Photography is always my favorite runaway thing to do whenever I wanna stay away from doing motion design - to refresh my mind and find peace in my soul. I've never been trained to become a professional photographer so I took picture of anything I found interested: from people I met (and love), places I travelled to – trying to make simple things look good :)
As a graphic designer, I'm sure to say that there is nothing can make me happier than watching my works - my child come to the real world. Below are some of my works that live out there somewhere.
Food Truck Skin Design | Client: Extreme Thai
Tattoo Design | Client: a friend (:
Restaurant Logo Design | Client: Pho Ha Restaurant
Learn more about this one here: http://www.sonlai.com/graphic-design#/pho-ha-restaurant-logo-1/
Restaurant Logo Design | Client: my nephew [:
Business Logo Design | Client: Qua Que
Gym Logo Design | Client: Rocky Fitness Center
Fashion Store Logo Design | Client: Habohy
Store Logo Design | Client: Ly's
Coffee Shop Logo Design | Client: SG Coffee
Event Logo | Client: Urban Jam
Learn more about this one here: http://www.sonlai.com/work/#/urban-jam-hue-festival/
Restaurant Poster | Client: Hing Loon Restaurant
Restaurant Logo Design | Client: Sasa Fresh
It has been awhile since my last post. I have been busy with school projects and freelance works lately. The good new is I'm graduating this quarter. Soon, there is no more school hurrahhhhh!!! Well, that doesn't mean I would stop learning. I'm gonna learn for the rest of my life. I just love learning and learning again and again.
So recently, I'd received an email from a client asking me to create a 2D motion graphic for her documentary film and she also asked for couple samples of my 2D works. That brought up to one of my kinetic typography video that I created 2 years ago for my motion graphic class. It is the only lyric video I have done so far as well. In fact, the video turned out pretty good. My teacher liked it, my classmate liked it and I hope you would like it too. Enjoy :)
I try to update my blog daily but it's kinda hard to do since I have been busy with many works lately that I feel like I can't even remember how many projects I'm having now. I want to update my recent works as much as possible but most of them are still in process so I still have to post my old works.
The piece below is a poster I created couple years ago for a friend. We were in the same dance crew (I used to be a dancer btw, but I don't think I can't do any move no more haha). The poster is for his dance workshop. I attempted to achieve the look of movie poster with his portrait. He was very pleased with the output.
I recently worked on a shower gel packaging design for Bach Khoa Nature – a beauty care manufacturer in Vietnam. The product brand's name is "Maldala". This is one of their many products that I have been working on so more to come.
It's true that when you had done good works for a client in the first round, they keep coming back for you. It's also good that you are capable handling multi aspects of media. After I worked on revising a TVC video (you guys can find a blog that I posted not long ago regarding the work), the client asked if I could create an invitation card design for their real estate launch events. I took the offer. The good thing is that they keep coming back for me for other projects and somehow, I feel like I have become their full-time media employee.
Basically, the idea is that I took the shape of the real estate project's logo to apply on the overall shape of the invitation card. I preferred to keep it simple but still expensive.
This one came up before the tiffany blue one since I wanted to achieve a high class and luxury look but the client wanted it to evoke the project's characteristics (the building locates next to the sea).
Other concepts (They did not go through the first round tho, haha)
It has been more than five years since the first time I became the media sponsor for URBAN JAM – an annual hip hop competition event in Vietnam. It is my pleasure to look back how far the event has grown and how better my skills have been improved after all.
This is the recap video from Urban Jam 2016 that I had done recently. I didn't get a chance to film the event like I did before since I wasn't in Vietnam when things happened. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of my team (Redfilms) and other video volunteers who provided me such wonderful footages to edit the video.
Back to 2011, when I first filmed and edited recap video for Urban Jam (the 3rd one). I didn't have much experience in videography and editing at that time but after all, the video turned out okay haha.
This is the first poster design I did for UJ – which was the first in the series of UJ posters I had done since then. I was pretty much happy with the design that I had to admit that was my best piece so far back then, but now, I know there is so much room to improve the piece.
Not only the poster, the recap video I did for Urban Jam 4 was my best video at the time also. I miss the good old days that I could spend all day shooting the event. The UJ 4 was the most successful one in the series in my opinion that I had so much fun and memories during the event.
We skipped a year because of financial issue. I created this poster in 2013 but sadly, we couldn't make it that year, but until 2014. I also couldn't do the video that time since I left my country in 2013 to study aboard.
So once again, I came back to Urban Jam. The UJ 2016 became a mini event of Hue Festival (A traditional festival) since we needed financial support and sponsors. That was the reason behind the look of the poster I created. It doesn't look "hip hop" at all but it is what it is. You can find this piece featured on my website as well.
Finally, I wanna say thank to all my homies, my brothers, and sisters who had dedicated so much to the event. I'm looking forward to creating something awesome for the next one.
This is a personal (or school) project that I created for my production class. You can find the project featured under "WORK" section on my website. I would say this is my best piece so far. That was my first attempt to do a motion graphic for a broadcast program. In fact, "Basketball 3 on 3" is not a real broadcast program. I took the idea from a basketball competition event with the same name that I got a chance to work on the event's poster a while back. The 3D render was done in C4D, and it took me more than 120 hours for only rendering. The reason that it took too long rendering since I created different versions for different purposes such as long intro, short intro and transition.
