Thomas Yang expects design that “enhances thinking”

Thomas Yang, deputy executive creative director at DDB Singapore, says you can’t have "design for design’s sake" without making it solve the client’s problem. The most important thing, said the 4th adobo Design Awards jury president, is a sense of purpose—and that "I wish I had done it" feeling.  

"I was shocked when I was asked by Angel [Guerrero, adobo magazine‘s editor-in-chief] to lead the panel of judges," shares Yang. "Since I was going to be the only foreign judge, I felt I could contribute a sense of balance and an outsider’s perspective to the judging process, so I accepted it."
"I have judged the Kidlat Awards before, but Adobo Design Awards will bring up a different spectrum of work, showing how design could be so effective in changing consumer behavior. It is also a good chance for the country to spot hungry talent coming from different industries."
Now in its fourth year, the adobo Design Awards is encouraging professionals and students to submit their most creative work with a purpose. 
The professional competition is divided into two sub-categories: ‘Design for Purpose’ (commercial) and ‘Design for Good’ (public service, CSR). Entries to this category may be in the forms of: press and poster, corporate brand identity, typography, publishing (books & magazines), digital/interactive, production design, environmental/spatial design, packaging, product design, broadcast animation/music video, outdoor/ambient, t-shirt design, or illustration/applied graphics.
The open/theme category is calling on creative professionals, freelancers and students to present pitches following the theme "Manila’s Pop Culture". It could come in the either poster or video format (up to 7 minutes long). Pitches that most creatively define Manila’s identity and what it has to offer as the country’s capital will be awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold. This, Yang finds the most challenging and interesting to assess. 
"(It will be) challenging because I’m not that familiar with Philippines’ cultures and insights. I might have to depend on my panel of judges to explain some of the entries in that category. And it would be interesting to see which entries emerge to best represent the country’s pop culture."
Deadline for entries to the adobo Design Awards is April 3. Yang is set to meet the panel of advertising and design experts on April 16 to 17. Winning work will be awarded on April 26 at the Ayala Museum.
For the complete lineup of jurors and other details, log on to
Yang will also be mentoring young creatives on the Kung Fu of Art Direction for adobo Main Course happening April 18 at the Mind Museum. For more details, log on to

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