Cynthia Tran Vo is a multidisciplinary designer who currently works as a freelancer in the comfort of her home studio in Vancouver, Canada, and has been using Briefbox for over a year to strengthen her incredible skills in branding, illustration, murals and interactive design.
We love Cynthia's approach to the second project in our Brand and Identity Brief Set, which challenged designers to create a welcoming visual identity for Cove, a new youth hostel and safe space opening up in the heart of London that works with teenagers and young adults who are either homeless or in between housing.
Here's a selection of some of our favourite elements of her submission:
Not only did Cynthia create a completely custom logo type that effectively connects with an adolescent demographic, but her beautiful illustrations invite the most vunlnerable young adults in society into the fold, utilising a carefully-considered and muted colour palette to ensure that the brand didn't come across as too childish or immature.
We caught up with Cynthia to find out more about how she uses Briefbox to strengthen her skills and develop her portfolio to capture the attention of clients and agencies alike, all the while keeping an upper-hand over her competition:
Congratulations on winning the Applied Arts Award for the Young Blood Entire Design Program this year! Can you tell us a little more about why you chose to feature this Briefbox project as your entry and how it felt to win?
From a design perspective, I felt like this project was a great way to challenge myself with thinking about empathy and tone of voice. I wanted to showcase how I approached the brief and designed a brand narrative to fit the situation. This was my first award that I've won post-graduation, by myself, with no studio attached to my name. It was very reassuring to see my name among a list of design studios that I look up to. I now have this cute acrylic award sitting in my living room, hopefully the first of many!
Are you able to tell us more about the latest project you're working on?
In the summer I like to take a step back from the screen and spend some time on community projects, especially murals. It's my dose of doing something good for the community and bringing some liveliness, so I'm currently wrapping up some final mural projects for the year.
What are your plans for the future? Is freelancing still the dream, or is there any other particular direction you want to take?
I still feel like I'm fresh out of design school and am still exploring what the world of design has to offer. For now, I'm enjoying freelancing independently and with multiple studios because of the flexibility and scope of work I do. In the future, once I've gotten a better idea of what areas of design I love the most, I'd love to settle down in a design studio.
As someone who has a really diverse portfolio of multiple ‘live’ client projects, what made you want to complete some of our industry brief sets alongside a full-time career as a graphic designer?
Now that I've graduated I've become a stronger designer, but in the real working world I don't always get that luxury of time. Doing these briefs at my own pace was a way to keep myself on my toes and go through everything I learnt in design school and enjoy the creative process.
What skills have Briefbox’s courses and brief sets helped you improve?
Becoming a well-rounded thinker. I've found that a lot of briefs I've done on Briefbox are unique topics that I would have never though of. They always leave me wondering what are some useful things I can design that go beyond the usual business cards and flyers. Each brief also comes with it's own set of challenges and values that I had to be aware of.
Has Briefbox or your responses to any of our brief sets ever directly helped you win paid client projects?
Yes! Since using Briefbox and using the projects as portfolio pieces on my website to showcase the potential I have, a lot of studios have reached out to me feeling more confident that I can bring more than technical skills to the table.
What advice would you give to somebody who is on the fence about signing up to Briefbox?
Briefbox is an opportunity to challenge yourself and develop your skills, and it's a great way to do so at your own pace.
Want to see more work from Cynthia? Then check out a few more of her killer projects using her maker links provided below:
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