12 Questions: Meet Mon Paningbatan (Philippines)

In our 12 Questions blog series, we feature interviews with someone from the crowdSPRING community. For these interviews, we pick people who add value to our community – in the blog, in the forums, in the projects. Plainly – activities that make crowdSPRING a better community. Be professional, treat others with respect, help us build something very special, and we’ll take notice.

We’re very proud to feature Mon Paningbatan (crowdSPRING username: LoopDloop) today. Mon lives and works in Manila, Philippines.

1. Please tell us about yourself.
I’m a self-confessed typhophile and iconography aficionado who’s been in the design business for more than 15 years.  Surrounded by books and consuming extensive amount of coffee, I continuously conflict my thoughts as a creative exercise and objectively review the process afterwards.

My past stints among a few include: Illustrator for Children’s books, art director for a magazine, and design consultant at Intellectual Property Philippines. Until I decided to set-up my own shop and bite the creative freedom all designers deserve.

2. How did you become interested in design?
There is just something about symbols and typefaces that I consider very interesting. They communicate and identify differently for every individual and if you observe closely, strong symbols unify thoughts of its audience. It may also lead or repress a person’s perception. In this manner, creating a design is comparable to being a leader. You could get to shape minds and have your own Eiffel tower to show off. Narcissistic isn’t it? It is something you can control and reward you at the same time.

3. Interesting crowdSPRING story.
In 2009 I joined a logo project for urban athletics which I fortunately won. It came as a surprise since there where around a hundred plus entries for the project. I was so excited on the possibilities on how the logo would work for the client. After a week, I get to see pictures of the logo all over the clients’ boutique. As I was strolling at the mall with my wife and son, I suddenly saw the logo in all its glory in the boutique façade. It was really funny because neither I nor the client knew each of our nationalities and we end up working together in the end.

4. Who/what are some of the biggest influences on your design work?
Paul Rand, Ogilvy, Bruce Mau,  Philippine National artist Fernando Amorsolo, Im Henson, Aldous Huxley, and the perspective of my 3-year old son Gabriel Ray. Not necessarily in order.

5. How do you come up with ideas for concepts after you read a buyer’s creative brief?
First, I create a mood board. Then create a web of descriptions that suits the target audience. I then contemplate on what emotions does the design need to convey to meet the goal of the client. Coffee…I then research the client’s competition. This creates a new objective from my end on how could I make the client outstand from the competition. I then sketch ideas, wireframes and specify bullets to strengthen the functionality of the idea. Coffee…Apply it to the computer.

Finally, ask myself “ If I own the business will I want this design solution to reflect my service/product?” If not. I restart all over.

6. Mac or PC?
I work presently on both platforms and enjoy them all the same. In my opinion, at this day and age, the difference between the two becomes slimmer .

Adapting to  the industry standard, I use the Adobe Creative Suite and Pantone Matching Systems to keep it tight. I also use a pen tablet in case a project may require some illustrations or retouching, an old school lightbox, and my good ol’ drafting table which takes a lot of space in the studio.

7. What is your dream design project?
Does it need to be design oriented? I’d like to spearhead a global marketing campaign against child labor in third world countries and provide long-term solutions which are geographically oriented.

8. How do you promote your work?
I primarily use my site www.loopdloopdesigns.com as a point of reference for clients. I also send a monthly newsletter to sustain brand awareness and inform the clients on the developments happening in the studio.

9. Please describe your typical work day.
I’m an early riser. I check my emails at 5 in the morning. Review my schedule over a cup of coffee.

I’d then review on-going competitions on crowdSPRING and schedule “when” to pitch on a project.

I then try to keep away from the computer to create eagerness after conceptualizing so I read and find ways to get inspired. That takes up my morning.

After lunch do designs…until 11 in the evening. During a project wrap-up. I see to it that I check my email every 3 hours. This is just to make sure that if ever the client needs something from me, I could provide in a short span of time. After a wrap-up is when I usually get to sleep more and contemplate.

10. You seem to be experienced in many types of design – which is your favorite?

I love doing corporate identity systems for it acts as the visual core for every business. It has endless possibilities when you capture it perfectly. It transcends media wise.

11. If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?
I would still probably be doing creative stuff. A writer perhaps, since I took communication Arts in College.

12. What do you do with your free time?
Me and my family usually go out to malls and just hang out. I also read and try to learn more about business and finance. Kudos to the crowdSPRING team for providing tips and insights for small business. Please continue to do so.
I play classical guitar and try to write poetry, for personal consumption.


Maraming salamat, Mon!