Neighbourhood - BLACK Design



"1% inspiration 99% Perspiration - It's easy to come out with a good idea, but not easy to make it happen. The success depends how you manage to realise it."



Tell us a little about yourself and what you do

BLACK: We are BLACK, a creative studio based in Singapore. We work on branding, design and curation project.

How and why was BLACK started?

BLACK: BLACK was started by our co-founders, Jackson Tan and Patrick Gan in 2002. The studio was started in response to the demise of Brazen (a creative agency they co-founded with 3 other partners) during the aftermath of the 9/11 and SARS economic downturn. They wanted to build a studio that make works that they believe and make a positive difference.


Describe the location of your studio by the most frequented eateries around you.

BLACK: Our studio is located at Delta House, an old industrial building of the past. It’s situated near Valley Point (where there’s KFC, Croute and Redhill 85 Fishball Noodles!) and just a walkable distance from Great World City, Zion Food Market (known for it’s famous prawn noodles and carrot cakes) and Tiong Bahru Plaza. We usually eat at the coffee shops and hawker centre around Beo Crescent. There is good Hainanese Curry Rice and Teochew Porridge there.

Collaborating is important, but can be tricky affair. What are some things you need to consider before deciding to embark on a collaborative project?

BLACK: Who you are collaborating with, and the purpose of the collaboration.


How has your work evolved over time?

BLACK: Our approach remains the same. We grow and reinvent ourselves with the experiences and knowledge learned from each project. The difference is in the scale of presentation and audience.

What elements in a project help you imagine / create your best work?

BLACK: We believe in the idea of collaboration especially with the client. It gives us a better understanding of why the project and we gain a greater insight through the whole process.


What are three things someone looking to start a creative business should be aware of? 


  1. Find your niche and place - Know what you like and can do well in

  2. 1% inspiration 99% Perspiration - It's easy to come out with a good idea, but not easy to make it happen. The success depends how you manage to realise it.

  3. Experience design - You can't design great experiences without authentic personal life experiences (So don't just sit in the studio all the time, go out!)


What do 'ideas on adventures' look like?
Do a quick sketch for us! 

BLACK on adventure

BLACK on Adventure

Images & Artwork Courtesy of BLACK

About the OuterEdit Neighbourhood Project:

When our journey in the creative industry began, we set out with a mission to share stories about talented creative people around the world. We made the spirit of honest and rigorous collaboration the core of all we do, to exemplify how design in silo, while beautiful, is able to mean more when the human abilities of experimentation, ingenuity, craft and empathy are shared.
We are now much further into our journey. Amidst our fair share of challenges, failures, and triumphs, we are most proud to have had the opportunity to make each step with the support of like-minded people and organizations - and to have worked alongside them on projects beyond just commerce, and our collective selves.
Through light-hearted interviews with people we look up to, our latest initiative, 'Neighbourhood' celebrates the spirit of inter/intra industry collaboration to ‘make meaningful matter’ in society - and hopes to encourage readers to continue embarking on new adventures for all to look forward to.