Shawn Goh Chin Siang

Good in Packaging Design.

Shawn Goh Chin Siang

About Shawn Goh Chin Siang

Shawn Goh Chin Siang, the founder of Shawn Goh Graphic Design Lab. is a talented designer in Malaysia. Under his wise and innovative leadership, the company had won a number of prestigious international prizes in graphic design. Hence, he is motivated to strive harder to impress the world with his products.

  • Winner of 5 A' Design Awards.
  • Good in Packaging Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Packaging
  • Graphic
Malaysian Festive Packaging Collection Packaging Box

Malaysian Festive Packaging Collection Packaging Box

Packaging Design

Scarlet Jade  Festive Gift Set

Scarlet Jade Festive Gift Set

Packaging Design

Water Funs Corporate Identity

Water Funs Corporate Identity

Graphic Design

Wavee Packaging Identity

Wavee Packaging Identity

Packaging Design

The Taste of Heritage Instant Coffee

The Taste of Heritage Instant Coffee

Packaging Design


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Interview with Shawn Goh Chin Siang

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I grew up in an environment surrounded by art. In 2008, I participated in a national drawing competition during my secondary school days, and I was nominated as one of the winners among 100 participants. In 2009, I started to pursue education in design, and I decided to become an outstanding designer, because this has been my childhood dream. I am sure I will be successful.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
At the age of 22, when my lecturer discovered my talent, the lecturer asked if I have plan to become an entrepreneur. Back then, I wasn’t sure because I felt that I didn’t have enough working experience. Therefore, I became a full-time designer, spending two years to improve myself further. Subsequently, I started my own company, dubbed “5s8 studio”. 5s8 is an anchor to the designer dream of mine since 2009. 5s8 is a studio with creativity, imagination and vision.
What is "design" for you?
To me, designing is not just about touch, listen, feel, wear, eat and drink. Design, can change an era, it can even redefine a culture.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
I like to design food packaging, because this is exactly the first interaction with consumers. They can see it, they can touch it, they can feel it. It is really fun to make consumers understand a brand through arts and visuals.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
My very first design was a packaging design for a production department. It was my first client, and they were introduced to me by my father.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
When I start a research, I will sketch my ideas out, making sure that I will never forget a tiny detail.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
From illustration, details of every character, to the measuring of packaging, every part is equally important. That’s because any minor error could result in huge damages, and we might lose our reputation and credibility.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
I always feel very energetic when I’m designing something, because this is my profession, and I am passionate about it.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
Everytime when I finish a designing job, I feel very excited and satisfied.
What makes a design successful?
It’s about how far you understand it, as well as which perspective you are thinking from. That, to me, is the most important element to establish a foothold in this market.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
It is a designer’s job to change the social perception on designers. Of course, we, as designers, should also make our cities more beautiful.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
I think from now on, we should start to develop the design profession, by combining both local culture and skills, leading the corporates and brands to move towards the future.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
I have yet to have the opportunity to hold my own art exhibition, but my immediate target is to exhibit my artworks in Taiwan, Korea, New York and Tokyo. I want people to understand my design philosophy.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I think we should make our life simple. I want to have more time to improve myself and do research. I want to learn about other cultures. The more I see, the more I learn, and the more inspiration I get.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
I would like to think that the main characteristics of my design style is the combination of illustration and my own drawing style. This allows me to present an idea in many different ways, be it futuristic, cute or personality, which are related to our life, and that’s how I remain relevant in the market.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I was born and raised in Malaysia, a country where we have three major races with diversified cultural heritage. So, you will see different colors, tones and mood in my artworks. However, each culture has its own prohibitation which could forbid how far I can go.
How do you work with companies?
It’s all about character and personality. While there will be obstacles in any partnership journey, a person’s character will define everything, because designing skills can be developed at a later stage.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
I will set up a meeting with my clients. I will communicate with them, understand their needs. I will minimize the error, and I will give them suggestions. More importantly, I will explain to them the importance of design.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
In the packaging design processs, I will understand the brief, identify the problem, research, sketches for packaging, scan, tracing, fine-out paper quality, mock-up, before the clients give the greenlight for final printing.
Can you describe a day in your life?
Breakfast at 9am, then go to my studio, work until 3pm. Have a dessert, while I’m browsing the latest news on designing via behance. Then, I will continue to work until 6pm, go home to have dinner with family. Contine to work again between 11pm and 12am. When I am in the mood and have inspiration, I can even work until 4am. I also like to hang out with friends in cafe.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
Believe in yourself, pursue your dream. Life is never a smooth journey, no route is without any obstacle, all we have to do is overcome the hurdles, and success is not too far away.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
I think the elements behind a good design are culture, essence, idea, philosophy, history and function, coupled with your own talent and passion. That, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of design.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
A drawing pad, mobile phone, Macbook, and more importantly, your brain with undisturbed thoughts.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
I will spend a lot of time to observe other top-class design works, to study the designers’ thoughts behind the artworks. Then, when I am back to my studio, I will “rearrange” what I have observed, then combine them with my own idea.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
From the moment a client comes out with a design concept, I will try to finish my work within 7-15 days, because time is money.
What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
Your rate is expensive! Why are other designers offering cheaper rates? Can this design really make money for us?
What was your most important job experience?
There was once when I was communicating with a client, who is not very familiar with designing field, but was rather stubborn. With my experience and communication skills over the years, I managed to establish a good relationship with the client, who eventually gained more knowledge on designing.
Who are some of your clients?
Mika Premium Gift Shop Sdn Bhd, Historia Heritage Resources, etc.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
I like simple design, futuristic design, and designer toys’ design works, because they make me learn humbly from all these designers.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
I hope to get clients from different countries. Hopefully, clients from every part of the world will adopt my design one day.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
Most of the time, I am a lone ranger. I prefer to have an undisturbed space, so that I can complete my task independently. At the moment, I feel that I don’t need another designer in my studio. But in the long run, I still hope to expand my team. For that, I will continue to look out for new designers to join my team.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
Currently, I am doing a job for Johor Tourism, and also a native product shop in my hometown. Once these works are completed, I will exhibit them on the competition, so that more people can appreciate my works.

