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A Conversation with Thumy Phan, designer of two Equity beer labels

At Equity, one of the most exciting things we get to do is work with local artists and designers. While we get creative with our beer, designers like Thumy get creative with their imagery, and we love collaborating and building on each other! Read this blog post to get to know a little about Thumy, and see our two new amazingly cool labels for Equity beer. Thank you Thumy for working with us on this project!!

To start, would you give a brief background on yourself?

Hi! I’m a Vietnamese immigrant illustrator & designer raised in Oklahoma City. In 2013, I graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from Columbia College Chicago. I love immersive art installations and my favorite artist is Yayoi Kusama! When I'm not drawing, I like visiting new places, shooting things with my Canon, watching Studio Ghibli movies, and drinking iced orange + caramel lattes at Cuppies & Joe. Seriously, I'm there every other day.

What made you interested in design?

I just got really lucky, I think. It's a tale as old as time, but I have loved drawing since I was a kid. This led me to experimenting with Adobe's design programs, staying up late to get the most out of my 30 day free trial. I just feel an immeasurable sense of joy when I create, so I naturally gravitated towards a career in the art and design industry.

What is your overall goal for your design work?

I love telling stories with my work, specifically BIPOC stories and my own experiences of growing up in the US as an immigrant, permanent resident woman of color raised in the south. It's through some of this work that I've connected with other folks who are like me, folks that before the internet became the big wild thing that it is, I never even knew existed. Design and art gives me the opportunity to connect, to feel less alone. I hope my work does the same for others.

Can you talk a bit about what your inspiration for the Equity beer labels was?

Equity's belief of building a more diverse and inclusive community is a value that I really connected with. I believe that we can't have change without being able to depend on each other. To visually represent community for both the Rise Up Roasted Coffee Stout and Collective Action Kölsch labels, I was inspired to draw folks being together, connecting and solving the puzzles that is our world, rising up to meet inequality, and doing it together in solidarity.

What do you want people to know about Equity when they see our labels?

The first only all women-owned brewery in Oklahoma City, Equity is shattering a ceiling I didn't even know existed. When someone picks up a can of beer from Equity, I hope they know how much thought, passion, and magic went into the beer, the space, the values, the entire company. Equity cares, and you can see it!

What was your favorite part of designing the labels?

Honestly, the freedom to interpret the labels any way that I wanted to. I loved that Suzette and Hannah were easy to work with, giving me valuable feedback when I needed but also trusting my process. And the colors!! Equity's brand is so vibrant, I paired colors together I would never normally use. The final labels just pop with so much magic.

What does the future look like for you in terms of your design work and career?

In May 2020, I made the decision to pursue a full time freelancing career. In the year and a half since, I've had the opportunity to work with some pretty great organizations, both in and outside of OKC. Hopefully, my luck never runs out and I get to draw for more amazing clients (like Equity!) Some future goals: design a coffee bag label for a local coffee roaster, collaborate with even more OKC orgs/businesses I admire, and illustrate for The New York Times. Let's make it happen!

We hope you love these new labels as we do!!! Be sure to check out Thumy's design work on her website here.


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