Sammi Duong




Young Designer of the Year


Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. Sammi is one of those people that can see the beauty in the world and uses it to inspire her own work, whether its international cuisines, cultures, or architecture. After graduating from university in 2021, Sammi has already begun altering how our clients represent themselves and their audience through her prolific character illustrations. She now works with some of the world’s biggest brands, such as the United Nation, the World Health Organization, and the BBC. From chattering chimpanzees to conversing cavemen and students learning English in a classroom setting, Sammi can do it all. Her work is incredibly varied and consistently excellent as she strives to input as much diversity into her work as possible.   Being raised as a British born Chinese person, she never felt as if she was represented in the media and world around her. She now does everything she can to explore this largely unseen group and represent them in her illustrative work. Her personal project, “Being BBC” explores what it’s like to be a British Born Chinese person living in the modern United Kingdom. Based on Sammi’s own experiences, she wanted this project to highlight both the problems BBC people face such as racially-charged bullying and not fitting western or eastern beauty standards and the amazing things about being BBC like the celebrations and traditions. Ultimately, it is a love letter to her culture and identity; the story follows a young girl and shows her journey with navigating her tough relationship with her cultural identity ultimately leading to her acceptance and love for her bi-cultural heritage. All of this combines to create a unique perspective on life in the UK that many of us have never experienced and likely may never see.   Sammi has a ceaseless drive to advance her skills as an illustrator and is working on several projects outside of our regular client work. She started a project called “#LETSMAKECOOLSHI*” to encourage herself and others to make more varied and experimental personal work. Every month, a colour and prompt is set to inspire an illustration that at the deadline everyone shares on Instagram.   Sammi is ultimately an ambitious illustrator with the skills and aptitude to progress into an amazing, award studded career.

Since graduating, Sammi has thrived in a creative environment and gone on to do some incredible work. One of these projects was the BBC Bitesize English as an Additional Language series. Sammi led the character design and illustrated the backgrounds for our team of animators to work with and she’s done an incredible job bringing the characters to life. She created a visual style that was quirky and stylised with bold, bright colours to draw in the younger audience. The characters are meant to be racially diverse and have various body types so every young child could see themselves represented in the colourful facsimile of Scottish life. A slightly soft and expressive brush and an incorporation of subtle textures give the videos an overall friendly and non-intimidating feel, which is important for our intention of teaching English as an additional language.    It’s incredibly important to show broad representation for children and Sammi wanted to show a diverse cast of characters as possible, from our three leads to extras and everything in between. Showing diversity in characters for educational animations is something that Sammi pushes whenever she’s acting as the illustrative lead on a project, and she hopes that as a film series about learning English as a Foreign Language, the audience will be able to see themselves in the episodes and identify with the characters in a meaningful way. Having grown up with little representation in the media she was consuming, Sammi hopes that her work will allow non-white people living in Scotland the chance to see themselves in the media they’re consuming.