1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your company
I am Jimmi Tuan, founder and creative director of Bratus - a branding and strategic design agency based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Bratus is founded in 2011 with an ambition to create creative and intelligent designs. We are an independent agency working with leading local brands and new businesses to clarify their stories. With strategic solutions, we create iconic brand identities, powerful visual assets, and unique lifestyle brands.
2Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
Bratus Agency offers full services of design and strategy with a team of experts in Brand Consultancy, Design, and Strategy. At Bratus, we work in different fields from branding, visual identity, packaging to digital experiences. To maximize the result's efficiency, we combine strategic, conceptual thinking with carefully crafted designs and creative content.
Our approach is driven by the transforming model with the strategic platform and conceptual thinking. We believe that an effective brand is only built upon the platform of a compelling brand story.
3What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
Staying away from boring ideas and loving to hang out with diverse interesting concepts, we always nurture our curiosity to explore and elevate ourselves in different designs, from traditional to modern techniques, from hand-crafted to digital executions.
4To you, what makes a “good” design?
A good design stands for a creative piece with specific purposes and meanings that can balance between beauty and functions. However, the term “good designs” in the client’s mind is very different from our designer’s. That’s why we have to keep our decisiveness and be ready to deal with challenges in any circumstance. Of course, say no with deficiency.
5Tell us about your design process.
In our perspective, a brand can transform to a higher level through researches, insights, and strategies. Creative ideas and design solutions create a big impact, stimulate emotion and connect with people’s minds and hearts.
That’s why we deliver a strategic design process with in-depth research. We partner with our clients and explore their principles: vision, culture, history, heritage, and purpose. These factors help to bring their brand to life with a unique and insightful narrative.
6Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
Vietnam’s culture has passed over 4000 years with a rich history and traditions. Our diverse and beautiful culture may be still mysterious and to most people. That is why we want to use Vietnam’s culture as a huge source of inspiration and creative ingredients for our designs, to introduce the beauty and glory of our traditions to the world.
7Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 MUSE Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
Xuan Khuc project is inspired by Vietnamese folk painting, a time-honored cultural heritage that is now closely lost in modern social development. Our visual language is the renewal of the four famous Hang Trong folk paintings – “To Nu” in the more modern and artistic graphics. Xuan Khuc packaging presents the melodic and poetic feels and amplifies antique characters of Tet holiday with four familiar dried candies. The images of four beautiful traditional ladies with “tứ thân” dress playing music represents not only the happiness of spring but also nature’s vitality.
Introducing this project to Muse Awards, we want to inspire the community and also protect this precious traditional cultural heritage.
8What was the biggest challenge with this project?
“To Nu” folk painting is the popular traditional woodcut paintings that express the beauty of history. Therefore, the biggest challenge we have to deal with is to find out a creative yet minimal approach that can promote the modern and elegant packaging while maintaining the specific familiar “To Nu” impressions. Moreover, this approach has to be accessible to the new generation and appropriate to the modern lifestyle.
9What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
Vietnam is one of the developing countries in South East Asia that rapidly undergoes globalization and cultural changes. As a result, Vietnam has been experiencing swift social mobility, acculturation and the changing of Vietnamese perspectives. These current facts are also a wonderful opportunity for the creative industry to flourish, introduce more diverse innovative ideas or even renew traditional concepts.
10Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
Under the influence of instant technology developments, the industry will have more rooms for creativity to establish more advanced visual language as well as amazing user-experiences.
11Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Nature. We got fueled up by in-studio green spaces and sunlight. These natural elements mean a lot to us and nurture our positive energy and daily inspirations.
12What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
These three following rules show our main manifesto:
• We are curious and always question every problem to look for solutions
• We worry about the creativity quality of each project
• We attempt to better every day.
To us, if you chase a high standard, it will become yours.