Designing Change: An Intimate Chat with NTUC May Day 2024 Model Worker Awardee, Joey Daniel

In the lead-up to Chingay Parade 2024, the whimsical and flowery graphics from the promotional materials charmed the public as they lined the streets and screens. It’s no coincidence that such captivating visuals stem from an artist equally colourful in spirit. So, allow us to unveil the mind and magic behind these creations as we introduce none other than our very own Graphics Team Lead, Joey Daniel.

Having recently received the Model Worker Award at the NTUC May Day 2024 Awards Dinner, Joey marks this as a significant milestone in his emerging yet impactful career. “Winning the award makes me feel like I’m on the right track in my early career,” Joey expressed with a sense of validation and enthusiasm for his contributions.

Joey Daniel NTUC May Day 2024 Model Worker 1
Having joined in 2022, Joey now leads the Graphics Team at DANAMIC and DNMC Creative!

In an exclusive interview, Joey shared his approach to design, emphasising his openness to challenges. “Embracing the chance to tackle diverse challenges keeps me in a state of constant adaptation,” he noted, highlighting the importance of staying dynamic and adaptable in the ever-evolving landscape of design.

Joey’s design philosophy revolves around the idea that: “Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.” He believes that design plays a crucial role in empowering people, fostering inclusivity, and driving positive change in society. “Good design draws the eyes and gets talked about, spreading the message or content,” Joey explained, underscoring the impact of effective design in conveying meaningful messages.

Advocacy Through Creativity

Joey’s passion for addressing societal issues through design is notable. “Constant representation and raising awareness is the first step in helping these issues,” he asserted. 

During his time at Temasek Polytechnic, Joey integrated his passion for advocacy into his projects. He undertook a project focused on dispelling misconceptions about transphobia in Singapore. This initiative showcased Joey’s commitment to fostering inclusivity and creating a more empathetic school and work environment. By challenging stereotypes and promoting dialogue, Joey actively contributed to building a more inclusive and empathetic society.

Post-diploma, Joey Daniel collaborated notably with the non-profit publication Beyond The Bricks by SGforFWs, where he highlighted the compelling story of Rowena, a Filipino domestic worker in Singapore. Through his creative endeavours, Joey shed light on the experiences and challenges faced by marginalised communities, amplifying their voices and advocating for greater understanding and empathy.

Joey Daniel NTUC May Day 2024 Model Worker 2
Unique in his graphic design and a sense of style to boot

Reflecting on the collaborations, Joey emphasised the value of diversity in teams. “A diverse team without a rigid hierarchy and with open communication enables individuals to address ignorant thoughts or biases without fear of judgment,” he stated, highlighting the importance of creating inclusive spaces.

Resilience and Learning

Beyond his professional endeavours, Joey values personal well-being and balance. “Having time away from creativity allows me to be more focused as well,” he shared, emphasising the need for downtime to avoid burnout and maintain productivity.

Joey Daniel NTUC May Day 2024 Model Worker 3
Those who know Joey will know that his downtime is prime time!

Addressing issues within the design industry, Joey advocated for healthier work practices. “The quickest way to hate your job is working when you’re not supposed to be working. Make your designers go home!” he urged, stressing the importance of work-life balance and self-care.

Joey’s journey also reflects resilience and a growth mindset. “There’s no time to dwell on mistakes — I have to fix them and move on,” he affirmed, highlighting the importance of overcoming and learning from adversities and moving forward with determination.

As we peel back the layers of Joey’s design philosophy, we uncover a belief that design is not just about aesthetics but also about serving as a catalyst for positive change, empowerment, and inclusivity. Joey’s emphasis on constant adaptation, collaboration, and creating inclusive spaces underscores his role as a team leader who not only excels in his craft but also uplifts those around him.

Through his advocacy for healthier work practices, work-life balance, and resilience in the face of challenges, Joey sets a shining example for aspiring designers and professionals alike. With his colourful spirit and impactful contributions, Joey Daniel continues to inspire and ignite creativity within our team and beyond!

Follow Joey’s Instagram Profile to see what he works on at work and play!

Photos by Leo Chia of the DANAMIC Team.

Jeffrey Lee

A Singaporean raised abroad, you might want to see Jeffrey's different take on things — especially if you frequently find yourself swinging around a climbing gym or with a crossword in hand.

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