BOWYER

We caught up with Hwayoung Lee and Sang Joon, designers at BOWYER, who started out by establishing their own studio straight out of uni! See what they have to say about what they think builds a great team and things they look for in a portfolio.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

We studied graphic design at Seoul National University where we first met. After graduation Hwayoung entered the graduate school of the same university, and Sang Joon went to Goldsmiths, University of London to earn a master degree. He worked as a designer as well as a non-designer here and there after returning. In 2014, both established and ran a design studio, ‘plat’ with the other two colleagues, then it became our first jobs.

What do you look for in a great portfolio?

We think, working as many as possible is good whether commercial work or self-initiated design. However, it is impossible to do all of kinds of projects, because there is a physical and mental limit as to what we can do. The same thing happens with Portfolios. It is not good to merely list all works, and that make the people who see the list tired and confuse them. Making a portfolio is like a sort of musical arrangement. It is important to cherry-pick and rearrange some works from the list. Such a portfolio can shows thoughts and values of the creators. As far as we’re concerned, a great portfolio has a clear identity.

Design work by BOWYER The Design Kids interviews BOWYER work-2

What do you look for in a great client?

We hope there may be something more rewarding—big money, but in our experience that is extremely rare. We wish to meet a client like a competent collaborator who can manage a schedule well and clearly set up each role for a project. Sometimes he/she can give us an ingenious idea that we would not have thought of with much acumen.

Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them?

We love a person who clarifies an issue and a work process. We have experienced working with a person who set a workflow and provides necessary advice with a big picture. The result of that kind of co-work is always good, and it would be on the top of our works list. The person mostly do not unnecessary meddling and not waffle on the issue.

Design work by BOWYER The Design Kids interviews BOWYER work-4
Design work by BOWYER The Design Kids interviews BOWYER work-4

Making a portfolio is like a sort of musical arrangement. It is important to cherry-pick and rearrange some work

What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?

We would like to advise that it would be great to do a lot of traveling, not just surfing internet. It is better to travel alone and to take a long time and far away as much as possible. Traveling makes a story. Also storytelling is an useful communication skill and like a inspiration storage.

Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

The two cards are concatenated with each other. We have a plan to do several self-oriented projects such as a exhibition, making a product, publishing a book, etc. It could make not only a great portfolio but also a driving force behind working as a designer for life.

We think that design is survival. We are sick of working passively and mechanically without any thought. That is not the way to survive long.

Design work by BOWYER The Design Kids interviews BOWYER work-6
Design work by BOWYER The Design Kids interviews BOWYER work-6

Where to find BOWYER online.

Website: bowyer.kr

Instagram: bowyer_kr

Get involved