A young ambivert running a creative agency and a branding studio. A Millennial with incredible ideas and great business mindset. Let’s find out more about Zahin.
What are you up to lately?
I’m running the creative agency Designloka – Unlimited Graphic Design with my partner who is also my mentor in marketing, Azleen Abdul Rahim. Also, recently, I started working on a logo design for a bubble tea shop based in Kedah; a branding job with my own branding studio, Eeran Studio & Co.
Where are you now?
Living in Cheras.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
To cut everything short, I was born in Mentakab, Pahang, grew up in Cheras, went to SMK Dusun Nanding and then moved to Technical Institute of Kuala Lumpur just right after my PMR and now, I’m pursuing my bachelor studies in Graphic Design at Saito University College, PJ. Boom!
My interest has always been politics, philosophy, and especially in logo and branding design and that was what drove me towards my role today as a logo and identity designer since 2018.
Since I could remember, figuring myself out isn’t as easy as it seems. What are my interests or what am I good at? I came to a crossroads in my life where I was at the stage of lacking purpose in life and truth be told, I haven’t a single clue what I wanted to be after I finished my studies as a high-school student. I got offered into Chemical Engineering at Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) but I rejected it even though it sounded cool and awesome and something to be proud of.
But then, I learnt a few things until I found this logo design app – I tried to make an experiment with it, sold it to my friend, Izzat, for RM150 and he bought it. That was the first money I made by designing and at that moment I know that I have figured myself out; a logo designer with a business mindset.
I was born on July 23. So, you would probably know as Leo, hahaha. Well, I’m stubborn and lazy – some traits for being a Leo I supposed. But, I am very passionate about my work and a creative person. I love to try everything that could benefit me in every aspect; either money or experiences.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Wow, I hate this question. I really hate it, haha. FYI, I’m not an introvert, nor an extrovert. I can be an extrovert to a certain group of people and an introvert too. It depends on the situation and the acceptance of people towards me. Simply said, I am an ambivert, haha. If you’re ambivert too, welcome to the club. Cheers!
Your official designation now is?
Currently, I’m a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Designloka. My duty is to deliver and coordinate the design jobs given by clients to the team and monitor the quality of design produced by them. Also, generate new ideas on how to gain new potential clients and to keep the current clients’ expectations at a high-level. We just started last year, in the month of November 2019 to be exact and to date, more than three companies have subscribed to us.
Marketing is broad, what’s your specialty?
I have neither an educational nor formal background in the marketing field. Seriously, I’m not sure what’s my specialty. But, previously, as a freelance designer, I love to try on how to market myself not only as a freelancer but as a boutique creative agency even though I don’t have any team members. I’m using the ability to design by manipulating in a good way through a proper identity system and write some content to build authority and show my specialty in design. FYI, it works. ‘God is a Designer, I am a Manipulator!’
What do you love about Marketing?
What I love about marketing is it allows me to be creative to try any techniques that might work for me.
What do you hate about Marketing?
The marketing trend keeps changing every year and I need to keep up-to-date with the latest way to market the products or services. So, yeah, I hate it!
When thinking, you’d like to be alone or with people?
I need to be alone if I want to think something deeper. As an ambivert, I can’t control myself with the distraction around me especially with someone around. In other words, it’s easier for me to get distracted if people are around me. So, when I want to generate new ideas or think about anything especially related to designing, I will be sitting alone in my room or go to any coffee shop nearby and enjoy my moment. That time, I will get a clear mind and thoughts and ready to make any decision if needed.
Your ideas, most of them came from?
Fake it until you make it. This is the saying that I applied when I started to do something new. I will try to copy the way they portray themselves in the market. For example, social media content. HubSpot inspired me a lot in order to create content for Designloka’s channel. So, from there, I will adjust a bit according to what we are doing; Graphic Design. For design works, most of my ideas came from research, inspirations, ideation, and sketches.
Are you a digital nomad or office freak?
I am a digital nomad and I’m proud of it!
Your favourite social media?
Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Instagram to showcase my artworks, LinkedIn to market my skills and share my thoughts while Facebook to receive information on the latest networking event or workshop that is related to marketing, designing or anything associated with it. These three platforms are very important for me to market myself to different types of audiences.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Watching movies, reading books, going to exhibitions or workshops, improving my design skills by practicing and learning and exploring new things. Or, I might sleep and have a date with myself to clear my thoughts and forget about my job for a while.
Who’s your marketing icon?
Seth Godin and Chris Do. Both of them have their own expertise in their respective fields. If I may be honest, Chris Do teaches me a lot on how to market ourselves as a designer not only by advertising – Behance or Dribble – but also how to negotiate with clients; negotiation skill and how to up our price and have the guts to tell our own rate. Seth Godin, however, always gives his thoughts based on his experience in the marketing field and his view as a marketer.
What is the first thing you’d do when you’re hired/chosen to handle a new project?
Research, ask the right question and seek advice from the expert. When Azleen approached me to propose his ideas on building an Unlimited Graphic Design service, the first thing I did was discover a similar business model in the market, maybe around three to five different companies.
After that, I sought advice and opinion from my friend who is also a designer to validate the idea of whether it can be applied or not; I want to know his views and suggestions as a senior creative designer. For example, should I include animation or website design in the package, or should we remove that kind of design and put it as an add-on service? Also, I will look at myself and my ability to handle the project. If not, I will reject it nicely.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a night owl, haha. I often sleep at around 3 to 4 am. I don’t know why but yeah, night time gives me a lot of inspiration to complete my work.
How do you stay motivated?
I like to see successful people because it will make me jealous of their success. From that jealousy, it will drive me to keep working hard like them. So jealousy is not necessarily a bad thing if it drives you forward to be successful especially in setting my own goals and making sure I need to achieve it for less than a year.
Ever got ideas from movies or songs?
I listen to the song but never memorise any lyrics from the song I listen to. Sounds weird, right? So, I only got ideas from movies. But, kinda rare.