milkochuaName: Milko Jayson Chua
Location: The Philippines
99designs handle: Milkochua
Web portfolio:

How did you get started in design?

I studied Fine Arts in the University of Santo Tomas, majoring in Advertising Arts. However, before that, even in elementary school, I already loved freehand drawing.

Are you a freelance designer or do you have a fulltime job?

I am currently working freelance. In addition to the work I do on 99designs, I also do product photography and poster design, mostly for a local cosmetics company. However, 99designs is my main source of income.

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Left to right, Milko’s designs and sketches as they progress from his high school to college days

What led you to start using 99designs?

I have an old college friend who was using 99designs. He shared to me that he was doing freelance work at that time. He encouraged me to try it out, so I did. I had been working for an international garment manufacturer in China as the senior designer for the corporate communications department. I was in charge of corporate identity, company campaign posters and event design as well as event photography.

I considered doing freelancing fulltime when I started winning more regularly and I saw that I can earn as much as I was receiving from my regular work.

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Has using 99designs helped you to build new client relationships?

99designs has most certainly helped me to build new client relationships because some clients have contacted me for further projects after I won their contests.

How have you seen your design skills improve throughout your time with 99designs?

I have definitely seen an improvement in my design skills. The variety of contests challenges me to push myself creatively like never before. To be honest, sometimes I even surprise myself after designing a new logo! 99designs has also helped me advance my skills in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

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What are your methods for improving upon your past work?

The first thing that I do is to search for existing logos so that I know what’s out there in order to avoid designing something that looks like an already existing design. I recommend to other designers to, first, have integrity within design. Be authentic. Be original. Clients pay money to get new and original designs.

Do you work alone or do you like to work in a team and around people?

I work alone, but I also do enjoy working in a team or around creative people. When I am thinking of a new design or concept, I prefer to be alone so I can concentrate and focus. Once I get my concept done and start executing the design, that’s when I’m open to talking with other people. I can work anywhere as long as there is an internet connection!

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Tell us about your involvement with the Logo Store? How do you feel this enhances your experience on 99designs?

I usually sell my logo designs that did not make it to the end of a logo contest successfully. I think the secret to success, and the number one goal in the Logo store, is to be found. Tags are incredibly important. It is a great way to make secondary use of your design skills. You can’t really control when you are going to sell a design, but by tagging your designs properly, you will be sure to let your designs be found. Sometimes the best designs can get buried in the heap. I have also received a number of follow-up assignments based on logos I have sold in the logo store.

I like to consider the Logo Store a bonus in the 99designs experience.

What are your goals for your design skills and career?

I hope to someday have my own distinct design style, so that when people see a design of mine, they know it comes from me. I would also love to have my own design studio.

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What are your tips for designers who want to build their skills and their base of clients?

Never stop improving your freehand drawing skills and typography aesthetics. Remember to always listen to the client and read the design brief thoroughly. Be original!