Learn from designers with industry expertise.
The great thing about being a designer is that you can work anywhere in the world.
Graphic Design Teacher
Taiwanese-born designer, Olivia Chen, started her career in advertising for two years in The Big Apple, working with big-name clients such as NYU Shanghai, Rolling Stone and American Express. She then moved to Hong Kong and worked in boutique branding firms such as Tommy Li Design Workshop and Substance. She then moved to Melbourne and worked for Yoke and BrandWorks while building up her own studio Studio Chenchen as a side hustle.
Now living in Sydney, Olivia focuses on her own studio and using both interior and branding skills that she has learned, and her network of talented people with various cultural backgrounds and skill-sets to help clients achieve strong brand presence and multi-sensory branding experience.
What do you love about design?
That I am always learning something new. It is constantly evolving and it is so intertwined with anthropology and cultures. I love to learn new things outside of design, random facts, and foreign cultures and being a designer exposes me to clients from all walks of life.
Why do you teach?
As far as I can remember I have always told people that I wanted to be a teacher when I grow up, forcing my baby sister and my younger cousins to sit in my “class” after school and assigning them “homework” that I made up.
I am naturally giving, love sharing my passion for design with people who are equally passionate. I have a natural motherly instinct and love to see people thrive.
For the past few years, I have been learning so much through some of the younger designers I have worked with and I want to learn more from people who are from different backgrounds than me, and who are with fresh eyes.
Tell us about your design career outside of Shillington.
I started my career 7 years ago in advertising in NYC, but my turning point was when I moved to Hong Kong and worked in a boutique branding firm called Substance, mostly for hospitality and fashion, I realized that branding is my passion and small studios environment is where I work best.
I moved to Melbourne three years ago and was working as a design director in a small studio called BrandWorks, and now I am based in Sydney as a freelance designer with my own studio on the side.
What or who are you loving right now?
If you were a typeface, what would you be?
What’s your favourite blog?
The Design Files, Yellow Trace, Eye on Design, Bpando. I also love print magazines such as Apartamento and Idea Magazine from Japan. I am a podcast nerd so I listen to a lot of podcasts while working. Design related or not: 99 Percent Invisible (bite-size episode, great podcast about everything design, architecture, fun history), Philosophize This (better than my uni philosophy class), Beyond this Point, Design Matters (Debbie Millman as host, in-depth interview with designers, artists, author or creatives), and This American Life (Real life stories that are better than TV).