Fable is a multi-disciplinary boutique creative agency based in the Republic of Singapore. We observe, research, and conceive concept-driven ideas and intelligent designs that add value over noise for progressive brands and forward-thinking clients.
Our specializations include brand identity, art direction, wayfinding, editorial, packaging, publishing, and digital design and our diverse clientele includes start-ups, government bodies, international companies, private institutions, non-profit causes, and a host of independents.
Founded by Tan Jiahui in 2012
I believe that in the discerning and crowded age we live in, design should not only serve as a vehicle to aestheticize. Rather, it should help to craft experiences and communicate perception and thought. This has led the studio to work across various design disciplines, and gave us a chance to work with projects of different scales and purposes.
DESCRIBE YOUR PRACTICE IN THREE WORDS.
Functional. Logical. Expressive.
WHERE DO YOU GO, OR WHAT DO YOU DO, WHEN YOU GET STUCK ON A PROJECT?
It might come out wrong, but I do enjoy being stuck on a project. People sometimes think that getting stuck is a bad thing. It is not. It helps to broaden possibilities and boundaries. The saying goes “you see but do you observe?” is something that has impacted me greatly. I will take a longer train or bus ride as I take a lot of heart from observing people and situations. Design and people are very much correlated like a project and its target audience. If time really does not permit, I will take a shorter walk across the studio to my library. You have to detach to attach. That usually solves most of the block.
NAME A BOOK YOU THINK EVERY CREATIVE SHOULD READ.
Too many to name! It depends on what the individual likes to pursue or is interested in. I am very interested in concepts and how ideas are generated. People tell me that our stuff is pretty typographic – perhaps I read too many typography books. I try to stop viewing alphabets as alphabets. Instead, I look at them like any other shapes. It gives more freedom in expression.
WHAT DESIGN TOOL CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
My notebook with a pen. The best feeling starts from there.
WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I am proud of every project we have worked on, and every working relationship we have with our clients. I don’t believe in having a proudest or most perfect project. I am almost searching for the next most exciting project. I am neither cold nor overly-sentimental. I am proud of projects that have helped our clients in progressing their brands / businesses, as well as projects that have created a stronger cohesiveness amongst a community or created a societal conversation.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE CREATIVITY?
People think that only people from the creative industry are creative. I have friends saying “I know nuts about creativity.” That is not true. Of course we have the privilege of brainstorming ideas everyday, but I beg to differ. I see everyday people being creative in tackling life situations and going about their presentations. People should give themselves more credit. I think the importance of creativity is finding the balance and distillation of ideas. We can have a million ideas and suggestions but we have to be brave to chose the one we think is best, and discard the rest. Don’t settle, be more critical of your “creativity.”
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON CURRENTLY?
We are working on a couple of publications, branding projects, ongoing collaborations that we hope we can share in due time.
IF YOU COULD INVITE ANY CREATIVE OUT FOR COFFEE WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
Kenya Hara, Paula Scher, Experimental Jetset.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE CITY THAT YOU LIVE IN?
Diversity. Of course everyone has their own gripes. Which human being doesn’t? Which community doesn’t? If you start to observe people, cultures, languages, colors, typefaces, music, scents, etc, you get to realize that as a designer, we are blessed to be living in such a cosmopolitan and unique demographic. We are pretty much exposed to every kind of visual and culture – it is whether you choose to see or not. We have the inward and the outward; the old and the new.
The thing that makes it even better is that people are starting to realize and respond to the value of design. The pioneers have set the road out for us, and I see fellow industry professionals trailblazing everyday. It is only in our right to keep the flame going.