Designer of the Day Interview with Shawn Goh Chin Siang

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
I have been in this industry as a designer for about 4 years and am currently focusing on branding and packaging design. I worked for a design agency for two years, before I made the decision to run my own graphic design company.
How did you become a designer?
Growing up as a kid, I was very much influenced by my family members who work in the arts industry. I started to draw at a very young age and I never got tired of it. Such deep interest in arts led me to choosing graphic design as my major at college. After entering into the arts college, I started doing some projects as a freelancer. The sense of satisfaction that I felt when seeing the result of my work was so intense that I finally decided to pursue my career as a graphic designer.
What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
For me, the core idea behind a design is vital- it is all about creating values so I often integrate cultural and sentimental elements into my design. I am also a big fan of hand drawring so I usually start designing by sketching. I prefer to present my ideas via illustration, which happens to be my biggest strength because I believe illustration makes a design more sophisticated and timeless.
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
I feel content whenever I design. For me the whole designing process is enjoyable, especially when my thoughts and ideas are fully reflected in the design. It is like immersing my mind and body in the design itself. The most exciting part is definitely when seeing your final result in the market- I could not forget how I felt when I first saw my design in the public. Being a designer fulfils me as a person and gives me great sense of happiness. Of course sometimes the stress hits me along the way but I believe being a designer is my calling and I appreciate every moment that makes me grow as a person and a designer.
What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
Other than my design skills, I would say my creativity and interpersonal skill shaped me into who I am today. I am a problem solver so I tend to think out of the box and look into new alternatives when something does not work out. I find communication with people is of utmost importance because it is a process of idea exchange to achieve mutual understanding. My clients influence me the most on this, because through them I have learned how to communicate better and how to express myself better so design journey is all about self-discovery I guess?
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
I used to work for a design company before starting my own design business. For the past two years, I focused on expanding my network and publicity by gaining international recognition through several design competition. Right now I am focusing on branding and packaging design but in the future, I would like to expand my company scale and involve in product design. Although design industry back in my home country Malaysia is still developing and the resources or technology for product design might be limited, I am positive about it and looking forward to the future development.
What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
Having a mere interest in arts and being a designer are two different things. Stepping into the design industry, I have often found myself in all kinds of difficult situation, sometimes it is not even related to design itself. When facing such difficulties, always remember to persevere and take baby steps to overcome the obstacles. Do love your job, do things that make you happy and most importantly, be grateful in whataver you have, and do your best no matter how big or small the task is.
You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
Being a designer, I too learn along the way and one thing that I have realized is to keep our identity as a designer. Sometimes being a designer is not easy as what we have in mind is different from what our clients want. Instead of blindly accommodating to our clients’ need, it is more important to communicate and maintain a balanced relationship with the clients. One should always have pride in him/herself as a designer. While it is important to stay open and accept other’s opinion, it is as equally important to stay true to ourselves and keep our identity.
What is your day to day look like?
My day definitely starts with good breakfast! (laugh) As a habit, I will go for any sources that would allow me to connect to the latest news on design field- SNS, design magazine, design competition channels, youtube et cetera- the so called “morning brain storming”. Whenever I come across some good ideas/design, or whenever I came up with good, creative ideas, I will immediately draw or jot them down on my personal sketch book which serves as my “idea bank”. In the afternoon, I will occasionally visit a cafe to have a cup of coffee or watch a movie to refresh my focus. Life itself is arts, ideas come from everywhere so the most important thing is to stay positive, stay open and let the ideas flow through you! Also, stay happy while working!
How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?
As a designer, it is important to keep up with the latest trend design as arts is evolving, so should we. I often check out various online channels to catch up with the latest design news and trends, and I love attending design exhibitions while taking part in design competitions to gain first hand experiences. Also, I enjoy interacting with my fellow designer friends and colleagues to get inspiration too. While it is important to keep up with the latest design trends, it is also important to integrate personal style into it when making a new design. Following the latest trends blindly lacks creativity and identity so I always remind myself to not to lose my personal style when developing a series or collection.
