Bringing Design to Yangon

On December 2nd creative director Monika Traikov addressed a group of industry professionals, journalists, and fellow creatives at the formal introduction of Yangon Redesigned. 

First impressions are formed in a fraction of a second. With just a glance at your storefront, website or ad, your customer has already formed a perception of your brand. Standing out from the competition, building trust and communicating your service all occur within this brief moment.

It all starts with creative, original, graphic design.

With Myanmar growing and new businesses popping up, the design culture is lagging; brand recognition amongst companies is difficult. By promoting contemporary graphic design Yangon Redesigned is going to change that.

Five designers from NEX are involved in Yangon Redesigned to bring the project to life. With various backgrounds in photography, graphic design, illustration and UI / UX design, each member brings a unique perspective to the project.

“We aim to help people see Yangon in a different light, with the changing times we will be ahead of the graphic design game, by supplying social media users and companies a prospective image of what is possible.” says Creative Director Monika Traikov.

With a growing cult following of 3700+ people on Facebook, Yangon Redesigned will be expanding into poster and sticker sales, wallpaper and icon freebies, workshops, as well as facilitating local design get-togethers.

Previously sponsored events include the World Wide Instameet 12 (the only one of it’s kind in Myanmar), where like-minded creatives met at Kandawgyi Park and discussed tips on photography, illustration and graphic design.

Yangon Redesigned started by rebranding well-known local companies such as “Lucky Seven Tea Shop”, “The Dagon Centre”, “Oishii Sushi” and “Sai’s Tacos”. The rebranding was done in order to illustrate the process of a revising brand identity; as well as to showcase the potential of good design, and how it can bring value to local companies.

“There seems to be a disconnect between the messages that Myanmar brands are aiming to make, and their graphic execution. Graphic design is about supporting the message of a brand, and organising information to send a clear message. A lot of companies in Myanmar do not yet understand the value of effective design.” Traikov says. 

The initiative has been focusing on community projects such as redesigning a map of Yangon, the circle train line, as well as a map of Myanmar. Yangon Redesigned serves as a tool to educate Yangonites about design literacy and the importance of distinguishing between good and bad design.

Where we came from:

NEX is a two and a half year old start-up that has been helping businesses formulate and execute digital strategies locally, as well as internationally. The company is renowned for their reputation of combining strategic thinking and engineering capabilities with digital craftsmanship.

The tech-based company has developed products such as “Snackshots”, a customisable sticker app, “Kyeet”, a powerful election monitoring app, “Foodie”, a Yangon food guide app, and “Nexy keyboard”, an app that makes typing Romanized Burmese a breeze (as well as countless others).

The agency is shifting and expanding their creative department, allowing room for designers to enhance the digital strategy of businesses, and help them grow. 

The Yangon Redesigned project began as an idea, a realisation that Yangon has been lacking good contemporary graphic design. It is a project that NEX’s CEO, Ye Myat Min, always wanted. 

Yangon Redesigned is a part of the grander vision of NEX. Walking around I see what technology, in it’s limited capacity, could do for Yangon and Myanmar. So I want to bring that to life - that’s what Yangon Redesigned is all about.” Min says.  

Yangon Redesigned along with NEX hopes that design and technology will come together and reshape the way Yangon thinks about products, brands, and even the city itself.