Highlighting the creative superstars that make up the class of Young Guns 18
2020 has been one rollercoaster of a year, but fortunately, the spirit of creativity can't be dampened. Want proof? Check out the winners of Young Guns 18!
Beginning with our largest and most diverse jury in history, acclaimed creatives from across the globe spent three months reviewing hundreds of submissions from insanely talented young professionals seeking validation for all of their hard work. After narrowing down the field to 83 top-notch finalists, the jury engaged in virtual discussion and debate, deciding who will win one of the most career-impacting honors in our industry.
In the end, we are honored to present the 31 incredible winners of Young Guns 18, a diverse collection of artists, filmmakers, animators, designers, illustrators, and others, all of them representing some of the very best that their fields have to offer.
We invite you to learn about all 31 Young Guns 18 winners in this series of interviews.
TWOMUCH STUDIO (BENJAMIN CHAN & MALONE CHEN)
LONDON, ENGLAND & VANCOUVER, CANADA
When did Young Guns first pop up on your radar?
We first heard about it when one of our friends, Alva Skog (YG17), won the award last year. After that it has been in the back of our heads and after seeing the call for entry, and receiving some encouragement from some friends, we decided to enter ourselves.
Congrats on the big Young Guns W your first time through! What made you guys decide to enter?
We are still a new studio so we are always looking for places that we can present and share our work to a wider audience.
Young Guns is as much an exercise in self-curation as it is in sheer creative talent. After all, you are only allowed to submit six projects. How did you go about deciding which pieces to submit and which to leave out?
Including personal projects and commercial work was a big deal to us. We believe personal work is an opportunity to express who we are and what our vision is as a studio. From our experience, leading with a strong portfolio with this kind of work has helped us get more of the commercial jobs which we enjoy the most.
What went through your mind when you discovered that you won, knowing how difficult it is to make it into Young Guns?
I remember Malone sent me a message with a head exploding emoji, telling me to check our email. It was a real ‘oh shit’ moment, we were super happy.
If you had to pick one of the six projects that you entered as your favorite, which one would it be and why?
It’s a hard choice but we’d probably have to say Boookland, our online collaborative story writing platform that we created with Harry Boyd. There were so many elements of the project that were good fun to work on, from the design aspects to the collaborative elements. It was so satisfying when it finally went live and to see so many people contributing text and illustrations to the story.
If you had to describe your creative style, the part of your work that’s most distinctively “you”, what would it be?
We like to think that we have quite a simple and playful style, which runs throughout all that we do, from design to animation to websites. Everything we make has to have a good flow to it– a feeling, it’s kind of hard to describe!
Who are some of the biggest influences on your work and career, people who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?
One of our biggest influences was probably our tutor from Uni, Jake Dow-Smith. He really opened our eyes to the world of digital and the possibilities that it holds. He helped us develop a digital mindset and a way of thinking that spans across our work.
It goes without saying that 2020 has been a pretty crazy year, with a global pandemic and social upheaval shaping so many facets of our lives. Aside from the positive news of winning Young Guns, how has this year been for you?
Being in the digital industry has put us in a fortunate position during these uncertain times. We’ve been busy continuing to build and grow our studio from our living rooms, while also trying to adjust to the eight hour time difference as Malone recently moved from London back to Vancouver. So far so good though!
Name a creative/professional dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction!
Our dream is to keep the interesting briefs and collaborations rolling in.
Any last words about winning Young Guns 18 that you'd like to share?
We're super happy to be become a member of the Young Guns family!
WORDS FROM THE JURY
"Twomuch has many interesting ideas on digital interaction, especially on the "nextimage.xyz" project, which reimagines the future of website navigation. I would love to see how they integrate their ideas on a physical level in the future."
Artist/Creative & Artistic Director
XCEPT / XCEED
Young Guns 11 Winner
"Eclectic, chaotic, challenging, sometimes ugly, but always thoughtfully engineered. This studio is pushing new boundaries, poking, prodding, and experimenting with the boundaries between graphic design and technology. The jury reviewed and debated their diverse portfolio, with ideas firmly rooted in contemporary culture to seamlessly built variable type systems. Perhaps not commercial, but relentlessly creative and highly awarded in other global awards programmes, this is a duo and studio to watch."
Brand Design Lead
Young Guns 9 Winner
"Twomuch Studio showed stunning projects based on fresh digital ideas. They feature interesting experiments with user experience design. Like Book.Land — very interactive and yet beautiful in its simplicity. Universal Sans is an absolute top-notch creative idea and a fantastically neat execution. While we were judging YG18, this typeface constructor was awarded a Black Pencil at this year’s D&AD, so it wasn't only us who were taking notice!"
Twomuch Studio is very upbeat and brave, showing pure creativity and great web programming thinking, a variety of skills in digital design and interactive storytelling."
"Twomuch Studio represents a new generation of digital creatives, the ones that push boundaries and experiment across different disciplines. Their unique design approach fueled by the internet is generating new platform systems and open source projects that aim to evolve a new sense of community. They play around with tools we all know and take them to another level."
Directors + Photographers
Young Guns 16 Winners
"The level of talent, craft and type sensibility is superb, and in many ways surpasses many more experienced designers. The execution is top-notch and the transcendence from traditional type design to using technology to manifest the usage is exceptional."
Foreign Policy Design Group
Make sure to check out all the Young Guns 18 Winners in the archive!