huy-nguyen.xyz

huy-nguyen.xyz

huy-nguyen.xyz

huy-nguyen.xyz


My name is Huy Nguyen. And I am a graphic designer living and working on Darug country with a passion for placemaking, community and the arts.

hey@huy-nguyen.xyz
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Selected Projects

Here: After

Exhibition identity

2021

Context
Fairfield City Museum & Gallery reached out to me to design the identity and marketing collaterals for an upcoming exhibition called Here: After

CHALLENGE
The theme of Here: After was about a future different to the kind depicted by sci-fi movies - none of that sterile and dystopian environment we were so accustomed to and conditioned to think it was the only way to be. The future in Here: After was inclusive, nurturing and saturated with colour and possibilities. Therefore, my task was to steer from the tropes of cold harsh machine aesthetic and embrace something softer and kinder.

CONCEPT
Inspired by the imagery of fauna and flora thriving from the ancient ruin of Angkor Wat and the vividly surreal world in the film Annihilation, I started the creative process by searching for a typeface that was both organic and futuristic. I finally found that in MuiMcNeil's FF ThreeSix 31 which is an exquisite modular geometric display type with 8 weights that can be nested in one another.

The result resembled a colony of neon fungi coming alive.

ARRIVAL

Book Design

2021

Context
ARRIVAL is part one of an anthology published by multilingual bookstore Lost in Books, originally published in 2018. When the first edition went out of print, I was tasked to design the second edition.

Concept
ARRIVAL was a collection of writing, poetry, art and photography by South Western Sydney locals about their experiences and musing about Australia as migrants and/or children of migrant. The tone was sometimes serious, sometimes sarcastic and most of the time reflective of being "the other".

As a migrant arriving to Australia in 2007, this project struck a chord in me. Coming from a small town with no English, I remember the struggle of navigating through the Sydney airport guided only by the arrow signs. I was overwhelmed with wonder, confusion, and fear. Would they accept me for who I am? Do I have to change to belong?

These questions still stand over a decade later. I hope one day this society will progress to the level in which it aspires to. So that us migrant can be kinder to ourselves and those who come after us.

Acts of Holding

Promotional Poster

2020

Context
I was asked to design a poster for dance and projection artist Wendy Yu's latest artwork entitled Acts of Holding — a multimedia artwork exhibited at Centre for Projection Art, Melbourne.

Concept
The artwork was based on Anna McDonald's text called Acts of Holding: Dance, Time and Loss, which attempted to draw a parallel between the act of dancing and the act of mourning, both being very time-dependant. The term acts of holding referred to the desire to hold on to something, a memory, either it be of deceased loved one or of the movements in a dance.

My typography treatment was inspired by the fact that it could not be held, everything is temporary and is doomed to fall apart at some stage, hence the appearing and sliding off page typography. The type experimentation also corresponded to the visuals -  a slit scan of a dancer's movements appearing to be desperately clinging onto one another against the force of time.

Ligature Journal

Publication

2020

Context
I interned for Sydney-based independent publication Tiliqua Press and worked with a team of six other interns to design Ligature Journal Issue 9.

Concept
1. Personal Spread
Following a theme of Body and Place, I designed a personal spread featuring writing from Joan Didion and personal photography as an homage to where I was born—a small town in Vietnam's Mekong Delta Region called Tra Vinh.

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image.
Joan Didion

2. Design for Vulnerability
I created imagery and designed the layout for a feature article titled 'Design for Vulnerability'. I started the process with type experimentation. Inspired by the notion of social atomisation, I pulverised the word 'vulnerability' from the headline. Hence, I pose a question—what would happen when the bubble busts, people cast aside and things fall apart?

Issue 9 has been nominated for 2 AGDA awards for Best Publication and Best Cover.

Sound System Residency

Visual Identity

2020

Context
Think+DO Tank Foundation commissioned me to design the visual identity for Sound System Residency, a music program dedicated for emerging culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) musicians funded by the Sydney Opera House.

Challenge
The challenge was to create an identity that is inclusive, community-minded, with an emphasis on imagery and can be easily replicated and translated to other languages.

Concept
To appeal to young creatives, the look and feel needed to be playful yet sophisticated. I began the process with type. I looked into the works of Armin Hofmann and Ahn Sang Soo for inspiration and hence created a custom typeface that resembles musical notes and is ambiguous in origin—kind of like a language from outer space.

I then contrasted the stark type via a series of pulsating, ethereal concentric circles, reminiscent of radio waves, representing music and the humanity that it inspires.

To emphasise the initiative's goal to celebrate CaLD musicians, the layout was designed to accommodate with standard English copy and Arabic, Vietnamese and Chinese translations.

Urban Stories: WFH

Branding, Visual Identity

2020

Context
I worked with Western Sydney arts company CuriousWorks to develop the branding and art direction for their annual artist showcase Urban Stories 2020, themed WFH.

CuriousWorks is a community arts company known for their placemaking projects and community arts programs. Happening annually, Urban Stories is meant to showcase all the work that the artists at CuriousWorks have done throughout the year. Due to COVID-19, everyone had to work from home and find a way to take their site-specific projects off-site and onto the internet.

Challenge
Under lockdown, WFH had become very common and almost all graphic design about WFH depicted some sort of a house/home iconology so I needed to avoid the cliché.

Concept
So I skipped the house and sought out to create a visual identity based on the image of the venetian blind. It was something that became too familiar with everyone working from their bedroom during the lockdown, yet overlooked by designers.

