Launched in 2019, ‘Don’t Mind If I Ask’ is an independent inquiry on the wellbeing of Singapore’s communications design industry organised from the ground-up for-and-by the community by industry volunteers. Through the creation and propagation of an extensive industry survey, 506 responses were captured from employers, employees, freelancers, students and fresh graduates of our local community, industry & profession. The data was consolidated, analysed and released back to the public with the hope of encouraging all industry stakeholders to better understand, value and progress the local creative industry that each stakeholder works with & within.
With the goal of combatting subjective hearsay that plagues our local industry, and to encourage members of our professional community to form their own opinions through objective evidence-based research, the Don’t Mind If I Ask industry report features opinion pieces from industry practitioners, illustrations by local artists and designers, and contains over 200 pages of quantitative & qualitative data, insights and sharings from the communications design community, for the community.
Looking At Data Insights Through Honest, Progressive Lenses
Sifting through more than 500 responses, over 300 questions, was no easy feat for the DMI & OE team, and processing all that information on volunteered time, no less. Even with the overwhelming amount of data coming in from the industry, we deemed it important and necessary to maintain an objective posture throughout the publication, even when encountering any negative insights or realities within the industry. In doing so, we present readers with balanced views, equipping them to come to their own conclusions and empowered to take any steps that they feel are necessary in response to the insights to advance our industry, community & profession in positive, meaningful, impactful ways.
Taking this project on pro bono, OuterEdit is proud to have contributed our time, and effort, resources, knowledge and expertise to such a meaningful, impactful and positive initiative. Over the course of 12 months, entrusted with the translation of the raw data, insights and industry sharings into an easy to digest, physical print publication & delightful graphic design experience for the masses. We also led with the creative strategy, art direction, design direction, data design and print management of the final report publication.
Design As A Medium, Not The End Goal
In the design of each section, the team needed to study the findings and format them in ways that accurately portrayed the insights, were easy to understand, a pleasure to read, and accessible to a myriad of audiences within & beyond the local design sector. Overcoming the challenges brought on by the pandemic, we worked hard to complete the design, and subsequently oversee the production of the publication with Allegro Print, all on volunteered time.
Designing For The Change We Want To See
The approach to this project’s publication design was to ensure we effectively communicated the breadth, depth, richness and diversity of the survey findings and sentiments of the industry, while remaining objective, balanced and honest in the way the insights were presented. Every page was painstakingly designed with no gaslight biases or judgements, even when the insights were harsher than we’d like them to be. Using infographics to present how the insights framed our industry today, we adopted a design language that pointed forward, creating an anticipation & excitement for progress and empowerment in the defining of our collective future.
Industry Insights At Your Fingertips
In support of this independent initiative, RJ Paper kindly sponsored the deadstock paper used in producing the many copies of the DMI report. Adopting the deadstock paper led to unexpected results, and added a special layer of significance to this industry initiative - collaboration with progressive partners in our community, and the minimisation of waste.
Working together with Allegro Print, the physical book features an exposed thread sewn binding, pages using 2 Pantone inks + Black, and 4 different silkscreen cover options to choose from.
Don’t Mind If I Ask is Singapore’s inaugural report for the local communications design industry, community & profession. 500 copies were produced and are currently being distributed to buyers, collaborators, industry leaders and policy makers in & out of the graphic design industry.
Opinion Pieces By
Azelia Ng, Allegro Print
Danielle Ng, Making Meaning
He Ruiming, The Woke Salaryman
Izyanti Asa'ari, Fellow
Jason Tan, Milton Tan Foundation
Melissa Tai, Public Culture
Stephanie Phua, Duo Studio
Steve Lawler, The Unusual Network
Vanessa Ban, Studio Vanessa Ban
Xiangyun Lim, The Whitebook