Young Guns 17: Au Chon Hin & Si Nga Ian

By Brett McKenzie on Nov 04, 2019

Shining a light on the amazing class of Young Guns 17

What happens when you take a jury of 60+ respected creatives, more than 500 entries from all over the globe, and mix them all together for two months of serious consideration, debate and decision-making? Eventually you get the winners of Young Guns 17! This year, The One Club for Creativity is honoring a creatively diverse class of 28 winners, including animators, designers, photographers, illustrators, film directors and editors, all of whom came out of this process as true champions of their craft.

Ahead of the Young Guns 17 Ceremony + Party taking place on November 20, we are featuring the various superstars who will be taking the stage that evening.

Au Chon Hin & Si Nga Ian (Cathy)
CD & Graphic Designer







Congratulations on being the only team in this year's Young Guns class! How did you first become acquainted with Young Guns?

Hin: I first heard about Young Guns about five years ago, when I was graduating from school. Since then, we've followed Young Guns closely, along with the ADC Annual Awards and The One Show, all now under The One Club for Creativity. We know that Young Guns is an influential and innovative global competition.

Cathy: Macao is famous for its gambling industry, but there are many people in this city making significant cultural and creative contributions to the cultural and creative industries in local. We saw Young Guns as an opportunity to let the world know that there is good design coming out of Macao.

This isn't your first time entering...

Hin: Yes, this is actually our third attempt. The first time, we failed to make it to the finalist list. The second time, we were named to the finalist list, and now here we are!

Cathy: For us, Young Guns is like a test. Each year, we submitted what we felt was our best work at the time. The past three years of entering Young Guns has made us realize that we had, and still have, space to improve. Young Guns forced us to constantly elevate our thinking, logic, creativity, and techniques, strengthening our work with each passing year. It‘s so thrilling to finally make it, but I think this is just the beginning. More challenges await us in the future.

Which of the projects that you entered is your personal favorite and why?

Hin: I'd say that Macao Classic Brand is our favorite project. Its main purpose was to promote and select some unique Macao brands through with more than 40 years of history. In a rapidly changing Macao, rising rents have made it impossible for many old companies to operate. This project plays a key role in promoting and assisting these classic brands to better operate in the modern competitive business environment. At the same time, we hope this can make more tourists pay attention to things other than gambling and entertainment.

Cathy: In the design, we referenced Macao advertising from the 50s and 60s, hoping to have the design build a link between the past and the present. The vintage advertising artwork has been transformed into a modern design arrangement, with old and modern elements. 

What was it like to discover that you won YG17?

Hin: When we received the email, it was so unbelievable that we had to read it again and again! The feeling was beyond incredible!

How would you describe your creative style?

Hin: I think that our style is rich in color and imagery. If you have ever seen Macao, you would see that the architecture mixes Chinese, Western and South European cultures in a very colorful way. I think that we are unconsciously influenced by the atmosphere of the city. We like this multi-color collocation of the city and adopt the rich color style in our design.

Cathy: A lot of our design work is for the many festivals that you find in Macao, and thus our work tends to take on a bright, festive sensation.

What is your favorite tool when it comes to making what you do, something you’d feel naked without? 

Hin: I would be helpless without my mobile phone, constantly taking photos of things that catch my eye. Whenever I am stuck for inspiration, I simply look through the photos that I have taken.

Cathy: I need to have paper and pencil around me at all times to draft out ideas. In the early stages of a project, I record every idea that randomly pops into my mind onto paper. It helps me to eliminate ideas that will go nowhere, clearing a path for the direction I ultimately choose..

What do you do when you hit a creative wall, when you are stuck for ideas and solutions?

Hin: When I can't think of any ideas, I like to chat with the clients, getting to know their own thoughts better. A designer needs to understand clients‘ needs and ideas to better solve problems, and chatting with clients is a method to know them more.

Either that. or going to the cinema to watch a movie!

Cathy: I like to go for a stroll. When I walk, there are a lot of amazing ideas popping up in my mind.

Who are some of the biggest influences on your work and career? 

Hin: Chao Sio Leong and Hong Chong Ip of MO Design, are our influential mentors. I was working in their design office when I was in high school. At that time, I didn’t know much about the design profession, but I learned the value of design from them.

I am also influenced by some of the award shows out there, especially ADC and the Tokyo Type Directors Club. They make me realize that there are tons of amazing artists and designers in the world, and they provide me with international inspiration, which is important as a designer. 

Cathy: Hin and I also influence each other at the same time. Whenever we discuss design it'slike a small academic debate!

Now that you’re in the Young Guns family, are there any past winners that you look up to and admire?

Hin: Without a doubt, the Young Guns winner that we admire most is Jessica Walsh (YG8). Every time we see her work, we are so, so impressed. She always explores new ways of creativity, and her ideas are always amazing. She is creating a design trend that changes the way designers and clients think. Like the important artists in history, they overthrow the former and propose bold ideas to push forward the cultural progress of the contemporary society.

Name a creative dream that you have yet to fulfill.

Cathy: New York is the most modern and creative city in the world. We hope that our Young Guns win will help introduce us to the New York market, and provide us an opportunity to expand internationally.

Any final thoughts for the Young Guns community?

Hin: We feel thankful to everyone who has taught us along every stage of our design road — every client, every supporter, and every challenge. In the future, We hope that we can use our strength to contribute to society.


"Fresh and fun. Those are the two words that immediately came to mind when I was reviewing their work. It was the sorbet that followed a heavy textured meal. A palette cleanser that I welcomed because every piece was rich. I clearly enjoyed the work of this duo. It was nice to see them execute their branding work across varying size surfaces and spaces. They were thoughtful in the executions, paying attention to each detail and creating memorable experiences. Can I get the HUSH installation please!"

Dian Holton
Art Director

The Young Guns 17 Ceremony & Party takes place on Thursday, November 20 in New York City. 




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