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[Best Brand] OR Crew: Redesigning the design field

For South Korean design firm OR Crew, design is not just about creating unique drawings or idiosyncratic buildings. It is more about sending a consistent visual signal about what those things represent. As social media introduce various communication methods, that philosophy is increasingly carrying weight.

Having started off as a five-member team located in the port city of Busan, OR Crew focuses on how to materialize brand value and deliver it to the public. That’s the case regardless of whether it’s working on a project from the government, a large conglomerate or a small business.

“No matter how small our clients’ places are, the importance of brand consulting remains the same,” said Kim Hee-joong, one of the founding members.

“Even though they may have a disadvantage in size, small stores can deliver value effectively as long as they have specific objectives for their brand image -- even more so now that more and more people are using social media.”

Members of OR Crew (OR Crew)
Members of OR Crew (OR Crew)

OR Crew’s efforts to use design as a communication method culminated in 2017, when the company earned two nominations at the world-famous Reddot Design Awards in Singapore. OR Crew was nominated for the “Best of Best” and “Luminary Last3” awards.

That catapulted the company into the limelight. Since then it has launched joint design projects with the Ministry of National Defense to promote its smart reserve system and worked with North Gyeongsang Province to promote an urban renovation program.

OR Crew attributes its success to transparent communication, saying that’s what encourages designers to try new things. One of the company’s latest projects involves designing a community space in Busan called PNUAVEC.

“Our principles and philosophy are based on mutual respect for difference and diversity,” said an OR Crew official. “It applies to how we organize our team and how to choose our projects. That is why we can come up with unbiased ideas and create innovative designs.”