Back in November 2020, Kingston and CSD collaborated to bring us the “Kingston X CSD APAC Mask Design Competition” – with an astounding $14,400 USD prize pool. Basically, what you need to do is to design a face mask based on a given guideline, make sure that it gets selected and hope that your creation makes it to the top 10 designs for Kingston and CSD to bring it to life.
According to Kingston’s data, there have been over 3,100 submitted original designs all over the world during the course of the event – with students, designers and artists who participated over the a month. Suffice to say, it has been a successful event.
Just so you guys know, CSD is Taiwan’s leading health protection supplier. The company has been around since 1947 and is now a major supplier of reliable medical supplies around the globe.
CSD has been creating fashionable face masks since 2015 and this collaboration with Kingston is the latest in effort to raise awareness that medical supplies – face masks in particular could be fashionable too. The company intends to redefine and set new standards this way.
I could see the reasoning behind this move since in other parts of the globe, there’s still a stigma behind facial masks. The ongoing pandemic already diluted this outlook towards masks but it is still there – especially with developing countries.
Designing a mask is no simple task
As said before, there are guidelines that needs to be met in order to get selected. For an instance, the design should focus on being creative while using a maximum of three colors for the 3-color group. Gradient colors are also not allowed in this case.
As for the Unlimited color group, gradients are allowed. Creating visual effects with strong contrasting colors and graphics are also highly encouraged in this category.
Designers are also tasked to make sure that their designs are four-sided in pattern to allow for continuous splicing and extension. This is to ensure that the designs will meet production requirements. After all, the masks are randomly cut during factory processing.
Now judging criteria is based on five main areas. The design concepts (10%), theme alignment (10%), use of colors (20%), composition and beauty (30%) and finally, creativity and ingenuity (30%). Suffice to say, it is truly an involved process – which is just proper with this event’s scope and scale.
Awards and Selection
Of course, no design event would take place without an award and the selection process behind it. In this regard, Kingston and CSD decided to go with four different awards to ensure deserving designs could get their special mark on the list. This ensures audience participation as well.
Chosen designs regardless of the awards given will get manufactured in specified numbers but here’s the kicker; The Special Award will dictate what designs will get mass produced. To some extent, this is more favorable compared to winning the other prizes.
Finally, the award winning designs
Before we proceed, I’d like to thank Kingston and CSD for sending me a sample of the award winning face mask designs. I’m no influencer, but I really appreciate their gesture for allowing me to check them out. They even sent them within a presentable package – complete with pamphlets full of details with each designs and the philosophy of the artists behind them.
The “3-Colors” Finalists
Perfect Imperfections, Aljohn M. Matias (Philippines) – This design was made by a fellow Filipino and a talented one at his art. He took inspiration from Picasso’s work while also incorporating his own. Aljohn believes that art has no set boundaries and it shows. For some reason, I could also see the Kingston logo within his design. Pretty nice easter egg I must say.
Siamese Fighting Fish, Waraporn Mamee (Thailand) – Former product designer turned professor, Waraporn believes that in challenge comes self improvement. Her Siamese Fish design reflects this – symbolizing ambition and persistence.
It is also worthy to add that she incorporated the colors of her nation’s flag. Patriotic art at its finest.
Lips & Water Chestnut, Wu Bo Yi (Taiwan) – A harmonious print between positive and negative spaces, Wu Bo Yi’s design is close to his heart. It symbolizes his childhood memories – more precisely, his nostalgic memory with water chestnuts or caltrops.
Doodling Paper, Nguyen Dang Binh (Vietnam) – With passion for art, the 29 year old banker Nguyen Dang Binh created this doodle art to represent his emotions and childhood memories where he is happiest the most. A true voice of doodle lovers!
Sparkling Lenses, Rishabh Raj (India) – Through his work, Rishabh Raj want to capture life’s unforgettable memories. The spark and shutter design encapsulates this in a simple yet effective way.
The “Unlimited Colors” Finalists
Love Memories Forever, Lilo Jong (Malaysia) – Storage device and love for one’s family comes together in one vivid concept made by Lilo Jong – a multimedia designer from Malaysia.
This work of her hits home – that’s especially true if you could distinguish each of the storage devices from the artwork and what they represent.
Construct X Deconstruction, Brenca Sun (Taiwan) – This roller coaster of a design – figuratively and literally, visualizes Brenca’s interest in incorporating real objects and motifs to abstract art.
Summer memories in the wonder garden, Hsu, Hsing-Chen (Taiwan) – If you’re longing for the best that summer could offer then Hsu, Hsing-Chen’s artwork could be the one for you. Her incredible pastel art captures the midsummer theme really well – almost like you could smell it.
Breath of Energy, Tsuyoshi Artman (Japan) – Inspired by nature, freelance illustrator Tsuyoshi perfectly captures what it meant to breath using plants as his art’s medium.
As a previous health care professional himself, he took this opportunity to let us understand that it is important to breath physically, mentally and spiritually. Something that we really need in these times.
Monster Nation, Yman.S (Malaysia) – Adorable and full of energy is what Yman’s work could be described.
Through this design, he wants to encourage a never-say-die attitude. Monsters could be cute!
Kingston and CSD’s collaboration further cements a world of possibilities – that we could really express ourselves on any canvas. A mask for example not only helps us protect ourselves from the dangers of the pandemic but it could also be used to show a bit of fashion and personality during these trying times.
Expect Kingston and CSD to mass produce one or two design in the near future. Now if you could choose, what design would that be for you?