Priscilla Du Preez
Effect Audio Cover - Tranquil Fields with a Trumpet Player

Decoding Creativity: An Interview with Jeff Au

Embark on a creative journey with Jeff Au, the visionary lead behind Lively Green Strategic Design. Fresh from their triumph at the C2A Awards, Jeff shares exclusive insights into the strategic design philosophy that sets them apart in the dynamic world of branding.

Fun Facts about Jeff Au:

The Creative Mastermind:

– Jeff Au thrives on turning challenges into design opportunities, navigating the intricate landscape of strategic branding with finesse.

– Known for fostering a collaborative environment, Jeff believes that diverse perspectives ignite innovation, fueling the exceptional work of Lively Green Strategic Design.

About the Project: Effect Audio – A Sonic Rebirth by Jeff Au

Dive into the extraordinary world of strategic design with Jeff Au, as he spearheads the rebranding of Effect Audio, a renowned audio brand celebrated for precision engineering and superior sound quality.

Prize: Winner in Brand design / Branding
Company: Lively Green Strategic Design
Lead: Jeff Au
Client: Effect Audio
Credits: Photo by: Priscilla Du Preez

Effect Audio faced a unique challenge – a misinterpreted logo. Under Jeff’s guidance, Lively Green redefined the brand language, creating a coherent brand experience that emphasizes expansive sound. The project not only solidifies Effect Audio’s positioning but future-proofs the brand in the competitive audio market.

Exclusive Interview with Jeff Au:

1. Fresh from your recent win at the C2A Awards, can you share how the recognition has already influenced your perspective on your creative journey or business endeavors?

Jeff Au: It’s not just about the trophy on the shelf but about reinforcing our belief in the power of strategic design for branding. The recognition has provided a profound validation of our commitment & dedication. After winning this recognition, we understand this is one of the milestones that we contribute towards lifting industry professional standards together with our fellows. And we should not stop our pursuit here.

2. Let’s rewind to your journey through the submission and evaluation process for the C2A Awards. What were the standout moments, challenges, or surprises you encountered?

Jeff Au: Our challenges start right from the submission process, as this is a rebranding project for an established brand. There were a lot of strategic and creative thinking notes we would like to tell the jury. But, we understand that it is important to make our submission stand out from our peers. It is vital to ensure our presentation and summary write-up are strategic, precise, and concise.

What surprised us and also considered a standout moment was when our team, on top of a heavy workload during our peak season, managed to extract and agree on the essential submission content, came up, and put together great and strategic visuals promptly for this submission. To us, thanks to the detailed documentation in all of our project development, it is genuinely a win that our organized team workflow pays off.

3. Creativity is a mystic force. What fuels your imagination, and how do you approach the creative process?

Jeff Au: Creativity, for us, is about problem-solving with strategic thinking and innovation. We approach every project with a problem statement in mind. This requires in-depth and extensive research to identify the issue (the root of the issues as well). After defining the issues, we have to put in a lot of experimental effort to explore design solutions that fit.

Same as a Michelin chef coming up with Michelin-star dishes. Apart from getting fresh ingredients, we would need to constantly challenge ourselves by putting in various combinations of cooking approaches to examine all possible outcomes that fit the great new experiences.

In short, we approach the creativity process like an engineer. Breaking down all the issues into components and refining or creating a strategic design solution to address them.

Effect Audio Logo Evolution - Jeff Au's Innovative Changes

4. Navigating the twists and turns of a creative career often involves overcoming obstacles. What are some challenges you’ve faced, and how have you tackled them?

Jeff Au: One of the main challenges, in fact, within our everyday jobs is how to build up the engaging conversation and trust between both the design team and clients. They both talk in different lingo and have totally different focus and professionalism. We have to constantly understand the perspective of each party and align both teams with the anticipated outcome they are striving for.

5. The ink on your C2A victory is still fresh. In what ways do you anticipate the award impacting your credibility and reputation in the creative industry, and how do you envision leveraging this recognition as you move forward?

Jeff Au: We’re a team of passionate folks who love what we do, and winning the C2A award undeniably amplifies our credibility. We see it not just as a badge of honour but as a responsibility to uphold the standards it represents. We plan on leveraging this recognition to foster new partnerships, attract talents, and inspire confidence among clients.

