Jerry Goh runs Studio Grain, a brand consultancy focusing on discovering and amplifying the voices of businesses big and small. He thinks deeply about people, processes, and encounters, all of which inform his design approach, which he believes should be honest, timeless and, above all, human.
Before Grain, he founded Underscore Magazine, The U Press, and Hjgher, and organised The U Symposium. He has since garnered multiple local and international awards including D&AD, The One Show, ADC, AIGA and President*s Design Award Singapore.
What led/inspire you to pursue a career in the creative industry
My parents run a silkscreening and t-shirt manufacturing factory, where I spent most my time when young, doing homeworks after school. When they were short-handed, I had to pick up Macromedia Freehand to help with creating and editing their customer’s artworks. I remember printing out hundreds of typefaces and filing them in thick folders for quick reference. Going through typefaces became a thing for me. I didn’t see myself as a ‘creative’ or ‘designer’ per se, I was just really fascinated with type. My father is also incredibly artistic—his calligraphy skill is top-notch and he used to do mural painting in our house for fun. So I’d like to think that I got a bit of that from him.
Who or what inspires you?
Nature. The sense of balance and harmony I strive to achieve in my work, is mostly through my observation on Nature, that nothing is perfect but everything seems to balance each other off.
Who or what motivates you to work hard?
That inexplicable need to solve a problem is what keeps me up at night.
What has been the hardest obstacle you had to overcome?
To put on the hat of a business manager while running a creative practice.
What is the most memorable experience for you as a designer?
As a brand consultant, I do enjoy getting to meet people from all kind of profession, and learning about what they do. One day we’re researching on dementia, and the next day breastfeeding. Clients often come with a problem and I enjoy the problem-solving process alongside them.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I published a magazine that underscores the human values, and a broadsheet on the creative community—both later evolved into a symposium. Still grateful for my team for pulling these off.
What would be the dream gig?
It’d be cool to develop a brand for a large nature reserve/compound e.g. Kew Gardens or Jurassic Park. I imagine myself having fun with the way-finding system.
Do you have any cool plans or projects for 2022?
Quite a few which I can’t share much!
What are your hobbies?
Trekking / hiking / walking in nature. Looking at plants is my way of decompressing. Shinrin-yoku is real and I’m sorry if this is a very millennial answer.
What is one thing you cannot live without?
Wifi. I really admire people who can ‘disconnect’ though.