How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?
I tend to look at three elements -the purpose, objective and function- of a design when evaluating a product. How different designers develop his or her design in order to accommodate to the need of the product is something very interesting to find out. A good design is able to exhibit all three elements while maintaining the designer’s style, and this is also what I have been striving for all through my career pursuit as a designer.
How do you decide if your design is ready?
For me, planning a design is essential. The reason I plan everything ahead is to improve efficiency and avoid time wasting. Before I start making a design, I would plan out every single detail, set a time frame for each stage, and come out with a rough outline so that I know what to expect throughout the whole designing process as well as the final result that I want to achieve. Along the process I do improvise or try to improve the design if a better idea occurs to me, but the main design frame that I have outlined beforehand will still be an important guideline to me. As everything is carefully planned, the final result will often be as good as ready after all executions have been carried out.
What is your biggest design work?
One of my best works that has won me a design award is the Mika Raya festive gift set. I have designed a modern gift box with illustration displaying the Malay cultural elements which also serves as an education material to enhance understanding on the Malay culture in Malaysia. As most of the festive gift set design in the market are identical, it was quite challenging to bring something new to an old existing market. Fortunately, the new packaging was well received by the consumers and it has strengthened my belief on future design direction. One of my current projects is to design the packaging for a new potato chips product brand, which I am very excited about because I am a snack lover! Food packaging has always been my favourite, so I look forward to seeing the final result of this project very much. Wish me luck!
Who is your favourite designer?
Jonathan Ive, the Chief Designer of Apple is definitely the most iconic designer of all times. His “think different” approach has enabled him and his team to accomplish things that nobody else can do. His achievements have inspired me to always think out of the box everytime I make a new design, therefore he is definitely the designer that I admire the most.
Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
Where I came from, Malaysia, is a multicultural country which has influenced my view and personality in so many ways. Growing up in a society where people of different ethnicities live together in harmony, I have learned how to embrace and celebrate those differences with an open heart since a very young age. I believe this kind of environment shaped me into who I am today as a designer, and it is why I appreciate cultural and sentimental elements so much. A place without designers is dead. I believe this world needs more designers to develop and improve the quality of life. Ever since I became a designer, I become more attentive to the environment and pay more attention to tiny little details. I hope that my design can, in a way, improve someone’s life and make this world a better place because I consider myself lucky to have found a job that I love so much.
Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?
I often prefer to work alone and I do not see myself as a person who is easy to work with because I have very high expectation on myself and my work. I am a man of my word and I expect the others to do the same. If I were to hire or work with someone else in the future, I would go for someone who is responsible too. Being a designer means to create and provide new ideas on a frequent basis, so self-improvement is vital. Keep the promise, being responsible, improving one’s self, these are my business philosophy as a designer.
What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
I have taken part in some local charity events as an event designer before. I believe one is obliged to give back to the community so I am glad to do my part as a designer. If given a chance in the future, I would definitely love to involve myself in more events that support young designers.
What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?
Participating to design awards and competitions as a designer help expanding one’s connection, widen one’s perspective regarding design and reinforce one’s identity and direction as a designer. Through such events, we get to see different things and learn more skills from each other too. Design competition is a great platform to test one’s idea and concept in front of experienced jury members. It is the best and fastest way to make someone grow as a designer, especially at a prestigious design competition like A Design Award. Participating in A Design Award has influenced my life in so many way and it has pushed me out of my comfort zone, makes me do things that I have never done before. I am very honoured to be chosen as the designer of the day. I wish to extend my gratitude to jury members for giving me this wonderful chance. I promise to keep striving for excellence and will contribute to this world by making more good designs in the future.

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