Gin Kim

a journey to happiness

SPECS Gallery Logo

Specs Gallery is a CIC (Community Interest Company), whose aim is to showcase the work of emerging visual artists within the London area. We operate a ‘pop-up’ gallery model, meaning our only permanent gallery space is online. We use empty properties around the city to exhibit our shows, providing not only a flexible and unique gallery environment, but also contributing to the regeneration of the city at a time when more properties are empty than ever before. (

Harry and Alice, two good friends of mine from MA Creative Economy at Kingston Uni, who founded this company asked me to design a logo for their new adventure. I just wanted to make it rough in a way that it shows its concept as a ‘pop up’ gallery introducing young emerging artists in London.

Hand-made labels


Filed under: Design

Passport2guide Logo


This was a project that I did during my MA in the Creative Economy. Our business was about a stylish town guide in ‘Passport size’. We ended up starting from online town guide due to the printing cost but the logo was designed from the initial idea of passport sized guide as its name says.

2 criteria for this logo was to keep the look & feel of the conventional Passport cover but still look young and trendy!

I realised that most passports have ‘Crest’ on the cover aligned in the center – apart from the swiss passport. Then I selected some icons related to our contents – food, club, shops etc and put them randomly to make it look like a crest. Et voila!

Filed under: Design, MACE 2009

Designer, Manufacturer & Contemporary Design Retail Business

“Have you ever bought a chair for £150?”

I was asked, with little expectation of a positive answer, during my first job interview for the position of a designer. Let leave a chair with ticket price of £150, I had never bought a single piece of furniture at that point in my life. Ironically this is a rather common predicament for fresh graduates of design school. However the question indicates the criticism towards the mindset of most young designers who expect consumers to pay good hard-earned money for their designs without knowing its value through an actual experience of buying. This also highlights the specificities and contradictions of the design industry.

This question leads me to explore the economy of design industry. To initiate this research, I have focused on contemporary design retail business as one of the most desirable business formats for designers, yet not the most interesting subject for economists or researchers due to the fact that the sector remains comparatively small in terms of both individual size and overall market share.

This research aims to analyse the high-end design and furniture industry in order to find out the hidden structure and correlation between designers, manufacturers and retailers within the deign industry. This research will explore a broad range of context around the furniture and design industry especially focusing on the impact of the economic downturn and the tide of e-commerce on the research area. To understand the internal issues within the businesses, the literatures about the small business sector have been reviewed with greater emphasis on starting up a business, management, marketing and finance.

This research contains both quantitative and qualitative data that are collected via unstructured and structured interviews, a questionnaire and online research. In order to understand a real life phenomenon within the context, case studies are developed based on interviews as well as secondary data. Findings are analysed and synthesised in the form of diagrams.

From manufacturers to customers
– Competitiveness of contemporary design retail business and its channels of communication.
– (Left) Correlations between well established global furniture brands and well established design shops in London.
– (Right) Assessment of the product range and marketing channel of contemporary design retail business in London, 2010

Diversification of retail channels

Traditional structure of the design industry from designers to individual customers.

– Current trend of the diversification of retail channels for designers and manufacturers as well as retailers

(This is from my dissertation about contemporary design retail business in London)

Filed under: Design, MACE 2009

Sensory Alarm Clock

Alarm clock is one of the oldest and the most typical products representing the modern urban life. This tiny object or waking-up function itself absorbed in different forms – mobile phone, radio or even the laptop- cristalise the fate of modern people having to wake up against what their body wants and the clock of the nature. You hate it but you can’t avoid it to survive in busy urban life.

The aim of ‘Glorious morning’ project is to bring the first, hence the most important activity of the day – or the first obstacle of the day for some – waking up in the morning, on the table, analyse and explore how we can wake up more pleasantly, naturally yet effectively. This project is exploring possibilities on both sound and smell to bring ‘Glorious morning’ to numerous people struggling to wake up in every morning including me!

Some pages from the final report <Click to view the large image>

idea 1| sensory wake up

Filed under: Design

Final Presentation –

Filed under: Design, MACE 2009

Sense Exhibition

Sense Exhibition that made my January so busy.

Sense Exhibition : Smell me (Thank you Corrine for the good feedback)

Process journey

Since the new term started, we got 3 weeks to prepare the exhibition from concept development  to execution as well as the final documentation. I was in charge of finalising the document (editing on Indesign, the most tedious part…) and also doing the coordination throughout this period while making lots of cocoons as well. By consequence, I physically haven’t had time to spend on our business project that I feel so sorry to the rest of team members…and also for myself. But hopefully february will be the business project month and will get it done!

Otherwise, the exhibition was quite successful, and I really appreciate Corrine and Maces for coming to see it!

Filed under: Design, Talk

Week #12 4 Dec. Dragon’s den! Best Branding team, yeah!!! thank you Corrine :)

I didn’t know what Dragon’s den was until it started. Again, I haven’t slept at all for the presentation file because I tend to take too much time on tiny little details… But that inefficient effort while being very sick was rewarded when Corrine nominated our team as a best branding team! 😀 Also, during one to one consultation session, we got very positive feedbacks from dragons : one dragon said that it was a very good idea especially for international students like her, and the other said that he didn’t choose us simply because he knew that Corrine will choose us, otherwise that it’s good. Both of dragons gave some very good practical advices and especially Corrine’s advice of making an electronic version of guide so that people can download and print seemed more realistic than our initial plan to make a printed one. It was a good experience to give the presentation of our holistic business plan – from concept to marketing plan, to people who haven’t known our project and to receive feedback from them. Very encouraging session!

Filed under: Design, MACE 2009

No, no thank you

To be honest, I hate interviewing people. Talking with strangers is something I wasn’t born with. When I was young, I couldn’t even call for chinese delivery food. When I just started working, the most difficult thing was to talk on the phone with clients or anyone. I was forced to overcome this while working as a project coordinator who’s supposed to talk a lot, a lot, a lot with people. Then I quit my job, and I was truly happy that my phone wasn’t ringing any more. The reason why I’m talking this irrelevant story is to tell that it needed a lot of courage to interview all those people I met in Kingston hill & Knights park.

While developing our idea of Kingston guide, I realised that I need to talk to people, but interviewing people was one thing I really wanted to avoid. Anyway, I did, and now I’m proud of myself. Luckily I met a lot of my friends, and I could interview some random people as well (who actually asked me if they can film me for their project, then I filmed them =). I really want to thank all of my friends and other kingston students for happily being taped, and answering questions. Also I’m happy that I feel a little more confident about interviewing people especially in english and I feel more familiar with video editing software thanks to this course, even though it took me 6 hours for this 1 min video. I would never be bothered doing this if I didn’t take MACE course.

Also, I want to thank mace mates for laughing after ‘no, thank you’ which is the best part of the video, I think. I want to make a guide that can even convince him to buy!

Filed under: Design, MACE 2009, Talk

About me

I like everything that makes me happy.

  • food – I’m passionate about food. I love cooking, tasting, having dining experience in different places
  • nice but not exaggerated design
  • Reasonable price – Even though I’m designer, I don’t want to take advantage of design only to make more profit, because I’m also consumer in the consumerism society that you can’t avoid! (a little bit of contradiction here, I admit it)
  • Fairtrade & Sustainability
  • People, Interaction, Communication

I’m good at

  • Visualisation in 2D & 3D, especially for presentation
  • Making prototypes
  • Logical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Group Work – open minded, collaborative, responsible
  • smiling =)

You can have a look at my portfolio if you want.

Filed under: Design, Talk