Friday, February 28, 2014

Isobar

My name is Amelie Au and I'm currently a rising senior Graphic Design major with a Book Arts
Concentration. This summer, I interned at a creative agency called Isobar in Hong Kong. I found this internship opportunity through contacting MICA alum Ruth Tsang, who was working at Isobar at the time. I corresponded with her through e-mail for a while, and she was extremely nice to give me a helping hand. Earlier this spring semester, I had already contacted several design studios in Hong Kong, but none of them had responded. Ruth gave me information about a few more and she asked her creative director, Munhoe Tung, as well about any interest in hiring an intern. I then sent Munhoe my resume and cover letter, and linked him to my online portfolios. The day I arrived at Hong Kong, I met with Dominic Tang in the afternoon, and after discussing with their HR representative, I finally began interning at the start of June. I was lucky enough that they hired me even though they knew I was only going to be there for a little over a month. And I think I'm even luckier that my connection with Ruth (as well as the passing of the recent minimum wage act) prompted the company to offer me a stipend.

Isobar is a modern communications agency network with branches in many countries around the world. The [Hong Kong] office was first established in 1994, and has built a formidable reputation
with some of the world’s leading brands — Emirates, P&G, Kellogg’s, Carlsberg, Moet Hennessy Diageo, Pernod Ricard and The Peninsula Hotels.

Munhoe is the creative director but Dominic was my direct supervisor. Dominic is the Digital Art Director. He acts as a sort of assistant to Munhoe, leads brainstorming sessions, and like the other creatives on the team, is responsible for receiving projects from clients.

Isobar HK has been working with Rosewood Hotels and Resorts on creating an entirely new online
presence, one that reflects a more contemporary image but still captures Rosewood's philosophy. A
few of the feature pages are designed with a responsive and sleek-looking parallax, and I was very
impressed by the aesthetic. Throughout my short time with Isobar HK, I mainly worked on re-drawing resort/bedroom floor plans to be displayed on the website, as well as other minor editing and mockups related to Rosewood. In between floor plans I also worked on a brief project for the Peninsula HK (designing one of the banners on their website) and Sino Group Hotels (creating mock-ups that included new additions to their current website).

I think I'm most proud of everything: from securing the internship to actually getting work done and getting paid. I feel very accomplished, especially since I was very unsure of my success with the language barrier and with my inexperience with Hong Kong's work life and design industry. I was gladto have been able to help the creative team lessen some of their workload. It really made me feel less insecure about my chances of finding a job after graduating.

Isobar was the first creative agency I have interned at. From the experience, I'd say that I really like working with a creative team in a fun and casual environment. As an intern, I didn't experience so much creative freedom, but I can see how great it would be to work on a novel and amazing design for a good client. My fear is that some projects that are too driven by the client may be monotonous and dry, but I think we all have to face boring work some time. It's just important to keep your passion and youth alive, and not to let your working life stifle you too much. Even in my short time there, I felt that it was easy to get stuck very quick — at least for me personally. I definitely am excited to experience working in the US design industry to see how it compares and differs to my brief experience working in Hong Kong.

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