Hamburg-based multidisciplinary creative Tra Giang Nguyen is known by her digital pseudonym Gydient that came into play following the founding of Fustic.Studio. They're a force to be reckoned with – questioning what's expected in their future-forward practice that combines graphic design, motion and technology.
As a young queer Asian designer, originally hailing from Vietnam before moving to Germany, Gydient is representative of the future the creative industry holds. She's already making waves and has worked with an incredible array of clients from across the globe – from the likes of Adult Swim and Billie Eilish to Adidas and Uniqlo.
Discussing her personal and professional practice, Gydient explains how freeing her definition of her practice allows her to be. "Calling myself a multidisciplinary designer gives me more freedom to explore new things," she tells us, discussing the definition of her personal and professional practice – proving wrong the notion of jack of all trades, master of none, by showing her mastery of motion design and type design, as well as 2D and 3D visual design. "I'm also adding creative coding into my creative toolbox," Gydient casually adds, noting that "in the end, brand design still is what I'm trying to focus on," developing complex visual systems and bespoke typefaces. A notable typeface Gydient has currently been working on includes Hako, a new Hangul typeface exploring the world of Hangul script. "The fact of the matter is that Korean is not my mother tongue," Gydient explains, "so designing the components and vowels was a really challenging task for a non-native speaker," thriving in stepping out of her Latin-alphabet-focused comfort zone.
This unparalleled creative determination and generally lovely enthusiasm comes from Gydient's undying, longstanding interest in typography and technology. "Maybe combining creative coding with type design is what I'm eager to learn," she explains, "you can find more and more inspiration on how technology could affect our design approach and design thinking," she adds, a contemplation clearly evident in the striking, futuristic tone of her work. "Besides books, creative events, talks, I am also inspired by the people I work with," she adds, "especially my co-workers at Fustic.Studio."
Something undeniably present in Gydient's work is playfulness – pieces that seem both incredibly aware of the 'rules' but prosper in the breaking of them in a fundamentally fun way. This, paired with her creative drive, leads to work unlike most – work that has a punch to it, work that can be unapologetically bold and beautifully delicate at the same time. It's the dance between these two where Gydient's playfulness absolutely thrives. "Playfulness should be one of the most important factors I care about before doing any project," Gydient tells us, "it decides more than a half of success in my work," explaining that her brain works best when it's happy. "The best way to make your brain feel happy is to keep and nurture the playfulness in your work and creative process," she adds – something that goes hand-in-hand with her love of collaborating.
"Collaboration is a great opportunity for you to learn and open up new creative experiences," she explains, allowing you to grow both in terms of professional development and personal growth. That being said, Gydient notes "the workflow that goes on within a collaborative project should foster mutual understanding and respect towards each person's creative backgrounds," making sure the space it occupies is one of design inputs, feedback, praise, encouragement and general communication that above all pushes one's productivity and creative capacity. "I believe that such an equal, free and respectable environment will help each individual best perform creatively," Gydient suggests.
Looking to the future and her role within it, Gydient wants to see design react to 'real issues' that directly impact the future livelihoods of us all. "I want to see more social and environment-oriented design," she explains, as well as wanting to see "less mass-produced commercial design" across the board. "I believe that creatives should always question the zeitgeist," she concludes, "it's easy for us to consume ourselves in our political system and compromise our innate creativity."