Still images from the video
The first thing I got to say is that the trip to Vegas was super awesome. That was the first time I went out of state after three years living in the U.S. I made a promise to my friends that I would visit them in Vegas when they graduate from school, so I kept my words. Vegas somehow completed the other half of my American dream. Words can't ever be enough to describe my impression of the city. That was a lot of fun and craziness. I wished I could stay there couple more days but all fun came to and end. I'll make it back to Vegas a day not far for sure.
The idea of religion and culture suddenly came to my mind one day that motivated me to create something bonding them together. I thought that probably I could combine two completely different social forces together. Then, I thought of Buddha from the East and street culture from the West, and this is what I came up with...
Another logo design for a friend. He was planning to open a clothing line named "Wonderfunk Wear" focusing on Hip Hop & street fashion so he asked me to make one. Then, I made one :)
My recent work on a TVC for Condotel Panorama Nha Trang. Panorama Nha Trang is a five-star hotel & apartment not yet build located in Nha Trang, Vietnam.
To be clear, the TVC was originally created by TU Time Universal agency and E5 JSC (An architecture visualization firm). Thus, most of the CG render throughout the video were generated by E5 JSC.
According to the project's client, Ha Quang land (a real estate firm), the original video editing and music choice needed to be improved. So my responsibility was to make the video better. Basically, I re-edited the video, added & replaced couple footages, created a short logo motion graphic for the intro part, inserted smooth transition, adjusted voice over, picked differents music and arranged couple sound effects. Then, the clients were pleased with the revised one and that made me happy (:
Learn more about Panorama at: http://panoramanhatrang.vn
This was an unplanned work that happened during my summer vacation in Vietnam back in 2015. The head of the project was a friend and co-worker that I had worked with in couple various project from commercials to music video. Somehow, the guy who took care of visual effects tasks left the project behind then he hit me up. Working during vacation time was not really pleasure but it was what it was. I just couldn't refuse when friends ask for help, haha.
I only worked on the project partially being responsible for the improvement of parts that the client wasn't happy about. Basically, I took care of compositing tasks, which includes green screen replacement, color correction, adding background, lens flare, and creating particles and animation. Picking up what the guy left behind was really a pain in the a*s. I gave up after couple first hours trying to deal with the left behind files then I decided to build everything up again from scratch.
...below is the full viral video
Parts that I was working on...
Letterings and tags always have a big influence on me. I have been fascinated by the art of drawing letters since the very first day of my graphic design path. I have watched, learned, and been inspired from many great lettering artists out there. I've tried as many different styles and techniques to improve the variety of my pieces. Knowing how to do lettering is a big advantage for me since people love lettering. I've done many lettering and tag logos before. There are always much more to learn and do in the days to come and I'm not gonna stop loving doing lettering & tag any soon.
Another design, another story about friendship. I created this logo for a friend who is a well-known tattoo artist in his town. I once asked him to teach me how to tattoo but he refused to be my master. He told me that was an extremely serious job since whenever you put a tattoo on people skin, it must be flawless as the piece of art going through people's lifetime. Painting a tattoo on people's skin does not like giving them a shirt or a pair of shoes that they can just simply change every day or remove for good without any harm. Giving a tattoo is just like giving them a child that goes with them through their time, that they can look at it, love it and appreciate it day by day. I took that as a precious lesson that anything I do, any work I have done, I must be dedicated and responsible for them no matter what.
I recently found a work that I did 3 years ago. I created an illustration of my name as a cover for my portfolio folder in a graphic design class. I started the very first step on the paper, then digitized the base in Adobe Illustration, then finalized the last process in Photoshop.
I used to spend my time drawing cute things before. To be honest, I love to draw anything that comes from my emotion. My drawings pretty much describe my feeling and situation at the time they were being made. They could come from the sadness when I first left my country studying oversea, my desire to be out there exploring the world, whenever I miss the good days of my childhood or the happiness when I got a chance to go back home. This is sad that I'm not drawing as much as before. My emotion these days as a mature man are not as much as before. I've learned to suppress my feeling, to be a tough guy. But, it doesn't have to be this way. I think it's time to learn how to be an emotionally mature man.
It's interesting that most of the designs I have done, I usually created them as commissions for my friends. I made this "NYC Brothers" logo for a friend that I met about three years ago in Seattle. He was a very kind guy and I was homeless when we first met. He allowed me to stay at his place even we didn't know about each other before. There is no word can describe how grateful I was for him! I had not heard from him since he left Seattle for New York until a day, he hit me up asking if I could create a logo for his football club. That's how life is. Things go around and around.
He actually had the logo printed on their jerseys!!! That's awesome!!!!
A while ago, a friend asked me if I want to do a packaging design for her friend. At that time, I hadn't done much design works for packaging yet but I thought "why not give it a try?" So the clients contacted me. He was Thai and his co-worker was Indian. They both came to the University of Washington at the time and they wanted to start up a business focusing on dry fruit snacks that were manufactured in Thailand originally. At the first time we met, he looked so young, just as young as me. I learned that there were many young people, just like me, out there always want to go big. He gave me couple samples with flavors of pineapple, mango, and banana. I would say that the mango was the one that rocked! Then, I knew that they were very potential product, and I had to do the best of mine helping to take them to the food market out there!
So, they asked me to re-design their original package.
And my designs
I'm currently working on a personal project that I want to create 3D typography pieces of people name (in Vietnamese), and they have to carry the look that evokes the meaning of the name as well.
This is the very first one that I had done a while back. The name is "Bảo Ngọc" – Which mean a precious pearl in Vietnamese. The name came to my mind randomly and I thought that I could do something interest with it. So this is what I came up with.