaeologist. Growing up I was obsessed with Indiana Jones!