Featured Awards Winner

Zoe Hu

April 2018

A big congrats to Zoe Hu, one of our 30 TDK Awards’ winners for 2018. A Monash University graduate from Melbourne, their work was chosen by James & Beth from Warriors Studio: “Solid concepts resolved with strong and effective outputs throughout. Valuable skill set to bring to the studio: solid typography, good conceptual work, good motion graphics and illustration. Professional aesthetic sensibility. Mirror Mirror is a tight project with the full package. The interactivity is well considered and brings it to life. We’re always interested in designers responding to current affairs, so for us this was stand-out”. We asked Zoe to answer a few questions for next years TDK Awards’ hopefuls.

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?

I was five years old and on my first day of school we had to write a story and draw a picture to go with it. It was pretty tragic because I could barely write the alphabet let alone string a sentence together. I would have been completely lost if not for the drawing portion,which I took to naturally, and for better or worse this turned out to be a foreshadowing of my life. I’ve always found it easier to communicate visually rather than through words. I did enjoy most of my subjects in school but I could barely imagine being in a career where I couldn’t be creative every day. I didn’t want to just make pretty pictures either, I wanted to solve problems. So I think choosing design was never really a choice!

Who are your top five design crushes right now globally?

  1. Dia Studio
  2. Anna Ginsburg
  3. Yukai Du
  4. Drew Tyndell
  5. Brutalist Websites

What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?

I knew I wanted to work in a design studio and I also knew that most positions aren’t publicly advertised, so I made a list of all the studios in Melbourne that I would love to work at and emailed them, hoping that at least one would be hiring. Somehow my plan worked, and I freelanced at Design by Pidgeon briefly before landing a job at Clear Design. Like I said, working at a studio was kind of my dream and I’m slightly stunned that I actually achieved it. I’m so thankful that I can do what I love everyday.

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I’ve also found the design community to be quite generous and welcoming, so don’t be afraid to approach people or studios your admire; your efforts might just work.

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Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

I’m working on a website to archive the photos and memories from concerts and festivals I’ve been to. I’m a nerd. I used to scrapbook my tickets and memorabilia until I realised that I didn’t want to lug around an increasing number of scrapbooks for literally the rest of my life. Learning to code has been challenging but so rewarding and I highly encourage anyone interested in it to give it a go.

I’m also collaborating on an upcoming online magazine called Oscen that focuses on uplifting marginalised voices. It creates and curates thought-provoking content that opens conversation and discussion in a time of noise and antagonism. It’s being launched soon so look out for that!

What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?

  1. Backup. Backup. Backup.
  2. Do weird things and take more risks.
  3. It’s never the goddamn end of the world, even when it feels like it.
  4. Done is better than perfect.
  5. Be kind to yourself.

What advice would you give students starting out?

Design is more than just designing things, it’s also about the people. Get involved in events and get to know your teachers—they have so much valuable experience to share that’s not covered in class. I’ve also found the design community to be quite generous and welcoming, so don’t be afraid to approach people or studios your admire; your efforts might just work.

Instagram: @zoehudesign

Website: www.zoehu.co

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