Effect Audio Logo Evolution - Before and After Transformation

6. Networking and collaboration are integral to growth. Have you already seen opportunities or partnerships emerge as a result of your C2A win, and how do you foresee these connections shaping your future in the industry?

Jeff Au: Certainly. We are always open to collaboration and exploring new ventures. The win has already sparked interest and initiated conversations with our potential collaborators. These connections will shape our future, opening more doors to inspiring projects and diverse industries.

7. Immediate effects aside, do you foresee winning the C2A Award influencing the demand for your services or products soon?

Jeff Au: We firmly believe that the renowned C2A Awards will organically elevate the demand for our services and understanding of our strategic design approach. We are ready to take on even bigger challenges ahead.

Effect Audio - Rebranded Website Display

8. As a recent C2A Award winner, what aspects of the experience have you found most valuable, and would you encourage others in the creative industry to consider participating?

Jeff Au: Participating in awards like C2A goes beyond the accolade. The experience of recapping our design journey and feedback has been invaluable. It is a pathway to establish lasting connections in the design field and to broaden our perspective for more collaboration opportunities.

9. Looking ahead, do you see yourself applying for the next edition of the C2A Awards, and what aspects of the competition would motivate you to participate again?

Jeff Au: Definitely. We simply cannot wait for the opening of the next edition of the C2A Awards in 2024. It is like a creative marathon, driving ourselves to showcase impactful & strategic design while learning from the best in the industry.

Effect Audio - Mobile Web Presence Preview

10. Staying current is an ongoing challenge. How do you currently keep abreast of new industry trends, and are there any emerging trends you’re excited to incorporate into your work?

Jeff Au: Our team comes from diverse cultures and backgrounds. That’s the source of our inspiration and strength. To stay current with industry trends, we are committed to continuous learning and innovation. We dedicate two days each month as ‘learning days’ for our team members, encouraging them to immerse themselves in new experiences, expand their skills, and bring fresh perspectives back to our collective work. Most importantly, when they share their newfound insights with the rest of the team, it creates a ripple effect, blending inspiration and creativity that prepares us for future trends and projects.

11. Future gazing: what plans and aspirations are on the horizon for you, and how do you anticipate your creative journey evolving?

Jeff Au: We’re all about growth, both professionally and creatively. But, our ultimate aspiration is to leave a lasting imprint on the design world. We want our work to inspire and connect with people on a deep level, to tell stories that resonate and leave an impact. It’s not just about design; it’s about the emotional journey our work takes people on.

12. Zooming in on your recent triumph, what inspired the winning project you submitted to the C2A Awards?

Jeff Au: It all began with a spark of curiosity: We were drawn to a specific challenge or theme that piqued our interest. The winning project had a purpose beyond aesthetics; it was driven by a desire to solve a problem, which was “although Effect Audio is known for its high-end audio equipment, its values and commitment to audio perfection were undermined and not accurately represented in its previous branding”. But what truly fuels our inspiration is the collaborative spirit of our team. We brainstorm, exchange ideas, and challenge each other to think outside the box.

So, to sum it up, our winning project for the C2A Awards, “Effect Audio”, was inspired by a blend of curiosity, problem-solving, unexpected moments, and the collaborative magic that happens when creative minds come together. It’s the beauty of the design process, and we can’t wait to embark on new projects driven by fresh design inspiration.

Effect Audio - Redefined Logo by Jeff Au and Lively Green Strategic Design

Jeff Au’s Design Legacy:

As Jeff Au and Lively Green Strategic Design bask in the glory of their recent C2A win, the resonance of strategic design echoes through their journey. Jeff’s commitment to excellence and innovation shines, leaving an indelible mark on the creative industry. Stay tuned for more from Jeff Au – a maestro orchestrating impactful design narratives that transcend the ordinary.


More about Jeff Au and the Project:

C2A – Jeff Au – Winner in Brand design / Branding

Lively Green Strategic Design: Engaging. Brand. Experiences:

Lively Green Strategic Design’s Website

Other C2A Winners:

2023 C2A Winners