The showcase was all about resilience through tough times so I chose a bold colour palette of black and off-white and sleek typography to juxtapose with the homely venetian blind imagery.

Mirror Mentorship

Branding

2020

Context
MIRROR is a program that connects illustrators and artists from diverse backgrounds with their suitable mentors. Like its name suggests, MIRROR aims to support and collaborate with CaDL creatives to reflect an increasingly diverse and curious reading public. The brief asked for bold and tribal-inspired branding that tells a story of change, disruption, transformation and growth.

Challenge
The initiative is all about supporting  emerging creatives. So it was imperative to create an identity that could showcase their work in the best light. Like a mentor, the branding needed to be strong, reliable and willing to share the spotlight.

Concept
For the logo mark, I took inspiration from Icelandic runes and created a mirrored 'M' that brings forth the iconography of arrows (impact), triangles (transformation) and the infinity mark (endless possibility and capability).

The branding is minimal and sparse in colour, with predominantly white and black to provide a blank canvas for the illustration work and a hint of orange for accent and signify change and energy.

For the website, I envisioned a design that emphasised on the link between mentors and mentees. Using the double-column grid, i created mockup that showed each pair of mentor/mentee and their future collaborations in parallel. The website is currently in the works.

Western Sydney Arts Alliance

Branding

2020

Context
I volunteered to design the branding for Western Sydney Arts Alliance—a coalition of arts and culture organisations coming together to shine a light on the incredible arts and cultural activity in Western Sydney. It is a social media campaign featuring artists and arts worker sharing stories about what makes arts great. Requirement: bold, typographic logo mark that would speak of the uncompromising nature of the arts scene in Western Sydney.

Challenge
This was a challenging task as I did not have a brief or one client but a committee of over 50 members (Campbelltown Arts Centre, Urban Theatre, Blacktown Arts, Parramatta Artist Studios, Arab Theatre Studio, Sweatshops, etc.)

Concept
I had one weekend to design and come up with 3 different options. The chosen logo mark was agreed on unanimously by the committee. The pitch could be viewed here.

The logo concept the committee ended up choosing was the most straight forward one—a logotype that was bold, uncompromising, with a notion of putting the arts at the forefront.

The campaign is being rolled out and stories are being shared. They can be viewed here.

Wester Magazine
Isolated Resistance

Cover Design

2020

Context
Cover concept for the first ever issue of digital publication Wester. The theme was Isolated Resistance—which pertained to the online activism taking place during the earlier days of the lockdown.

Challenge
One common challenge with design about trending issues is that you don't want it to blend in with the rest. It is hard to stand out when everyone is doing the same thing and there are countless people that are doing it.

Concept
With this cover, I wanted to commemorate the fervent effort to raise awareness and combat unjust systems (raised fist imagery) while questioning the authenticity of all information shared online (with the use of noise and distortion).

Aesthetic-wise, I chose this sort of stark, noisy, brutalist take to stand out from myriads of colourful, rainbow-hued or skin-toned design that oversaturated social media at the time.

North Sydney Public Art Masterplan

Publication

2020

Concept
I was commissioned by City People to design a public document for North Sydney City Council called North Sydney Public Art Masterplan.

Challenge
The client wanted a document that is both formal (for council members) yet accessible and engaging (for the public).

Concept
So I set out to create a grid system that accommodates for long headings and dense copy and provides ample of space for the imagery to effortlessly flow across the pages.

Subtle colour changes were used to indicate different sections of the publication and enhance the imagery on the page.

Buzz Sonnet

Exhibition Identity

2020

Context
Buzz Sonnet was an art exhibition that lamented the death of our ecosystems and biodiversity under the impact of the bushfires that took place in NSW late 2019. This was a collaborative project in which I was in charge of design and communications.

Challenge
The challenge was to create imagery that was striking and poignant to evoke emotional response from the audience (social media and by-passers).

Concept
I researched and came up with the concept of a scorched honeycomb. A honeycomb is a bee's home and the loss of it means the loss of a place to live and take shelter from. It means death. It was both real and a metaphor for the disappearing habitats of billion biological lives on this earth. It was also a metaphor for this planet earth being on fire.

The scorched honeycomb warned us of that had been lost, and what continued to be lost if no actions were made.

HYPERBALLAD
A scene from Mt Mitake

Publication, Photography

2020

This is a personal project, inspired by one eventful day in Japan, which begins with a hike up Mt Mitake and ends with a trudge back from 24 Kaikan, 2 Chome.

Bjork's "Hyperballad" is a personal anthem about escaping the mundane by plunging into the extremes. Danger and desires are shown in splotches of warm colours,  sliding in and out of the quiet, peaceful scenes.

This idea of repetition is represented by the circle (Start Recording) on the first page of the zine and the square (Stop Recording) on the last page—which opens into a spread.

Wester'ly

Digital, Web

2020

Context
When lockdown took place in March, school kids were sent home and a lot of them encountered severe problems getting online to study. I was commissioned by CuriousWorks to design and develop a website that appealed with school aged kids and could be use with a small bandwidth and slow internet.

Challenge
Through research, we learned that around 30% of families in our local communities did not have access to steady internet. A majority of them consisted of newly arrived families in which the parents could not speak and comprehend English very well and their kids acted as their translators.

Concept
Wester'y is a website reaching out the school students in the South-Western Sydney region to provide information and assistance with digital equity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I built the site from scratch using Webflow and created colourful sketch-like illustrations in Illustrator and exported them as SVG's to reduce page size (3mb in total).

View the site here.