We’re so excited to introduce you to Studio Faculty. Their slick design has caught our eye for a while. We chat with Vince Lo; One half of the team about his faith, their work and their newest project ‘sort’.
Vince studied Graphic Design at Emily Carr University where he met Alvin Kwan, and after graduating and working for different studios they decided to start their own, this is how Studio Faculty was born! The studio specializes in branding, web & print design, and art direction.
Their style has now also transferred into a stunning lifestyle shop called ‘Sort’ and if you’re ever in the Kitsilano area in Vancouver, BC. This store is a must!
Get to know more about the studio & Vince in the interview below!
Tell us a bit about you.
I’m Vince Lo and I was born here in Vancouver, Canada. I started my career in Graphic Design right after graduating from University but I guess I was already exposed to design at a young age and really came to discover it in high school.
How did the journey for Studio Faculty begin?
Alvin and I met during the second or third year of the design program at Emily Carr University through working together on group projects. I think we realized we both shared the same passion for design and after working at different studios after graduation, the idea of starting our own practice became more and more realized. We were still quite young and ambitious, so we rented a tiny office space and started Faculty with a handful of projects, two tables and two laptops.
We imagine working together hasn’t always been smooth, what’s the biggest challenge you have ever faced?
There’s certainly challenges in working together, but I think the differences between us also end up being the strength in our working partnership too. Alvin is perhaps more ambitious and vision oriented while I’m more cautious and detail oriented. So there are definitely times when we need to really sit down and discuss decisions, but there are times when either of our strengths really protects the studio or carries us forward.
I think the differences between us also end up being the strength in our working partnership too.
What are your favourite type of projects?
I think book design projects are always a lot of fun to work on. They take a lot of thought, organization and attention to detail, but the result is always very rewarding. There’s something really nice about a design piece that is permanent and final and its an artifact of the journey you experienced in putting it together.
Is there anything that has surprised you about your industry since you started working in it?
What was most surprising for me was how small the industry actually is in some sense. I think especially with social media nowadays, everyone we meet seems to be connected to another friend of ours one way or another.
You recently opened a beautiful shop called SORT – Tell us more about it, and where did the idea come from.
When our studio reached its third year, we decided to take a trip to Japan to reflect and realign our vision for the coming years. That trip was pretty key for us because we asked ourselves what would give us joy in our work and the type of impact we wanted to make in the city. I think the key goal for us was to help promote and grow design in our city. At the time, we came across countless shops in Japan that brought design, everyday tools and the public together.
The heart behind SORT:
the desire for a slower pace of life, an appreciation for the natural environment around us, and an understanding that richness can be found in the simple moments of each day.
–Taken from one of their Instagram posts —
I’d love for both the studio and the store to meet people in an intentional way and serve to encourage, empower, and inspire them whether in big or small ways.
How does your faith play a role in what you do?My faith plays a huge role in what I do for sure. If it was not for my faith, I’m not sure I would have went forward with the idea of starting a studio. Over the years, we’ve also learned that one’s business is often a reflection of who they are; their personality, character and goals. In light of that, we’re constantly learning to be Christ-like, and as He transforms us, we go forward with our decisions, interactions and work in light of that reality.
We believe God puts dreams and desires in our hearts. What is one of your biggest dreams for Studio Faculty and SORT
I don’t know if I have a big dream that’s over the horizon for us yet. SORT was a big dream and it’s been amazing seeing it come to life. I think at the heart of it though, I’d love for both the studio and the store to meet people in an intentional way and serve to encourage, empower, and inspire them whether in big or small ways. For the store, perhaps its offering products that could become a really meaningful gift, or a durable tool that enhances ones daily work. For the studio, it would be great to be able to encourage and empower our clients through the vision and work we bring.
We’re constantly learning to be Christ-like, and as He transforms us, we go forward with our decisions, interactions and work in light of that reality.
You live in a beautiful city, How do you think Vancouver inspires your work?
The nature in Vancouver is definitely a source of inspiration, having both the ocean and mountains close. Overall, Vancouver is home. Yet I also see Vancouver as a city that constantly has a lot of potential and it’s exciting to live in that tension and strive to help the city move forward in design.
One book? One movie? One song?
Book: Garden City by John Mark Comer [https://johnmarkcomer.com/]
Movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Song: I’ll have to go with… Re: Stacks by Bon Iver