Collage showcasing various design elements from the NakedLab rebranding project by THE CABINET

Interview with Malou Ko: Unveiling the Creativity Behind the C2A Award-Winning Design

In the dynamic realm of design, where innovation meets imagination, one name resonates—Malou Ko. As the lead at THE CABINET, an award-winning multidisciplinary design studio based in Hong Kong, Malou Ko recently secured the Best of Best in Brand Identity/Branding at the prestigious C2A Awards. This triumph not only underscores her creative prowess but also illuminates the transformative influence of design.

Fun Facts About Malou Ko

Design Virtuoso Since 2005: Malou founded THE CABINET design studio in 2005, embarking on a journey spanning over 150 international and local projects.
Connecting Through Design: With a mission to connect people through design, Malou has left her mark on projects for renowned clients such as Standard Chartered, Cathay Pacific, Ralph Lauren, and Sheraton.

About the Project

NakedLab Rebranding – Lead by Malou Ko from The Cabinet

Under Malou Ko’s visionary leadership, THE CABINET undertook the NakedLab Rebranding project. The challenge was not just to redesign a brand but to encapsulate the essence of comfort and rejuvenation that NakedLab offers. The founder’s love for the Maldives became a guiding light, infusing the design with the beach and ocean ambiance. The skin color palette, redesigned logo, and the use of arch shapes in graphic elements harmoniously conveyed the brand’s promise—blissful days, every day.

Fun Fact about NakedLab Rebranding

Did you know that during the NakedLab Rebranding, the team at THE CABINET discovered a unique definition of comfort that became the cornerstone of the entire project?

The Exclusive Interview with Malou Ko

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

Malou Ko: It is our honor to receive such recognition. We and our clients are more than happy to receive such good news! It is a creativity-booster for us to design more good quality work for our clients.

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?

Malou Ko: The process is simple actually. As long as you have the project description and images ready, it takes around 15 minutes to submit the awards.

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

Malou Ko: We always believe a good branding can let people feel the brand story visually without reading any words. Logo, colour, typeface, and graphic elements can break any language boundaries. Our creativity is fueled from observation and absorption of daily interactions and emotions from people. We love seeing how people react to certain things, why they like them, why they don’t, do they get the meaning… Because in the end, design is for people. We can’t just design beautiful things but no one gets the messages.

Illustration representing the brand message of NakedLab: "Have a Blissful Day."

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

Malou Ko: We have a client from different industries; our challenge is to find a balance between our aesthetic standards and certain industries’ stereotypes of things. We always challenge clients with new ideas and push them to use better designs.

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?

Malou Ko: It will definitely leverage our business. Current clients and potential clients will see our achievements and increase their trust, confidence, and freedom of creativity when hiring us.

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?

Malou Ko: We’ve already discussed new projects with existing clients, hoping to maintain their brands in the best quality and bring new ideas to their brands.

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

Malou Ko: We are positive about it. There a potential clients discussing in partnership at the moment.

Elegant packaging of NakedLab products, a result of the rebranding efforts by THE CABINET (Malou Ko).

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?

Malou Ko: It is a great platform to prove to yourself the effect you’ve done. If you have a good project, it is definitely good to apply for the awards.

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?

Malou Ko: It depends on the aspect of our upcoming projects. If there are suitable categories, we may consider participating again.

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?

Malou Ko: Will definitely look into AI and see how AI-generated artworks can change people’s perspective on aesthetics.

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

Malou Ko: We have a few plans on hand already; we always wanted to try new things. We may consider launching some new products soon.

A glimpse inside a NakedLab product box featuring a thoughtful thank-you note.

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

Malou Ko: For the NakedLab Rebranding project, the most memorable moment was to find out the definition of comfort during the rebranding exercises we did for the client. We were not only designing a good-looking brand for the client but to finding the unique element that was only suitable for this client. We then took it and elaborated on the full look and feel of the brand to create a special custom-made branding for clients.

Malou Ko’s Journey

As we conclude this exclusive interview, Malou Ko’s journey is not just a testament to the power of design but an inspiration for every creative mind. The imprint of THE CABINET’s innovative spirit, guided by Malou’s visionary leadership, continues to redefine the landscape of branding. Embark on the journey of design excellence with Malou Ko and THE CABINET, where every project is a masterpiece, and every award is a testament to the limitless possibilities that design offers.


More about Malou Ko and the Project:

C2A – Malou Ko (The Cabinet) – Best of Best in Brand identity / Branding

NakedLab Rebranding – Line of Air Video:

NakedLab Rebranding – Line of Air from THE CABINET on Vimeo.

Other C2A Winners:

2023 C2A Winners